An intimate look at lion and bear hunting with hounds in the northern Rocky Mountains written by Del Cameron, retired professional hunter, big game outfitter and wilderness guide. Acclaimed "one of the best hound books ever written," this 280 page 6 x 9 hardcover book richly illustrated with over 100 photographs recounts some of Cameron's most dramatic true-life adventures while hunting mountain lions and bears in the remote mountains of Montana and Idaho.
The book's 23 chapters include "A Hound Called Ben," "The Lion That Wouldn't Tree," "Death's Silent Challenge," "Bear The Hard Way," "Lion Lore And Bear Facts" and two startling chapters on hunting in Idaho's River Of No Return wilderness. A chapter on "Hound Training" has such topics as "Starting On Scent," "Striking From The Box" and "Breaking" as well as other training tips.
Some of the chapters were originally written twenty to thirty years ago so this book was not written sitting down or all at once. Nor are the stories dreamed up from an arm chair or retold from what others might have said or done. This book contains some of the author's real-life experiences with his hounds.
Cameron also brings an intimate insight into the little-known lives of such rare species as the wolverine and Canada lynx as well as mountain lions, black bears and grizzlies, and he addresses the problem of human/mountain lion confrontations in this all encompassing book that includes a 16 page Appendix with his records of weight/age/skull size comparisons of 40 lions taken between 1966 - 1976.
As one of the country's most widely known hound men over the past 50 years, Cameron also gives, in a chapter titled "Trip To The Southwest," a revealing sketch of some of the country's older famous lion hunters at that time such as the legendary Jack Butler, Dale and Clell Lee, Garn Blackburn, Smoke Emett, Willis Butolph, Cap Atwood and others. A foreword by Pete Evans, 82 year old son of the great lion and bear hunter Dub Evans of Slash Ranch hounds fame, rounds out this
volume as a "must have" edition that has become a collector's item. It has gone to every state including Alaska and Hawaii as well as Canada, Mexico, Europe, Africa, Asia, Japan and Australia.
This classic book is written about a vanishing way of life that only a few in the West have lived and serves as an invaluable reference and historical record for the future, written by the man who pioneered professional lion and bear hunting in the northern Rockies.
Follow along as the author takes you to places where few have ever been. Feel the gripping cold, smell the wood smoke and hear the call of the hounds on the way.
Excerpts from the classic "Call Of The Hounds."
Time stood still then. The voice of a hound on a track calling through the thin mountain air was an exhilaration to the mind, an unexpected beauty I thought could never end. A voice that rang out from the halls of towering timber to echo against cathedral rocks that reached their spires to the heavens was a symphony of music. It was a call with an incredible urge to follow, a beauty all its own, wild and free.
Trees had been cracking and popping in their complaint against the cold for the past hour, an indication that it was at least twenty below zero. Other than that, it was deathly still. I was freezing and I knew it.
A few yards from the shoreline, the ice was not smooth like on a lake. This river ice was rough and rolling, upturned and on edge in its center. You could tell violent forces had fought each other here, the powerful river and the frigid chill from the Arctic, either of which can kill.
The bear was ugly and mean and slapped one hound off its feet, then charged another. The whole scene was berserk. It was like a nightmare. Mike had gotten too close. The huge monster charged! The boy froze, horror stricken! The enraged bear was upon him in an instant. It tore viciously into his leg, knocking him helplessly down and shaking him like a wet rag. The big boar raised and turned his huge ugly head with slobber and blood drooling from his snarling mouth.
While we were visiting, a man stepped into camp like a shadow just at dusk. He was tall, lean and hard with steel blue eyes that glistened like ice in the twilight. His voice was soft from years of living in the quiet of the outdoors. He stopped for water. It was scarce in that country and he had been days on the trail of a lion. Sometime before dark he was gone. I never did know which way he came into camp or which way he left. He had been trailing big cats for so long he acted like one himself.
We were a weary but happy pair coming out of the mountains that day. The proud hound walking in my snowshoe trail behind, tail swinging, giving occasional glances at the large hide that hung over my shoulders, seeming most pleased when I stroked his head and let his long ears slide through my gloved hands when I stopped to rest.
