QUESTION ABOUT LIONS

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R Corvin
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QUESTION ABOUT LIONS

Postby R Corvin » Sun Mar 18, 2012 7:30 pm

OUT RIDING ONE DAY STARTED THINKING ABOUT LIONS AND HOW THEY HUNT. I KNOW THAT THERE EYES ARE THERE FRIST MAIN SCENTS IN LOCATING GAME, THEN THERE HEARING BUT HOW MUCH DO YOU GUYS THINK THEY RELY ON THERE SCENTS OF SMELL? ON A SCALE OF 1 TO 5 .
Mike Leonard
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Re: QUESTION ABOUT LIONS

Postby Mike Leonard » Sun Mar 18, 2012 8:27 pm

I use to think that lions hardly relied upon scent as a primary function in hunting but and experience I had several years ago changed that. I had based my first assumtion by watching housecats I noticed at times they seem oblivious to scents of even the finest Friskies Pate cat food if it was placed in an area they were unfamiliar with and they acted as though it was not present at all. Later observing feral and very wild domestic cats I did not they smelled scent markers and scrapes left by other cats but still never saw them really winding and using there nose much.
Well I was enlightened one day while trailing a large tom lion on bare ground and it was tedious and slow work but the dogs ground along on the track for a few hours and then I cam to a big lose and the dogs cast all about not seeming to be able to line the track out. I was down off my horse and trying to help them when I heard a human voice say hello> I jerked my head up and saw a camo clad hunter standing about 50 yards away holding a muzzle loader. I walked over and I recognized the fellow as a local. He said I know where your lion went. I said you do, where? He explained that he had worked his way up on a bulll elk and was waiting to get his shot and when the bull stood up he got a bead on him and shot and knew he hit the bull but it didn't drop. He said as the bull charged out of there a large lion bolted from the brush very close to where the bull had been laying and headed off at a run in the same direction as the elk. I asked him did this just happen? He said no this happened just before dark yesterday evening and I have been trying to find that elk, but that lion has been hunting for him too. He explained that the shot looked a bit low and too far back and although the bull was bleeding just a little now and then he wasn't losing much blood. He hoped to let him lay up over night and then slip in on him and finish him off. He said however tracking him after his initial rush was tough and everywhere he found the bulls track the lion's tracks was right on him trailing him up. He said he had gone about 1/2 a mile and found where the bull had layed down but it appeared the lion moved in on him and jumped him from his bed and they had been playing cat and mouse with the lion trailing him up just like a hound on his track. Well I had the two old dogs back with me then and we decided to see if they would follow the lion track where he had found it following the elk on the ridge. Sure enough when I pointed to it the dropped their heads went to whipping their tails and soon opened and left out on the trail. We followed them a good long ways and they were right on the elk's track and in every soft spot we found the tom's track following him. To make a long story short we went a good ways and found his bull but the lion had found him first although he was still warm when we found him and had not been fed on but hit was obvious the lion had killed him. So that lion had trailed him by scent and maybe blood for a pretty long ways and I would guess if a lion misses an animal or knows he hurt him but didn't get him down he will try to trail him up and get another jump at him.

My two questions on this was why when we got to where the hunter shot at why did my dogs lose the track?

And then why after we found the elk couldn't my dogs catch it? I think maybe that lion was better at trailing than them two old dogs were . LOL!
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Re: QUESTION ABOUT LIONS

Postby super white hunter » Sun Mar 18, 2012 9:45 pm

I would guess at the spot where the elk was shot the extra blood maybe some extra urine had covered up the lion trail but you would think where the bull was down the lion would be close and after eating would be fat and happy. but who knows they are some sneaky ghost when they want to be.
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Brent Sinclair
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Re: QUESTION ABOUT LIONS

Postby Brent Sinclair » Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:26 am

That's an interesting story Mike...I'm still waitin to hear when your going to put that book together.!!!

I believe lions use their nose way more than was first thought.
During the 3 years we did the study the number of lions that scavenged on old kills or on domestic stock was quite an eye opener.
This is quite different than what Mike experienced but they do use their sence of smell to find a meal.
I've seen where a lion has pawed through 3 feet of snow to dig out an old kill...but never seen where I could say they were hunting by smell.
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South Texan
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Re: QUESTION ABOUT LIONS

Postby South Texan » Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:36 am

Mike, that's a good story with two good questions at the end. Another one of those that makes you leave there scratching your head. Robbie
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Re: QUESTION ABOUT LIONS

Postby Cowboyvon » Mon Mar 19, 2012 2:47 pm

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.

Henry David Thoreau
Mike Leonard
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Re: QUESTION ABOUT LIONS

Postby Mike Leonard » Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:10 pm

Brett,

I agree when he went to stalking that bull he flipped the scent(cut off or alter) swtich because we see this all the time with a hunting lion. but I would have figured that he would have left a lot of scent around that dead bull becasue he had started to pull hair on the belly flank area and most likley heard us coming and went off. We were pretty pre-occupied checking this bull out and it was in a bad spot so I helped the guy with it, and then circled out and picked up the lion's track and i figured they would fly on it like they usually do off a kill but they just snailed along on it and the dark got us.

I guess it is those deals that keep it interesting. If you hunt lions long enough and under many different conditions you will just keep runing into things that will make you scratch you head. LOL!
MIKE LEONARD
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