The Hunting Stories Podcast

Ep 103 The Hunting Stories Podcast: Scott Daughtery

June 18, 2024 The Hunting Stories Podcast Episode 103
Ep 103 The Hunting Stories Podcast: Scott Daughtery
The Hunting Stories Podcast
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The Hunting Stories Podcast
Ep 103 The Hunting Stories Podcast: Scott Daughtery
Jun 18, 2024 Episode 103
The Hunting Stories Podcast

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Imagine getting a call at work that leads you to an adventure filled with treed lions, snowy mountains, and side-splitting laughter. Join us as Scott Daugherty, a seasoned hunter from Gunnison, Colorado, recounts his thrilling and often humorous journey from coon hunting to mountain lion tracking. Inspired by the classic novel "Where the Red Fern Grows," Scott shares stories of early mentorship, and the tight-knit community that dog hunting fosters.

Step into Scott's world of mountain lion hunting, where every track tells a story and each hunt is a lesson in preparation and perseverance. From his first solo lion catch in the harsh Colorado winter to collaborating with Colorado Parks and Wildlife in the Gunnison Mountain Lion Study, Scott’s tales are a mix of adrenaline, camaraderie, and respect for the craft. Hear about the intricacies of identifying lion tracks and the stringent regulations that guide ethical hunting practices, all while appreciating the dedication of CPW officers and the unbreakable bond between hunters and their dogs.

Humor finds its way into the hunt as Scott shares an unforgettable incident involving a tree, a lioness, and a mentor’s misadventure. Learn about the ups and downs of tracking lions through challenging terrains, the importance of ethical hunting, and the relentless spirit of the dogs who make it all possible. Whether you're a seasoned hunter or just curious about the world of hound hunting, this episode promises a heartfelt and engaging exploration of the wild, filled with awe-inspiring stories and the voices of passionate hunters.

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Send us a Text Message.

Imagine getting a call at work that leads you to an adventure filled with treed lions, snowy mountains, and side-splitting laughter. Join us as Scott Daugherty, a seasoned hunter from Gunnison, Colorado, recounts his thrilling and often humorous journey from coon hunting to mountain lion tracking. Inspired by the classic novel "Where the Red Fern Grows," Scott shares stories of early mentorship, and the tight-knit community that dog hunting fosters.

Step into Scott's world of mountain lion hunting, where every track tells a story and each hunt is a lesson in preparation and perseverance. From his first solo lion catch in the harsh Colorado winter to collaborating with Colorado Parks and Wildlife in the Gunnison Mountain Lion Study, Scott’s tales are a mix of adrenaline, camaraderie, and respect for the craft. Hear about the intricacies of identifying lion tracks and the stringent regulations that guide ethical hunting practices, all while appreciating the dedication of CPW officers and the unbreakable bond between hunters and their dogs.

Humor finds its way into the hunt as Scott shares an unforgettable incident involving a tree, a lioness, and a mentor’s misadventure. Learn about the ups and downs of tracking lions through challenging terrains, the importance of ethical hunting, and the relentless spirit of the dogs who make it all possible. Whether you're a seasoned hunter or just curious about the world of hound hunting, this episode promises a heartfelt and engaging exploration of the wild, filled with awe-inspiring stories and the voices of passionate hunters.

http://www.unitedhoundsmanofco.com

United Houndsmen of Colorado Facebook

Support the Show.

Speaker 1:

Howdy folks and welcome to the hunting stories podcast. I'm your host, michael, and we got another good one for you today. First off, though, I do want to apologize took a couple weeks off, but we're gonna get right back to it and we're doing that today with Scott Daugherty. I met Scott in Gunnison at a backcountry hunters and anglers event. He was serving up mountain lion green chili and it was the best green chili I ever had. I Got to talking to him, his wife petting his dogs. The guy is a hounding machine and he had some fun stories for us today. So I don't want to steal too much of his thunder, but I want to thank Scott for coming on the podcast and thank you guys for waiting patiently for this next episode to come out. So thank you guys. Now let's go ahead and let Scott tell you some of his stories out. So thank you guys. Now let's go ahead. Let's Scott tell you some of his stories.

Speaker 1:

All right, scott, welcome to the Hunting Stories Podcast. Brother, how are you? I'm doing good and yourself, I am doing well. Man, I'm doing really well. Now that you're here, I've taken a little bit of a break from doing these podcasts. Took a couple of weeks off, but I'm excited to get back to it and, man, I'm super excited that you're the guest that I get to jump back into it. Um, just so the listeners know, we met what was a month ago, a month and a half ago or something like that, at the backcountry hunters and anglers uh, barbed wires and bluegrass bands or something, something along the lines, right, what was the name of that?

Speaker 2:

thing. I think that's what it was.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, barbed wire and bluegrass yeah, yeah and uh, you, you had cooked up cause they had a wild game potluck you had cooked up a mountain lion green chili and I was like that might be the best green chili I've ever had, regardless of what kind of meat is in there. Um, and then we started talking and I and you know, I I think my favorite stories on my podcast have all come from people that are pretty into the uh, sort of mountain lion dog hunting, that kind of stuff. I think that you are the perfect guest to go into a little bit of that. Hopefully, let's do this, scott, I got a little long-winded there, but why don't we let you introduce yourself so the folks know who they're talking to today?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, will do Just before that. I appreciate you liking that chili. It's one of two things I know how to cook that one actually turns out.

Speaker 1:

What's funny is you give the recipe, but then you have a secret ingredient on there that you don't share with anyone.

Speaker 2:

So it's like I don't even know. Yeah, Uncle Dan's secret seasoning. Like I said, he won't tell anybody.

Speaker 1:

It's what he does for.

Speaker 2:

Christmas he gives everybody a jar of Dan's special seasoning.

Speaker 1:

Well, you're going to tell Dan that I'm going to need a jar for this Christmas. I'll pay him for it. I'll get you one, perfect Scott. Well, why don't you tell people who you are and you know a little bit about your background?

Speaker 2:

Scott Doherty, born in Gunnison, colorado. I moved around a little bit and ended up coming back. Gunnison just has that kind of pull on people. So come back after high school and been hunting just with my dad since I was a little kid and all that. And I got into dogs because I think you at the Backcountry Hunter and Anglers event you heard my little speech there. I'm a real good public speaker.

Speaker 2:

If you notice, it was terrible, but yeah, I read when the Red Fern Grows way too many times as a kid. The teachers wouldn't accept book reports on it anymore, and if they were smart, they just found me another book that had a dog hunting in it. I had to read Red Badge of Courage or some junk that they wanted me to.

Speaker 2:

But, no, I read when the Red Fern Grows a whole bunch, and I always wanted hunting dogs and in high school I ended up I don't even know how I met this gentleman, but we called him fuzzy and fuzzy. He got in a bunch of trouble when he was a kid and uh, and so he just he got on the straight and narrow and so instead of running around town at night he had coon dogs and he'd go coon hunting. And somehow a friend of mine introduced me to him and I just started hunting with fuzzy and that was like I was like this is where the red fern grows. This is exactly what I want to do. This is great yeah, it's been.

Speaker 2:

We spend nights out on the river and you know this is before gps and I think they had telemetry out back then but it was too fancy for us. So we just go, turn dogs loose and you have to sit there on the tailgate and listen for them and then then you hear them trailing and they strike a track and trail it out and you wait for that tree bark and that big locate, that big long ball locate. And we didn't do it like competition guys where you're doing two dogs at a time. We'd show up with a dozen dogs and so we would claim the entire river bottom and it was beautiful music to listen to and I really, really enjoyed that hunting with fuzzy and uh, I got out of dogs after I got into college and shortly after that I realized I was like living in gunnison. You need a winter hobby and I can only skiing. I can only slide down a mountain so many times before I'm bored of it I mean, there's people that love it and god bless them.

Speaker 1:

But two, three times, I'm good for the year so I feel like some people, it's more about the beers after skiing, it's not so much about the skiing itself well that's what it was.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I wasn't drinking beers then I should have done that more, but yeah, so I figured I needed a winter hobby and I literally sat down and thought about it like well, I love dogs and I love hunting and I want to see a mountain lion. I'd never seen one and I was like that'd be just cool to do and I knew, you know, it was a little expensive to go hire a guide. And well it turns out, I started looking around and a buddy of mine it was not so much a buddy of mine, just a guy I knew, like he was my cousin's age, like 10, 15 years older than me, and I knew he had dogs.

