OB Approved Safe Encounters with Mountain Lion (Mammals in North America):

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Jeff Graham

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We all enjoy getting out in to nature, and having adventures. When we are pursuing our adventures, it is important to remember we are guests, visiting these wild places. I hope to share some time proven strategies to increase your safety, when you have rare encounters with potentially dangerous animals.

A good policy, when in wild places, is not to surprise the animals. Let them know you are in the area. Travel in groups, the larger the better. It is OK to talk, laugh, or even sing loudly. Be observant, plug in to your environment, not to your iPod.

Mountain Lion:

170418-mountain-lion-dog-feature.jpg


It is very rare for Overlanders to see a Mountain Lion (Cougar). These animals are typically travel alone, and are only observed in pairs during mating. Most Cougars are truly wild, and avoid human contact. If you are hiking and see a Cougar: it wanted you to see it, and it has been watching you for a while.

Not a lot is understood about what triggers a Mountain Lions fight response. We do know, that attacks rarely happen when people are in groups. Most attacks have been on lone hikers, or children that were separated from their parents. Cougars rarely attack humans. The same cannot be said about our pets. If you are in Cougar country, keep your pets close. It is always a good idea, to keep you children and pets close, when in Cougar country.

In the event that you encounter an aggressive mountain lion:

• Maintain eye contact, and never turn away from the lion.

• Stand up straight, with arms above your head in order to appear larger.

• Show your teeth, and look threatening.

• Back away very slowly in case the lion is guarding a kill or her den.

• If the lion approaches, throw rocks or sticks and yell at the animal.

• If the lion does attack, fight back. Use any weapons you can put your hands on.
 
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old_man

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In mountain lion country, if you are hiking with small children or pets, keep them within no more than 2o feet. A couple of years ago, a church group was hiking up the Poudre Canyon here in Colorado on a well traveled trail. A 5 year old was maybe 40 yards ahead and went around a bend in the trail. His parents never saw him again alive. The body or what was left of it was found a hundred yards off the side of the trail 5 years later. Just because it is a well traveled trail, they can still be there and even an experienced back woodsman will not see them. They wait in ambush for a good opportunity.

We moved into a nice upscale subdivision on the edge of town. Two houses down at the end of our cul-de-sac on the edge of town, I was dumping some extra dirt. I spotted fresh mountain lion tracks. We used to call a dog left outside on a chain, a snack.
 
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Jeff Graham

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In mountain lion country, if you are hiking with small children or pets, keep them within no more than 2o feet. A couple of years ago, a church group was hiking up the Poudre Canyon here in Colorado on a well traveled trail. A 5 year old was maybe 40 yards ahead and went around a bend in the trail. His parents never saw him again alive. The body or what was left of it was found a hundred yards off the side of the trail 5 years later. Just because it is a well traveled trail, they can still be there and even an experienced back woodsman will not see them. They wait in ambush for a good opportunity.

We moved into a nice upscale subdivision on the edge of town. Two houses down at the end of our cul-de-sac on the edge of town, I was dumping some extra dirt. I spotted fresh mountain lion tracks. We used to call a dog left outside on a chain, a snack.
Thanks for adding. It's always good to share real world examples. Children are easy pray for Cougars, as you stated, keep the children and pets close!
 

Longshot270

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I saw a big cat that had been hit on the side of the road just outside Sargent, Tx, only about 20 minutes from the coast on my last trip. They may be called mountain lions, but they have no problems with the low land.
 

