Sign In:


Last Step!

Please enter your public display name and a secure password.

Plan to post in the forums? Change your default forum handle here!

Check Out Our Shop

8 Cougar-Hunting Tips For Mountain Town Newbies

Toby "The Cougar Hunter" Koekkoek absolutely crushes the après at a well-travelled Jackson Hole hunting ground. Sam Morse photo.

Living in a mountain town can be a long study in sexual deprivation. Cold, harsh winters — big on powder/short on carnal satisfaction — can leave even the most seasoned ski bum bitter and disgruntled.

Some guys get lucky and meet a J-1, others import their partners from Denver, SLC or The Bay. But for many poor souls, the only option is to fight it out with the hordes of semi-angry bros that fill our mountain towns, sucking on the caustic tailpipe of a game that is almost unwinnable.

Yet for the faithful, hope springs eternal! From the lowliest dive to the swankiest apres club, whispers are passed from one crusty ski bum to the next recalling tales of high adventure and harrowing courage — all in the pursuit of the mountain town holy grail: The Cougar.

The Urban Dictionary defines a Cougar as “An attractive woman in her 30's or 40's who is on the hunt once again. … She will not play the usual B.S. games that women in their early twenties participate in. End state: she will be going for the kill, just like you.”

Long soured on the head games of the unconfident she-cub, the Cougar is all business and knows exactly what she wants. Seeking new hunting grounds and prime mating zones, she travels far and wide in search of fresh blood and new excitement. This primordial ranging leads the Cougar far into the mountains where bucks are young and strong.

The Cougar pounces from nowhere, stealthy and unexpected. One second you’re toasting a sick day of pow turns with your roommates, and the next, the huntress has her claws burrowed into your back, teeth drawing blood around your windpipe.

But if you’re gonna poach a predator, you need to become a hunter yourself. Most often the Cougar will do the pouncing, but there are things you — the TGR readership — can do to make yourself a succulent target for a trip back to the Cougar’s lair.

Tip #1: Be a Fucking Hero

Toby puts the hammer down on the evac! After playing doctor, it's time for a drink! Sam Morse photo.

Cougars are by nature confident and strong, but that doesn’t mean they never need a helping hand. If you find yourself cruising down a run and happen upon a physically/mentally wounded Cougar, take the opportunity to save the day. All her friends from her Morgan Stanley banking conference bailed on her hours ago, and now she has nobody to ride with — except you. Step up to the plate and give her a tour of the mountain/make sure she gets down safely, then suggest a cocktail to ease the bruises she acquired during her day’s exploits. Buy the first round, then let her lead the way…

Tip #2: Wear Your Beacon at the Bar

Monika (with a K) digs her claws into Toby's junk while her co-huntress, Tina, sensually paws through the tufts of man-fur. Sam Morse photo.

There are few things sexier than a man who survived. The beacon at the bar is classically pretentious to ski town locals, but to cosmopolitans, the allure of your mountain steez will waft through the apres hunting ground like pheromonal crack. You could practically throw that Tracker into ‘search mode’ and beep in the predatory vixens just dying to get a taste of adventure and excitement. Once you’ve transceived a group of Cougars, let them handle your probe and show them the proper means to get it erected. They’ll be appreciative!

Tip #3: Show up to Yoga

Toby weighs the Cougar-Hunting variables of a Bikram versus beginner class. Sam Morse photo.

Goddamn it’s hot in here! A big step beyond the passivity of letting the Cougar stalk you, entering the yoga studio is a bold move that is like stumbling strait into the Cougar’s den. Fresh off a bender from the night before, your loud grunts of pain and discomfort will no doubt ring like mating calls the likes of which no huntress can resist. For extra points, pass out facedown from heat exhaustion/dehydration to show your diehard commitment to the sweat. No Cougar will be able to resist your intoxicating stamina!

Tip #4: Shut Up and Listen

Toby gets his concern on while hearing all about family drama, work stress, childcare inequities, and many other pressing social issues. Sam Morse photo. 

Your bros may care what you “dropped” or “what line you sent,” but nobody else gives a fuck! Least of all the jaded Cougar whose ex-husband loved to talk about himself, his business, his portfolio, his needs … his bullshit. Instead, offer her something that most men are unwilling, or unable to offer: A real conversation.

RELATED: 17 Signs You Might Be A Dirtbag

Beyond the realm of Cougar hunting, a simple fact of life is that everyone wants to be listened to, and moreover, people want to be heard. Ask questions that don’t pertain directly to your own ego-centrism, and while you're listening, don’t just plan your next witty response while pretending to hear what she’s saying.

Tip #5: Work at Mtn. Sports School

After renting an adorable child, Toby melts the heart with the thermal ferocity of a billion suns! Sam Morse photo.

