Whether you are looking for an outfitter, you have your own hounds and are traveling west to take a shot at treeing mountain lions or you are an outfitter these are things you need to know for what many consider “A Bucket List Hunt”.
Cleave Dwire returns to the Houndsman XP Podcast with valuable tips and pointers for you. You work hard for your money. You deserve to be treated right and you are hiring an outfitter for his knowledge and skill to assist you in fulfilling your dreams. This episode will help guide you through the process.
Chris and Cleve discuss:
- Questions you should ask an outfitter
- Caliber and bullet selection
- As a client what you should expect
- What your outfitter expects from you
- Field care
- Shipping lions back home domestic and international
- Choosing a taxidermist
- Budgeting for your hunt
There is so much good info here that will give you an advantage in fulfilling your dreams.
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Joy will fuel your hounds and fight for your freedoms fueled by joy.[00:01:00]
This is the Homan XP podcast.
The original podcast for the complete hound. Your,
we're gonna get, we're gonna get the podcast that represents our lifestyle of extreme performance.[00:02:00]
Yeah. Good boy. My Ranger Uniting Homan across the globe from east to west, north to south. You know, if you're gonna catch a cat or a line, you know, you have to have teamwork. We take you to the wildest places on earth. Yeah. So how many days, how many days a week can you spend on the medic? As much as I can, to be honest with you.
Anytime that I get, I'm, I'm out there. Join us for every heartpounding adventure on Hounds Man xp. I'll tell you, like I tell everyone else, I'm gonna hunt whether you're here or not, so you might as well be here.
I get tons of messages about lion hunts a week. I don't even know how many I get a week, but it's been several. People are looking for opportunities to [00:03:00] hunt lions. Whether you're a hounds man back east here and you want to take your hounds out, try your hand at catching one of the most elusive creatures, the American Mountain Lion, Panther, Puma, whatever you prefer to.
Or you are a deer hunter or an eastern bear hunter or whatever, and you're looking for this opportunity. Cleve Dwyer is on the podcast this week and he is gonna talk about how to select outfitters, uh, some tips and tricks that he's learned and everything from skinning to packing, to shipping, all of the stuff that goes into a lion hunt that we often don't think about.
You know, we think about the success of finding the lion, getting the lion to the tree, but what do you do after it's on the ground? How do you get it back home? All those sort of things are in this podcast, so this will be a good one for you. We take a pretty deep dive on how to select an outfitter. So if you're listening to this podcast, And, uh, you're thinking about [00:04:00] hiring an outfitter, then Cleves got some really good points about how to do that.
If you are an outfitter, maybe you need to listen to this and uh, get some tips on how to talk to clients and some expectations. So if you have that deep burning desire to go out West and chase Mountain Lions, you need to listen to this podcast cuz we answer a lot of those questions. We talk about things that you may not have thought about.
It's all here, folks. I think you're really gonna enjoy this podcast. Also, I want to let you know that there is a wild and crazy movement going on on social media. We have established a new hashtag and it has to do with Fair Chase. The hashtag is. Hashtag This is fair Chase. We started that with the intent of getting the message out that we believe in what we do, how we do it, and dispel any rumors about whether or not hunting [00:05:00] with hounds is fair.
Chase it is. Be proud of it. Use that hashtag on your social media posts when you're posting your adventures. It's real. Hashtag This is fair Chase. Show the world who we are. Be proud of who we are. Nobody's gonna do it. We've gotta do it for ourselves. Speaking of standing up for ourselves and doing things for ourselves, we've got a late breaking news story that I need to cover in this pre-roll.
Because we need to take action on this folks. Utah Hounds. When association notified me that House Bill 4 69 has been introduced, it actually flew through the Senate and the House, which would delist Mountain Lions in the state of Utah. So you can go to Utah Hounds Man Association, get all the information that you need on this bill there.
There's also information on how you can contact representatives of the legislators [00:06:00] in that post. This is our opportunity, folks. We gotta rise up and show the world that hunters care more about mountain lions than anyone. We can't allow the mountain lion to be delisted in Utah. It's time to get down to business in this podcast, and as my buddy Larry Anderson would say, this is a box shaker.
Let's get the tailgate down. It's time to dump the box. What's your, what's the best time you've taken? What, what's the best time you've taken this year so far, Cleve? Um, I don't know. My brother got a big one. Well, we killed two big Toms that day and it was, it was really big. He killed two big toms this year, so I don't know.
They're probably 1 55, 1 60 pounds, probably 1 55 pound lines, you know? Yeah, yeah. That one, that one's gonna score really well, so it might, might be right at right at book or just below it, you know. [00:07:00] Yeah. Are you get, are you getting guys from all over or are you getting a lot of repeat clients or what are you guys getting right now?
You getting any newcomers? Yeah. Yeah, we got some new guys and then some of 'em repeat people, so a little bit of both. Yeah. Well, I want to talk about, I wanna talk about choosing your outfitter. I want to talk. A lot of different things here, but we're gonna talk about choosing taxi DMIs. We're gonna talk about why it's important to choose an outfitter that knows how to take care of your hunt of a lifetime.
And I see so many people talking and calling the, you know, mountain lion hunting their bucket list hunt and deer hunters from back east and, and bankers from New York City, you know, everybody is, is itching to get to the mountains to try to kill a mountain lion and take a mountain lion. And, and it's not something that you can just drop into town and, and do effectively.
I mean, we got a lot of hunters and hounds [00:08:00] men coming from back east here that are seeing some success in the west, but it's still not the same. I think it takes a few years of going to the same places and, and, uh, stuff like that in order to be able to be successful for somebody like me. So, um, it's, it's always best I think.
To, to choose your outfitter wisely. So we're gonna talk about taxidermy, we're gonna talk about skin them, we're gonna talk about all of that sort of stuff. So Cleve, you've got a lot of experience on, on doing that sort of stuff. And um, let's just roll with it, man. Where do you wanna start? Um, you know, you could probably start with picking an outfitter, you know, when you go.
Seems logical. Yeah, it seems logical. Mm-hmm. , just make sure that, that, that outfitter's got a lot of experience. And then check the references. You know, that they can't send you 40 or 50 references. You might not want to go with them because let's, [00:09:00] that's Yeah. But isn't it, it takes to get good at it, at least, you know.
Yeah. About 40 or 50. Man, that's a, I'm not gonna, I probably wouldn't spend that much time and then I would always be worried that, you know, you're not gonna send me the, the list of names of guys that left pissed off. No, no, no. But I, I, I have a list and on that list there's people that went home without a mountain line, you know?
Yeah. Um, so, and I got, I got it, you know, right there, unsuccessful harvest so that the, you know, the prospect can call then and say, you know what, what happened? Was it a good hunt? You know, who knows? Sometimes they might say, yeah, Cleveland Wire wasn't worth the crap, you know, . But, um, I dunno. Keep it transparent, so.
Right. Well, let's, let's start out with, you know, let's just say that a guy is listening to this podcast that, um, uh, has never hound hunted in his life. He doesn't, um, he, he just has, he's deer hunted. He's been on outfitted elk hunts and [00:10:00] different things like that out west, but he's coming from the east.
Let's just lay out some realistic expectations and services that they are going to get from a good outfitter. Yeah, so a good outfitter, most lion hunts should be one-on-one. Some of 'em are, you know, one, one guide per two cl for two clients. But we don't do it like that. Ours are all one-on-one. So you should, should have your own guide.
And that guide should have its own pack of dogs with equipment, you know, side by side or snow machine or mules or whatever, pickup truck. Mm-hmm. . Some guys don't have any of that. Just got a pickup truck. But should have, should have your own guide with his own pack of dogs so you don't have to share a guide, you know?
Mm-hmm. , especially with the total stranger. You know, that's one thing. And make sure, you know, your, your guide has plenty of experience. You know, you don't want to hate to say it, you don't wanna take some guy that's, that's his first or second guy time ever guiding mountain lion hunts or [00:11:00] something, you know, that's not saying they won't kill one, but make sure that you're getting, getting somebody with a lot of experience.
But, okay, so, so an outfitter. , and this is what I've seen a lot. I know a lot of outfitters in the west that they focus on deer, they focus on elk, maybe they focus on sheep. And then a lot of times these, these lion hunts are like, oh, well we can extend our season or our income. Really what it is, it's an increasing their, their income by adding lion hunts later.
And they're subcontracting those lion hunts out to other hounds men as they're a, so they're not necessarily hounds men themselves, but they, their outfitting area includes mountain lions. So they go ahead and outfit for lion, uh, mountain lion, but they hire local hounds men to actually be the guides.
Yeah, you nailed it. That's exactly what happens a lot of the time. Yeah. So the guy [00:12:00] that booked you, hell, he might not even be a line hunter, but he finds somebody that to guide you, which sometimes out works out, but. that that guy that's booking you, he can't, he can't always answer all your questions. And he's not, he's not a lion hunter.
You know, sometimes he is. But that's, that's one thing to think about and then see how many lines they harvest a year. You know, some of those guys, a lot of them only killed three or four lines a year. Mm-hmm. , you know, after their deer, elk season's done, they, they take some hunters and they bring 'em in as oncall when the snow's fresh.
