Big Sky Equine Marketing Services

Kris Kohl

The Mountain Lion, The Cliff, and The Cow

Submitted by Kristy Kohl on Thu, 12/04/2008 - 00:06.

We headed out with on our horses into the crisp November twilight to gather cow/calf pairs from the stubble fields we had moved them to for a week before weaning and shipping. I was directed to ride alone along the Yellowstone and bring anything back up into the fields. We border the Yellowstone river with cliff outcroppings dropping a thousand feet or more down to the river. My mare and I moved out trotting along the top and traveling down into the drainages and back up looking for cows. About a mile down the drainages do not go down to the river but out onto the cliffs. We rode out onto the cliffs where I could look both ways down into the drainages. Finally we spotted some two cow/calf pairs down a short drainage along a cliff. We had stirred up some mule deer which took off in front of us. As I came down along the cliff and took a moment to admire the beauty of the meandering river and cliffs touched only by the hand of nature, Super Chick startled and began to sidepass towards the cliff edge. Visions of plummeting over the cliffs into the river below quickly passed through my head. What is going on, I said aloud-this is not the first cows you have seen girl. Then as I reached to turn her around to a more comfortable distance from the edge I saw a blurr of golden brown gliding along the cliff line. I did a double take and could not believe what I saw. So this is what Super Chick was nervous about and rightly so- a huge mountain lion. I watched in awe as this mesmerizing lion gracefully sailed along the cliff tops as if he were gliding along on a cloud. I felt pretty special as its not every day you get to see a mountain lion. I'm just glad he took off chasing the deer and not me!