The old ace-in-the-hole. While certainly sleazy, offering an image to the curious Cougar that at once speaks to her need for paternal strength while satisfying her desire for youthful vigor can be a game-over, pass-go/collect $200, strait-to-the-Cougar’s-lair type of play. You taught lil’ buddy how to ski for fuck’s sake! Now after hours — the kids all tucked into bed, and a babysitter manning the turrets — the grateful Cougar wants nothing more than to show her appreciation for what you did for little Jimmy. You son-of-a-bitch!

Tip #6: Have Marginally Better Hygiene Than Your Peer Group

Toby stockpiles some soap from a public bathroom. Remember, you don’t have to be the best smelling guy in the room — just smell better than the dude next to you. Sam Morse photo.

In a stinky bros’ world, the semi-clean guy is king! This one’s not that hard, but the hygiene thing still seems to elude a great number of ski bums. To a certain degree, your man-stink will set you apart from the metrosexuals that are a mainstay of the Cougar’s home savannah, and will certainly make you attractive when contrasted to the heaps of product worn by her dickhead ex-boyfriend. But there can always be too much of a good thing. The bar isn’t high here! Just remember, you don’t have to be the best smelling guy in the room — just smell better than the dude next to you.

Tip #7: Make Tracks With a Fluffy Pup

Toby and Kimba having the run of East Jackson. During this walk alone, Toby was offered five phone numbers, three blown kisses and one pair of underwear. Sam Morse photo.

It’s an undisputed mountain town fact that a ski bum’s best friends are our fluffy, four-legged companions, but for this one to work, you can’t be an asshole in the first place.

RELATED: Diesel Smoke, Baby Powder, and Swamp Ass

Caring for a plucky pooch tells the prowling Cougar that you’re mature, responsible and warm-hearted in a way that is both endearing and lustfully sexy.There’s an old adage that you can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those that can do nothing for him in return. Sharing a loving bond with a dog is an easy way to externalize visually the love and warmth that you could offer a lover. Let’s face it: Cougar’s are in the Cougar business because they haven’t gotten the affection that they want, need and/or deserve elsewhere. Being the vessel for that need is what Cougar hunting is all about!

Tip #8: Don't Give A Fuck

Just short of thumbing it, this hunter is willing to put it all out there to get back to the Cougar den. Are you? Sam Morse photo.

Be no drama! In life, we’ve all got problems. But you know who probably has more problems than you? Someone with kids; or a mortgage; or a pending divorce; or a high-powered finance/tech job that takes every ounce of human warmth and crushes it down to a sterile spreadsheet.

In short, the Cougar doesn’t care about your first-world issues. She doesn’t want to hear about how pissed you are at your roommate or how you missed first chair. In the face of real life, your petty stuff seems infantile. So buck up! Strap in for the long haul down the “I don’t give a fuck” corridor and maybe, just maybe, there’ll be some cougar poaching in your future.

From The Column: The Dirtbag’s Guide to Getting Shit Done

About The Author

stash member Sam Morse

TGR Editor-at-Large. author of The Ski Town Fairytale and creative behind The Bumion. Lover of steep-and-deep lines, long trails—and hot springs waiting in the distance.

Hey are those my skis?

Haha. Probably!

Admittedly I was a bit put off by this. If ski towns are so overrun with men why doesn’t TGR do an article from a woman’s perspective such as ‘Wading Through Testosterone: How to Choose a Desirable Male Counterpart in a Mountain Town’


    I think that’s a fantastic idea! You’re absolutely correct that the tone of this piece straddles the line between funny and misogynistic — even my girlfriend confirmed that before I published it, but she also thought it was hilarious. Oftentimes when formulating original content ideas for this site, it’s a completely organic process. One idea will lead to a whole group of new ideas. After reading your ‘Wading Through Testosterone: How to Choose a Desirable Male Counterpart in a Mountain Town,’  idea, I reached out to one of our talented female writers to see if she would be interested. Are you? Just to be clear, I think that piece would do really well and be incredibly funny! Thanks for voicing your opinion and collaborating in the process of building!


      Thank you for being receptive. I completely agree that the article is quite funny but that it would also be a welcome change to see a ladies guide to finding “love” in a mountain town. Regarding whether I am interested in taking a stab at writing ‘Wading Through Testosterone” all I can say is that I am happy to give it a go if none of the TGR ladies are interested in it. Let me know and I hope you are having a splendid pow filled winter.

It’s a lot easier hooking up with a cougar in a ski town than it is finding a chick who is funny. Just sayin.

    With that mentality Al Gore-Tex, I bet it is hard for you.

      Not really, Sam.  Do you think women funny compared to guys?

        I know a lot of very funny, intelligent women, starting with my mother on down. Why do you not think women are funny?

          I know a lot of funny women too.  There’s also a difference between being funny and having a sense of humor.  The world of comedy is dominated by people like Jerry Seinfeld, Louis CK, the guys from South Park, etc.  That’s it, don’t want to go any deeper than that.  Thanks.

    Oh silly Al, it is also a lot easier to administer a swift kick to a dude’s nuts than it is to listen to his misogyny on a daily basis. Just saying. Cheers and good luck with your conquests.