And that's, you know, that's how they run it. But, um, if you're, if you're gonna go on a, on a hunt, be sure to go with somebody that, even if it's a snow hunt, make sure that you can, you're, make sure you're going with somebody that can hunt dry ground and snow, and look through their photo albums on their website or their Facebook page.
Make sure that there's some lions in there. There's no snow, you know, and people aren't dressed for snow type of stuff. Right. And that's, that's a good one because you might book a hunt during [00:13:00] December or January or February during a heavy snow month and you get a. , like a Chinook or a January thaw come through and you're just hunting around slop and crust of snow and really tough conditions.
You're gonna be wishing that you'd picked a different outfitter. You know? Cause that's when, that's when the, the really good guys know what to do in condi conditions and situations like that. And the, the guy that's not that good, he just, he's just used to hunting fresh snow. Mm-hmm. , he's gonna be lost and he's gonna be like, man, you know, he is gonna be lying on a fresh snow to come in.
So keep that in mind. Otherwise, your, your whole hunt hunt could be blotched just because of poor weather conditions. Yeah. Yeah. So by picking a good outfit or you can overcome the weather. We can't, you, you as an outfitter cannot control the weather. If you've got me booked, you know, next week, there's no way that you can control the weather there.
So the Chinese are [00:14:00] controlling it or something. But, uh, But yeah. Yeah. Cle, Cleve Dwyer doesn't have have, uh, you can't see the clouds and you can't, you can't make ideal conditions. So a good outfitter or a good guide is going to know how to catch a line in, in multiple conditions, is that what you're saying?
Yeah. Yep. Yep. Have, have a good chance at catching one still, you know? Mm-hmm. . Exactly. So kind of just check into that, and when you call them references, ask, ask them references what kind of conditions it was. You know, was it snow? Was it dry ground? Was it mud? Was it rain? That way it gives you a good idea of what that outfitter's capable of.
Mm-hmm. . That way you don't get out there with high hopes and then just, you know, it takes the wind outta your sails and it sucks at that point. Right. So, yep. Definitely. Well, for guys that do choose an outfitter, maybe they, they were out for an Alcon, but, and I, there's a couple guys that I know that, uh, that do contract work for Outfitters.
[00:15:00] Should, should a hunter ask their outfitter that question? Are you a hounds man or do you subcontract your lions out, you know, your lion hunts out hundred. Is that a good question? Yeah, that's a good question. A hundred percent. Mm-hmm. and ask, you know, Hey, are they these, are these your dogs or are they somebody else's dogs?
And if I'm gonna go with someone else, can I talk to him? I'd like to. There you go him. That way you know, you can pick his brain and see if that outfitter's kind of full of crap. And if he's just trying to sell you hunt, or if or if that guy that's gonna guide you, or one of the guys that they think they'll guide you has any idea of what he's doing.
Mm-hmm. . So make sure that you know he is legit. Ask him how many years he is been hunting. I mean, you don't have to pry. Pick his brain, and then you also wanna get on the phone and talk to him and see if that's somebody you wanna spend seven days riding around hunting lines with sometimes, sometimes that's not the case.
You don't want, you get there and you're like, man, this guy's a jerk. You know? Yeah. Yeah. That's a, that that'd be a real red flag. You [00:16:00] know, you end up calling your outfitter and you're talking to him. He's like, no. We said, you know, I, I subcontract that out. I don't keep my own hounds. If he doesn't want to let you talk to his guide, man, I'd, I'd turn around and run from that in a heartbeat.
Because either one, either one, he, he doesn't have somebody that's loyal to him that's gonna do the work for him, or, you know, he is just flying by the seat of his pants type stuff. Exactly. Yep. For sure. Yep. Or, or he is, yeah, exactly. You know, flying by the seat of his pants and he might not even have anybody.
Yeah, it's all right. Get ready to guide you. And then he has to scramble to find somebody and last minute he finds this guy and he might, might not be that great a line hunter. So yeah, if, if you, if you've got a good reputation for being a Top Lion guide that you work for other outfitters, then you usually don't have to look for work.
So a lot of these, a lot, and I'm not totally trying to rip on outfitters here. I'm just saying be cautious if you're going to, [00:17:00] and, and do your homework because if a guy hasn't booked any lion hunts and then it's getting late in the season, it's gonna be hard to find a guy that that's gonna come and, and just drop what he is doing.
And you're gonna get what you get at that point. Yeah, exactly. For sure. Mm-hmm. . Yep. Yeah, that's, that's definitely something Think about. Yeah. Keep that in mind. And, and if you think, you know, if you call him and you think he's kind of full of crap, yeah. Call somebody else, you know, and check around, call the references if they don't have references.
They don't have quite a few of them. I'd, I'd probably go someplace else. Yeah. So I booked this Lion Hunt and I'm, I'm used to going to, uh, you know, green Mountain Lodge and, and having all my meals catered for me and all of this sort of stuff. Uh, is that a real expect, realistic expectation when you're booking a lion hunt?
Or, you know, just tell us how, how that normally goes. Oh, mean like food and [00:18:00] lodging and all that? Yeah. Is that what you mean? Yeah. You know, some, some outfitters, they got a lodge. And especially those guys up north, like in Montana and Idaho and all that, a lot of those guys have a lodge. So they base out of that.
A lot of, uh, a lot of other outfitters say in Nevada and Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, those guys typically put their hunters up in a motel. Mm-hmm. . Cause you might mm-hmm. need to be really mobile. You might not be finding any lines where you're at, so you might have to drive. You know, go to another town maybe 80 miles away and spend the rest of the hunt there looking for lions.
So ask them, you know, if, if you're at a lodge all the time, or if you're on the road staying in motels, ask 'em who pays for that. Mm-hmm. , you know, who pays us food and lodging? Like I, I have my guys, our clients get their own food and lodging, cuz that makes it easier at the end of the day, I can, I can kick 'em out and they can go, you know, get cleaned up and go to dinner and stuff, and I can go take care of my mules and my dogs and whatever, you know.
So that's, that's how we run [00:19:00] out. And some p some people steer away from that. They're like, man, I wanna be fed and, you know, I, I wanna be catered to and all that. But yeah, that's the way we hunt it because this country's so big. We, we don't stay in one place all the time. We gotta to keep moving, you know.
So if you kick, if you kick out some lion hunters at a motel 80 miles away, are you driving home that night to feed your mules and switch out hounds and all that sort of stuff? If you had a. Oh, no. If, if, if we're on the road, I, I got the mules taken care of if I don't have 'em with me or whatever. And if we're on the road and we do have mules with us, I, I keep 'em at a crail out of town, you know?
Okay. So, yeah. Yeah. So, but you, I just take care of those then, but there's still work to be done, and I think that's mm-hmm. something, I'm talking to people that aren't necessarily hounds men here, but there's, the thing that people that are booking lion hunts should understand is that when you drop your hunters off, [00:20:00] your day is still going on.
You've got hounds to feed, maybe you got hounds to doctor, you got mules to feed, you got tack to put up. You've got, you know, just preparation for the next day. And, and, um, unless you're a big operation, a big outfit, you know, the, the social time and the entertainment doesn't necessarily come with. With the Lion Hunt, uh, you're gonna get your entertainment in the form of, of adventure and catching lions and stuff like that.
But, uh, so we're kind of trying to set out some expectations here for when you book that lion hunt, what you're actually gonna get. It's not a, it's not a, um, you don't have necessarily have se, you know, ser serving staff and stuff on the South Serengeti like you do in South Africa for a mountain lion hunt in the us.
Exactly, yep. So at the end of the day, you know, your outfitter, you know, drops off at your motel and you go get something. He, he still has hams to feed. He's, he [00:21:00] who knows, he might have maintenance doing one of his machines, or, yeah, put, put new, put shoes on a mule or something, and he's out there in the dark, you know, so his day starts, you know, maybe an hour before, before the client does, and it ends probably an hour and a half or so after that.
So, yeah, depends on what you get into. Yeah, exactly. So it's a longer day. That's something to be expected, you know? Mm-hmm. some mm-hmm. . Some, some clients are like, man, let's go to dinner. And I'm like, yeah, if we kill a line, let's go to dinner. But, uh, right now I'm tired, you know, I got, I got too much stuff to gotta go get taken care of, so.
Right. Right. You know? Yeah. They're there for a good time and you're there working, you know, and I think we lose sight of that sometimes when we start looking at the outfitting businesses. Um, you know, that's, that's your, that's your job, you know? Mm-hmm. , if I fly into, if I fly into Nevada to hunt with c Cleve Dwyer, I'm there to have a good time and you wanna make sure I have a good time, [00:22:00] but I also have to have the expectation that if I hire you as an outfitter, that if I don't allow you to do your work, then I'm not gonna have a good time.
Exactly. Yeah. You know that . Yeah, exactly. I'm not gonna be successful. . Yeah. It's gonna be tough, you know? And then they say, man, instead of us going to dinner last night, man, you probably should have fixed this side by side. , you probably, yeah, we can't. We we decided to go, yeah, we decided to go eat dinner last night and, and drink buck skins.
And, and now we have to work on the side by side for two hours before we can start our day-to-day guys. Yeah. That's not gonna, that's not gonna fly. No, no. We have to most of on your line. You ever get the chance to get us some extra sleep? You better take it. Yeah. Most of the guys I know though that I've been around at different outfits and stuff, you know, if they're, if they're clients and they're coming in, a lot of 'em will help.
