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Hadlock sets record in lion hunt

Norma Najacht
Published: Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

Cheryl Hadlock brought down this 7-year-old female mountain lion last Monday, the first woman to shoot a lion during the Black Hills hunting season since its inception in 2005. She used a .257 Roberts rifle.

 

By Norma Najacht
A chance encounter coupled with a keen eye resulted in a record for Cheryl Hadlock in being the first woman ever to shoot a mountain lion during the Black Hills lion hunting season — made all the more remarkable by the fact that she brought it down with one shot from 294 yards away.
Cheryl and her husband, Bob, who were returning from a trip to Custer on Monday, Jan. 31, had decided not to hunt that day because it was so cold. They had been out hunting 14 or 15 times this season, but it was minus one degree on Monday about 1 p.m. when they headed home.
“We were going to look for tracks on the way home,”  Cheryl  said. “We thought we’d look for where we’d hunt the next day. We thought it might be warmer on Tuesday.”
They had just passed the road grader in the Pass Creek area about a mile back when they noticed fresh tracks in the snow that had blown back onto the road from the grader.
It was obviously a lion track because it was so big, Cheryl said. “We could see where she'd come off the hill and left two fresh prints in the fresh snow and then she must have jumped and gone into a draw.”
Because the Hadlocks had their daughter and granddaughter with them, they were going to take them home and come back and track the lion. However, they spotted it sitting up on a hill where it stood out against the white landscape.
Cold or not, Cheryl said they couldn't pass up the opportunity when it was standing out there, but they didn’t want to spook it.
“I didn't know if she saw us," Cheryl said, "so I told my daughter to drive off and we slipped out of the vehicle.”
Both Hadlocks had licenses for a lion, but since Bob had shot one two years ago, it was Cheryl's turn, he said.
They snuck up on it as closely as they could while remaining hidden behind the trees, but then they came out into the open, “so I had to take a shot,” Cheryl said.
Bob was ready to back her up in case she needed it, but it dropped on her first shot. It was a shot to the neck. 
When she turned it in, she was told she was the first woman to shoot a lion during the season.
“I was excited," Cheryl said. “I never imagined that. I don't know what record book that goes in, but it's in my record book anyway.”
The lion will be mounted by Bob, who has mounted all their other trophies, and it will fit in nicely in their living room (which they built especially to hold all their mounts) along with two elk heads, six deer heads, several elk horns and Bob's mountain lion.
Cheryl has purchased a mountain lion license every season and had the chance to shoot one last year.
She and Bob used a predator call to call in five of them, but they never saw them — although they later noticed lion tracks had crossed over theirs. The one they did see was so close that when Cheryl looked through the scope all she saw was lion and couldn’t tell what part of the lion she was aiming at.
“I didn't feel comfortable,” she said. “I didn't want to wound it.”
Her hesitation was well founded, as two years ago when Bob shot his, it shot six feet up in the air and came charging at them. He had to shoot it four times before he actually killed it. It was a female, 2-1/2 years old, 76 pounds and 79” long.
Cheryl's lion was also a female, 7 years old, 87 pounds and 81” long. When she checked it in, it was determined that it had not given birth to kittens for at least two years.
When Bob started the mount, he noticed that it was crippled in its front paws. “You could tell she was starving,” Bob said.
Cheryl, who says she has been hunting since she was big enough to hold a gun, says it was worth it to shoot one. “Just to say I’ve shot one,” she said. “I may not have been trophy hunting, but I feel that I got a trophy.”

A chance encounter coupled with a keen eye resulted in a record for Cheryl Hadlock in being the first woman ever to shoot a mountain lion during the Black Hills lion hunting season — made all the more remarkable by the fact that she brought it down with one shot from 294 yards away.

Cheryl and her husband, Bob, who were returning from a trip to Custer on Monday, Jan. 31, had decided not to hunt that day because it was so cold. They had been out hunting 14 or 15 times this season, but it was minus one degree on Monday about 1 p.m. when they headed home.

“We were going to look for tracks on the way home,”  Cheryl  said. “We thought we’d look for where we’d hunt the next day. We thought it might be warmer on Tuesday.”

They had just passed the road grader in the Pass Creek area about a mile back when they noticed fresh tracks in the snow that had blown back onto the road from the grader.

It was obviously a lion track because it was so big, Cheryl said. “We could see where she'd come off the hill and left two fresh prints in the fresh snow and then she must have jumped and gone into a draw.”