Jeff Graham

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I saw a big cat that had been hit on the side of the road just outside Sargent, Tx, only about 20 minutes from the coast on my last trip. They may be called mountain lions, but they have no problems with the low land.
Yes, Cougars have a large range From the Canadian Yukon to the southern Andes of South America. they seem to be able to adjust to many differs terrain types and eco systems.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120614082625.htm
 

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Great info, I go fly fishing in Mountain Lion country up in Wyoming every year, and I always have them in the back of my mind.
 

professorkx

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Good information on Mountain Lions. It's unusual to actually see Mountain Lion in the mountains, as they are great at stealth. I've only seen 5 in 40 years in the mountains, one within 10 feet when the cat came out of the brush from a stream on the trail. They are pretty thin skinned, so it doesn't take a big handgun to do the job if they actually attack, but a shot to the ground will likely halt an attack. I have zero interest in killing anything I'm not planning to put on a plate for dinner, but don't plan on being mauled either. Situational awareness applies in the mountains as well as the city...

Agree on protecting your kids, as they are easy prey for a lion, keep them close.
 

HappyOurOverlanding

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We all enjoy getting out in to nature, and having adventures. When we are pursuing our adventures, it is important to remember we are guests, visiting these wild places. I hope to share some time proven strategies to increase your safety, when you have rare encounters with potentially dangerous animals.

A good policy, when in wild places, is not to surprise the animals. Let them know you are in the area. Travel in groups, the larger the better. It is OK to talk, laugh, or even sing loudly. Be observant, plug in to your environment, not to your iPod.

Mountain Lion:

View attachment 30913


It is very rare for Overlanders to see a Mountain Lion (Cougar). These animals are typically travel alone, and are only observed in pairs during mating. Most Cougars are truly wild, and avoid human contact. If you are hiking and see a Cougar: it wanted you to see it, and it has been watching you for a while.

Not a lot is understood about what triggers a Mountain Lions fight response. We do know, that attacks rarely happen when people are in groups. Most attacks have been on lone hikers, or children that were separated from their parents. Cougars rarely attack humans. The same cannot be said about our pets. If you are in Cougar country, keep your pets close. It is always a good idea, to keep you children and pets close, when in Cougar country.

In the event that you encounter an aggressive mountain lion:

• Maintain eye contact, and never turn away from the lion.

• Stand up straight, with arms above your head in order to appear larger.

• Show your teeth, and look threatening.

• Back away very slowly in case the lion is guarding a kill or her den.

• If the lion approaches, throw rocks or sticks and yell at the animal.

• If the lion does attack, fight back. Use any weapons you can put your hands on.

Good info to know. Thanks Jeff.
 

Johnboy

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We have mountain lions at our ranch in Texas. If a bear attacks you, not a black bear, but a grizzly you need to play dead and protect your neck and hope the bear will leave soon. But with a mountain lion, if it attacks you it means to eat you! Fight for your life because you are.


Sent from my iPad using OB Talk
 

Roam_CO85

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Bout a month or so ago we had a trail runner get attacked by a juvenile lion. Guy was running and heard noise behind him. Wasnt wearing ear buds. Turned around to find a cat was stalking him. Cat lunged at him. Her put his arm in front of his face. Cat latched on to his arm. Guy had a house cat growing up and knew he had to control its back legs or it would paw his guts out. So he turned his body so he was on top of the cat and pinned its back legs with his knees. Beating it with its other hand with sticks rocks what ever he could tell he was able to get his foot on the cats neck and strangle it. 80lb cat this guy fights for his life and won!! You have to have the aggression to fight back. Specially with these type animals. A full grown cat will very rarely attack an adult. A pet or child yes. I alway say make noise when you out and about. Talk to your friends. Sing to your self Helps let folks know your around and makes animals know your there too.
 
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old_man

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Got a report yesterday of a mountain lion about a mile from my house in Loveland, CO.
 

Roam_CO85

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Yeah I heard that too. Also read in the news that there has been six different siting along the hog back between 34 and masonville
 

old_man

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There have been tons of mountain lions up by Masonville since the 70's.

The joke around there is...what do you call a dog on a chain in your back yard... a snack.
 
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Roam_CO85

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There have been tons of mountain lions up by Masonville since the 70's.