They, they, a lot of guys will [00:23:00] pitch in and help. Oh yeah. There have been times where I've seen. Guys that were better mechanics than the outfitter , you know, that that could zip through some of that stuff. I remember one time we were in Montana and uh, uh, we were working on a side by side. I was not the outfitter.
I wasn't the guy that was just there freeloading. And, uh, he had some clients in, and this guy was a, a Polaris mechanic from, from back east, you know, so, oh man. Heck yeah. So it was like, oh yeah, I'll, the outfitter was ready to buy that guy's dinner that night for sure. I bet. Yeah, Sandy, really handy to have.
Yep, for sure. So, all right, let's answer the question that, um, gets, gets asked a lot. I want to know what your reaction to this is. So the first question that, that a lot of lion hunters will ask is, what are your success rates? How do you as an outfitter [00:24:00] answer? What are your success rates? Yeah, that's a good question.
Well, first of all, I never tell anybody. I'm a hundred percent. I think there was one year we were a hundred percent, but, uh, I never even claimed that. Um, I always tell 'em, you know, all depends on weather conditions, but most tiers are about 70%. Mm-hmm. successful. There's some years we're 90, but on average gonna be about 70% successful.
That's taking in snow, dry ground, all those conditions, throw 'em all together. That's what it's gonna come out to be. Um, that's on a seven day hunt. So that's what, what to expect on, you know, when you come hunting here with us. Um, on that same point, there's gonna be a lot of outfitters out there that say, yep, a hundred percent every year, we're that good.
You wanna stay away from those guys. You, that's what you want to hear. They're telling you what you want to hear. Yeah. And you're thinking, man, you, everybody wants to be sold on something. Mm-hmm. , but. They're, they're claim a hundred percent or something like that. [00:25:00] Yeah. They're, they're, they're full of shit.
There's a lot of, there's a lot of females and, and sub-adult lines getting killed. If they're, if they're running a hundred percent year after year after year, they're not very picky. They just want to get a line on the ground for you and move on to the next guy. Exactly. Yep. So, and they're killing small lions and mm-hmm.
I, they're killing the stuff I'm passing on. They're like, no, I'm gonna let you kill a 70 pound lion. You know? Yeah. We're going after, have you told guys no, it's, you know, like, no, we're not killing it. Yeah. I tell, I tell 'em that all the time. Yeah. And what's your reaction? It's like, man, I paid 6,000 or whatever, you know, I paid all this money to come out here and, and hunt and you're not gonna let me kill a lion.
What do you. Uh, well, I, I let 'em know that front, up front say, yeah. You know, we, we, we seldom never kill females. So we, uh, we strive to kill Tom's and we're probably gonna pass on some females. We're looking for a big line, you know? Mm-hmm. . So we, you know, it's from a conservation standpoint, not [00:26:00] from an ego standpoint.
We're, which is, some people might think, but no, it's from a conservation standpoint, I don't like killing 'em females. So we pass on and pass on 'em, pass on 'em until we find that right. Tom, sometimes the guy goes home without an outline, but, uh, yeah, you don't wanna, you want to kill your producers. So that's what, that's what I tell 'em when they book.
Sure. That's, yeah. Cuz you're looking for, you're looking for a sustainable, sustainable model into the future. And if you're knocking the, you know, knocking the ends off, then boom, you're not gonna have, you're not gonna have that next year or the year after, or three years down the road. Exactly. Yeah. You gotta have some forethought and whatever you do this year is gonna cost you three years from now.
Yeah. That's gonna hurt you, so. Yep, yep. If, if it's the wrong situation, wrong, wrong choice. So, yeah. And then, um, another thing to think about is pump your booking a hunt. Ask the, the outfitter if you can use his rifle or something. Then if you're [00:27:00] not bringing a bow, if you're just bringing a rifle, sometimes it's easier to use his rifle instead of bringing your own on the airplane.
Mm-hmm. So that, I have a lot of guys that run into that, and they, they're more than welcome to use ours. So that, that takes a lot of headache out, especially if you're a on call hunter, like wheel call or last minute hunter. That way you don't, you don't have to scramble getting all that stuff taken care of.
Let's talk about calibers in a few minutes here. I got one more question I want to ask you When, uh, one more book in this hunt mm-hmm. about the question. The question is how many book cats, how many record book cats can I, I'm, you know, I'm looking for a boon and crockett lion. You know, how many of those.
How do, how many of those a year do you kill? How do you answer that question? You know, we don't, we don't kill one of those every year. We kill one of those about every five years. So, , , um, yeah. So, um, we, we have one line that's in the book. He's number three in the state. Mm-hmm. , and then they, I think we [00:28:00] got one or two others that are in there too.
But, um, most time you don't, you don't kill very many of those. That's like, I had a guy message the Facebook page a while back and he said, yeah, I'm looking to kill 170 pound Tom. That's what I'm after. And I said, oh, good luck. You know, I said, they're out there, but a British Columbia . Yeah. It's like he says, you guys killed, killed them.
I'm So, yeah, we killed something like that. But the expectations of killing one like that, it's, it's slim, you know, even British Columbia, they, they do get bigger lines up there, but it's, I've talked outfitters up there and they said it's, it's still tough to find one that big. You. , but like this guy was dead set on.
That's what he is gonna go home with. I was honest with him and said, no, the chances to kill one like that is pretty slim. We've killed him like that before, but it's, it's, it's gonna be tough to find one. Well, what's gonna happen is he's gonna get a hold of an outfit that's gonna tell him exactly what he wants to hear.
Sure. Oh yeah. We kill 170 pounds. We used to kill five or six of those a year. And he's gonna say, yep, I'm going with that guy. They're gonna [00:29:00] kill 140 pound Tom. And that outfitter's gonna say, oh, we didn't need to weigh that thing. Oh, that's what he weighs. He's 170 pound Tom. He's gonna slap that guy in the back and say, good job, Bob.
And that guy doesn't, we're gonna go ahead and telling everybody that, yeah, we're gonna go ahead and field dress out here in the field. Uh, you know, so, so it's easier to get outta here and you'll get it back and it'll weigh, it'll weigh 135 pounds and they'll say, oh, the guts. The guts weighed 35 pounds.
He was full of meat, didn't you? Don't you remember? We, we looked at him. He was full of meat when we, you know, . Exactly. It happens all the time. People, a lot of, a lot of lines. We, we get out there, we, most time we don't have a scale with this. Sometimes we do and, but most time you can't get 'em to the truck.
So we skin 'em there and like, okay, that's probably 140 pound Tom. That's a nice big old Tom, but there are a lot of outfitters out there that, oh yeah, that's 170 pound Tom. And like, you want to, let's be some money on that and see what he comes out to be. You know, , , . Yeah. Thousand dollars says, says he is not, you know.
Yeah. [00:30:00] Well, let's, let's get, let's get into, uh, let's get beyond the choosing the outfitter thing. Let's talk about, let's talk about some of the most important things and, um,
We want to talk about, we, I wanna talk to you about, you know, care for the trophy afterwards, you know, care for that, that lion afterwards. The guys, I hear it all the time. Bucket list, hunt. I can't even from other hounds men. Um, you know, this is a bucket list hunt. So obviously the ability of the outfitter to care for that lion and have it preserved properly, skin properly, preserved properly, all of that sort of stuff.
I want to get to that, but you started to talk about rifles and different things like that, and I've seen everything from, you know, guys talking about lion hunting with 300 winchesters to 22 mags and, um, somewhere in between. That is the right answer. So [00:31:00] exactly. What do you recommend, what do you recommend for, uh, calibers, bullet selections or just.
Use the outfitters raffle. Exactly. So if you're bringing a rifle and you're dead's set on bringing your own, I'd recommend, this is what I tell all our guys. Come on. I'd recommend bringing a two, like 2 23, 22, 2 50, 2 43, 25 O six. Nothing huge. They have guys that you wanna bring like a 300 wind bag or 3 38 or something and like, no, you're not bringing your 3 38 lupu out.
Yeah, we're not, we're not, we're not killing African, charging African lions here. There's no, there's no no danger of a, uh, uh, a Cape Buffalo charging us out there. We're g we're good. Exactly. And those bigger rifles that, and they just, most of the time they're, they ring your ears and they ring my dog's ears when that gun goes off and it blows a big old hole on the backside of that line, you know, [00:32:00] on the other side exit and just the size of your fist.
And a lot of people say, oh, that's no big deal. My, my attack cameras take care of that. But, . What they don't realize when they go to go to dress that up and trim that, that tax trims has to take some height around the outside of that wound, you know, the perimeter of that wound. So that's taken away from your trophy.
So the less, less trophy damage, less bigger hole, not as big of a hole, but you blowing that line is, is better not sign like bows. Lot of people wanna be in bows and, and I kind of keep 'em to the mindset that you're gonna have to do a whole lot more selling your tax numbers sitting young too with a bow.
Mm-hmm. , I've seen some shots from bows that they were, you know, one shot deal, but that bow always tears up more than than a rifle ever does. Mm-hmm. . So especially mechanical broadheads, I don't let anybody bring mechanical broadheads at all. It's all fixed. Hallelujah. What happens is that, that that hunter goes to shoot that line, he's up in a big tree or something, [00:33:00] and I'm not a mechanical Broadhead fan.