Speaker 2:

I ran into him at the bar and he'd always tell me these awesome fun stories and I was like, well, take me with you and I get his number, and he just wouldn't answer the phone. Just wouldn't answer the phone. Of course, right, right, a little turd.

Speaker 2:

But he told, yeah, he told me all these great stories and then just ghost me yeah but so, so, eventually I I was serious about getting into it and and I saw him at the rodeo grounds as, and he told me, oh, I got dogs for sale. I was like, all right, well, I'll come find you. And I never could find him and and, uh, I wanted to, wanted to do it. So I I decided I was just gonna do it. So I just started looking around and I I did the worst thing you could do. I went and got the free dog. I was lucky and my free dog turned out okay, not very good. What breed was he? He was a Walker Blue Tick. His name was Boone. That's a good name Strong name.

Speaker 2:

Oh yeah, I think every hound hunter has had a dog named.

Speaker 1:

Boone at one point. If I had a hound dog, that's probably exactly what I would name it.

Speaker 2:

I like it. It's a good, strong name. So eventually I just started accumulating dogs and every time I saw him I was like, hey, let's go. And he kind of didn't take me serious. And that's kind of the thing with a lot of these true hounds and they're not going to take you. Everybody asks them let me go lion hunting with you. Let me go lion hunting with you. The worst thing you can ever do is ask a guy hey, I just want to kill a lion, a real houndsman. He's going to walk away from you when he hears that If you want to run around with some of these dyed-in-the-wool guys, you're either going to have to pay it and so gotcha.

Speaker 1:

so you have to like completely absorb yourself in the culture or pay for it.

Speaker 2:

There's no, no free rides. That's the feeling I got from it and there's like you gotta almost volunteer to go run roads and do that kind of stuff. Like I said, the guys that walk up to me and say I just want to kill a lion, I forget about them as soon as they walk away. Okay, I lose that number, like because I'm in it for the dogs, the dogs I'm about when the guy says just a lion.

Speaker 2:

He didn't say anything about the dogs, he didn't say anything about learning about the lion. He just wants to shoot a lion, which I like lions yeah, they're super cool guys too. Yeah, just like the mule deer guys and the elk guys. They love their elk and they love their mule. I love my lines yeah, I always give, give, give those guys shit, those that elk and deer out there to feed my lions. They don't, they don't like that.

Speaker 1:

That's awesome man.

Speaker 2:

So I accumulated some dogs and I got got some young dogs and and uh and boom, and like I said, he he wasn't great, but he was a dog and he did it. And so I knew where this guy lived and I knew what ranch he worked for and so I knew I figured like he's gonna be hunting the mountains around the ranch. And so when I started doing it I just started running all the roads before him. Or I was trying to do it before him, either he. It was hard to do because he woke up earlier than me to do it.

Speaker 1:

So let me ask real quick scott, just because I want to make sure I'm making an assumption, and I'm assuming some other listeners might be as well, but running the roads means you're basically driving around looking for paw prints in the snow. Is that right?

Speaker 2:

That's what you do.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, okay, I just wanted to make sure that I wasn't picturing the wrong thing here, okay.

Speaker 2:

Continue. Yeah, I'm not just jogging around. That sounds terrible. So yeah, terrible. So yeah, you drive around at night and looking for for cat tracks and that's actually you know no one talks about. That's actually a lot of fun I get a kick out of. You see all kinds of weird things in the middle of the night oh really, so you do it at night.

Speaker 1:

So why is it you're doing it at night versus during the day? Because, like you're worried about snow covering the tracks, or what is the logic behind the the evenings?

Speaker 2:

well, that could be it. If you got a storm, you want to get ahead of it and see if you can't get on track before they get covered. But I like to do it at night because I like to be able to turn loose when the sun comes up.

Speaker 1:

Oh, okay.

Speaker 2:

I've got a story for you here in a little bit that will explain kind of why I like to turn loose first thing in the morning.

Speaker 1:

Okay.

Speaker 2:

So I was running roads and I knew where he was, and I started running his county road and we passed each other. He was on his way to drop his daughter off at the bus stop and he gave me the big old eyeball and we passed each other. I think he realized who it was and he jammed on the brakes. So I jammed on my brakes and we backed up. He goes what are you doing? And I said, oh, I'm just, you know, looking for a lion track. And he goes well, stay here and I'll be back.

Speaker 1:

And so he runs and drops his daughter off. Okay, suspicious, all right.

Speaker 2:

So he runs and drops his daughter off and he comes back and goes. I got a lion track, let's go. And he'd already been up since God knows when and he cut all the roads around there before I, even, probably before I got out of bed.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

And so I showed up. He knew where I was going and I was headed right to where he had a lion track, Because before I even had dogs, I cut lion tracks on this road. So I was going to go look for it and he knew I was heading in that direction so he stopped me before I did it without him. And he had some really good dogs. He's got one. That was just. He's legendary. He's still alive. But if you talk to anybody in Gunnison that knows this guy, they know they know the dog's name too. Oh yeah, that's pretty cool, yeah. And so, yeah, after that, we, he, we started palling around a little bit and he took me under his wing. He's my mentor for four or five, six years there.

Speaker 1:

And I learned. I learned a whole bunch from him. That's cool, man, it's. It's hard to find a mentor um with regular hunting. I can't imagine how difficult it would be with something like hound hunting because, like you said, there's a there's a barrier to entry and it sounds like you paid paid enough to get in there.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I just wanted to, wanted to do it and I knew. I knew what it was going to take to do it. Well, that's a lie, I didn't know. I was used to that coon hunting sitting on the tailgate and I was like lion hunting. That sounds great. You know, we'll go sit on the tailgate and listen to some dogs and they are not the same thing.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Not even close. Oh man, yeah. So we run around a couple years there and before that I run around with him for a little bit and we caught a couple of cats. I want to tell you the story on the first cat that I caught by myself.

Speaker 1:

Okay, let's do it.

Speaker 2:

I learned a lot on one trip. I learned a whole bunch.

Speaker 1:

Typically, when someone says they learned a lot, it means a lot of mistakes were made. So I'm excited to hear the story, scott, that's exactly it.

Speaker 2:

Well, I don't even know where to start this darn thing. Well, I was running around and what I had is a 91 Polaris Arctic Cat.

Speaker 1:

Okay.

Speaker 2:

And then an ice fishing sled that I put a dog box on. I was running around and I was deep in the mountains and the snow was set up just enough for that old tiny sled to get places, and I probably shouldn't have been there. Of course, course, gunnison. I don't know if you know much about gunnison, but we're an ice box.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, in the winter time it gets cold and it gets cold, super cold and uh. So I was running around and this is the first cat I caught by myself, and I'd never heard anything about synthetic hunting wear like I said I did a whole bunch of flat land hunting Okay.

Speaker 2:

And the ones I caught with my mentor. Just I caught a couple with him before this one and uh, they were easy, they weren't, they weren't hard ones. We were able to get to the trees and but Gunnison finally got super cold and there I was with the cotton long Johns and Wranglers. I wore two pair of Wranglers that day because I knew it was going to be cold. That's awesome. Carhartt bib overalls. Okay. And then a big Carhartt jacket. Over top of that, I probably had a hoodie on and a Carhartt jacket because, it was cold.

Speaker 1:

Nothing sounding waterproof, but at least some layers.

Speaker 2:

No, not at all.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so when I say we, I always refer to me and the dogs as we we cut a track and I borrowed a dog from another guy who I actually bought a pup from and her name was Abby, this old plot dog and I got stories I could tell on her too for days. Her and my wife never got along. It's hilarious. She'd come out of the dog house and she would greet the day like a rooster. She didn't make the day like a rooster, not, she'd make the sound of a rooster, but every morning when the sun started to shine peak, she'd walk out the walk out the dog house and just and my wife go put a collar on her.

Speaker 2:

I bought this dog at 10 years old for for more money than I want to even say yeah at the time.

Speaker 2:

at the time I thought it was a lot of money. Nowadays it ain't nothing. But she was 10 years old when I bought her and I said I'm not putting a barcode on her, she's a veteran, she gets to greet the day and that's all she did. She'd just say hi to the day. So I had Abby and I had a couple of young dogs and Boone, and I had another dog from the guy I was borrowing Abby from. So I had a pile of these dogs in this ice fishing sled behind a 91.

Speaker 1:

Arctic cat.

