Cougar Hunting

Guide Forrest Hester talks Colorado cats

Outdoor Life Online Editor

Q What is the biggest challenge of mountain lion hunting in late winter?

A Definitely the terrain. The amount of snow we get here [BRACKET "in north-central Colorado"] makes it tough to get around. We'll drive as much as we can until we cut a fresh lion track. But by that time of year, it's hard to cover nearly as much ground as you did early in the season. You can get only so far on your four-wheeler or in your pickup before you have to continue on foot.

** Q** How do lions' habits differ this time of year from earlier in the season?

**A **Not much at all, really. Right now [BRACKET "late October"] all the deer are still up high in the mountains. It's been warm and we haven't gotten any snow. But I don't doubt that will change. Once the snow starts to fall and the deer head down to their wintering grounds, the cats will follow. That usually happens after the second or third good snow. The cats will still be following those wintering groups of deer through February. We've seen sign that suggests there are a lot of lions around, so it should be a great season right through to the end.

Contact: Hester Hunting Co. (970-724-9746)