Yeah, they're, they're, they're not a good thing because they, they open premature. It just takes one little twig and one little pin needle, and that mechanical opens up prematurely, just a split second before it hits that line then has a chance of hitting another branch, and instead of hitting that line of the vitals, it might hit 'em in the guts, you know?
And I don't like that. I like giving them lines as, as clean of a, a death and clean of a harvest as possible. We owe that to them. So I like making sure it's a good, clean, ethical shot. And I try to get, get guys not to, uh, not to bring a bow, especially just these days it's just a pain in the ass. Getting one to the airport and hauling one on a mule and mm-hmm.
But they're, lately I've been really strict about it, cuz last year I had a dog got shot by one of my heart tree hunters, and he's a high level competition. Heart tree, you know, guy, and really high level. But when you're shooting foam targets on a mountain [00:34:00] side in a course, , it was different than shooting 140 pound mountain line from 30 feet away.
There's, there's no adrenaline when you're shooting foam targets. Right? And, uh, that cost cost me a good dog and you almost 140 pound mountain line. But I buried a $10,000 dog. Mm-hmm. . So I was mm-hmm. . I, I'm really getting the point where I don't really like taking archery hunters anymore manner. It's just, just pain.
But if you are dead, set on bringing your bow, bring fixed blade broadhead and it'll do less damage to your trophy than a, than a mechanical
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The first hunt I went on, the first Mount Lion hunt I ever went on was with an outfitter. And, uh, it was 1993 Inka Caho Lodge down in, uh, Hamilton, Montana. And I talked about, I was one of those guys. I was like, I'm bringing my bow. I'm gonna, I'm gonna shoot. And John told me, he is like, man, I'd rather you didn't.
And I said, well, you know, I'm, I'm good. I, I'm, I'm good with this bow. Yeah. They all say . Yeah, I'm good. And, uh, . [00:36:00] He's like, well, we're gonna, we're gonna, if you bring it, then I'm gonna put you through. He actually told me when he said, I'm going to set, we're gonna set this up where I see you shoot that bow and do some different things there to see how good you are.
But I've got the final say, whether you're taking that bow or not. Mm-hmm. , you know, I, I, but sometimes even guys with guns aren't safe , you know? Oh, no, no. They're, they're not safe too sometimes. They're, they're wild, you know? Yeah. It's, yeah, pretty. I was talking, I was talking too much adrenaline. Yeah, no doubt.
I was talking to an outfitter here a couple weeks ago, and, uh, it was Corey Daley down Little Lost Outfitters, and we just got on that subject. It's like, man, how do you deal with the, you know, that guy that, that, uh, his, he, he always wanted to take his son on a, on a lion hunt, and the son has got more sense with a gun than he's got.
you know, and [00:37:00] I, I don't even know how you guys deal with that kind of stuff. It just, Corey told me what he did. What do you do? What do you do when you get a guy out there that, that shouldn't even be in charge, you know, handling a firearm. I take his bullets. Do you? I take, yep. Mm-hmm. . I see. Yeah. Yeah. We tell him, we like you only put one bullet in that gun before we shoot that line.
You don't keep any other in the magazine. Keep the other ones in your pockets. There's been times I just hear, gimme your rifle. Oh, gimme them bullets. And I just take it from 'em and, Hey, can I have that rifle back? So, no, I'll carry it for you. Because what happens is they keep that, that rifle, put the extra bullets in there, they shoot that line.
They might make a really good shot on that line. He's a deadline. Mm-hmm. , he's just gonna run 80 yards and pile up. But they, it's your natural instinct to reham another round, because when you see that line Belling outta that tree or off that. , it looks like he's getting away. Mm-hmm. takes your astro instinct to just reham another round, and then line goes down there and they're like, oh, hey, he's [00:38:00] dead.
Nevermind. You don't need a follow up shot. People forget to take that, that bullet outta the chamber, and that's, that's not safe. That's dangerous. Walking around and rock piles and stuff, and you got a loaded rifle loaded, and then you, you look, then you look at over real close and you realize that they didn't even put the safety back on.
If they're using a semiauto loader or a, you know, a, a a, they did re chamber around. I've seen that. I've seen that around coon trees look over and you're like, Hey man, is that, is that 10 22 on? Have you got the safety on on that thing? Oh, yeah. Then they look down and it's like, whoops. No, I didn't, you know, I've had, I've had close calls, you know, with, with, and I was a hunter ed instructor for 30 years, you know?
Mm-hmm. , um, taught hundreds of kids, thousands of kids on firearm safety, and, and every once in a while you'll catch yourself where it's just like, Man, I, you know, so it happens to everybody. But you also can spot those guys. We used to do [00:39:00] some stuff here at home, do some outdoor adventure stuff, and part of it was target shooting, and you always had those dads that were like, oh yeah, I grew up shooting and stuff.
And, and you know, my daughter who was 10 years old, reaches over and she says, dad, at the time she was 10, she's like, dad, he didn't put the safety back on. He's over there flagging everybody on the range. It's like, oh, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Mm-hmm. , you know? So yeah, ego can kick in a lot of times, and I think it's less likely when you've got a one-on-one situation like you guys are running.
I think most people are like, CLEs the expert here. I'm gonna do exactly what he says. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Most guys respect that. There's some that boy, get some Ben outta shape. Nothing personal, it's just, just protocol, you know? Well, it's, it's personal. When they shoot you. That's pretty damn personal. . Mm-hmm.
Yeah. It's personal. When they shoot a hole in the side of the truck or they kill one of your hounds, it gets personal then. So yeah, I, I, you gotta have a low [00:40:00] tolerance for that sort of stuff. So make sure that, that if you're booking a line hunt that you, you, you do what your, your outfitter or your guide tells you.
And don't take it personal, you know? Mm-hmm. I don't know. I don't, I don't know what kind of, I'm sure that the state isn't gonna fund your, uh, your insurance for you. So, you know, there's a, there's a lot of risk. It's, it's an extremely safe thing. And I'm, have you ever had any accidents? Nope. Nope. Never have Uhuh.
Not one. So we've been lucky because people do what they, you know, people, people do that sort of stuff. They, they listen to what you say. What about, um, so we talked about Caliber. What about bullet selection? Cleve? Yeah. I like something. Doesn't blow the hell out of 'em. You know, I like them like, kinda like Barnes bullets or whatever that go in there and expand.
They don't blow a big hole out the other end. I want 'em to, I want the bullet to expand inside that animal. Mm-hmm. , that's safer. Safer for the dogs too. You don't want that blowing bullet going through that lion and killing a dog on the other side. If, [00:41:00] if you're in a big rock ledge or something, that's a lot of people, they YouTube mountain outline videos and they automatically think, oh man, I'm gonna be shooting a lion, you know, 20 feet up in a tree at, at a 45 degree angle.
Not here in Nevada, we catch probably 30%, 40% of our lions in rock piles and big cliffs and ledges and uh, it always doesn't always go that way. You know, you not always shooting at close range and you're not always, you're not always having that, that, I don't know, luxury to sit there and wait for that line to turn around, get the perfect shot.
Sometimes it's a, it's a. Fly by the seat of your pants and you crawl down a rock pile and shoot him, you know, at a weird angle too. So, but, um, but on the bullet selection, yeah, 2 23 all the way up to, you know, maybe 25.6, make sure it's not, not a solid point. Make sure it expands inside but ain't gonna blow the hell out of them off the other end.
Your tax number is so appreciate it. Right? Yeah. We did a, we did a, an [00:42:00] episode with, um, on bullet selection and we talked about hardcast versus, you know, hollow points and different things like that. I think, I think the biggest misconception is, and correct me if I'm wrong, but in my opinion, a mountain lion's not a very hard animal.
You know, they're not tough. Mm-hmm. No. If you get a good shot placement, you don't need a lot of, a lot of gun to kill. No, you don't. And seldom do you need a backup shot if you make good shot, you know? Yeah. You don't need a follow up, but you're right. Yeah. They're not hard to kill. They're not, I mean, they're a big animal, but they're not, you know, they're not heavy bone like an elk or Yeah.
You know, moose or something. Right. So it's, yeah, it's overkilled. Bring anything bigger than a 25 6, in my opinion. Yeah. So very much so. Good point. Mm-hmm. . Good point. All right. Let's talk about the lines on the ground. We've, we've selected you to be our outfitter. What should I be expecting once that line hits the ground?[00:43:00]
Yeah. Most time we don't let our dogs will that line hardly at doll. Just let 'em get a couple bites in, you know, and let drag 'em off and tie 'em up and make sure 'em dogs out of the way. When we go take pictures and skin the line, once we start skinning that line. You know, I've had guys that, that wanted to get in there and help me skin it.
Oh, here, I'll grab my knife and skin. If you, you're with an outfitter, let your outfitter do that. Just help. Help him hold one of the line legs or something. Help help him hold something outta the way because you get two knives whipping in there. Somebody pulls the line, you're gonna, you're gonna have either an accident, somebody's gonna get cut, or you're gonna make a bad cut in that mountain lion hide, and then mm-hmm.
you know, it's gonna be bad. My brother guided a guy a few years back and the guy said, I wanna, I wanna help skin. My brother said, oh yeah, I'll skin it. Oh, that, I wanna skin it. You know, and so that guy's helping out and that guy cut a big old slice inside of that hide. Hell about 10 inches long, eight inches long.
