Been home a couple of days now and it's starting to sink in finally
We had an amazing trip to a ranch in Comstock, Texas. My buddy had worked and previously trapped the place about 6 years ago. With terrain like I'd never trapped before, to say running footholds was tough is an understatement. Dirt of any kind is hard to come by.
The ranch has quite a few well preserved Indian rock art paintings as well. I visited 'Halo Shelter' which was really quite interesting. It's believed to be between 2000-4000 years old.
We had a pretty good line out and catching plenty of greys, skunks, coons, and opossums. Finally our 5th check my buddy Shannon hits a nice tom bobcat in a finger right off the Devil's River.
Even though it was more than just a little scratch, I manage to snap a remake picture.
Little complication with the catch pole on dispatch and he hit me with a left hook that could have been way worse than it was. No stitches, but probably would have been a good idea.
Now it's looking good healing into a nice trappers scar. Lol!
We continued to have good luck with the coons and greys, even two ringtail in the Bridger #3's.
On February 1st, early in the morning, we come up to my first Val Verde county bobcat. An old mean grandpa of a Tom.
I remake my set and we continue checking.
We head out of the North Canyon of the ranch and up to a top road we felt good about lacing with traps. Sure enough, Shannon has a nice female bobcat waiting in a Bridger #3 he set.
Our only 2 cat day in what would eventually be 9 checks. We were very happy to say the least.
We are on our way to check the High Fence area of the ranch when I really needed to take a pee break. I urge my buddy to stop, and I get out and away from the Ranger a about 20 feet to give room and some respect to the lady on board while I completed my errand. I just get my overalls in clipped and my buddy is scream whispering 'Mountain Lion' as he's grabbing his .204 Ruger. He had spotted a mature mom who we later discovered was on a fresh grey fox kill. She darted downward into a canyon, losing altitude and gaining distance quickly, not giving a shot. For the young lion with her, the top ridge seemed a better route, exposed and in the open. She started out at about 80 yards, moving fast right to left. Shannon made two shots with the second narrowly missing over the back. The lion pivots and starts to head toward us and he anchors it with a perfect headshot. Never have I felt such a relief as when I saw that cat stop moving on the cliff side.
We were all over the top with excitement. We try to glass while Shannon heads to the cliff edge to try to see the mom he had originally spotted, but she had escaped.
We get the lion kitten (Texas Parks biologist estimated 9 months old) to the Ranger. Shannon tells me to make my best mountain lion set in the road near the largest cedar tree we knew could hold one. I set a Bridger #3 in a nice bed and send it.
We finish checking the line. Come back to the camp house and start celebrating. We go to the J&P's in Comstock and continue celebrating and carrying on with the locals. We head out at around 9:00 from the bar and get back to the ranch finally around 10:00. The gameplan had been to attempt to predator call the mom back in at night in the same spot we killed the first one. We roll up to the spot, and my trap is missing from its bed. In the cedar, small and young as it may be, was a trapped Texas Mountain Lion. My first and hopefully one of many.
One happy Texas trapper...
What an unbelievable adventure. I know the ranch owner will be glad to have us back next year, and that's always a good feeling as well.