Speaker 2:

And we went up on the big mountain. It was back there and I found this lion track and I was trying to get my dogs to be lion dogs. The worst thing I wanted to do was have all these puppies and then just have them as house dogs and I thought it was a bad look to not make them into hunting dogs. So I was really putting a lot of pressure on myself and I had to do it by myself. My mentor he'd show me lots of things and we always caught cats with his dogs, but my dogs weren't. You know, I knew they weren't the ones first on the track and they weren't the first ones to tree, but they were there.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

They're learning.

Speaker 1:

Taking baby steps, yeah. I yeah, I need these dogs to be lion dogs, and so I found this female track and I was pretty excited about it. I think I might have lost you there. How do you tell the difference between a female and a male track, if you?

Speaker 2:

don't mind me asking, or is that because you ended up finding the cat and figured it out on cpw? If you ever buy a mountain lion tag, you have to take a test to be able to tell the difference between a male and a female by visually seeing the cat or by looking at their paw tracks. And that back pad is what I like to go off of. I know cpw on their thing. They got this whole thing about measuring the entire width of it. I don't even mess with the width. I uh, I go that back pad, those those three lobes on the back, and I measure the widest spot on those three lobes. And I've converted myself to the metric system because I run around with a biologist here the last couple of years and I just find it so much simpler.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, because I hate, you know, 16th and 316th and sometimes you got to sit there and think about it as 316th is bigger than 3A Right Quarter. So the centimeters is so much easier 5.5. You find a track that has a front pad of 5.5 and a rear pad of a 5, that's female, female all day long. And sometimes you'll find one with a 6 front and a 5 rear. That's going to be a bigger female. Okay, basically anything over 6 on that front pad is it's going to be a male, so you'll. You'll find one in in the 6.5s with a with a six on the rear, and that's gonna be a young, young tom gotcha. Centimeters are just so much easier.

Speaker 2:

I just call it 65 it's not even it's not the right way to say it, but I call it 65, and you know we got you we, we cut a big Tom with a 72 or something like that 7.2.

Speaker 1:

Wow, that's cool. So here's the question when you get a tag, what? What are you allowed to harvest? Is it just, uh, tom's, is it just? I don't even know what a girl cat's called a kitty cat Like yeah, you know what I don't know?

Speaker 2:

Female, female and Tom's. Yeah female, the female and toms, yeah, okay yeah, uh.

Speaker 1:

So when you buy a, tag.

Speaker 2:

It is either sex okay and um. There are certain areas that they they ask you to refrain from shooting females. You not legally have to to to abide by that. But and and realistically, as the way cpw has been managing it, it's working out perfectly fine. Like to the t of what should be done yeah and I can talk on that too for a long time.

Speaker 1:

But we will a little bit at the end. I actually have a question for you in regards to all this cat madness that's going on in colorado. But yeah, we'll save that for after the story, because I'm derailing you from your first hunt here, okay oh, I guess I gotta back up a little bit.

Speaker 2:

And so, yeah, we cut this female track, but so back. We're going backwards in time long time ago, uh, coon hunting with fuzzy on the on the river is me, fuzzy and a couple buddies, and we treat this coon. We had some young dogs. We wanted to get trained up a little bit and they, they said, go climb up that tree and get him to get out of the tree. Have you ever heard of a coon squall?

Speaker 2:

no, I have not I'm not sure if that's weather or if that's something else, but yeah so there's a thing called a coon squall and they actually sell it like almost like a duck call. But some guys can make the same sound with their mouth. It's a terrible sound. It's almost like a dying rabbit, just slightly different. And so they sell the calls. And you can, some guys can do it with their mouth.

Speaker 2:

And well, lo and behold, I climb up this tree and I get out on this big branch, this big cottonwood, and then, uh, one of those guys, kyle his name was kyle and he starts squalling and I knew what he was doing. I said, kyle, knock it off, knock it off. And I had a light with me and I shined it and this big old warcoon he was facing away from me. He turned around and started coming down the tree at me. I was like, oh jeez. I was like kyle, knock it off. And that thing come, come down the limb at me and then jump limb to limb and off off on the ground and they turned the puppies loose and they went and treat them again.

Speaker 2:

So back to present day. We, uh, I find this female track and it's about zero degrees and about 1, 30 in the afternoon. Damn, okay, yeah, yeah, just gonna send. That's just what it is. Zero degrees in the afternoon, damn, okay. Yeah. Yeah, just Gunnison, that's just what it is. Zero degrees in the sunlight is actually not too bad. Zero degrees in the shades it's a different story. Or with a breeze, right, yeah, there, there you go with the breeze. So we turned loose, I turned loose, abby and the two young pups I got, and Boone and the other dog dog, and they lit out and they just lined it out and this cat stayed pretty well, just graded straight across the side of the mountain and they I was trying to keep up as best I could and, lo and behold, look on the gps and they put this cat up a tree and I was excited and I even to this day I swore it took me 10 minutes to get to that tree, like no time at all to get to that tree.

Speaker 1:

I guess I was just excited and fired up adrenaline oh yeah, I get that, I at all to get to that tree. I guess I was just excited and adrenaline.

Speaker 2:

I get that. I get to this tree and I've been told before I remember from my coon days, like if you can jump that game out of the tree so the puppies can see it, because you, I know those puppies weren't the first on the track and they weren't the first ones to tree. They were just there.

Speaker 2:

They're, they're getting some learning done, but I don't think they'd even seen that cat got it and so she's in a big bushy pine tree and so I'm like, well, just do like we did back in the day and jump her out, which is you shouldn't do. So I climb up this tree tree and I get within an arm's reach of her and I got a little stick and I'm banging it on the tree and she gives me the what for and I realize this is a terrible idea. So I climb back out of the tree and I gave up on that. Smart enough, I actually gave up on that, so not a big story there.

Speaker 2:

I climb out of the tree and the sun's starting to set and I was like, all right, well, time to go home. I start hiking. I'm like, gosh, dang, it's a long ways. And then my wife calls who's my girlfriend at the time? And she goes what are you doing? I was like, oh man, it's getting pretty cold. I don't know how far we are. I think I'm gonna try to make a fire, she's okay. Then, about five minutes later, she, she goes back. So what are you doing? I was like, well, I can't make a fire. My lighter's wet paper. I have my pocket, of course. I have paper instead of a fire starter. Nothing will light and I can't get a fire going. Phone dies.

Speaker 1:

Oh God, of course. Is that your general sense of direction, or do you have another GPS or something?

Speaker 2:

No, I, I had a GPS. I'm on a mountain where I know what direction to go. At least I know if I head west I'm going to hit the snowmobile trail.

Speaker 2:

I know what direction we're going. We're good on that. It's just getting cold and all those car hearts and everything's just starting to freeze. As soon as the sun, it was zero and we turned loose at 130. It's well below 10 below by now. I want to say 20 below, but I'll probably be lying. And so I'm trying to walk and everything on me is freezing up and the dogs are. I'm following the trail that we came in on and the dogs they'll get to a spot and they'll curl up and they'll lay down and they're super tired and we keep going, and it must have been. I don't know how many miles it was, but it was a couple of miles and I so I'd have to, you know like nudge him with my foot and like get up, get up, let's go, nobody's stopping, we'll stop when we get home. Keep going, keep going.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

And we get to this 91 Arctic cat and this time, at this point, my wife, she's losing it. You know it's. It's been dark for a couple hours now and she knew where I was. Thankfully I'd actually told her this time which direction I was going and I don't always do that.

Speaker 2:

So she calls search and rescue and they're like, oh, it's going to take us so long to get ready. And she's like, okay, and so search and rescue is getting ready at that time. And she calls my uncle. And my uncle and my neighbor are good friends and the neighbor knows me real well, and so uncle and my uncle and my neighbor are good friends and they both my neighbor knows me real well, my and so him, my uncle, get in a truck and they start coming to look for me yeah and so about this time I get to the that 91 arctic cat and I, I get the dogs loaded up and I grabbed that, that pull start and I just a little tiny prayer.

Speaker 2:

I was like, just come on, just come on, because I come on, I'd done some work to this thing just to get it to move and I pulled it once and it started and I was, I was just as happy as when I caught that lion.

Speaker 1:

Oh man, I can imagine that cold weather can do. It can wreak havoc on batteries and all sorts of different things. How are the, how did the dogs do in that kind of temperature? Are they fine?

