I realized a few days ago that I’d been hunting mountain lion in the mountains of Idaho for 28 years now. No, I’m not that old, but the ol’ man expected a boy to be tough and not making it to a cougar tree even at a young age was unacceptable.
Over the years I’ve come to appreciate these big cats and become very close to a few of the dogs whose sole purpose in life was chasing them. They are not a predator that needs to be annihilated for the health of big game purposes. They are another vital resource that needs to be managed just like deer or elk. The times in my life where I’ve seen the highest number of deer, I’ve seen the highest number of cougar. Likewise when deer numbers are down, so are the mountain lion.
Idaho boasts some of the largest mountain lions in North America genetically speaking. A mature tom will approach the boone & crockett record book almost every time. There is also a lot of vast unbroken country in Idaho that is rarely hunted for these big cats and this creates a reservoir of cougar that never see pressure. Many die of natural causes.
An outfitter / guide is essential especially for non-residents who can only hunt mountain lion in Idaho by drawing a tag otherwise. These men are professionals, know the mountains and the game in them and are worth their weight when it comes to cougar hunting.