How Close is too Close...Ill tell you!!
How to start this post?? I finally have a few moments to sit down and make a post from my two week solo Elk bowhunt.As I have mentioned before this is my 20th Season elk hunting in Montana. I have never carried a side arm during all my trips. I have always thought that the extra weight would be to much. I also thought it would be awkward carrying it with a pack on all the time. The hunt I just returned from might have changed my mind. Over the years I have always seen Bears and a few skiddish wolves and never had any encounter that I felt uncomfortable with.
I had been doing some glassing and finally found a few nice bulls to go after. I hunted them hard a few days and found a trail below a large rock slide that they had been using every other day early in the morning . Sort of a pinch point. One morning I decided to go in early and set up in a good spot I had cleared out between two trees to see if they would pass through. As the sun started to come up I heard a very light sound behind me on a rock trail not more than 10ft behind me. I turned to look over my shoulder and there was the culprit a pretty good size Tom MT lion. He was crouched down facing me with his tail wrapped around the front of him!! This dude had totally snuck up on me and I have great hearing. Instinctively I turned and faced him my bow on the ground and tried to scare him of by giving him a generous shout. All he did was to inch a little closer and let out his own displeasure by growling and hissing at me. By this time only a minute or so had passed by and I am thinking Mark Chops for breakfast!!
Now a little flustered and my bow on the ground to far to reach, I un-clipped my sheath knife and opted for a good size rock while keeping my eye on him. With a good grip on the rock I threw the rock hitting him square in the chest. I know I know a rock!!! Anyway at that point he jumped in the air and vanished into the timber.
After all the years I have been doing this I have never really considered Mt Lions as a threat as they are so elusive but this one was so stealthy and snuck right up on me getting so close!! He definitely got my attention and has me thinking about carrying my side arm from now on.
Anyone need a pitcher!!