Speaker 2:

well, I don't like being out below zero. We've done it before anything past five below. I'll just wait for the sun to come up more. And there's been days where we'll cut line tracks and we're like it's not going to get above 10 below and there's no point in doing it. I've heard different health issues that you can have and at the same time I don't want to run the line at 15, 20 below. So I won't you know, you just won't do it.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, I'll walk away from it. But so yield art at cat prowler. She starts up and I'm I'm doing my little happy dance and I let it warm up for half a second. We, we pull a Yui and we're coming down off the mountain. At this time I'm riding high. I was worried for, you know, a little while they're just trying to get out. But after I made it, you know, after I got to the snowmobile, I was just recalling the whole day and I was like man, you know, I'm a big lion hunter now, man my one cat and I'm coming down the mountain I see these headlights.

Speaker 2:

I'm like who's this dummy driving up this mountain this time of night? You know what a bunch of yeah. And so I get to it and it's my uncle and the neighbor. I was like hey, guys, how are you doing? They're like, oh, how are you? I was like doing great, I'm trying to tell them the whole story, like why don't you get in the truck? I was like no, you know just the truck's like four miles down the road Sled's running. I'll just run there. And my uncle's no, no, no, you get in the truck.

Speaker 2:

I said okay, well, I get to their house. I looked in the mirror. My lips were the slightest hint of purple or blue.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I was like oh, okay. You're like man, I must have been cold. All right.

Speaker 2:

I took those bib overalls off and they stood oh no way they stood straight up.

Speaker 1:

Did you get a picture of that by?

Speaker 2:

chance. No God no. I wish I would have Didn't, have to get cell phones and an old, crappy camera.

Speaker 1:

Well, y'all know it was.

Speaker 2:

Oh, of course, of course we made it down the mountain. I said we were going to the truck Like we make it down to my truck, and then it doesn't start. So I was just super, super happy that they showed up. It would have been another four or five miles on the snowmobile to get to their house. Of course I didn't have a helmet, I was just, you know, face was bare, didn't have a neck gaiter on and all the stuff.

Speaker 1:

But so you can only ride that first cat high for so long before your body does go, okay.

Speaker 2:

I wrote that for a couple of days. I I rode it for a couple of days. Well, good man.

Speaker 1:

Good, you deserve it.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that was the beginning of it all, even after that. So the wife, she's got me GPSed up. She tracks me just like I track the dogs. Now she knows exactly where I'm going.

Speaker 1:

That's smart.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

That's why we marry good women to keep us smarter than we actually are right, exactly that's it. She thinks we're smarter than I am. I met her. I'll agree with that. I bet you both. Thanks, bud, thanks, yeah, of course, cool man, give us the next one. That was a great story.

Speaker 2:

I love that. Well, I guess I got kind of a theme going on here about staying out of trees, so it was maybe a year or two later my uh, my mentor calls me up and I'm at work. But I had a job as I was working a tire shop, and so I I just take the dogs with me, I put them in, put them in my dog's box in the back of the truck, and then how many dogs at this point? I think four or five dogs at this point, okay. So dogs at this point, okay. So you know, it's about what I have right now. I just kind of like that number.

Speaker 2:

They fit in my box and so I put them in the dog box and then wintertime super slow at a tire shop so I just pull in one of the bays that we don't use and then I turn them loose and they'd hang out in the back of the truck and jump on top of the box and they greet people and it's super, super great way to socialize dog.

Speaker 2:

And so I just had them with me all the time, I just had all my gear to go with me all the time and I bought some wool long johns and synthetic synthetic long johns and good socks and I, finally I got geared up. Yeah, the next Christmas, oh man, my wife, she, she spoiled me with all the, all the proper hunting equipment right, just trying to keep you alive yeah yeah, so he calls me up.

Speaker 2:

He's like, hey, you know what are you doing, you think you can get out of Right, just trying to keep you alive, yeah. So he calls me up and he's like, hey, what are you doing? Do you think you can get out of work? I was like, heck, yeah, I can Tire shop in February, ain't nothing going on. And so he's like I got a lion track. She's just a little female. I said, all right, cool. So we went out to the ranch he's working at and we drove up on the mountain and cut loose and trailed down to this little rock pile and the dog squirted a line out of that rock pile and trailed it around about half a mile and put it up a tree, not a very big tree. Well, the tree was decent size, but she wasn't up there very far.

Speaker 2:

And so we get to it and he looks at me and grins go, hey, go, tickle her tail. And I was about to say yes, and he goes no, I'll do it. And so he starts climbing up this tree and I have, I gotta find it. If I can find it, I'll send it to you. He might have it on his socials, but there's a picture, and you know that picture, michelangelo may have painted it oh, yeah, yeah, like the sistine chapel, yep, yep, the sistine chapel, I think, is what?

Speaker 2:

yeah, the guys reaching for their hands and they're just about to touch their hands. Well, the picture I got of him is it's great. He's got a backpack on, he's got a cowboy hat on and he's reaching up and he's like. I mean, in the picture you can just barely see a little divide between his finger and that tail. I should have had it on videos, but I should have done, yeah, and I took that snap that picture right then.

Speaker 2:

And then, as soon as he, he just stroked the bottom of her tail, she was, she's on a limb and she came with her both. Both paws came right between her, both back. How she didn't fall out of the tree, I don't know, but she came right between both of her back legs and just took a big old swipe at him. And just the biggest guttural. I've heard a lot of lions make a lot of different noises and I've heard them getting into a little chaos and that's that. That was just the biggest guttural roar I'd ever heard a lion make. And he comes toppling out of this tree and she stayed up there. He comes toppling out of this tree and and hits the ground, goes, oh, my knee and I'm by this time I'm laughing, I'm laughing hard, and what a good friend oh yeah because I was hoping.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I was trying to turn video on, I wasn't getting it done. And he's sitting there, my knee, my knee, and he and I look up and she just starts to pee. And she just starts peeing all over him. Oh, no way. Oh, he's rolling out of the way, going my knee, my knee. Oh, I laughed and roared. And that poor guy, his knees still still bad to this day from that.

Speaker 1:

He'd always had bad knees yeah, what did he do? Did he like uh, hyperextend or acl or mcl or anything?

Speaker 2:

or you know it's acl mcl, one of those things like he's. He's had issues with him before, but that was gotcha, that one is long lasting for sure.

Speaker 1:

That's amazing, that's officially the second person to get pissed on in a story on my podcast, by a credit. Somebody else had a bear go up there. They're in a tree stand. The bear crawled up the tree. A cub right Went up and passed him up above him like 40 feet above him and just started pissing all over him and he was like I hope mama doesn't show up, that's awesome.

Speaker 2:

I. Do you still make fun of him for that, or is it? Are you over it at that point? Oh yeah, anytime someone brings it up or he brings it up. I I just re-mentioned how I I had a good laugh about it. Yeah, he'll bring it up.

Speaker 1:

Like my knee's still still bad and I was like I know it was funny yeah, if I, if I knew someone that it happened to every time they walked into the room, I'd be like making sniffing noises like what?

Speaker 2:

is that, is that cat piss like every time oh yeah, I guess the moral of my stories is you stay out of the trees yeah, oh my goodness.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I would be if I wouldn't. There's no way anyone could pay me enough money to climb up a tree after a mountain lion, doesn't? You guys are braver than I am, I guess, or dumber, maybe a little bit both probably dumber.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, when I when I did that, I wasn't thinking I got up to it and I was like, oh, just like a coon, they just jump out. No, they don't, that's awesome.

Speaker 1:

Well, what else you got, scott? This is fun, man. I'll listen to stories, as long as you'll tell them.

Speaker 2:

So let's keep going. If you got a couple more, All right. What do we got? Well, that picture I sent you, that big tom, yeah, Not overly exciting, but it was a good time. So I'm doing the mountain lion study with the biologist and I was cutting roads in the morning and I come across this track and I it. Just I didn't even jump off the snowmobile, I knew exactly what it was. I was like, oh Holy God, this is, this is Mufasa.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, just for the listeners, just so they know. Um, scott, you you work with Cardinal Parks and wildlife, with some biologists, with their department to kind of capture and tag the, the lions. Is that right, do I have?

Speaker 2:

that right, yep, correct. The last three years I was able to do the gunnison mountain lion study and help tag and collar lions for a population and uh study how many how many did you, did you tag in the last three years? You think we did 12 the first year.

Speaker 1:

No way.

Speaker 2:

And I think 10 the next year and then this this last year I only got to do a half or, and I think we only caught three or four.

