lions fighting hounds at the tree.

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lions fighting hounds at the tree.

Postby Chris Todd » Sun Dec 04, 2016 7:56 pm

Was wondering if any other hunters had seen this kind of behavior out of lions. In forty years of chasing lions I have only seen a lion act this way twice. Both times it was young toms. I have seen lions jump and get caught on the ground trying to run . Then the fight starts. But only twice have I seen lions jump down looking for a fight.
This lion was in an area that I had already caught two other lion this fall. He treed up a short scrubby pine. And looked pretty comfortable, till he saw me coming. Then he jumped down. Landing next to one hound he didn't try to run. He grabbed the closest hound and the fight was on. I had 8-hounds with me . And some of them were pretty vicious on a lion. So if this lion wanted a fight they were glad to give it to him. They were around and around. Things had gotten real western real quick. The lion had my Belle female hooked with one claw. And was trying to get her close enough to bite her. She was braced with all four trying to stay away from him. The other hounds saved her. All this did was piss Belle off. And the fight really got going. The lion tried to get up another tree but Molly yanked him back down to the ground. After this i quickly ended things. Before any of the hounds could get seriously hurt.
The story is always told of how docile mountain lions are. But every now and then one will come along to break the mold.
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Re: lions fighting hounds at the tree.

Postby Lee Wolford » Sun Dec 04, 2016 8:58 pm

Been hunting in ID my whole life, Only once have I seen a lion bay up and fight the dogs. It was a female with 3 small kittens, bayed the dogs a the the base of a big pine. As soon as she seen me she treed. I pulled the dogs away and left. Could hear her coming out as soon as i was out of sight. I did bay up a bobcat once too, no idea why he didn't climb there were trees everywhere, must have had something wrong with him and couldn't climb. Where i hunt there are trees everywhere so bay up's are not very common, I'm sure some of the southwest guys run into it more often.
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Re: lions fighting hounds at the tree.

Postby pegleg » Mon Dec 05, 2016 2:27 am

I think I might have mentioned it already but I had a Tom fight like hell in the rock's last year and he didn't show the slightest concern when I showed up. Its not usual behavior but renews your caution with them .
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Re: lions fighting hounds at the tree

Postby FullCryHounds » Mon Dec 05, 2016 6:13 am

I guess we have mean lions here. Just in the past two years, had a female that both times we treed her, she came down out of the tree to fight the dogs. The year before, we caught a tom that wanted to fight. I heard another guy caught him later and he killed a couple of his dogs. I have heard/seen more of these instances lately then in past years.
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Re: lions fighting hounds at the tree.

Postby dhostetler » Mon Dec 05, 2016 6:19 am

Chris, I never seen anything like what you described, were you coming in above it? I have noticed coming into a tree down a steep hillside above a lion they are a lot more nervous and apt to jump. I once treed a lion that was extremely pissed in the tree slapping the side of the tree and biting off limbs. That was the only experience I ever had with a nasty lion except as you mentioned lions pulled out of trees or caught on the ground.
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Re: lions fighting hounds at the tree.

Postby Mike Leonard » Mon Dec 05, 2016 12:20 pm

Due to the nature of the country I hunt I get quite a few ground fights and bay ups. Getting dogs hemmed in the rocks when they all pack up tight and hold the front hounds in place is serious and can get dogs cut up, tossed off the bluff or killed outright.

On the coming down to fight side I have had this happen a few times, and it can be pretty scary if you are not ready for them because at times with bad toms they will take you on as easy as the dogs.

I was discussing this with my friend Dan Lay of British Colombia one time and with his tremendous wealth of wisdom with lion he asked me. Was there a fresh kill close by? I said well yes there was in fact the dogs bumped several of these right off a kill that was smoking hot. He said when a big lion gets all jazzed up from making a kill and has not come down off that glassy eyed state of assignation yet they will take on anything. He said he has seen packs of wolves just set back and wait until the lion comes out of it's buzz before they ever attempt to steal it's kill. I have talked about the change that comes over a lion when they prepare to make a kill or latch onto one. you have probably witnessed a similar thing with the old alley cat next door if you watch him.

Lions are not naturally fighters they are killers, but that doesn't mean they won't fight, and they are darn good at it.
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Re: lions fighting hounds at the tree.

Postby B/T » Mon Dec 05, 2016 11:57 pm

I have been seeing more of this where I run and hearing of it happening more. The cat is fine until it sees humans. The main cause I see is from people that keep jumping the cats to re run.
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Re: lions fighting hounds at the tree.

Postby Bobby Winn » Tue Dec 06, 2016 4:29 pm

I have two younger dogs that I’ve been trying to get on a fresh track and hopefully to the tree, they really need the visual reinforcement and I think their switch would flip. Also hoped that when it happens the cat would bail and they would get the super hot track, but it is always a heavy thought in the back of my mind that what if this is the time the situation goes south.
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Re: lions fighting hounds at the tree.

