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Tracking a Puma: Going into Hiding

Updated: Jul 6, 2023

Having walked over two hundred miles of game trails in my research area for the last two years, I can safely say I know of 7 different deer and where they travel on these trails. The project would be over if my goal was to find deer, but I'm looking for a Mountain Lion that hunts these same game trails. I know it's there from the tracks, scat, and occasional signs of kills that happen within hours before my presence. So, what better way to find a Mountain Lion then to hide and call for it?

I figured the best way to achieve this would be to follow the same technics as hunters, but with a 95mm telephoto lens. I would use a "hide" to camouflage myself and use animal in-distress calls. Considered unorthodox by some deer hunters, the Fawn in-distress call is meant to attract Doe or a predator to either help or eat the fawn or rabbit which is really me.

Needed "Hide" Gear

The LensCoat LensHide Lightweight covers you, your camera/video gear, and your tripod. Made from lightweight, breathable camouflage material, a large camo mesh screen allows you to see your subjects while you are covered and out of sight and doesn’t obstruct your peripheral vision. The ultimate in portability, the LensHide folds into its own integrated storage and carry pouch with hoops to attach to your pack which is also an accessory pocket when the blind is in use. LensCoat LensHide weight: 1.7 lbs

The lightweight Nemo Moonlight chair has a multiposition reclining system that allows you to lean forward or kick back and relax. Plus the chair has an inclusive seat height and an extremely durable frame making the Moonlite comfortable, supportive, and easy to get in and out of for folks of all sizes. When not in use it folds up small allowing it to fit in the side pocket of my pack. Nemo Moonlight Chair weight: 1.14 lbs.

A Phelps fawn in-distress call can be used to draw in a concerned doe or even a big buck in tow. If you want to skip trying to attract the prey, blow harder, and the call doubles as a rabbit in distress call. This can bring in Coyotes, Bobcats, and the primary subject a Mountian Lion.

CAUTION: Know when to use the Fawn in-distress call. The call mimics a Fawn or Rabbit in "Distress", so you're either going to get a Doe coming to aid the fawn or a predator coming to eat the fawn or rabbit. When picking your "Hide" location either select a spot that has 360 degrees of view or a spot that has a large tree or rock to have your back to giving you a 180-degree view to see what is coming to the call.

Links to Gear

Stay tuned for an update on my quest to get eye-to-eye with a Puma.

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