Speaker 1:

It's a super slow year for me this year with them.

Speaker 2:

So Is that because they?

Speaker 1:

have other dog guys, or this this is going to different areas or their priorities changed, or what do you think was the reason for that?

Speaker 2:

you know I was I was actually super lucky the uh, the original biologist that started the study. He was, he's a super fun guy, but he's uh kind of secretive and he didn't want to put too many people together for for houndsmen and I was just lucky enough that I had a pretty good reputation because I don't.

Speaker 2:

I don't harvest a lot of cats, and so they thought that I would make a good, good mix. They did they. They knew that whilst we were doing the study I wasn't going to go tree a tom and then come back the next week with a friend and go tree that same tom and harvest that tom got it like I said uh, it's not really why I'm in. I'm in it for the dogs and I love the taste of mountain lion meat.

Speaker 2:

But I'm I'm pretty selective about what I harvest, gotcha and I don't someone have more than one tag a year?

Speaker 1:

can you just like you and your wife, each have one a year? Is that it?

Speaker 2:

yeah, yeah, you want. Each person gets one tag a year and that's all you get. And that's the hard part for houndsmen, because if you go using your tag, you're done, or you have to find someone to come with you every single time you want to go. So most houndsmen won't use their own tag. Generally they'll let somebody else do the shooting.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so they can get their dogs working all winter long.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, what is the?

Speaker 1:

season. Sorry, I have so many questions. This is so much fun. No, no, that's fine. What is the season, yeah?

Speaker 2:

As soon as fourth season is over, the day after fourth season is over, because it changes every year yeah, the next day after fourth season is over, mountain lion season starts, and it can run to the end of March.

Speaker 1:

Okay, it's based on quotas, right? So once they've harvested X amount they stop. It's based on quotas, right, so once they've harvested X amount, they stop.

Speaker 2:

That's right, where I live has a cluster of five units and those five units they're combined. The five units are and it's 18 lions total. So when that's done there's no more hunting you can't even pursue. So you can't even go out and just tree a lion. So you have to travel and every group of units has that same same quota that they got to follow.

Speaker 1:

That's cool, so that that Colorado Parks and Wildlife Biology study was pretty great for your dogs, right? Because you got to get out there and do it a lot more, like you're almost eating up the whole quota technically if you were to harvest those, those, those cats.

Speaker 2:

So probably dogs developed a lot in the last couple of years. Oh, if they gave me that job I would take. I would take half of what I get paid now at my job to just do that job. I mean as long as they gave me bread and water, I would be. I'd be fine with it.

Speaker 1:

Well, let's double check with your wife before we make that commitment. But, um, I understand, scott, that's cool, it cool. It's awesome to talk to somebody who's just so passionate about just one particular thing, so specifically, just lions in general and your dogs. This is super cool. But I interrupted your story again just because I just don't know enough about this subject and I think it's super interesting. But, yeah, go ahead. I think you caught up on a. You were talking about that big line. You sent me the photo of that.

Speaker 2:

You, you, you trained, yeah yes, we, uh, I found, I found the track and then I called, called those guys up and I was. I was pretty optimistic and that morning because we had a fresh snow, but this is starting to get sort of spring.

Speaker 2:

So like, uh, like you're saying that this study is really good for my dogs, it's fantastic because when the unit closes I still get to pursue lions with my dogs for the CPW and nobody else in the entire study unit gets to, so I'm the only person with like I forgot how many. It is like 200,000 square acres, I don't know. It's an obscene amount of it's Gunnison Valley. It's like the entire Gunnison Basin was mine to hunt by myself. No one getting in front of me, none of that.

Speaker 1:

No elk hunters, no deer hunters, just you and your pups.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, no lion hunters no one cutting roads in front of me looking for tracks, no one treeing lions in front of me.

Speaker 2:

I got it all to myself. So it was fantastic. When I knew I was getting that study, I immediately started searching for a pup. I got a pup and I made sure I started doing it and I was trying to do the math so I made sure that she was at least 10 months old when the study started. So that kind of helped me narrow down what pup I was going to get, because I was like, oh, this one will be 10 months when the study starts and so that's enough to be able to at least go walk with me. And so she started the study out with and right now she's my, she's my top dog, she's fast, that's cool.

Speaker 2:

So it's a little black and tan blue tick mix.

Speaker 1:

I think I met her at the the black BHA event. Yeah, your dogs were sweet, as can be man.

Speaker 2:

Oh yeah, I try to do a lot of socializing on them. You got to keep them. Keep them nice yep so we cut this track and, uh, I knew immediately is gonna is a big one and I radioed these guys up in reach. I used in region, you know I was able to get every gathered up and when you're, when you're hunting with, with the cpw people, you gotta, you gotta do a little waiting, you know so I'd imagine.

Speaker 2:

So a little bit of bureaucracy there yeah, well, they're just trying to get gathered up and of course they're off running around checking cameras here doing this, there they're doing their job, and then when you call them, they drop. They drop what they're doing, they come and.

Speaker 1:

I tell you what some of the greatest people I've ever.

Speaker 2:

I don't know if I'm lucky, because everybody always likes to shit on the CPW in the area, but people in unit or area 16, they're fantastic, Every single one. I know all of them and they're just great people and hard work.

Speaker 1:

Everywhere I hunt, I go out of my way to call up the game warden and the different people that are responsible for those units and I've never had a bad experience. I'm sure people have bad times but, like you know, sure they're going to check for your tag and your license. That's what they're supposed to do. Um, but yeah, I've never had a bad experience and and I've had some funny conversations, like one time I was antelope hunting for archery was my first time and my buddy was like so, uh, give us any tips. And she's like, yeah, you know, the best thing I can tell you about entry, archery hunting antelope is don't archery hunt antelope. And I was like, ah, that makes a lot of sense you know, they got a sense of humor and they're just people.

Speaker 1:

So, yeah, I'm with you, man, they're there. Everyone I've ever talked to has been wonderful.

Speaker 2:

Oh, and these biologists, the amount of hours they put in, they don't get paid for all the hours they actually put in. I kid you not, these guys will. They'll do 22 hour days, easy, like the text even. Not even just the biologists like oh, we're going on a three-day bender right now we're just checking trap. Well, they also did trapping, which I didn't much care for because I don't trap that cat. Just call me in the morning, we'll go. We'll go catch it and they sit on.

Speaker 2:

They sit on traps all night and not catch nothing. I just give. I just razz them, poke them the rib. As much as I could like see wasting all that time, staying up all night long sitting for nothing we could have caught first thing freezing your ass off yep, yep.

Speaker 2:

But like, yeah, they're, they're great people. So I get them wrangled up you know, it takes a little while for them to get there and we get there and I turn dogs loose and and I'm sitting there kind of listening and waiting for them and we, like we said we had a good, good skiff of snow come through the night before, so I'm a lot of mystic. This is just going to happen super fast. And then they just keep moving and keep moving and then they round this mountain. I was like all right, and just before they do that, the one guy walks up to me and goes about how big is this cat?

Speaker 2:

I said this is, this is mufasa, this is mufasa or mufasa's dad, one of the two. And they're like oh, oh. I was like, yeah, this is, this is the one we've been waiting on for for the last two years. And, uh, so the dogs around the mountain, and this particular mountain has different, uh, different roads you can get to to try to try to cut it off okay and so I go and run the next road and we get to it.

Speaker 2:

You know, the dog's been working for a couple hours now and I finally get to the spot and the sun is. It's about springtime, it's early, early march. No, no, no late. Yeah, late march, late March, middle March, and so you know, we still get our snow, but then the sun pops out and starts melting snow. When that snow melts, that sentence just starts getting carried away, or it gets flooded out and run into mud.

Speaker 1:

Okay.

Speaker 2:

And we made it to this particular side of the mountain and my heart, my heart kind of sank a little bit, cause I know, I know the side of the mountain and it's just like, it's like a magnifying glass. When the sun just hits it, just perfect that time of year, and it'll just start to melt, like you literally hear the droplets coming off of things, just like just, and so you can sit there like just small little droplets the entire time you're standing there, and so my heart's kind of sinking and I don't want to give up, just because I know what this cat is. And so I circle up high on the mountain and I send one of the CPW officer guys down low. I said, you know, get on that creek and start walking that creek out and see if he didn't cut down through that way. But you know, so far this cat has been doing essentially a nice level grade right across the mountains, and so I I kind of figured at one point he's going to either have to go up or he's going to have to go down, and if he keeps going straight, we can, we can make that work.