It's like, , here's your guy. Looks at my brother, says, [00:44:00] maybe I'll let you just do this skin. And, you know, it's, it's a lot better. Everybody wants to be involved, but sometimes it better just hold something for the outfit or, or the guide and just hold the flashlight, you know? Yeah. So, yeah, if it's in the dark and then, You know, just make sure if, if you're doing it yourself, see if you wanna do it yourself, hun or whatever, make sure you're using sharp knife.
I've seen people try to skin lines of dull knives and I've had, oh goodness. I've had to try it and like, oh crap. Wrong knife. Let me grab one good blade. And it's a lot cleaner cuts for the taxi dermis to sew up. You know, if you use a dull knife, it kind of butchers it and you can, you can tell when somebody uses a dull knife versus a sharp one.
Sure. So use a, use a sharp knife. What about, uh, I'll start this asking you, how long does it take you to skin a line? Um, probably about 30 minutes. My brother, my brother can skin one 17 for that. That's fast. That's quick. Yeah, sure. Yeah, it's, I'm not as fast as he is, so, but about about 30 minutes. I would rather have a good, [00:45:00] good job than a fast job.
Um, yeah, he does both . Yeah. That's good. That's good. And you can, it's always fun to watch that. You know, they're a master of their craft, and, and you can see it when they're doing it. And, uh, I'm the type of guy that, that doesn't like to watch other people work, you know? Mm-hmm. , if somebody else's working, I feel like I need to be in there.
So it's interesting about, you know, it's like, here, hold this, here, do this. Why don't you just, you know, but stay outta my way. . Yeah, yeah, exactly. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Sometimes you need somebody to hold something more than you need 'em to get in there and start throwing elbows around and Yeah. You know? Yeah. So what's a good, what's a good, skinny job look like, um, for somebody that has never seen a mountain lion skinned?
How, you know, what does that look like when it's all said and done? Yes. You start skinning, we typically make all of our cuts first. So we cut, make your initial cuts going down each leg. [00:46:00] You start on the front, you start right below, like right at the wrist. and go all the way to center of their chest on each side.
And then on the hind legs, you, you go right, right behind their hawk, you know, right behind, right, right, right there where their foot starts. Go all the way down to where, I guess it'd be like their Achilles and their ankle, and then go all the way down to right there in their groin area. Mm-hmm. on both sides.
Then go up the belly and you just want, you wanna make those cuts as smooth as you can. You don't wanna have to go in there and start cutting and then, you know, stop and then start again. Cause every time you go to start again, sometimes, sometimes it'll butcher it and you'll see a little jig, ja zigzag mark right there where your blade started again.
So once you start, see if you can just keep that blade running as long as you can without starting again. That makes a lot cleaner Cut. How, how far up into the brisket do you go? Um, well, we skin 'em right, right to the chest, right there. And then once we, once we get those cuts, then we start [00:47:00] peeling it all back and, We don't, we don't really go, we don't really cut that height into the brisket.
We start Right, we stop right there. Right there in the sternum is where we make the two cuts come together. Yeah. From each, each leg and then start getting that peeled back. And by the time you get done, you know, you'll, you'll have the tail in there. We leave the tail in the head and the feet. That's, we let the texture, my skin, those out.
Mm-hmm. . So we, that's what we're packing out is mount line head inside the hide The feet are and the tail is, so the skull, the tailbones still in it. And all four, all four paws right below that first joint at the feet. Yeah, exactly. Okay. The reason I was asking about all that stuff is because I'm trying to do this, you know, explain this for the person that's never seen one skinned.
If you see your outfitter or your guide, you know, split that lion all the way up to the chin. Exactly. You're, yeah. You just got a rug. [00:48:00] Congratulations. You just, your full body mount just turned into a rug. Yeah, exactly. Good point. Yeah, that's a very good point. Yep. So yeah, you don't want 'em, you know, you don't want 'em to skin it all the way to that chin or up, up to that atom's, aler, or nothing like that, that, that needs to, those cuts need to come together right there in the sternum.
Mm-hmm. . So, yeah, exactly. And then, you know, after you get that line skinned out, uh, most states require that you, or asked that you, they can pull a premolar for aging. So as soon as that line's dead, you take pictures after, after everything's done. You skin it. You want to take like a pine cone or an empty water bottle or something to put that in that lion's mouth cuz that RGA mortar sets.
and then you gotta lock jaw in mountain lion and it's a lot easier for that biologist to pull that tooth if his mouth is spread open. So that's something to think about and everybody forgets, all outfitters and guides forget to do that all the time. Most of the time we get it done and it makes it a lot easier and, and [00:49:00] biologists kind of get pissy if you don't, but Yeah.
But anyway, yeah, that's a lot easier for, for 'em to pull that pre-molar. Do you know if Montana's still retaining skulls after, are they still collecting the skull and keeping that for the only, I don't know. They used to, they used to keep 'em the They'd come out, yeah, they'd come out and they'd take 'em and then they would ship 'em back to you.
I bet they've changed that since then. Um, but that's how they used to do it. I had my lion skull actually sent back to me after it was, I assume it was the same skull. Well, I guess it was cuz it had my tag, uh, through, they tagged it when they took it. So, yeah, I was just curious. But now it just seems to be, you know, pull a, pull a pre-molar type thing in Nevada.
Yeah. I think, yeah, Nevada and almost all the other Western states. It's just pulling a pre-molar. Yeah. And I would imagine Montana's probably on the same page now too. Yeah, I would like to think so. [00:50:00] That's, that's one thing you gotta get done. Now when you're at that, say, now you, you're at the fishing game office, getting that line sealed and inspected, and they're taking all the paperwork down.
They pull the pre-molar, then they'll go punch the seal through the, through the hide. What's best to do on that is don't, don't put that seal just like a coma, looks like a, like a lockout tagout seal or like a zip tie, right? Mm-hmm. , don't put that seal through the exit wound. I, I think it's better. And taxers have told me too, this cut a little slice, little hole about a half inch from the edge of the hide and run that seal through there.
Like right there on the side of the belly or on the forearm or in one of the hawks someplace where there's not much fat though. And what that does when they send that line to the tax number, sends that line to the tannery, it's a lot easier for that tannery to get their, their fleshing tool around that, that seal, cuz they can't take that seal out.
The tax number has to take it out when he goes to mount that line. Mm-hmm. . [00:51:00] So they have to leave it in there and it's a lot easier for them to work around your hide and, and clean that hide up and flesh it with their fleshing tool that wheel than it is with, you know, with that, that, uh, that seal out there in the middle of the line.
It's all watered up skin and they gotta work around that. So that, that'll make it a lot better. Always seem to do that. Always be sure to do that. Um, and another thing on that, when you're at the fish and game office, if you're an international hunter, you're gonna have to have an import export permit and a bunch of paperwork on that line to get it back to wherever you live overseas or whatever.
Broad. Signage bags. Exactly. Exactly. Yeah, and that's, that's a, that's a whole nother pro, you know, a whole nother subject. We'll cover here pretty soon, but when you're, when you're there, make sure you get every ounce of information about your harvest. If you're, if you're an international hunter and you're gonna have that lion shipped back to your home, cross these or whatever, make sure that file just [00:52:00] can send you an email with all the harvest information.
If it's a, a sheet, take a copy of that sheet, make copies of it, cuz your import export agent will probably need a lot of that information, even though your line's sealed, it's got a tag, it's all cleared. Some, some countries require that. They have all that harvest info, your outfitters information, all that.
So get as much info on that harvest report of that lion as you can, cuz you might need it in the future. We've read into that a couple times. And, uh, each country's different. Brazil is different than Australia and Germany's different than Mexico. Mm-hmm. , you know, it's, it's, it's totally different, uh, requirements.
Yeah. So yeah, make sure you, you're squared away on that. And the, the thing on that is you'll, you'll be good if you get all that stuff, but when you do get a tax dermis to do all that for you, make sure he's got a good import export agent that he uses on a regular basis. That way you get somebody that really knows what they're doing.
They do all the paperwork. Right. [00:53:00] Because if they don't, you might not get your line back. So the outfitter, it should, that's a question you should ask your outfitter too, if you're, if you're coming from Canada or you're from Mexico or wherever you're coming from to hunt with you mm-hmm. , you know, do you have an import export agent?
That's a question that they need to be asking. Yep. Or if they, main, main thing was would be to ask if they have a taxi DMIs that they recommend that does international shipping. So if he does a lot of international shipping, He's gonna have an import export agent that he uses on a regular basis. And that guy's gonna know his stuff because to get that line back overseas, you can't just send a raw, a raw skin back overseas.
You gotta have a taxi dermis. Even if you're gonna have a taxi dermis and your country live in Mount It for you, you still have to have a taxi dermis here, flesh it, tan it, do all that stuff, dip it for parasites and all that cuz they don't want to send that stuff overseas. So they're pretty strict about that.
