"Colorado outfitter Don Ayers of Dove Creek is situated in southwest Colorado near the Utah border, where he says there is an overabundance of cats in the nearby Dolores Canyon. Ayers runs lion hounds on about 6,000 acres of private land and over 70,000 acres of adjacent BLM land in and around the canyon. While the best lion hunting with hounds occurs the two days following a fresh snow, Ayers says his hound pack includes a couple of bloodhounds that are excellent cold-trailers. That means he can either put hunters on standby for fresh-snow hunts or hunt at a agreed-upon time regardless of conditions. His success rate when hunting packed snow is pretty good at about 60 percent.
"Ayers says the big cats den in the rimrock of the canyon, which is about 3,000 feet above the Dolores River. During the winter, most of the deer that lions prey upon are in the timber on top of the canyon, and this is where most of the hunts begin when a track is located and the dogs are released. The cats almost always go downhill into the canyon when they discover the hounds are on their trail. Hunters should be in reasonably good shape, but Ayers says much of the country is traversed by roads, and it's usually possible to get within a half-mile or so of the action when the cat finally decides it's time to stop and fight.
"Lions may be taken with rifle, pistol, muzzeloader or bow, but Ayers hints that a pistol is much easier to pack into the rough country. Just remember, in Colorado a pistol must deliver at least 500 foot pounds of energy........(continued)