Speaker 2:

But I go up and I'm messing around and one of my dogs is striking right up next to where I am. But the way's he's striking at this track and striking is just there. They're sniffing real hard and when they find something they give a big long woo. And he keeps doing it and I don't, I don't really believe him. He's a really good dog but he can be a little bit of a liar, yeah and uh. So I radioed down to the other guy and I said you got anything going? And he's like well, they've been kind of kind of searching this one little area, but but they're, I think they're kind of giving up. And about the same time he gets off the radio he looked up and he said those dogs made 100 yards my females and they're just grubbing. Grubbing is just when those dogs they're in a little. They got all three heads stuck together and they're just moving track to track and every now and then you get a little squeal or a little holler out of it and you know they're excited, but they're not overly excited and so they're grubbing this track out in the mud and the mud and the crisp you know that super sharp snow that's kind of crispy and so he looks up and sees that and gets about ready, goes well. I guess they're doing something now. I said and I can see on the gps that they move forward 100 yards and I said if they're gonna grub it out, just let them grub it out. We'll just sit here all day.

Speaker 2:

And uh, I started coming down off the top of the mountain to come meet up with them and they made another 100 yards. And then they made another 100 yards. By the time I got close to them they were about 400 yards ahead of me across the mountain and they're grubbing and grubbing and I got some cool pictures of uh where the cat walked under some big rock ledges. I found a scrape and I'm behind the cpw officer and the dogs and he's just following along with him. I asked him to just just stick with them. He doesn't have gps or nothing, he's just walking and watching. And so I find this scrape.

Speaker 2:

So this tom's leading signs what a scrape is. And the lion gets down and he pulls a whole bunch of uh leaves and dirt and stuff and he pulls it right up under him and they pee on it. The females will do it, the males will do it. I've seen both of them do it. It used to be a big thing of contention between the old time lion hunters, if it was the males that did it, the females that did it, if they did it with the front feet or they did it behind feet, you know, yeah, so I think it's the front feet and I think both, both sexes do it. So there's just little, uh little signal piles for the next line to come by okay, so it's like like you know, it's him saying I'm in this area or the females will do it.

Speaker 2:

I don't know if they're trying to do it when they're in heat so that the toms can find them. That's just things for the biologists to figure out. Yeah, right, and so I, finally, I'm on the trot and I'm trying to catch up with them, and I got, you know, the lion dog with me, the lion dog, and so we finally catch up with the cpw officer and my, my girls, and about the time we catch up with them, they're starting to move down off the mountain, which is perfect, because they're heading towards the dark side of the map of the opposite mountain okay and uh.

Speaker 2:

so we sat down and he, he said to me he goes, you know, I never really quite understood what this was about and he said this is, this is pretty cool to watch them work like that. And that just tickled me. Right there I was like, yeah, he got to see all the cool stuff he got to do a quarter mile across that mountain watching those girls just smash their noses on the ground and just drag them along that dirt and that mud and the icy snow and really search for that track. And he thought that was something cool and that made me pretty happy.

Speaker 2:

And uh, so we sit down on this rock because by now I don't know how many hours we're, we're into this six hours at least and we sit down on this rock and uh, I see him trailing down towards the snow and I said, just wait and watch when they they hit that that shadow there. And they hit that shadow and then they just started leapfrogging each other. He went from that slow crawl, that grubbing, and then they just started just whoo, just jumping in front of each other, just each dog just trying to fight for the front of that track.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's so cool. You're doing an awesome job of like visualizing this for us. This is really cool.

Speaker 2:

Okay, keep going, man Good, keep going, man good, yeah, and yeah. And so they're hot, they're, they're, they think they're really doing something, now that the scent just changes a lot, especially when you get in that shade and the snow hasn't melted or anything there, it's just it's holding that scent a lot better than than the, obviously, than the melting snow.

Speaker 2:

That's just completely taking it away. They hit that, that shadow, and then they can smell it. So they just start leapfrogging each other and they make it. There's a big rock about I don't know but the size of a small office building, and they get to the bottom of it because lions love to walk under big rocks.

Speaker 2:

It's just they love it okay, they get under that rock and they all shut up and I was like and I've seen I've seen this happen before and I've heard other guys talk about it there's a scent pool, so the lion spent his day. That's where he was. He spent so much time there that the scent is completely pooled in one area. It's not like they're going track for track for track. Those dogs just walked into a big cloud of lion scent and so you think that they lose their minds. But what they're trying to do is they're trying to think and they're trying to figure out.

Speaker 2:

Well, this isn't the track, this is just a pool of scent, and so they're just all like a bunch of swarm of bees just trying to circle and circle and circle trying to find where it leaves, because, yeah, that makes sense yeah, trying to find that out. Track is what you call it. And uh, that young female of mine that I told you I bought for, uh, for the study at the beginning of it, I, I see her and I hear her just chopping. She's got. She chops real hard when she's hot, so I chopped just a quick bar.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Some dogs will do it on track, some dogs will do it on a tree, and so she starts doing that, leaving, leaving, going going up the Valley. And I told that guys that that Piperper, she's, she's got it, she's, she's jumped him, she's moving now and, uh, she took that that tom up into a oh gosh darn. I forgot what kind of tree the juniper. It's like probably one of the biggest junipers I've ever seen. It was huge, like not overly thick, but just super tall, and of course there's a nice big pondo right next to it. And this cat climbs up this tall but skinny juniper tree and we finally get there and we're looking at him. And I told that guy I said he's not going to stay there because we got the capture crew behind us. So we got three other people coming with the capture bags, with the tranquilizer, with the drugs, with with all the paperwork, with the drugs, with all the paperwork, with the collar. It doesn't sound like a lot of stuff, but this bag is heavy.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, do they split it up between the three people, or is this one dude lugging all that stuff?

Speaker 2:

It's one dude and she's a small lady, okay, but yeah, so they're coming behind us. And a little thing on her we pulled her out of retirement because the actual biologist had to go fly to go do a population count. I forgot on, I think, on elk or something, but so he wasn't able to make it in.

Speaker 2:

so I like to say we brought her out of retirement because she's pretty cool and she was just, she's a temp, so she only works nine months a year and so halfway through the lion study she had they, you know they forced attempts to quit okay and so they got her to come back in and, uh, so they have the capture bag and this this will tie into here in a little bit that she went and picked up and come out, and she got together with the other two cpw officers and they're making their way to the tree and I told the the first guy that was that's with us and it was trailing with us I said this this lion, he, I don't think he's going to stay and I'll send you some pictures and he's at the top of this thing and I told him to just sit down, just be quiet. You know, we don't want to cause a big fuss. And so he sits down and I'm just real slow and I walk around. I'm not, you know, trying to keep the cat calm.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

And so I'm walking around them. I leashed up a couple of dogs and, you know, tied them back to some trees and stuff. I was like, well, he comes out. I don't want too many dogs right behind them. I want them to be able to let. I want that cat to that cat, that lion, to run for a little bit, get a little winded and go up a tree. I don't want the dogs right on him.

Speaker 1:

Gotcha.

Speaker 2:

No, that's a different story.

Speaker 1:

From when the dogs get to them, how far do they typically run before they get winded and go up a tree?

Speaker 2:

It'll depend on where you are.

Speaker 1:

Okay. Like there's some the terrain yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, some dry ground stuff. If you're hunting book cliffs and stuff, those tiny little cliffs, the cats they can trot all day. They can trot all day and they'll they'll jump up a 15 foot ledge or they'll jump down a 15 foot ledge and the dogs will get ledged out and they can't move forward Gotcha They'll have to run a long ways down to try to find a way to skinny down or a way to skinny up.

Speaker 2:

But like, if you're in deep snow and stuff like that, if you can push them for a couple of hundred yards, they'll go right up a tree.

Speaker 1:

Okay.

Speaker 2:

Well, couple hundred yards, they'll go right up a tree, okay. Well, that makes sense, all right, cool. So I, you know, I, like I said was gonna happen, he wasn't gonna stay and as soon as other people showed up, he jumped tree. Well, the only downhill to do is is right in that same little valley, that little draw that we just came up, and so he jumps down it and there's one cpw officer, not in the greatest of shape, and he's coming up and I guess he just looked up and here comes this lion, just barreling past him, dogs on him, you know, dogs, you know, 10, 15 yards behind him, just whoo, they put him up. They put him up another tree.

