Videos by OutKick
Ole Miss quarterback Jaxson Dart started his third semester in Oxford, Mississippi on Monday and will enter the spring with a quarterback battle set to unfold. Before he got back on a plane with the starting job in his sights, the 19-year-old took down a massive mountain lion in Utah.
Dart was born and raised in Kaysville, UT, about 30 minutes north of Salt Lake City, and hunting was a big part of his life growing up. His grandfather made his living off of the land, his father hunts, his great-grandfather did the same. So on and so forth.
In addition, his dad Brandon, is very involved in wildlife and conservation. He is a frequent donor to multiple conservation projects around the state, and focuses a lot of his time and effort into various programs that are focused on allowing the state’s wildlife to thrive.
As such, Jaxson is a big outdoorsman— whether it be geese, ducks, deer, boar, or otherwise.
Over the winter break, Jaxon Dart got his biggest kill yet.
Not long after returning home from a family trip to warmer weather, he and his father hopped in the car and drove down to the La Sal mountain range, just outside of Moab. They had purchased legal, Cougar tags through the Utah Division of Wildlife at the end of fall and wanted to get in one more hunt before Jaxson had to get back south.
It was not small effort. With snowfall up about 200% in the region, Jaxson Dart, Brandon Dart and their guide spent three days trekking through waist-deep powder with hopes of getting a lion. They packed-in each morning when the cougars cut fresh tracks, scouted throughout the day, and waited for their opportunity.
With the snow covering the mountains, it pushes the deer and elk to low ground. The lions follow their prey to lower elevation, and Dart’s opportunity came on day three of three.
Jaxson lined up a cougar that met all of Utah’s laws and rules that govern hunting and pursuing cougars and took his shot. He didn’t miss, and took down a massive, 150/175-pound (?) mountain lion.
The Darts have seen a few cougars in their day, but they didn’t pull the trigger because either the shots weren’t clean, or the cougar didn’t meet the guidelines. This one was different. It was exactly what you look for, and it was a biggun’.
As soon as they saw the cougar down, they called Utah’s Division of Wildlife. A divisional officer came out and processed the kill all of the way through, as is required by state law.
Jaxson Dart’s kill helps to control competing population.
In Utah, as with every state, hunting is focused around conservation. The state allots a certain amount of cats for harvest each year, and that number corresponds with the population of deer, elk and other animals on which cougars prey.
It happened recently in the state next door to the Darts!
If you don’t get one of the limited tags, you can’t hunt that animal. Pretty cut and dry.
In fact, back in the early 1900s, the state of Utah’s elk herd population was decimated. Through conservation efforts and the issuing of tags for certain predators, the herd was replenished in the 1950s and thrives today.
With Dart’s kill, the state is able to take data through the cougar’s teeth and other means. It will then bring its findings back to study in the lab.
Dart, meanwhile, will forever be able to tell the story of the time that he took down a nearly 200-pound mountain lion. Badass.
Jaxson Dart will enter the upcoming quarterback competition with that same mentality. Stalk and kill.