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    Close Call with a Mountain Lion

    I was set up in a nice natural ground blind cow calling. Heard a few bugles but they headed down to the river where my nephew was setup. When it got toward evening I pulled my light out of my pack and it was dead so I decided to head back to the truck a little early because of the rough terrain. I had walked about 30 yards and realized my hat was still hanging on a branch, so I turned to go back. After about 10 steps I glanced over my right shoulder and saw a big tom lion about 15 yards away slowly stalking towards me. I spun around and finger drew my compound (wasn't going to take the time to hook my release). When I turned the cat stopped and crouched down. It then started to very slowly creep towards me. I yelled as loud as I could to "GET THE @#$% OUT OF HERE". That did not have the desired effect of the lion retreating, instead the lion charged at me and I released my arrow. I did not see the arrow but the lion leaped straight up with his haunches going about 6 feet and his head about 4 feet causing him to somersault in midair. When he hit the ground he did 2 or 3 tumbles away from me into the thick cedar and juniper trees. From his reaction I was sure I had hit him hard. Made a fast adrenaline charged hike to the truck and met up with my nephew. We went back to search the area but couldn't find blood or my arrow. When back at the truck I called our local Wildlife Officer Bob Holder to report a possible dead or wounded lion. We met and agreed to go in at first light to assess the situation. We were joined by Fred Eichler with one of his lion dogs at the parking area and went in to see what we could find. When we got to the site Fred's dog got scent right away. We found the spot where the lion had jumped and tumbled, with lots of tufts of hair on the ground, but no blood. After a little more searching we found my arrow, and close inspection showed no blood anywhere. The dog followed the scent trail for a few hundred yards but we could see no signs of blood. I just gave the lion a haircut across his chest and belly. Best outcome all around, both the lion and me survived!!!!

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