starting out with cougars

Posted by: Randy Rose

starting out with cougars - 09/12/01 12:38 PM

I am just starting out with this calling predators thing. I haven't purchased anything yet but am eager for any information that anyone could lend. While elk hunting with my bow I have on several occasions been surprised by cougars. I want to go back and try to get them when I actually have a rifle in my hands. I need advice on techniques and equipment please. Thanks.

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RR
Posted by: Bob Mc

Re: starting out with cougars - 09/12/01 05:15 PM

First, do a search on this forum (and possibly others) for information about calling cougars. Then come back and ask questions. There is lots of information available.
Posted by: jerry malbeck

Re: starting out with cougars - 09/15/01 07:52 AM

Im taking the risk of offending you with this post . Please dont take it wrong . Cougars are very large meat eating predators , known to attack man . There are alot of mistakes a beginner caller can make . I suggest you learn all the dos and donts of calling before calling cats . You just may end up with one in your lap .And please if you do this dont call alone .I would also recomend you use a caller with a remote . I am conserned with your health , not trying to be a smart ass. Jerry .
Posted by: BobR

Re: starting out with cougars - 09/15/01 09:54 AM

Randy, Many elk and turkey hunters are "surprised" by cougars. I read a report from New Mexico last year where a turkey hunter wearing a Ghillie suit was actually hit from behind, but the cat left as soon as it realized its mistake. You run a far greater risk of being struck by lightning than being attacked by a cougar.
The surprises usually occur when the cougar has made you out and is making his exit. Jerry is right about using a remote caller, but not for the sake of safety. When the distress sound is near you. the cats will be sneaking up on you. Chances are that you will never see them until it is too late. Then things happen so fast you do not have time to react. We call birds and or deer on almost every stand. These critters will often alert you when a cat approaches.
A rancher friend of mine asked me to take him calling yesterday. He took me to an area that I had never called. At 4:00 PM we were studying the area. I set up the caller at the head on a long drainage. The ridges on both sides of the drainage were open. There was a saddle just above the drainage.
The upper part of the drainage was open enough where a cat could be seen if it approached the caller. After I had set up the caller and we had planned the stand, we left. We returned at 6:30 PM. My friend quietly slipped over to where he could watch the saddle and the upper part of the ridges and drainage. I walked 500 yards down one ridge and slipped down a game trail part way down into the drainage. I was hoping to see anything sneaking up the drainage. I should have gone a little lower, but wanted to see the open ridge on the other side. I could not see my caller over 500 yards away, but I could see the open area just below the saddle at the top of the drainage. It was very quiet in the canyon when I turned on the distress sound. But immediately, I heard the ravens, jays and magpies responding to the sound. I saw the birds flying up the canyon toward my caller. Thirty minutes into the stand, I saw the head and big ears of three mule deer skylined on the saddle on top. Then one of the deer started down toward the caller. It stopped 75 yards from the caller and stood motionless for a half hour. Then I heard a deer snort to my right and below me in the drainage. I suspected something may be coming up the draw. About that time, the doe above started circling around to the far side of the drainage. It was trying to see what was going on below.
As it got farther from the saddle, the other two deer started down. I could see they were twin fawns. The doe was below my caller now and looking back uphill staring st it. Suddenly she turned and was looking down the drainage. She was very nervous, flicking her tail and moving her head side to side. Then she jerked her head around and barked. The fawns turned and ran over the saddle. Then the doe turned its attention back down the drainage. Then she turned and bounded up over the saddle and disappeared. My friend was excited as he told me all that happened on that stand. It was the first time he had been calling with me. He is already planning where we will go next time. He said he knows something was down there, but it would not come out of the cover. A cat can see out of cover, and you will never see it. I think we call cats we never see. But watching what goes on around you tells you a lot. When i started down into the canyon, I realized if I went any lower I would not be able to see anything but the bottom. So I stopped too high.
Randy, you will learn more about calling cats by getting out and doing it. You will find very little useful information on the net. Get a good remote caller, and set up where you can watch as many approach routes as possible. Most of it is common sense.
Bob
Posted by: Bob Mc

Re: starting out with cougars - 09/15/01 03:52 PM

BobR,

"You will find very little useful information on the net".

Bob, you just gave a short course in "Basic Cougar 101".
Posted by: Steve Craig

Re: starting out with cougars - 09/16/01 12:22 PM

Howdy Bob,
How you been doing? Looks like you and Wade will be busy with that caller and those lions this year!
Your Friend,
Steve
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: starting out with cougars - 09/16/01 02:14 PM

Wecome back, Steve. LB
Posted by: Steve Craig

Re: starting out with cougars - 09/16/01 03:22 PM

Thank you Leonard, I appreciate your help!
Steve
Posted by: Calypso

Re: starting out with cougars - 09/16/01 03:24 PM

Hey Steve,


Welcome Back!!!
Posted by: Steve Craig

Re: starting out with cougars - 09/16/01 03:48 PM

Thaks Bob!
How was your hunt?
Steve
Posted by: Randy Rose

Re: starting out with cougars - 09/16/01 07:27 PM

Thank you all for the replies. I am well aware of the dangers involved with cougars from the way that cougars have responded to my cow calls when I've been elk hunting. I have purchased a remote calling system. I purchased the the system from "Pro Systems FX". When I made my original post I guess I wasn't very clear. I was really looking for information on set ups, durations of calling, and remote systems that people have had better success with. I have done some research but most information seems to cover coyotes and such. I guess since I have had the experiences with my cow calling for elk I can draw upon that. Thanks again.
Posted by: Steve Craig

Re: starting out with cougars - 09/16/01 08:09 PM

Randy,
Set up over kill sites(fresher the better), and work the higher saddles and ridge points. You can't call them where they ain't. The one thing about cats, is when they hear the sound, they will come. Be prepared to call for at least an hour in good country.

