A final push through low-hanging branches provided us access into a glade that contained the baying hounds and the distant shape of the first Mountain Lion I had ever seen in the wild. Perched in a pine 50 feet off the ground, the Cougar was concentrating on the hounds and the hunters. I looked at Francis and Shay, and asked “Is that my cat?” Shay responded with, “We’ll see. I want to make certain it’s a mature male.” I expected him to follow this with some serious binocular-time, but instead, he started climbing the tree located next to the one containing the lion. I was amazed at how fast he scaled to the cat’s height, but Francis seemed to think this was nothing new, so I tried to act as if I too was calm and collected. To try and hide my extreme anxiety at being so close to an animal I thought I would probably never see, let alone take as a trophy, I asked Francis, “Do you think it is a mature male?” His answer was succinct and to-the-point: “If I had traveled all the way from Georgia to Wyoming to get a Mountain Lion, this son-of-a-b—- would already be dead on the ground.” OK, one constituent casts their vote…

(excerpt from ‘Laramie Lion’, American Outdoorsman, Winter 2018/19)

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