If you want to hunt a mountain lion, I urge you to take action quickly for several reasons. The first reason is that lion hunting behind dogs is under attack in a number of states and sportsmen have already lost the battle in some states. Second, populations are very high and it is doubtful there will ever be a better time than right now to go afield. In fact, several of the outfitters I talked with as I prepared this report said the cat population is as high as they have ever seen it. That's a sure sign of trouble for deer, but a good sign for would-be cat hunters. These days, some outfitters who used to hunt in more than one state are now only hunting close to home, simply because cat numbers are so high. "It's hard to drive away from an area with cats, just to drive to another area farther away with no more cats," is the way one outfitter put it.
At any rate, there is one more reason to consider a mountain lion hunt - namely, it offers a hunt in the dead of winter when other hunting seasons are closed. So, do yourself a favor this winter and go cat hunting. To help with your plans, I've rounded up some names of outfitters I think you should contact. My first recommended outfitter is Mick Chapel of New Mexico Professional Big Game Hunting, who hunts cougars in westcentral New Mexico about 180 miles southwest of Albuquerque. Last season his nine clients killed seven lions, but all turned down lions. Chapel prefers that his clients kill only toms, even if this means going home empty-handed. His biggest tom last year scored 14 15/16 points B & C, although he has taken book candidates in past years. His normal lions score at least 14 8/16 inches, which is a mature lion. He charges $2,500 for a 10-day hunt on a 1 x 1 basis. One bonus on Chapel's hunts is that bobcats can be taken for an additional $500 and last year his clients tagged 13. Hunters fly into Albuquerque where........(continued)