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Whitewood Cat

Category: LEVERevolution® FTX®

Product: 30-30 Win 160 gr FTX® LEVERevolution®

Shooter: Dan Graf

Posted: Jan 24, 2011

On Saturday Jan. 8, 2011, I decided to feed my cattle and just check on things because I had noticed some coyote tracks in the snow near my cattle. All I had to take with me was my Marlin Glenfield model 30A, 30-30 with the Hornady Leverevolution 160 gr bullet. After feeding and watering the cattle I decided to go for a hike along a ridge. After walking only about 200 yards from the truck I noticed a mt. lion tracks, I had already purchased a SD resident tag. The tracks looked old because it was melted out some and had some snow in them so I was not expecting to see it but it sure was exciting following the tracks along the ridge. I figured that if the mt. lion, a great predator in its own right, decided that this ridge was a good place to hunt, it would be good for me too. I ended up stalking within about 30 yard of some deer so I thought I was doing things right. I had only walked about a 1/2 mile when I came to a spot I could look to the north through the trees and there was a snow covered, south facing meadow. I noticed an animal bedded down on the edge of the meadow but it's head was behind the tree. I first thought that it would be a big buck bedded by itself. After dialing in my scope to the number 9, I watched and it finally turned it's head and looked in my direction. That is when my heart just about pounded through my chest. I had to look around for a stick to support the end of my rifle because I only had a shot through the leafless branches in the sitting position. I thought about the distance which I estimated at over 200 yards maybe up to 250, the wind was at my back and not too strong. I attempted to squeeze the trigger a few times but my heart would start to pound so I had to lay the rifle on my lap and look away from the bedded cat to calm my nerves. I finally held the cross-hairs about 2 inches above its back and took my first shot and it didn't even move. I figured that I am estimating the distance wrong so I held a little higher and touched off another shot and this time it jumped up and ran to my left 10 yards and stopped broad side. My third shot, I held two feet above its shoulder, squeezed off another shot. I heard the impact and the cat spun around and rolled on its back and disappeared going down hill to my right. Not knowing for sure where I had hit it, I called a friend who also had a tag. We tracked it about 100 yards where it jumped up and made it to a washout. We were able to walk above to shoot it one last time. I took it to the South Dakota Game Fish and Parks where they took scientific data from the mt. lion. It was a 94 pound female estimated at 5-6 years old. A week later I heard on the news that there is only a 2% chance for a hunter to bag a mt. lion so I feel blessed to have had this opportunity. I would not have taken the shots I did if I hadn't studied the ballistics for the bullets. I want to thank Hornady for creating the Leverevolution bullets because I would not have this trophy with out them. I did collect the bullet and it has a perfect mushroom with only one fragment!!! Thanks again Hornady!!