A North Dakota man had a “spine-tingling” experience when he spotted and shot a mountain lion during a deer hunt.
Jeff Jorgenson spoke with KAIT 8 following his strange and successful day. And he shared that he was simply sitting and waiting for a deer to come by when he caught a flash through his rifle scope and realized it was a mountain lion.
Jorgenson is a seasoned hunter and he said he knows Dickinson, where he was posted, well. And he was surprised to see a live big cat in the area.
“It was actually the wildest coincidence,” he said in a phone interview. ” I have hunted that area for 12-13 years now. And I have caught those things on my game camera time and time again. But I have never seen one in person until then.”
North Dakota Has a Small Population of Mountain Lions Living in the Badlands
His wife noticed two mountain lions the night before. But the couple didn’t know if he was allowed to shoot one of the animals if he saw them again. After reading through the North Dakota Game and Fish website, they learned that hunting mountain lions is legal as long as someone is holding a state furbearer license or a combination license
“We have a small amount of mountain lions in the Badlands,” said furbearer biologist and game management section leader for North Dakota Game and Fish Stephanie Tucker. “But we have done a considerable amount of research on the populations. So we know we can sustainably harvest them each year.”
“We regulate that harvest through season dates opening and closing as well as a harvest limit,” she explained. “We only allow so many to be taken every year from our breeding population, and then a bag limit of only one per person.”
The department typically sees people bring in around 10 combined mountain lions each year.
Jorgenson said he figured he never see another mountain lion, so he took the chance to hunt one while he could. He hiked out to follow the cat and ended up running into a doe on the way. By the time his hunt was over, he bagged both.
And he wasn’t fully prepared for the adrenaline of standing face-to-face with a mountain lion.
“I caught eye contact with her, and she did the big old cat hiss snarl with the wide-open mouth,” he continued. “I don’t think I have ever spun around and shot something faster than that.”
Jorgenson took the animal to Dakota Taxidermy to forever immortalize his epic hunt.