North American Cat Slam


Published: February - 2003

Now, here's an interesting concept for North American cat hunters. It's what correspondent T.J. Schwanky calls a "cat slam" for cougar, bobcat and lynx. He writes:

"Taking all three of these cats is no easy feat, particularly during the same hunt. Chances are you'll take two on a good hunt and need to return for the third. Cougar are the most popular, with lynx a close second. As for bobcats, they are so widely available that most hunters put them at the bottom of their list.

"Of the three, the lynx is the most difficult. To take one, you pretty much have to head to British Columbia. Like lions and bobcats, lynx are run with hounds. To do so successfully, however, snow conditions must be just right; and even then, lynx are wise to the ways of eluding dogs. They are notorious for climbing logs, running in circles and jumping from tree to tree. Just because you book a hunt with an outfitter who's got great cougar hounds, that doesn't mean they have what it takes to run a lynx.

"Typically, these hunts are not that physically demanding. Logging roads and snowmobiles allow outfitters to find tracks quickly. And then you can often shorten the chase by checking the surrounding area and looking for additional tracks to more precisely pinpoint the cat. Cougar chases are typically the shortest, although even they can fool you occasionally. If you are going to experience a long run, it will likely be on the trail of a lynx. And be warned, not only do they have a propensity for running, but they have a tendency to find the nastiest and steepest terrain around.

"The hotspots for lynx hunting are the Okanagan and Kootenay Valleys and the hills surrounding Kamloops. Certainly lynx are found throughout British Columbia, but these regions have stable populations and more reliable snow conditions. I completed my slam here last season with Bearcat Outfitters, previously called Nicola Outfitters and owned by Mike Ritcey. He hunts the area south of........(continued)

 
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