I liked it there at the bear tree and listened to the belling clamor of my hounds echo into the past and watched the trickle of water worry its way down the canyon on its journey to the Pacific. I liked to think of the pleasure the old tree had given and the promise its branches had shed over the years. It was wild all right, and the sense of things past was certainly written on that tree. It seemed to stand as a monument, a relic of the past with a message for those who found it...and could read it.
With fresh scent in their nostrils, the hounds ran with their heads up, gaining on the great cat. He couldn't make it to some ledges above where he might have gotten away. He was too winded. He turned and ran down into a side canyon with leaping bounds. He crossed its narrow bottom and started up the other side but it was no use. The furious, loud tumult of the hounds was too close behind him. They were coming too fast. He took to a tree and soon they were beneath him, bawling their enthusiasm for over four hours till we got there.
That hound had a sixth-sense that told him I was in danger and he never hesitated. He charged the lion with the force of a freight train, knocking the lion off me and into the creek bottom, taking the savage claws and fangs instead of me before I could finish it off. Then he stood there baying, tail swinging, proud and defiant, blood dripping onto the snow from his cut and torn body, watching my other hounds surround the dead lion to tear and tug at the tawny carcass.
We hiked down the dim trail with the hounds following silently, their heads low and tails hanging. They were tired too. I carried the big hide and my companion carried a ham of lion meat we would feed to the hounds. Or we might just be hungry enough to eat it all ourselves.
To those who follow the hounds, it is not just the thrill of the chase - the echoes of wild baying and furious fighting. It is the places the voices of the hounds take you - those silent and hidden haunts that remain lost until man's progress finds them.
What others are saying about Del Cameron's "Call Of The Hounds."
"What a story you have told! I was there with you as I read, recognizing your deep devotion to your hounds and the way of life you shared with them." - Canada.
"You can tell by this book that Del Cameron has been there. Anybody who hunts would not only enjoy it, but learn from it as well." - New Mexico.
"Call Of The Hounds" is the most informative and enjoyable book on hunting with hounds I have read. I think all hound men owe you a big thanks for sharing your experiences and knowledge with us." - Wyoming.
"I really enjoyed your book and would like to thank you for taking the time to write about your life experiences with hounds. I am excited about trying some of your training tips on my pups. To me you are the Lee brothers of my time and I enjoy talking to you as you did them!" - Florida.
"I never read a hound book with such good stuff in it. It's nice to read truthful stories." - Arizona.
"What a great book! Few people get to be placed right where they belong. I do believe you are truly one. Now you are a blessing by sharing with those who can only dream." - Minnesota.
"I finished reading your book only to wish there were a thousand more pages. I found myself engrossed to the point I experienced the cold and sweat that you were going through in pursuit of the great cats. You have had adventures that many of us can only read about. Your book truly represents the passing of a great time, in a great wilderness, by one of the greatest hound men." - Oregon
"The stories of your hunts are so well told I feel as though I was there and the loss of the hounds brought tears to my eyes." - Wisconsin.
"Call Of The Hounds" is the best book on hounds I've ever read, and I've read them all." - Texas.
"You are for real and write from true encounters, not from what others have told you or you have read. I have talked to quite a few people about dogs and when the Cameron Hounds come up I hear many good things about them and you also." - Montana.
"I just finished reading your book. You tell it like it is. I hope you are planning another book. I would look forward to the next one." - California.
"I'm reading your book and enjoying it very much. I'm trying to read it slow so it will 'last', because it's so good!" - Arizona.
"When I got started reading your book I could not put it down." - West Virginia.
"I really enjoyed your book. Thank you for letting us know your adventures and experiences as a hunter with hounds." - Mexico.
"Other than the Holy Bible, I don't know when any book has influenced me more than your book "Call Of The Hounds." - Wyoming.
"Wise houndsmen can learn a lot from Cameron. His book is a legacy of keen observation, common sense and clear thinking. Cameron's chapter on training is the most complete I've seen in a hound book. It's the last word on hounds by America's top breeder." Larry Mueller - Outdoor Life Hunting Dogs Editor.
"Call Of The Hounds" is something special." - Oregon
"A hound book like none other." - New Mexico
PO Box 878
Silver City, NM 88062