Speaker 2:

And so, like I said, this capture bag, we brought this gal out of retirement, you know, out of and so she had got the bag and she had the tranq gun. Well, we have two tranquilizer guns. One takes those tiny little disposable cartridges and one is has a rechargeable cartridge. Well, she has the tranquilizer gun that takes the rechargeable and not the disposable, and so they're not exactly the same attachment to charge that thing full of co2. And so I, I can see it in her eyes like her heart just fell. She's like, oh my, we can't, we can't dart this cat, and so they're scrambling, trying to figure out something to do. And she's apologizing a little, it's not overly, but she's like I'm sorry, I was like, I was like you know what, I've had a great day. We, you know, we grubbed through it and we, you know, those dogs pushed. They learned. Those dogs learned so much by these, the two young dogs. I had learned so much by grubbing with that old female of mine yeah push, push through that.

Speaker 2:

So I was already having a good time and, uh, so these guys are. They're scrambling and what they're doing is the one guy would take this disposable charge and just smash it on the port where the rechargeable is supposed to go, and hold it there. You know he's got a glove on, but you know how cold those co2 cartridges just get?

Speaker 2:

and so they're doing. They got like five or six of these disposables and they're just trying to do it and trying to do it and they got like just a little bit of poundage that is technically the gun's supposed to go off, but wouldn't. And they're like, oh man, like it says we have enough, but it won't. Gun won't even, just won't even fire, won't even just let that little poof out. And so they're like we got one more, try it, and they shove that last one on. There got like a half a pound or a quarter pound more, and I wasn't even paying attention, I just turned around everybody's high five and I was like what? The? And they, they took the shot and it was perfect, right, right, where they want it to be. Yeah, and so that's, that's the end of the story. They're got. You know, tree climber climbed up the tree and we got them out of there.

Speaker 1:

Oh, they fall asleep in the tree.

Speaker 2:

They don't like fall down, well, fall asleep in the tree. They'll just hold, you know they'll be on a good, good limb they're not always hugging a trunk.

Speaker 1:

They're generally on a limb and they'll just okay, fall asleep and just hold on to it is that the same when you're hunting them so like, rather than a tranquilizer and just having them fall asleep? Is it also common for them to like if you get shot by a bow or a rifle or whatever it is? Do they just stay in the tree or does?

Speaker 2:

it typically. No, I don, I don't know Something about the drug Cause the drugs take effect real slowly, so something about it. They just and they're you know they're still have some cognitive about them, like when they get down their eyes are open. They're not like moving around, but their eyes are open.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, oh, that's spooky as shit.

Speaker 2:

Okay, oh, it's so fun, that's awesome, oh yeah. But yeah, this particular cat, he fell out a little bit. He wasn't very far up the tree and the tree climber had, I think he had one rope on him and we had the net out and we have a big capture net and we caught him in the net and he came down just fine.

Speaker 1:

Gotcha. So you're telling me that that picture you sent me of that cat, his eyes, I couldn't. They kind of look closed. But you're telling me they're just like slightly open, and he's, he's aware and he's like what's this dude holding me?

Speaker 2:

yeah, yeah that's crazy he was fully alive and his eyes weren't completely open, but he's just, you know he's stoned, he was, he was feeling pretty good yeah he's, he's having a cool time.

Speaker 1:

Okay, that's crazy, man. How big was that cat? It looks bigger than you know it's, it's in front of you, so it's hard to tell.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, lions are deceiving. And and I I got a picture laying next to that cat and he still looks bigger than me. He's only 163.

Speaker 1:

163. Damn Okay, that's crazy.

Speaker 2:

I'm sure you're familiar with, uh, derek Wolf, right, yep, and his cat that he shot was it two years ago or something at this point, um, have you ever seen a cat the size of the one that he shot? That was like 200 pounds. You know, I, I, I personally have not. I got a.

Speaker 1:

Let my mentor they they claim to have shot a cat of similar size?

Speaker 2:

yeah, and I've seen the pictures of that. But those guys I don't think they're taller than five, five, ten, and I know derrick wolf is a big man yeah, he's six, six yeah, that's, that's a big guy right there and I, you know, the magical 200 pound lion is is a thing to behold, if you can actually find one and I yeah now I'm not gonna say he wasn't 200 pounds, but I gotta see him on the scale because I've weighed a lot of lions and everybody always over overestimates a lion.

Speaker 1:

It doesn't matter what species you're talking about. Everybody's going to overestimate, right, but still it's a giant. I mean the cat. I mean considering he's six, six like three pounds, like that cat is huge and I have no doubt it's 180 plus. But you know you are, you are guessing, but that's super cool.

Speaker 2:

The but you know you're, you are, you are guessing, um, but that's well, that's super cool that we, that we tranquilize he didn't. You'd feel his stomach. He hadn't, probably hadn't eaten it, definitely not that day and maybe not in the couple days before. So you go throwing a little bit of actual meat inside of his belly, he'll. He comes up to 175 pretty quick yeah, that's cool man.

Speaker 1:

yeah, no, I'll make sure to share that photo. Uh, if nothing else, it'll be the cover photo for this episode, because it's a really cool picture with a giant cat. So, all right, scott man, this was a lot of fun. I know I only asked for about an hour of your time and I think we're fixing right about at that time frame. So let's pivot a little bit and talk about some of the other stuff you do. I do have a question for you, but why don't you talk a little bit about your banquet and all the things that you have going on and maybe where the people can find you, and then I'll ask my question, kind of at the back end of that?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so we have the United Houndsmen of Colorado. We're going to hold our very first banquet and it's going to be in Gunnison, colorado, uh, june 28th, and we're going to have we're going to have guest speakers. We're going to have mark viera of cpw. He's the furbearer and predator manager like he's, he's the top guy in that department and I like listening to him talk because, like he is, just facts on facts on facts like he's awesome being the job that he has.

Speaker 2:

He's not going to take a side, but I do. You know he appreciates what houndsmen do for the biologists, so he has an appreciation for what we do. He's not going to, he's not allowed to have an opinion, we all know that but he will come in and he's going to tell you about facts online and it's everything that we've always said. You know their populations are healthy, they're, they're doing well and you know proper management and all that and uh. The other one we're going to have is we're going to have dan gates and nobody, nobody.

Speaker 1:

I don't think anybody knows who he is so that'll be a big surprise everywhere these days yeah, god bless that man.

Speaker 2:

I tell you what he's doing.

Speaker 1:

he's doing really good work, really good work.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, he is for sure. Another one that people may not know that if you're not in the hound community, is Chris Powell. He has a podcast that's Houndsman XP. Being a hounds guy, I listen to that quite a bit. He gets to tour around and talk to all kinds of different hound guys from Maine to Michigan to Arizona, new Mexico, texas and all that, so he keeps it pretty entertaining for us hound guys.

Speaker 1:

I'll have to check that out because I've got a lot of interest in it. I don't know if I'm ever going to make the jump to getting a bunch of dogs because my wife would kill me.

Speaker 2:

Plus, I live in the burbs. Two is all you need, man.

Speaker 1:

Well, we did just get our first dog and he's not. He's not a hound, he's an alaskan malamute. So he'd do well in the snow, uh, but I'm not sure if he could do much as far as tree and a lion. But who knows um cool man well. So where else can can people find you? I want to make sure. I mean, if you want them to find you, if you just want to disappear into the mist, that's fine too well, I'm kind of a hermit.

Speaker 2:

So, okay, I'm on facebook and I tell you what if you ever want to talk to me or that, go to United Houndsman of Colorado Facebook page and we'll get you accepted into there, as long as you're of like mine, for sure. And and yeah, no, I'll talk to anyone. I love talking to hounds talking to anyone. So essentially, I'm on Facebook, I don't I don't do the talking to anyone. So essentially, I'm on facebook, I don't, I don't do the. Uh, I'm not on the instagram yet, okay, so that's where you can find me.

Speaker 1:

Okay, awesome, that, well, that's that's the right answer, I think, um, but the question I have for you, and and this is something I even want to ask, like dan gates, is you know, I live in boulder county. Every place I go, there's an old lady with short hair that drives a subaru that's asking me to sign a petition to stop mountain lion hunting, trophy hunting, right, um, and I think that, as hunters, we've all kind of heard that same message. It's like we have to. We have to voice our opinions, um, and and so the question I have for you and if, if you need to think about this, we can get back to it another time, that's totally cool too, um, but I don't think we need to tell other hunters. I think we all get it what?

