Dezeray Rathjen, the mama behind MTN DOG FARM. She lives on her off-the-grid homestead in rural Montana alongside her two wildflowers and her husband, Troy; although he is a traveling pipeliner so she often is tending to the chores with just tiny helping hands.
If you’re ever looking for her, she’s probably elbows deep in her market garden, deep in the Bible, starting something new in her DIY greenhouse, singing alongside the sheep or hunting with her family.
She has a heart for community-sufficiency, nurturing her family with wholesome food and encouraging other to live off the land
Hi homestead mamas! As mountain lion hunting is a large piece of our homesteading life, I thought I would share a few words on the topic.
Mountain lion hunting is primarily done for conservation.
A full-sized cat will eat one large, mature, deer every five days — so you can only imagine how many in a year!
Three years (two-hundred-nineteen)!
Montana gives lion tags on a “draw system” the first half of the year, then on a quota system the second. So only so many are harvested per year to both conserve numbers of mountain lion as well as managing the predator numbers for big game. It’s a scale specifically determined by FWP, if one number becomes too large, the other will dwindle.
When the snow is on the ground, we locate a track. Did you know that you can tell the sex of a mountain lion by the shape of its toes and its stride length? Although it is legal, we choose not to run female cats with kittens.
Once the track has been identified, we put tracking collars on our dogs and “dump the box” or let them run the track
We are able to identify what stage of the chase they’re in by the time of their bark —- pursue, locate or treed. We follow closely behind and meet them at the tree.
Not all chased lions are harvested. We will run them with the dogs all season to continue to push them further from town, heighten their awareness to people and encourage them to stay in their habitat not seeking easy food in the streets.
Are mountain lions beautiful, majestic, creatures to be awed? Absolutely.
But in order to keep our ecosystem functioning properly and the deer, elk, rabbit, moose, children (yes, that does happen) populations in tact, the pursuit of mountain lion is vital.
Dezeray @ MTN DOG FARM