I was supposed to sleep in this morning… Yeah right. I tend to rise around 4 am, and sleeping in is around 6:30 am. Today was my day off, and I did NOT “sleep in.” I woke up and tended to some of my designated chores. Hank was nice enough to drive the Little Gal to school, so I didn’t have to rush around too much. When he returned, I had my camo, mud boots, and gators on. We were headed to scout for mountain lions.
Scouting for mountain lions means “cutting tracks” which is not easy this year since the snow seems to be heading everywhere but here. Such is life. I haven’t gotten to go much, so I was out the door today!
We loaded up the dogs and drove some of the side roads. There were patches of snow here and there. Then we came to a good patch of snow-covered ground. We spotted some tracks. I was so excited. They looked big. As we got closer, we noted that they did not have pads. They were cow tracks, aka bovine cattle.
We continued on our trek cutting to the left, coming back, cutting to the right, and up the hills and down the hills. As we progressed, the road became less and less firm. Mind you, it IS January, and we ARE in the Rocky Mountains. What comes to mind? 1. Snow 2. Cold 3. Ice. Well, that is exactly what we did not encounter much today. The temperature was in the mid 50’s and we hit MUD. Felt a little more like spring the dead of winter.
We put it in 4-wheel and motored along. We saw some deer tracks and then some coyote tracks. More bovine tracks and then finally some elk tracks. Then we turned to the right-hand turn and headed up a steep hill. We chatted while looking for tracks, and the road got sloppy. Now, by sloppy, I don’t mean a foot of snow like it should be this time of year. We had a foot of “greezy” mud. Hank told me “no worries” we were doing fine. Next thing we knew we heard “Uh.”
No, not “Uh-Oh.” Just “Uh.” It came from both of us simultaneously as we rounded a bend. The sloppy, rutty road suddenly turned, and it was then sloppy, rutty, full of big rocks and had deep ditches alongside. We pressed on and had to stop and put chains on. Here is the view as we chained up.
What do you think a view like this can mean? You guessed it. Four-low, chains and as a friend said “Yee-haw!”
We made it through, cut more roads, and never saw a single cat track. We did however scout and learn a new area.
What do you do on your day off? It’s always an adventure!
Note: We do not offer lion hunting through the outfitting business…. I happen to have a license and am out hunting.
Mia Anstine is an outdoor writer, licensed outfitter, hunting guide, life coach, keynote speaker, and range safety officer, firearms instructor, and archery instructor. She is the founder of MAC Outdoors and Host of the MAC Outdoors Podcast.
Mia Anstine strives to encourage others to get outside, hunt, fish, shoot, and survive life with others in a positive way.
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