Speaker 1:

How do we deliver this message to the non-hunter that is undecided on this issue? Um, cause I, you know, we don't want the same thing happening with, like, wolves, right, ballot box biology is is just wrong, and I and we're headed in a bad area. And so how do we convince people that that, like, have no hunting experience, that hound hunting for lions is, um, smart, right, or like, I don't know? I hope you understand, kind of what I'm asking. But like, how do we as hunters talk to non hunters, like what would you recommend there as far as what? How do how do we help push this subject?

Speaker 2:

I don't think it's. It's terrible hard as long as it's a non-hunter and not anti, because anti you're just gonna have a hard time and you can argue with them for as long as you want, but the non-hunter I mean it's if you want to.

Speaker 2:

I always end up going to the meat yeah I mean, it's an edible animal and so essentially it really depends on the kind of questions that you could get them to pose to you. And so essentially I think, if, if's, if you eat meat of any kind, then—well not McDonald's. If you eat meat of any kind, you probably care about where that meat came from. At least a little bit, at least you should. If you care about where meat comes from, then you would agree with a hunter, say elk hunter.

Speaker 2:

So if you care about where meat comes from, then you would agree with a hunter say elk hunter, and that elk hunter wants to harvest an animal that's been free-ranged, non-gmo, no antibiotics, just lives its entire life in the mountains. It's no different than the lion. The whole trophy aspect it's that most people aren't going to. They might harvest you know, 10, 12 elk, maybe even more elk, their entire lives. No one's going to harvest that many lions. Lions is kind of a once in a lifetime, and so I. I have as much appreciation for a doe that I kill as a lion that I kill. I'm just that excited about the meat for both of them, yeah, and so it gets down to the meat like that lion isn't going to go to waste, it just looks I'm going to eat every bit of it. Just looks a little bit better on the wall than the dough okay, got it yeah, something I always yeah, something I always share in.

Speaker 1:

You know. I don't know if it's accurate or I don't know if it's the best way to go about it or not, and you can tell me what you think. But I typically, rather than going to meet which, of course, every time I say, yeah, we eat, I've eaten mountain lion people are like what, so I think you're right there, um, but I always often go. Um, you know, why should someone vote for what we should do biologically with these animals like, why are? Why is your neighbor intelligent enough to determine what's in the best interest for something that's living in the wild? We have thousands of biologists for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. They're managing them well. We don't need to tell the Colorado Parks and Wildlife how to do their job, because they went to school to do their job and that's typically how I go about it. I don't know if have you ever thrown that argument out at someone that's inquiring and it? Does it work well or how do you feel about it?

Speaker 2:

No, it's a great. It's a great direction to go. For sure, if you bring up, you know experts like who's going to be the expert? Is it going to be the people that like, even the people that that give cpw all the guff about managing any species, d or l?

Speaker 2:

they're always the armchair biologists, even the hunters it's like how many hours a day do you actually spend doing that? I know this biologist that literally just sat out for 20 hours to get a lion in the trap, just so we could put a gps on to try to figure out the population alliance, so that he could have a better understanding of the of the species you know, these people. They put in silly amount of time and they don't get. As you know, they get a little bit of credit, but not as much as they should.

Speaker 2:

So no that's a great direction to go, is. You know, obviously the experts are the way to go. I always lean towards the meat, just because it's quickly relatable. You start talking with people, experts like oh well, they don't know what they're doing though. Yeah, okay, so 99, was it? 95 percent of people eat meat and like only five percent are vegetarian, vegan so everybody eats meat and it's you know.

Speaker 2:

If you eat meat you gotta appreciate that a hunter cares about the animals that he hunts. No one wants to see elk go extinct. No one wants to see deer go extinct. I don't want to see lion populations go down. I love big lion populations. That makes me happy and so yeah, yeah, yeah.

Speaker 1:

You know another thing that I actually just heard, and I don't know if this is true or not and maybe you could share some light on it, but I heard that, like they banned lion hunting in california, right, is that accurate? Yeah, but all they did was ban the hunting of it. Now they hire people to go in there and manage the populations. Is that correct?

Speaker 2:

you know I'm not overly up on california. I I know I've I've heard that there's absolutely government hunters. There's government hunters in colorado yeah there are guys that that take care of problem wildlife, that have, uh, depredation issues, and that's just the political avenue that they have to go.

Speaker 2:

That colorado is not going to just give give you a depredation tag in california I, I believe that they have government hunters, but I know, they also have what's called a depredation tag, so there's guys that still have hounds in california yeah so they just, they just sit around and wait for someone to call them, like hey, you know, lion got into my goats, killed two of my goats, the dnr gave me a depredation tag and those guys will go and they'll harvest that lion. And I know that they're definitely harvesting a large amount of lions, so it doesn't stop the hunting or killing of lions, but I do know when a government person kills a lion, that meat is not consumed, yep, and they're getting paid.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so our taxes are going to pay that person, rather than the person killing it paying money that are then going to be used towards, again, conservation. So, yeah, it's a tricky thing, but what I'd recommend to all the listeners is don't just talk to your hunter buddies about it. I think that's something that I've been thinking about with. All of this is like I need to spread to and for me I don't really know all that many hunters. I know way more non-hunters than I do hunters and I need to let those people know You're in a great spot.

Speaker 2:

I'm new to hunting.

Speaker 1:

At one point I knew more vegans than I did hunters.

Speaker 1:

I fixed that problem since then, but yeah, it's about sharing it with the voters, the people that are necessarily undecided, and just you know, it sounds nice to say, yeah, we shouldn't be hunting lions, but the lions are going to probably get killed regardless, right by carl parks and wildlife. To manage populations, all we're doing is taking tax money away and and and taking away I don't know what the biologist's job right? They're not able to do their job if we're voting the wrong way on this kind of stuff yeah so yeah, I feel you there all right, I'm gonna get off my soapbox.

Speaker 1:

Scott man, this was fun. I was smiling the whole time. You're you're a great storyteller. You did a really good job kind of explaining the visuals of like of this type of hunting, cause I've never done it. It's super intriguing to me, but I was. I felt like I was there, man. So thank you very much for sharing your stories with us today.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, absolutely.

Speaker 1:

Yeah and uh. Well, you know, hopefully we get you out back here again soon to tell a couple more. I'm sure you make several every year.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I tell you what if you want to just find your way out this way, we'll go put a couple in a tree and you can have a couple of stories to tell yourself.

Speaker 1:

Oh man, oh man, I don't know if I believe you, I don't know if can knock them out yet. Okay, okay, perfect. Well, I'd be more than happy to just come and see the dogs run. Man, I think that would be a beautiful, beautiful site, cause I mean, I I think I don't know if you listened to the episode with Cliff gray and just hearing about those dogs and how that one dog nearly had its face ripped off but then went right back to hounding and just howling and having the in the time of his life as soon as that mountain lion let go of him. So I think it'd be something special to see again, even without a tag. So, scott, thank you again, man, I do appreciate you.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely, hey, thanks for having me, of course.

Speaker 1:

All right, guys. That's it. Another couple stories in the books. Again, I want to thank Scott for coming on the podcast Hound hunting. I find super interesting, mountain lion hunting super interesting. Maybe I can get out there with him. I think it'd be actually pretty fun to do like a live recording where you're just hearing me pant as I chase after these dogs, to kind of hear you know what that whole process is like here from Scott. I think that would be super cool. So maybe I can get out there and do that for you guys. But, scott, thank you again. I really do appreciate it.

Speaker 1:

If you guys could all please check out his banquet and look him up on Facebook, I'll go ahead and put a link to that on there. But yeah, guys, if you have any good stories, let me know. I'd love to connect with all of you. I'd love to hear some more stories. It is sometimes a little bit of a pain to find guests and every guest I've ever had has been amazing. So if you have a story or if you have a friend who has a story, a family member, whatever, connect them with me. Let's get some more stories recorded here. Thank you, guys. Now get out there and make some stories of your own.

Hunting Stories Podcast With Scott Daugherty
Learning Hound Hunting in Gunnison
Rescue on a Snowy Mountain
Stay Out of the Trees
Mountain Lion Study and Hound Hunting
Lion Hunting Study With CPW
Lion Capture Effort With CPW
Lion Hunting and Communicating With Non-Hunters
Mountain Lion Hunting With Hounds