Postby Mike Leonard » Tue Dec 06, 2016 6:15 pm

This is sort of off the subject but not really I guess:

Lions naturally are a shy and reclusive beast, and if given the opportunity and they are not winded will at times just bail out on their own hoping to get to a better position or throw their tormentors off their track. If they are not forced pushed , shoved, stoned or snowballed usually they will catch their wind size the situation up and when they go they go and generally hit the ground running like crazy. This is just a natural event, and if you have young dogs unleash them and let them have another go. Loose dogs at the tree can be another deal as many times the older dogs especially anticipate the jump and get ready and are right on the lion when it hits the ground. If it is good ways to another tree or place to get away many times the lion will be stopped on the ground, and at that point all bets are off.

Some say well I am going to leave all my dogs loose that way they will catch it again for sure and are more likely to see it go. Maybe but you are rolling the dice, and a whole lot of other problems can be prevented if you will just take a minute or two and tree tie your hounds. There are quite a few good hounds out there that have been killed or maimed but would have been fine and still hunting if they would have been tied back just a little.

Some old timers have said well that is just nonsense I am not going to try to corral and tie 6-10 hounds when I can just shoot the thing out. Yer right you are not going to cuz it's too much trouble. Like the old boy once said don't try to gather too many cattle if you are not well mounted and able. It's all about how much you really care about your dogs and not just whacking another cat to drag around.

Now if you are forcing jump outs to train them pups and I have seen guys doing this to train 4-5 year old pups??? you may just have to take your lumps cuz if that cat get too winded he won't run very far and he will fight it out and if he has some age and savvy he is going to mark up some of those dogs. Or if he is way winded and you have a big pack they will generally wool him around till he goes into shock and dies. Sometimes newbie hunters do this and finally drag their dogs off and go home and think the lion is ok because he was still breathing the last time they saw him. Don't believe it...lions once overtaxed severely easily go into shock and lung distress sets in on them and more than likely they will die within a couple of days. I have found more than a couple lions who have wobbled away from a battle scene a little ways crawled under a rock or a bush and died.


So these are things to really think about I don't know if this might cause a lion to come down quick and fight it out but it sure might make him bail at the sight of a man.
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Re: lions fighting hounds at the tree.

Postby Kyle D7 » Wed Dec 07, 2016 12:08 am

Last season I had a lion race that lasted 9 hours. The dog's cold trailed for a hour and then had it jumped. It sounded like bear bay up for the majority of the race. Dog's finally got it to stay treed and it was a big tom. I was getting it checked in at the local taxidermy shop and told this gentleman about the race. This man grew up in this area and was a serious cat hunter for 40 years. He said to me that he has heard more and more stories from guys in recent years and he believes that the wolves are competing with the lions for there kills and fighting off the wolves. He believes that the conflict the lions are having with the wolves are causing them to lose their fear of hounds. It made sense to me at the time. I have treed some lions since then and they were all what I would call regular lion races. So maybe that big tom just woke up with a bad attitude that morning.
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Re: lions fighting hounds at the tree.

Postby dhostetler » Wed Dec 07, 2016 6:56 am

I have heard that theory batted around frequently that wolves are making lions meaner, I just don't think that is the case. Having witnessed several lion vs pack hound fights the lion always lost. I just don't think a lion fighting a pack of wolves would survive. Yes one on one a lion is deadly but I just can't see wolf vs lion fights happening very often.
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Re: lions fighting hounds at the tree.

Postby justahunter » Wed Dec 07, 2016 9:37 am

Around here it's pretty common to find wolf tracks over top of lion tracks . they Rob the lions kill . I don't know how much fighting goes on . but the lions that I have been on that want to fight or walk and bay are in areas that we really dont have but a few wolves .
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Re: lions fighting hounds at the tree.

Postby Chris Todd » Wed Dec 07, 2016 9:47 pm

In the area I am hunting there are no wolf's. Thank God. But that is an interesting theory. The last lion I described didn't have a kill either. The only other lion I have treed that jumped down looking for a fight. Is a different type deal. And might lend some credibility to the wolf theory. Me and my partners that day trailed this tom into a dead mule deer doe. The hounds found his track leaving. And in less than half a mile found where he had killed a coyote. Didn't eat on it. Just broke it's neck and spit it out. On approaching the tree we could see him on the lowest limb. When he saw us coming he jumped down. Not trying to run. But wanting to fight the hounds. I always wondered about that lion. Did he just look at the hounds as more coyotes. Out to eat his kill. The thing about both these lions they were content in the tree. Till they saw humans approaching.
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Re: lions fighting hounds at the tree.

Postby chilcotin hillbilly » Fri Dec 09, 2016 1:12 pm

around here it happens often if you don't have a bunch of dogs. The lions have lay in ambush and killed dogs of mine in the past. Hear the hounds lay down behind a blow down and try and kill the first dog. I live in heavy wolf country and I do believe that factors into their behavior.
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Re: lions fighting hounds at the tree.

Postby Lee Wolford » Sun Dec 11, 2016 12:42 am

Since my last post a few days ago we caught our first tom of the season on the ground, he was bayed up on a 6 inch blow down only one foot off the ground. Once i got close enough to see what was happening i turned a couple pups in and when they showed up on scene he bailed and treed about 100 yards later. One dog got tore up a bit nothing to serious. Talked to another guy that has bayed up 3 big toms in the last 2 years with dogs tore up bad. Sounds like these big toms in wolf country are getting used to protecting their kills from the wolves, i guess. Don't know what else it could be.

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