So you still gotta find a tax DMI that's willing to do that for you even though he's not mounting your [00:54:00] line. He can prep it for import export permit, right? And, and all that. So ask your outfitter, you know, Hey, do you have a, a tax dermis that you recommend? Look out his website, see if he's got stuff from Africa and all this, you know, exotic stuff all over the world.
Cuz if he's bringing it in, he's probably sending it out too. So he's be well versed in that. . So yeah, just check up on that, on that tax dermis. Well, I think, I think that's a good place to transition to the next part is choosing a taxi dermis for your mountain lion. I've seen, uh, you know, guys go out and spend a lot of money on, on mountain lion hunts, be successful, and bring it back east here to a guy that, that does deer in Turkey, and now they've got a cartoon character on the wall.
Instead of, uh, a good quality mount of a, of a Mount lion. You know, things heads too big. It's eyes are bulging out. You know, [00:55:00] you, you can just tell, you can just tell because their brother-in-law does taxidermy and they're gonna save money on the, on the taxidermic mount. So what, as an outfitter, what do you recommend for a taxidermist?
Um, I recommend you take it to somebody that's done a lot of mountain lines. It's predominantly, you know, especially like a guy that really specializes in predators or cats, that's the way to go. Mm-hmm. and I, I like, we have, we have about a half a dozen out or tax service that we recommend, and they're really, really good.
And that's what I tell a lot of guys that say, Hey, you got, you got somebody? Oh yeah. And he sends, shows me pictures of what his hometown taxidermy guy does. And it's like, who? That don't look good. What do you mean? I said, that guy didn't set the ears right on that line. Eyes don't look right. You know, I could pick stuff apart all day long and they don't see it.
But if you, you know, if you want to, you could, you could ask the outfitter and say, What tax numbers do [00:56:00] you recommend? Look at their stuff. You know, most of the time they're gonna be pretty good. Not always, but I'd, uh, I would definitely go through and make sure that, you know, they got a pile of mount lines that they've done and they look good.
If somebody's only mounted three or four mount lines, I wouldn't send mine to 'em, they wouldn't touch my line because they can do bobcats and foxes and coyotes and stuff. But Mount Lion are some of the hardest creatures there. Make look just right. So make sure that he's, he's got a reputation and he's good.
And don't look at it and say, well, yeah, I guess I'd be all, I'd be happy with that. I guess look at it and say, wow, you know, man, that's amazing. Look at this other one. He did another amazing one, really good one there. Oh, look, he, he won awards on this. That's the guy you're gonna want to go with. Mm-hmm. , you know, and if somebody were to have any doubt they can message our Facebook page, I'll tell 'em who, who we recommend.
You know, that way there's no guesswork in it. They know it's going to somebody good, you know? Right. So, well obviously if you're gonna [00:57:00] pick somebody good, then there's gonna be a price tag. You know, they've got that reputation for being good, so. Mm-hmm. , I think a lot of mistakes that I have made personally in the past is not figuring in the, the taxidermy work into the price of my hunt, you know, and I get this Mount Lion, it's like I'll just, shit, I'll just freeze it and shit, you know, take it home with me and I'll get to it and then I'm totally outta position.
Cuz you know, people. Indiana aren't gonna do as well as somebody that's living in a 4 0 6 area code out there, you know, or, or something like that. Or Nevada. That's, that's putting their hands on a lot of lions. So I think a, a good tip that I would give people is, if you're coming from the East and you're gonna book this hunt, then go ahead and figure your taxidermy work into the cost of your hunt.
That's, that's as important in the end as you're gonna regret it. If you don't, you know, it's as important as your [00:58:00] anything, any other cost that you have. Exactly. And that's the one that's gonna last the longest. Do. You're have to look at that thing for the next 30 years and say, damn, that thing, that look thing looks like crap.
You know? Looks like Garfield tinker. Yeah. Looks like, looks like Garfield up there on the wall. Look how fat it is. And it's big old head and, you know, you lose, that ears are set wrong. Oh yeah. Yeah. I, I've been messaging, uh, mark de frame back and forth. We. I was in Louisiana last week and there was this ratty deer on the wall hanging in this seafood restaurant.
It looked like it was, you know, stuffed with the nose, looked like a tube. Socks, you know, I mean, it was just round. It was terrible. It was all discolored and stuff. I snapped a picture of it and sent it to Mark Dre. I said, I see your work has made it to Southern Louisiana. You know, , . He sent me one of this obliterated fox.
So I like catching those, those um, really bad Taxidermic [00:59:00] mounts and rubbing it into my Taxidermic friends. Gets a good laugh out of them. Mm-hmm. . Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. There's a lot of bad text to me work out there. Oh man, man, there is so, alright, so let me ask you. A lot of guys, dunno the difference, you know?
Well, that's what I was gonna say, difference. That's another thing I was gonna say is you can spot a bad taxidermic amount, but I've seen guys have. Stuff on the wall. It's like, man, I got my, you know, maybe it's a deer head. I got my deer head back, come in here and look at it. And I look at it and I'm like, woo wee.
Wow. You know? I can't believe you did that. Uh, but they don't, they're just like, oh, look at that thing. Doesn't it look great? It's like, yeah, that's, that is definitely something. That is something right there. Yeah, man, I bet. And you, you, I, I can see you're proud of it. You know, I don't lie to 'em and say, oh yeah, that's great.
And I don't, I'm not brutally honest either and say, man, that looks like crap. You know? Yeah. [01:00:00] But, uh, but most people, when they see a mountain line on the wall, I don't think most people even notice, you know? But dang be you. Should, you know, if you're gonna spend that money, be selective on who you get to mount that.
Exactly. Yep. That's like a lot of, lot of tax centers, they don't set the ears right. They make the ears stand up too much like a fox or coyote, Mount lion's ears set. Totally different than a coyote in Fox's ears. Yeah. And it, oh, it drives me nuts. Like some of those, these guys that catch lines for, they'll send me a picture, you know, after they get their line back, oh, got my line back, couldn't be happier.
You know, I'm like, yeah. Oh, good deal. Unless I ask. And then they're like, what do you think? I'm like, looks like a $3,000 mountain line mount. Yeah, right. doesn't look very good. You don't think he did a good job? Like, no, I wouldn't let him, I wouldn't let him touch my line offense, but no, I wouldn't let him do mine.
It's like we had a guy that killed a lion two, three years ago and [01:01:00] he came back to kill a couple more. And, and, uh, the first one I said, you're lying still at that text? I said, yeah. I said, I, I got somebody else that would do a lot better job. No, this guy's really good. He didn't listen to me and he sent it to that other guy and he's not happy with it, but it's too late now.
Right. The next two that he killed, you know, he's, he's, he, he's taken 'em to, he'd send 'em to the guy. I recommend one of the guys I recommend, and I'm like, okay, that's, that's better. You'd be happy with it. Mm-hmm. . But the other one, oh, it looks rough. I'm like, I wouldn't be happy with that. Well, let's just, dude, make sure you're going, you're, you're sending him to somebody that's really good.
You know, let's just dispel a, you know, something right now. Uh, because I don't care. And I think, I think if I'm depending on you to recommend a taxidermic to me, I don't care if you get a commission or a kickback. on that. Mm-hmm. , you know, that's part of the service that I'm paying you for your expertise is, to [01:02:00] me that goes right into, I expect you to have hounds that control the lion.
I expect you to have equipment that can get me through the mountains, and I expect you to, to have the knowledge of, of where to find mountain lion. So I've heard people, you know, complain about, oh yeah. What? Don't, don't take the Outfitter's recommendation. They get a, they get a kickback and a cut when they recommend people to these taxidermists.
Well, good deal, man. I'm paying you for all your other expertise. Yeah, I'm, I'm happy to take your, take your advice on this too. I'm not paying the taxidermy anymore. That comes outta the taxidermic. , so don't worry about that garbage. If, if you're, if Cleve Dwyer gets a kickback or a commission for recommended a taxidermy, good for you.
Cleve, I'm happy for you. You know, that to me, that's just part of the expertise that I'm paying you for. Mm-hmm. . Yeah. Yeah. Because I, even if I were to get a commission, I [01:03:00] wouldn't recommend that tax unless I'd want him to do my own stuff. Exactly. You know? Yeah. And some of the tax members we recommend have done stuff for us.
I'm like, okay. Yeah. That's why I recommend him. You know, so. Right. You know, it's just as val, it's just as valuable as where to find the line track when you're preserving this hunt of a lifetime trophy for the rest of your life. You need to Exactly. You need to depend on your outfitter's, uh, wisdom and advice on that.
A hundred percent. A hundred percent. Yeah. Yep. All right. Let's talk, let's talk about, uh, say, say you get a hard head like me and, uh, a guy that's like, oh yeah, there is taxidermy involved in this. I'm gonna take it back home with me and, and put it in my freezer. And, and, uh, my no good worthless brother-in-law that mounts turkeys like that look like roadkill chickens.
He's gonna do my mountain lion for me. And you can't convince me of anything else. Um, [01:04:00] how should that lion be preserved and, and transported back home? And I know it makes a difference between flying and driving and all that sort of stuff, but, but what's a standard practice for you guys? That's a good question.
