My congratulations go out to Morris D. Snyder of Moran, Texas for completing a 4 month study in the skills of dry-ground mountain lion hunting. We just finished our final week and managed to tree four bears and one mountain lion this week! All of these animals were photographed and released.
Morris is a retired rancher and now has a place here in the Gila on the edge of the Leopold Wilderness. He does not plan to hunt professionally, but will hunt for his own pleasure out his back door.
Morris has become a good friend and was an excellent student. He arrived in early January as a beginner and now has a good understanding of the skills required to hunt mountain lions on bare ground. Already an experienced horseman, he was able to focus on the hounds and hunting.
These are a few of the many things we covered in the last four months:
– recognizing lion sign and tracks
– distinguishing dog tracks from lion tracks
– determining the age and direction of the tracks
– the effect of weather on scent
– ground type and scent holding of various types
– determining what your hounds are doing
– how to deal with the young dog
– when to discipline dogs and when to ignore unwanted behavior
– how to develop cold trailing in your hounds
– the importance of patience while trailing
– when to help the hounds on a difficult track and when to leave them alone
– figuring out a lose
– using your tracking and training equipment to its full potential
– how to get around in and hunt unfamiliar country
This list is just a few of the many things that he learned while out here. Morris saw firsthand what to do in a variety of many different situations. He asked millions of questions and we had a good dialogue of what was going on and why we were doing what we did. He recently told me that he now has more confidence to go out on his own and experience the many adventures ahead.
Morris and I are not done. This is a continuing education and I plan on helping him as he puts his dog pack together and assisting him with advice on any problems he might have down the road.
Thanks a million Morris, it was a great time! See you at the tree!!
Morris D. Snyder on his mule “Flower” and a nice tom he collected in late April
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