The joke around there is...what do you call a dog on a chain in your back yard... a snack.
Yeah that made me laugh pretty good! Its their territory up there. People freak out sense that runner got attacked on horsetooth mountain. Its when you see them down close to your house or mine that raises eye brows but those young cats get weaned they wonder pretty good looking for a new area. Craziest thing ive seen in a while few years ago was coming back behind johnsons corner after refueling the semi. Saw a bob cat trying to sack out a rattle snake. Sat for a while watching it. Was quite the midnight moon dance. He ended up snatching the snake. But sure he was pretty wore out at the end. I like living on the east end of town. You have Simpsons pond area and thompson river ponds. That whole urban interface is scratchy for some people.. like you said in another post. Seeing a cat track off of taft and 50th. The Girl use to live off of wilson and 43rd at the base of a hog back.
 
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carguyinok

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I live up in the NE corner of Oklahoma about 30 miles south of Joplin MO. About 10 years ago I was running a tow truck & the impound area was in my back yard (7 acres). I didn't smoke in the house so I would go to the impound yard for a smoke/security check. One night a friend and I went out for a smoke/looking over the lot. Now keep in mind it's extremely dark out & we don't use flashlights because it would give us away if anyone was out there. We make it to the back of the lot, light up a smoke, & lean back on an old car without looking as dose my friend on the opposite car. All of the sudden my friends expression changed as if he'd seen a ghost and started moving slowly in the direction we had come from while whispering but sternly " Dont turn around or say anything just start moving my way VERY slow!" I start doing as he say's still unaware of what he's seeing. About the time I hit the trunk of the car I turn to look back. Turns out there was HUGE mountain lion laying down on roof of a car across from me. When I say HUGE it had it's front paws flopped over the windshield with it's tail hitting the back window of a full size four door. As soon as I saw it two things came to mind 1st I'm gonna need a shower & some new underwear 2nd move slowly in the direction of those two things. Thank goodness it stayed where it was long enough for us to get in the house. By the time got to a window it was jumping over the fence & disappearing into the treeline that follows the river. Let's just say that's something you never forget.
A few weeks later someone caught it on their game camera. It was walking past with a deer by the throat dragging the body between its legs.
 
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Boostpowered

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The runners are usually the folks who get attacked, i think the triggers are the same as would be with your house cat. If you have a toy on string or laser moving away from the house cat slow the cat will stop and watch the toy/laser and possibly stalk it for a while before attacking, and if you move the toy/laser away at a faster pace the house cat just cant resist and attacks. So if your running you look like a fun toy/food that is afraid hence running.
Just my thought on what triggers a cougar, mountain lion or whatever you call em in your region, im not a scientist or anything just a cat owner.
 
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Captstout

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Good information.

Living at the mouth of a canyon we see Cougars often in town. Usually, they are scared off back into the mountains. Sometimes they are taken by the Fish and Game Officers and moved far away.

I have been face to face with Cougars (I used to hunt them). While hiking my dog caught a scent and froze in place and started to growl a growl I have never heard her do (She is a 120 pound American Bulldog). I froze and watched. We were downwind from the cat. I watched the cat come around and watch us. We were about 30 yards from this cat. I think we surprised it. The cat slowly came forward closed distance to about 20 yards. I hike with a pistol. I had my gun out and was making noise. My dog was still in snarl mode. I started to back away and pull the dog with me (in very remote areas I do not leave her on the leash, but I had leashed her at this point). The cat was slowly creeping..having hunted these animals I knew she was not at all happy.

My dog broke into a fit of rage barking snarling going NUTS! She pulled the leash out of my grip and closed on the cat (they were about 15 yards or so apart at this time). The cat stopped. My dog stopped. They did the stare down thing. Then the cat ran off. Dog watched for about 2 minutes and then all was good.

This cat was about the size of my dog (I figure a young Tom). Scared the poopoo out of me (Military Veteran and Law enforcement). Dog and I turned and left the area, headed back to the car (about 5 miles back). I stayed as calm as I could.

Be prepared. Be safe.
 
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