Most of the time we, uh, we skin, skin that line out, you know, we got the head to hide. And feet is still in that, and the tail's still in that hide. When we ship it, we make sure it's sealed and inspect and all that. Put it in a couple garbage bags, put it in bottom like a 28 quart or 30 quart cooler, like great big giant lunchbox.
Squeeze all the air outta that garbage bag, tie and knot in it. Make sure it's packed in, they're tight, and then freeze it. If you don't have a freezer to freeze it in, you can use dry ice, but make sure you put a layer of cardboard between that lion, even though he is in a garbage bag between that lion and the dry ice.
Mm-hmm. . And there's been a lot of times I, I didn't have eyes out of town. I didn't have a, [01:05:00] a freezer, didn't know anybody in town that had a freeze that I could use, so I used a used dry ice. Most times about 10 pounds, eight pounds of dry ice will freeze that line solid by morning. No kidding? Oh yeah. It's rock solid.
And so after that line's freeze frozen, I go to ship. It, not, I'm not supposed to, but I put more dry ice in there on top of it if I can. Mm-hmm. . That way if there's a, uh, you know, a hiccup in shipping or something, that line's not sitting there, thawing out in post office warehouse or something. Sure. But when you ship it, try to put more dry ice in there, tape it up.
Really good. And we don't use styrofoam coolers. I've seen guys use styrofoam coolers. Don't use those. Go down and get a hard plastic one. They don't have to be the best cooler out there. The better, the better coolers are, give you more peace of mind, you know? Mm-hmm. , but you know, that's a hundred dollars cooler, $120 cooler versus a $35 cooler.
Just make sure that line's packed in there. Good. Throw [01:06:00] some dry ice in there. Make sure that cardboard's between the lion. and the dry ice, so that dry ice doesn't burn that high. Get it to prospect and whatever, and then packed in there tight and ship it. When we ship those, we ship 'em like two Day Express, whether it's u P s, you know, US Postal Service, FedEx, whatever, ship 'em on Mondays and Tuesdays.
I try to never ship 'em past Wednesday because you want that line to get there during the week, during business hours. As soon as I send or send that line off, I take a picture of that receipt and send it to the tax dms that's going to, so he can start tracking it from the time it leaves my hands, and then that way I'm out in the mountains, I'm outta service.
I don't have to worry about it. That tax dms can, that's his deal now. Mm-hmm. , you can go down to get it if it's at the post office or something happens. You know, I've had that. We've had that happen where they had a outline sitting in the back of the post office for a day and it's stalling out and he went down there to.
to see if it came in [01:07:00] and the guy at the post office says, oh no, I don't, I don't see it here. And he is like, uh, yeah, my tracking says that it was liver this morning. Right. Sure enough they get digging around and found it back there and didn't thaw out, didn't ruin it. But when I ship those lines to a tax d here's something to think about.
I, I never put the tax dermis company's name because anti hunters will see that it's going to a taxidermy mm-hmm. studio and some of 'em were like, well, screw him. He ain't getting that. And that's happened. Yeah. So I just, I just put, you know, the tax dermis first and last name, Bob Jones, or whatever his name is, put that on there and that way it keeps the antis from.
Looking through and say, oh, okay. Oh, mountain Lion. Yeah. Yeah. Well, I don't think it's right to kill Mount Lion. Maybe we'll just let this thing sit here for a while. He won't get it back. Right. It'll come back. But he's spoiled or something. Right. So that's, that's kind of a practice I've got into that getting a little bit better at and, and just, I think it's helped, you know, probably helped at least once or twice.
Sure. [01:08:00] Something think about. Yeah. And then make sure that taxidermist has, has all that shipping info before, before long, you know, before you freaking get out of town or whatever. Mm-hmm. before you get on your plane and fly out or something. Yeah. I've had guys that take the mountain line and they're, you know, like on, on the plane with him.
Carry on. But I don't recommend that cuz there's, there was an instance though, five or six years ago, uh, Mount Lion Hunter came hunting Lion here in Nevada. It wasn't one of our guys though, but he took the mount line with him. On the plane, well, customs or TSA or whatever says Uhuh. And he was, he was a hundred percent in the right, but he sat there for, you know, three or four hours until Nevada Park and Wildlife got there and went through it and they said, oh yeah, you're fine.
But he missed his flight. I'm sure they probably gave him another flight. It wasn't his fault. But I heard guys taking Mount Line and put it in their luggage. Do not do that cuz they lose stuff all the time. Your line's gonna spoil if they lose it. Sure. So [01:09:00] safest thing is to hire your outfit or ask your outfitter if he can ship it for you.
If you gotta get on the plane and get home, have him ship it for you. And then just reimbursing for the shipping costs. That's how, how we do it. And have guys, you know, just do that. Mm-hmm. reimburse me. That's a lot safer. Um, I want, I wanna say this before I forget about it, cuz we're talking about shipping lines now.
I'm not, you know, there are, there are people in the east. I'm, I don't mean to rip on Taxidermic in the east because there are some good taxidermic in the east too. Mm-hmm. and we've got, we've got some guy, a guy just north of us here that has done stuff from all over the world and he's one of, he's, he's a great taxidermist.
Uh, there's a guy here local that was an inter, an international hunter. So a lot of African cats and stuff were shipped back here, so that's not, that wasn't my point, but be selective on your taxidermy. The, the thing that I want to want to ask you [01:10:00] about now is, seems like the newer, uh, the newer generation of hunters, and it's not a bad thing at all, but they're, they're focused more on, um, you know, the meat harvest too, so mm-hmm.
do you have more clients that are, are. Taking the meat home with them too. Um, probably about the same as it's always been. You know, most people wanna try it, try it, you know, backstraps to cut some backstraps out or a hammer or something and take that uhhuh . Most, most guys that are flying, they can't. But surprisingly enough, a lot of guys that drive out, you know, they bring a big cooler, they want to take that whole line back.
Right. And it seems like guys from back east that drive here want to do that more than the Westerners, cuz they're like, man, I wanna try that mountain line out, you know, have a barbecue and have all my buddies over there and tell 'em it's mountain line meat. You know? Yeah. So that's more common if they drive out and then they're pretty, pretty set on taking, taking a good bit of that lion meat home.
[01:11:00] Yeah. But um, but yeah, so that it's, it does happen, you know, but most people are like, yeah, I'll take a backstrap, I'll try it out. Mm-hmm. , that's about it. Mm-hmm. . Yeah. So, yeah, I was just curious about that part. It seems like everybody, you know, if. If you can eat, if you, if you can't eat it, then don't kill it.
It has been a trend that's been developing lately and some of it, we've done some podcasts about that. I think we did one called Eat It or Not. And, um, you know, some, some of the stuff that, that, uh, when you, when you I hunting, I don't know where that attitude comes from. You know, I'm not eating a coyote, I'm not gonna do it, you know, I'll shoot 'em.
No, but I'm not eating them. And, and I think we get, we get lost in the, in the weeds sometimes about, you know, oh, I don't want it to go to waste. Well, dead animals on the landscape don't go to waste. , they never go to waste. They're feeding something. But [01:12:00] I'm not, I'm also not saying, you know, shoot Mount Lion and, and just kick the carcass over the hill either, you know, that's not what I'm saying, because I know a lot of people, I've eaten it.
I like it, it's fine. I, you know, make it into BRT worse. And I mean, they're good. I like 'em. But I was just curious about the, if you've seen an uptick in the, the trend to, to pack these animals home because back, back in the day, it wasn't a big deal. Nobody did it. Yeah. Yeah. And I'm sure it's probably getting more popular, you know?
Yeah. I would imagine. Especially if with all podcasts, like meat eater and stuff, it gets kind of people inspired, I'm gonna try eating that, huh. You know, and stuff like that. And they got the recipes and all that crap. Sure. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Kinda gets him motivated to do that. But, well, Jonathan Lepers there for a while was, was, uh, putting stuff on his Instagram, feeding different stuff about, you know, grilling.
Uh, polka, Kabaka made out a mountain lion and bobcats and different stuff, you know, so. [01:13:00] Mm-hmm. , that looks, sign me up, man. Let's slap some mustard on that thing and some grilled onions. And let's eat. Yeah. I ain't gonna bite you back, so. That's right. That's right. That's right. What else we got? Cleve. What else we need to cover?
Uh, I was gonna talk about, um, if somebody does decide to have a rug made, be sure to ask that tax Ds, if he does a, a sewed felt backing, there's some tax Ds that that use like hot glue. to, to get that felt on there and glued on. And they don't have a good solid felt backing with a, like a, almost like, it almost looks like, like a pillow top mattress looking material.
Mm-hmm. , make sure that's the kind of material they're using. So like two or three layers of felt sewed to that, like pillow top looking material. And then those will have D rings, and that's on the backside of your line. The part that goes against the wall that needs to have D rings on there so you can, you can hang it from nails and hooks from your, your wall.
Mm-hmm. , [01:14:00] I, uh, I had a big old line I killed back in oh five. Great big line. I think he weighed 1 58 and he, he'd scored Bo Crockett. He was 15 three 6,316. It's a big old line and I, I didn't use the tax aders that I normally. I tried a different guy and you know, experience tells you, you should, I did otherwise, but I, I didn't wanna ship it.