As far as a remote caller goes, use one that will work from at least a couple hundred yards or more. Mine will work from a half mile if I wanted to use it that far. I prefer a caller that uses "real" sounds and not computor generated sounds, but it is a personal preference thing I guess.
Good luck with your lion calling,
Steve


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www.azpredatorhunts.com
Posted by: BobR

Re: starting out with cougars - 09/16/01 09:50 PM

Hey Steve, When you told me a couple of months ago that you were setting up your caller 150 to 300 yards away from you, I thought you were CRAZY. But I guess you have noticed that I am using that startegy now.
Takes me awhile to catch on sometimes.
Neat trick, and the critters we are calling in haven't a clue we are around.
Steve, Next time you are calling, when the jays and magpies start landing around your caller, pause then switch to the starling distress. Watch how the birds react.
Bob


[This message has been edited by BobR (edited 09-16-2001).]
Posted by: Randy Rose

Re: starting out with cougars - 09/17/01 08:54 AM

Steve,
Thanks for the more specific details. What kind of system do you have? The ProSoundFX sytem works by wire and remote so however much wire I have the better. What about your calling CD's? I haven't found much for elk but a lot for bleating fawns and rabbits. Will the above 2 work well for cougars? Thanks again.
Randy
Posted by: BobR

Re: starting out with cougars - 09/17/01 09:00 AM

Randy, The snowshoe hare distress is my most productive sound. I use a fawn decoy with the snowshoe sound. I have not used my fawn distress this year. I even call more deer with the snowshoe than the fawn sound.
Strang combo, but it works for me.
Bob

[This message has been edited by BobR (edited 09-17-2001).]
Posted by: Formula 409

Re: starting out with cougars - 10/02/01 12:11 AM

This may be tough to swallow for some people but here goes. One night in the USSC ( United Socialists of Southern California) we called in three lions from the bed of a pickup using a Johnny Stewart jackrabbit tape. Are there really lions in CA??

Some nights you just don't know what you'll run into.
Posted by: BobR

Re: starting out with cougars - 10/02/01 02:44 AM

409, This is not hard for me to swallow. The first six lions I called in were at night
using a Sceery Ap-2 cottontail. Lions, like bobcats, are much easier to call at night.
In 1968 I was on one of my first calling trips with a guy I met in an archery club from Long Beach, CA. We were calling in Cleveland National Forest. He was calling with a Circe Jack Rabbit call. When he turned on the light, he picked up a set of eyes 50 yards out, and then dropped the spot on a large lion.
Here in WA bobcats, coyotes and fox are legal to call at night. We call in many lions and bears at night while bobcat hunting. The first lion I called in and killed was at night. I thought I had killed a bobcat until I walked out and saw the small lion laying there. I love the night.
The problem I have with night hunting here is finding someone to go with me. I call from a 4-wheeler and when its 20 degrees out most guys would rather be home in bed. I am set up this year where I can call at night by myself.
Bob



[This message has been edited by BobR (edited 10-02-2001).]
Posted by: Steve Craig

Re: starting out with cougars - 10/02/01 07:36 AM

409,
Not hard for me to swallow either. All cats come better in the dark. Cats are not smart, and the dark is when they are most active. Also I have called in several lions and bears with a jackrabbit sound. It sounds more like a fawn distress than a fawn sometimes, depending on the recording or the maker of the hand call. My good friends Mark and Pam Cain ( Modern Call Products)are working on hand calls that will reproduce lion vocalizations, and I should be testing them soon. They already have one of the best bear cub distress calls on the market right now.
Steve

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www.azpredatorhunts.com
Posted by: Formula 409

Re: starting out with cougars - 10/03/01 10:07 AM

Bobr, The problem with night hunting here in NV is finding the counties that allow night hunting. I know a few game wardens, most are friends, some not so friendly, and alot of them frown on spotlighting.

I know some people use red filters but I never have. I keep the main beam above the eyes until ready to shoot. Have had great success doing this.

Steve, you would probably know this better than me. During the Feb. Javelina and the Nov. Couse hunts are most predators in season?
Posted by: Steve Craig

Re: starting out with cougars - 10/03/01 09:13 PM

409,
We can not hunt lion during a General javelina and any elk season, and you must use a shotgun for other predators during a General javelina and any elk season.
Steve

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www.azpredatorhunts.com
Posted by: SteveU

Re: starting out with cougars - 10/05/01 10:03 PM

BobR,
Have you done any cat hunting in NE Oregon? I am planning my first cougar hunting in that area for this December/January. I have never called cougar before, but have picked up tips reading postings on this forum. Do you have any tips for calling in cats at this time of year? I have talked to some locals and to the game biologist for the area and have some ideas where to find the cats. If you are looking for someone to call cats with, maybe we could get together some time. I would love to see how it is supposed to be done from someone with experience. Thanks.
Posted by: BobR

Re: starting out with cougars - 10/06/01 12:06 AM

Steve, I live on the Oregon Line and some of the ranches I hunt are in Oregon. We had our first frost last night, and it is supposed to get colder this week-end. So it is that time of the year.
I would be happy to plan a hunt with you.
Bob


[This message has been edited by BobR (edited 10-09-2001).]