Because the Hadlocks had their daughter and granddaughter with them, they were going to take them home and come back and track the lion. However, they spotted it sitting up on a hill where it stood out against the white landscape.

Cold or not, Cheryl said they couldn't pass up the opportunity when it was standing out there, but they didn’t want to spook it.

“I didn't know if she saw us," Cheryl said, "so I told my daughter to drive off and we slipped out of the vehicle.”

Both Hadlocks had licenses for a lion, but since Bob had shot one two years ago, it was Cheryl's turn, he said.

They snuck up on it as closely as they could while remaining hidden behind the trees, but then they came out into the open, “so I had to take a shot,” Cheryl said.

Bob was ready to back her up in case she needed it, but it dropped on her first shot. It was a shot to the neck. 

When she turned it in, she was told she was the first woman to shoot a lion during the season.

“I was excited," Cheryl said. “I never imagined that. I don't know what record book that goes in, but it's in my record book anyway.”

The lion will be mounted by Bob, who has mounted all their other trophies, and it will fit in nicely in their living room (which they built especially to hold all their mounts) along with two elk heads, six deer heads, several elk horns and Bob's mountain lion.

Cheryl has purchased a mountain lion license every season and had the chance to shoot one last year.

She and Bob used a predator call to call in five of them, but they never saw them — although they later noticed lion tracks had crossed over theirs. The one they did see was so close that when Cheryl looked through the scope all she saw was lion and couldn’t tell what part of the lion she was aiming at.

“I didn't feel comfortable,” she said. “I didn't want to wound it.”

Her hesitation was well founded, as two years ago when Bob shot his, it shot six feet up in the air and came charging at them. He had to shoot it four times before he actually killed it. It was a female, 2-1/2 years old, 76 pounds and 79” long.

Cheryl's lion was also a female, 7 years old, 87 pounds and 81” long. When she checked it in, it was determined that it had not given birth to kittens for at least two years.

When Bob started the mount, he noticed that it was crippled in its front paws. “You could tell she was starving,” Bob said.

Cheryl, who says she has been hunting since she was big enough to hold a gun, says it was worth it to shoot one. “Just to say I’ve shot one,” she said. “I may not have been trophy hunting, but I feel that I got a trophy.”

 



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Current Comments

34 comments so far (post your own)
just sayen
February 11th, 2011 at 06:52am

Sorry to break your bubble, but this is not the first lion to be shot by a woman during the black hills season. Ruth Frasier shot one two years ago, in the Keystone area.
She just didn't put in the paper.

Rachelle
February 12th, 2011 at 12:45pm

Disgusting. Humans have no business killing animals. Way to go Cheryl, you just ended a life.

Andrea Strand
February 15th, 2011 at 08:13am

This is so sad. Hunting is cruel, not something you should be proud of. That was a GORGEOUS animal and you cut her life short.

Karin Muska
February 15th, 2011 at 08:18am

how brainless and heartless are you hunters? why??? are you so? I hope you will pay for this one day.

Debra
February 15th, 2011 at 08:20am

We have people who kill simply for the pleasure of it.

That sounds like a mental disorder to me.

Brandy
February 15th, 2011 at 09:45am

Man or woman.... Killing a beautiful animal is HORRIBLE!!!! These people should just hunt each other and leave the poor animals alone! We move into their homes, kill them, take their young, kill their forest and complain when they go into our back yards???? They have no defence! Its truely sad!

carolyna55
February 15th, 2011 at 10:34am

There is a special place in the afterlife for the worshippers of the cruel, for those who feign strength by destroying life. It's definitely not pearly gates!

Lezi Leite
February 15th, 2011 at 11:57am

Shame on these heartless people who kill inocent and defenceless animals who are living in peace in their habitat doing nothing against nobody, these horrible coward people just invade their area with mortal weapons, and take their lives away just for fun, for sport or whatever other crazy, stupid, senseless reason !!! I hate this kind of people and hope one day they pay a very high price for this crimes !!!!!

Sharon
February 15th, 2011 at 12:07pm

Sad and disgusting. Hunting...all hunting... should be outlawed.

Animal lover
February 15th, 2011 at 15:02pm

Shameful, awful people. To take this precious life so they can stuff it and show it off on a wall. Saddens me beyond all measure.