I got lazy. Right. And I had a different, a different tax do it. And he did a really poor job on that, and that's what he did. He hot glued that felt on, didn't sew, that didn't have a, like a, like a pillow type mattress backing looking stuff on there. And he had put deer rings, so I had to drive a nail through my mountain lion hide.
And, uh, he didn't do a good job at all. And I got it in my, in my guest room. I don't like going in there and looking at him because he reminds me it's a bona crockett line that you can't stand to look at. Yeah, exactly. So yeah, it's, I made that mistake. That's, that's why I tell people, I'm like, don't. Well, that's why it's so easy to talk.
Yeah. It's so easy to talk about this stuff. I've, I've tried to shortcut too in [01:15:00] the past. It's like, yeah, so-and-so's just getting into taxidermy or, uh, we'll give him a try and, you know, everything from. man. If they're, if they're mountain squirrels that look like footballs, just turn around and walk out, you know,
Yeah. It's, it's not worth it. It's not worth it. If you th if you think it costs a lot to have a professional, do it, have an amateur do it. Yeah. , then it really costs a lot. You know, that's, that's right. That's exactly right. Yeah. If you're gonna do a rug deal, that's, that's what I'd do. Make sure that they have soda on, felt backing and mm-hmm.
and have like that pillow top type material on there with D rings. So you can hang that line wherever you want and you don't have to worry about it getting that height and a wrinkle or nothing like that. It's a good quality rug. And then make sure they put, if you got a mountain lion mouth, uh, mountain lion rug mount, and it's, or, or a full body for that matter, look at them, the pictures on them, mount lines, that tax DMI doesn't put wrinkles on that nose like he's snar.
just kinda [01:16:00] looks like he's drunk, you know? Mm-hmm. just hanging his mouth open. Don't go with that guy. And if he's got them ears out to the side, you know, kind of stick it out. Don't go with that guy either. Cuz the mount line, when he snarls, he lays them ears flat back against his head. And uh, that's, that's something to look at.
If he's got the ears pointing out like satellite dishes, that's not ever gonna look. Right. Right. You know, so make sure that nose is wrinkled. But easiest thing is just ask somebody that knows, you know, contact an outfitter or, or go do your research and find really good tax DMIs that have a lot of good reviews.
Mm-hmm. , you know, got awards and they, they win big stuff. Do that. That's the best way to go. But yeah. And then once you get that lion, you get it back home, you know, and or if you're having it. Think about this, are you always gonna live in that house? And when you, where you put it in that house, if you move to another house, is that mountain gonna gonna be easy to make work in another house [01:17:00] or compliment another room in your house or something?
A lot of guys don't think about that and they think, oh, I'll live here forever. And then they move and they take that mountain line and they don't have any place to put him. That makes it look right. You know? So if if you think, ah, I might move someday, get a mount that you can put in a lot of different rooms or something, that'll always look good and you'll see 'em good.
Yeah. It's, uh, when you start talking about mountain line mounts, especially if you're gonna have a mounted on a rock or something like that, if you're, if you're living in a house with standard eight foot ceilings, that that mount is gonna have to be mounted probably about three. Off of the floor, you know?
Mm-hmm. to give you, unless you want the mountain line with his head touching the ceiling, you know? Yeah. It's, it can be a challeng, so Yeah. I'll think it through all the way. I'll tell you one of the things that I've, I've been liking a lot more lately is just the tanned hide, you know, and hanging it mm-hmm.
um, it's just a, a straight up tanned [01:18:00] hide, whether it's a bear hide or, um, you know, coon hide or whatever. It kind of, you know, it kind of gives you the old trapper, the old trapper cabin feel type thing. But then again, I mean, you're looking at a mountain lion hanging, you're just gonna need a lot of space.
Yeah. Because that tails, unless you want your yard tear, tail chewing the tail off of it. Yeah. I spent, like, if you kill a lion, it's not a very big lion. That's, that's an option if you kill a big one. . Yeah. Do that line justice. He, he deserves that. Do that line justice and take it to a high quality tap. You bet.
Studio. And you bet. Other thing, if you, uh, sorry about that. If you got that line mounted in your, your house, don't put it by big windows. That sunlight will kill, kill that mount. It fades, it gets that hair to where it dries up and gets brittle and faded. That doesn't do you any favors. Make sure he doesn't have that line.
Doesn't have direct sunlight. A lot. Very little. Mm-hmm. , you know, and then if you are putting it downstairs, [01:19:00] put it off the ground to where that base isn't on the ground. Cuz you have a pipe break that floods that. Oh man, that's gonna break your heart if it ruins your mountain line. Right. Like I got a, a guy, he's killed three lines with us and two with a different outfitter and he's got a, he's got a big trophy room downstairs.
Well, luckily he moved all of his mountain lines upstairs and he's got a mountain line room. That's all he puts in there, is his mountain line mounts. Luckily he did that because about a week after he did that, he had a hot water heater break and it flooded his basement and ruined a lot of his other mounts.
Yeah. And he's like, man, I'm glad I moved my all my mountain lines upstairs. So kind of keep that in mind. Yeah. You don't want, you don't want that down. Not doing nice, big, big mountain lion mount. Yeah, no doubt. No doubt. Yep, for sure. All right. Hey, uh, Cleve, I think we've, uh, what else you got? Anything we need to finish up here?
Anything we missed? Yeah, that's about it. You know, just, um, just, I know a lot [01:20:00] of, I know a lot of guys that go on mounts, you know, before they come out hunting. They're telling everybody I'm gonna go line hunting. Will they tell tax nurse too? And, oh, you're gonna be the one that mounts my Mount Lion. , so they're committed to him.
Maybe before you do that, just don't, don't be committed to anybody. So I don't know who I'm gonna send it to. They, you know, I might send it to somebody they know or something. Try not to commit to that. Just, that's always, that's always a difficult thing, man. That's always a difficult thing because, I mean, what do we do?
We go down and we hang out at the Taxidermic shops and, and mm-hmm. , you know, they mounted our deer and they've done our turkeys and they've done all this other stuff and it's almost like, uh, you feel like you're cheating on 'em if you don't bring the, bring your mountain lion back to 'em, but mm-hmm.
Yeah. Gone, you know, uh, a good taxi dermis, they may want to do it, but let 'em practice on somebody else's stuff, you know? That's what I always say, let nobody practice on mine. Yeah. You let them, let them spend the money to, to, to go [01:21:00] on a, an outfit of Mount Lion Hunt and then they can bring their Mount Lion home and they can mount, do their own mount on their own mountain lion.
Yeah, exactly. Yeah. I had a lion lost and I'm, I'm, I had a mountain lion that was lost. I brought it back guy. Same, same scenario. And I lost that line forever, you know? Mm-hmm. , the taxidermic misplaced it, so to speak. I don't know where whatever happened to that thing. Luckily I didn't, luckily I didn't put a deposit down.
Yeah, yeah. That would've, yeah. That'd be, be wanting to get that money back. Yep, for sure. Yep. Yeah, that'd be, that'd be unfortunate. Yeah. I've, I've heard of things happening like that, you know, and it's like, well, they, they get one back and they're like, oh, I don't think that's the same mountain line I sent there.
It's like, no, it's probably the same one. It's the guy just didn't do the line justice, you know, . Right, right. Yeah. Sometimes that happens, but yeah, they do get lost and people, people steal 'em. But, uh, something, something to keep mind. I like you steal 'em and end up [01:22:00] on the, on the black market is what I think.
Yeah, that's, I never thought about that. Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. , but you're right. That's a good point, . Yep. Bet they do. It's probably hanging in some Cracker Barrel with a poor, poor Mount lion mount job. A poor taxidermy job over a cracker barrel fireplace or something. Yeah, . Yeah, that's where, that's where my lion's at
Yep, for sure. Almost start looking around. Hey, that looks like my lion . Yeah, that's old Scarface. Yeah, no doubt. No doubt. Yeah, for sure. Believe. Thanks for taking time, man. This was a good one. I like, this is, uh, something that we've never done on the, on the podcast before. I think it's all valuable information and things that, it's one of those finer points you just don't think about, you know, you don't take it for granted.
Yeah, he is, he's, he's gonna know what he's doing. He's gonna know how to skin a lion. He's gonna know how to get all this stuff taken care of, and, and I think you shed some pretty good light [01:23:00] on some stuff because, man, I'll tell you, I've ran into some outfitters that. , um, yeah, they just are guides anyway and some outfitters.
But be, be selective. Protect yourself, protect your interest, protect your money. Be smart. Ask questions. It's your money. You deserve. Good answers. And, uh, check those references. Thanks, CLE. Yep. You betcha. All right. Good one. All right, well, hey, this is a Hounds Man XP podcast. Thanks for listening to everybody.
Make sure that you are sharing this podcast with your friends, especially those non homan friends that may be wanting to go out and, uh, book a hunt with a, an outfitter and Cleave and, uh, his brother Monty Run, bull Creek, lion Hunts and Bull Creek Outfitters. Is that right? Cleve? Have I got that right? Yep.
Mm-hmm. , yes, sir. Look for 'em on social media, [01:24:00] or the website is Bull Creek Lion Hunts. There you have it, folks, I think we answered a lot of questions for you. Thanks for listening to the Hounds Man XP podcast. This is fair Chase.