June Taylor
February 15th, 2011 at 17:23pm

A Very Ignorant and Selfish Woman: has no morals or ethics in life: just kill whatever she pleases just to "BRAG" about it: Is this what makes her feel adequate? Is this her contribution in life? she has "NOT SUFFERED ENOUGH-NO DEPTH" in life to understand what others signify on earth: anyone can kill anything if you are holding a gun: it is not fair: just because you can: I say if you want to hunt: it should be a "fair" game: since animals do not carry guns or bow/arrow: then neither should the hunter: then we would see if they still want to hunt and brag!!! I wonder if we left her without any defense and hunted her with guns: how she would view life??? we are not living in ancient times when humans hunted food for survival: hunting is a game sport for ignorant humans who have nothing better to do in life then kill innocent animals: ALL ANIMALS have "life" rights to be left alone to live out their lives as intended: free...
We have no right to take another's life: "EVER"... this is the "Golden Rule" that justifies for all to understand: It is just so simple to do: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you...

Tatanka
February 16th, 2011 at 04:34am

I see nothing to be proud of to take the life of a beautiful animal. They have their place and purpose on this planet just as much as any human.

"Just so she can say she shot one". I find this comment: Heartless.

forwildlife
February 16th, 2011 at 10:04am

What a bunch of ignorant idiots. You kill off the predators and then whine when the deer are running around in Rapid City. Balance is achieved through nature, NOT through man's killing of wildlife. When are you going to wake up and realize all you are doing is making things worse? Predators belong in the forests, YOU don't. And neither do all of the open range cattle that are destroying the Black Hills.

doreen
February 16th, 2011 at 20:22pm

Absolutely sickening...that it is legal to murder another living creature just because it exists and that you have the opportunity to do so. How horrible to have to share space with someone like this woman who is proud that she is a a life taker and violated this animal. I'm sorry but if you were my neighbour I would never utter one word in your direction again.......

Notlion
February 18th, 2011 at 06:06am

Thank goodness for people with commen sense.... People who put comments like I see above are the kind of people who go postal on their own man kind, but attend church every sunday and call themselves christians. Thank goodness for the Game,Fish and Parks department for increasing the number of lions harvested so we can enjoy the beauty of the Black Hills and All Its Wildlife That Can Still exist in a balanced ecosystem.....

Connie Baldwin
February 24th, 2011 at 16:26pm

Good job Cheryl!!! Some disgusted people commenting above wouldn't be so disgusted if their pet or child were taken by the big cat!

Michele
February 24th, 2011 at 16:36pm

I'm an animal lover too, but if you new God you would know that he put these animals: deer, antelope, elk; on the planet to feed us. How do you people eat cow and chicken? Just because you don't kill it you are eating it! So if the lion population isn't dwindled you won't have food on your table because it's eating the meat, and if it's not the lions soon it will be the coyotes & wolves. Unless you're a vegetarian than you have no place to put down hunters

Steve
February 28th, 2011 at 03:52am

Just curious, how many of you people that bash hunters eat meat???? I'll bet most of you do, but I guess it's ok when someone does the killing for you. Hunting is needed. Period. End of story.

haters
March 2nd, 2011 at 07:07am

You hunters should be ashamed, all life is sacred. Now, excuse me while I lace up my leather shoes, buckle my belt, get into my vehicle with heated leather seats, and go heat a double cheeseburger. Animals are sacred! What a joke...

Vis
March 4th, 2011 at 07:28am

Good job Cheryl. You guys are awsome. Wish I was still living up there so I had more of a chance to do this as well.

Nikki
March 8th, 2011 at 05:19am

We get mad when they enter our back yard well think abut you are entering there so stop SHOOTING them its not FAIR !!!

Dan Engen
March 14th, 2011 at 11:58am

You can hate Cheryl and rant and rave all you want but if I happen to be hunting with her, please don't hug the bunny I am trying to shoot. You guys and gals who judge her don't even know her. Shame on you!

whatever
April 29th, 2011 at 06:50am

no wonder prissy Ruth did not put hers in the paper, she did not want this backlash because it is wrong to hurt an animal! looks like her own daughter was second to comment on how sick it is! Find a new hobby!

dooley
February 9th, 2012 at 07:29am

you 'DIPS' that hate hunters are probably the same bunch that drive your big cars abd trucks to the steak house and eat a prime rib while you grip about the big oil companies and building the XL pipeline....

James
July 2nd, 2012 at 09:39am

Did you eat the meat because you cannot afford to shop? If not, then you wasted a life and should be ashamed. Mountain lions only kill when they have been encroached upon. C. Baldwin: we are living in their space, not the other way around. It is not the same as it was back in the 1800's. Not many are left. Would you kill the few remaining? Keep your dogs and great grandkids inside, if you are afraid.

Norm
July 13th, 2012 at 04:35am

I imagine that many of these folks making the claim that "all" life is sacred and taking the life of an amimal are also pro-choice on abortion.

They are willing to take the life of an innocent human being or stand by and say it is a matter of choice while getting emotional about harvesting an animal.

Taking the life of an amimal is not murder, taking the life of the unborn is!

Emosewa
August 27th, 2012 at 08:43am

haha wtg Norm for sneaking that pro'life campaign in on the lion hunter!!!! Wow, that really made a difference I bet!

Norm
September 2nd, 2012 at 06:31am

My comment is very appropiate given how highly emotional some here can get over taking the life of an animal while not caring about taking the life of an innocent, unborn child.

Rothleutner
October 22nd, 2012 at 09:51am

First of all congrats to Ruth and Cherly, You guys are awsome. Thank goodness for the Game,Fish and Parks department for increasing the number of lions harvested so we can enjoy the beauty of the Black Hills and All Its Wildlife That Can Still exist in a balanced ecosystem.....
To all you Anti-Hunters What a bunch of ignorant idiots,Shameful, awful people Saddens me beyond all measure. This statement made above made me fall on the floor laughing "Mountain lions only kill when they have been encroached upon,"
Just curious, how many of you people that bash hunters eat meat???? I'll bet most of you do Unless you're a vegetarian,you have no place to put down hunters,Hunting is needed.

lone ranger
January 20th, 2013 at 09:02am

I believe everyone should now carry a loaded gun for hunting,protection an deterriment as we have way to many stupid idiots that have no idea of the american way of our forfathers. lets give abig holler for our guns.

carol
April 13th, 2013 at 03:04am

You consider this fun? Sport? Wonder if she ate the lion.. Probably not. Most animal abusers (and they're proud about it?) have some kind of mental disorder. If killing an animal is "fun," - it reminds me of some of the serial killers we've had.. They started with animal abuse.

Oliver
August 1st, 2013 at 22:18pm

In response to: Steve February 28th, 2011 at 03:52am "Just curious, how many of you people that bash hunters eat meat???? I'll bet most of you do, but I guess it's ok when someone does the killing for you. Hunting is needed. Period. End of story."

Well, Steve, when you will eat a mountain lion or that idiot Trump jr will eat an elephant than you have an argument. Until then hunters for pleasures are just a bunch of psihopats not yet outlawed.

NotSoDumbNignorant
September 18th, 2013 at 17:42pm

Interesting what some of these town folk say-for instance coyotes, wolves and lion kill "our" elk and deer, well WRONG humans killed off the elk herd either by over hunting or diseases brought by cattle (FYI fact) and the predators can't be killing to much because the ignorant thrill killers complain about the over population of the deer. You don't kill predators for food so don't blah blah bout vegans it has nothing to do with it. Humans have over hunted everything to non-existence in most cases. We have cattle and cattle farms and slaughter houses to feed us, you don't have to kill for food, so don't think you fool anyone. I am not a vegan - I buy my meat at the store, but I don't continue to kill until there is nothing left. When the lion and predators are wiped off the face of this earth you will then wipe out the deer and elk. So just admit it you don't kill for food, you kill for the thrill of the kill. Your arguments are ignorant and simply rant and town folk talk. Thanks for decreasing the lion kill numbers games, fish and parks !!!

NotSoDumbNignorant
September 18th, 2013 at 17:52pm

OH and the old story of "lets protect our pets and children" FACT: was this woman protecting anything??NO, was she protecting herself??NO Did she protect anything or anyone??NO NO NO There has not been a case of a human hurt or killed by a predator in these black hills in a century. That excuse is just that, an excuse to thrill kill. Who in their right mind would leave a small child in the woods by themselves . . . no one and if you do you are not a very good parent mountain lions/predators or not. If you care about your pets please don't leave them out either, because humans will steal them. FACT: that old story doesn't work anymore!!!! Not sure why hunters keep spinning this propaganda (or lies if you don't know what that word means) Just admit you like to kill!!!! I know you eat the elk you murder, but you don't the lion - it is what it is a THRILL KILL!!! Just stand up and admit the truth, it is much easier and simpler to be a man/woman and admit the truth.

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