Mountain Lions!

This is a discussion on Mountain Lions! within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; In my 4 decades of hunting and fishing in Colorado I have seen quite a few lions, and they seem to have increased in population ...

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Thread: Mountain Lions!

  1. #16
    Member Array loboleather's Avatar
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    In my 4 decades of hunting and fishing in Colorado I have seen quite a few lions, and they seem to have increased in population over the past decade or so. Growth of urban areas into the foothills and mountains has resulted in much greater frequency of lion sightings and there have been a few attacks, including a small boy killed and carried away while on a family outing.

    As others have commented, lions will generally leave the area quickly when they notice human activity. Most of the lions I have come in contact with have turned and run immediately. I've also had one follow me for several hours, apparently out of curiosity. I have seen a lion kill a deer then drag it away, and watched for several minutes, and even though it then knew that I was there it did not leave its kill. I have also seen an adult female with three cubs playing in a meadow and watched for half an hour before the wind shifted and mama lion caught my scent, gathered up her kids and ran off.

    Humans do not look like, act like, or smell like anything a mountain lion wants. In my opinion, the occasional attack comes about when the human is in the cat's hunting territory and does something to trigger the cat's impulse to hunt, like jogging on a game trail or trying to run away from a lion encountered at a short distance.

    When in areas likely to contain lions (or bears) it is best to stay alert and watch your back trail. Anything that produces noises that the animals are unaccustomed to is likely to warn them off. Firing a shot or two would probably cause any lion or bear to flee unless they were cornered or had babies close by, in which case it could also trigger an attack.

    If a lion ever attacks it will probably be from the rear, the take-down will be very swift with serious clawing, followed by the bite to the head/neck intended to kill. I doubt that very many people would be capable of drawing a pistol and getting a shot off.
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  3. #17
    Member Array radman's Avatar
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    I was reading that in India, where they have tigers, the villagers wear hoods with faces on the back. The reason being that the tigers like to surprise attack from the rear and I guess they cant find the rear that way. I dont know if it would work for mountain lion but worth a try.
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  4. #18
    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by radman View Post
    I was reading that in India, where they have tigers, the villagers wear hoods with faces on the back. The reason being that the tigers like to surprise attack from the rear and I guess they cant find the rear that way. I dont know if it would work for mountain lion but worth a try.
    I saw that same thing on a NG show and wondered the same thing re cougars.

  5. #19
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    I wish I'd scanned the newspaper report of about 6 years ago when a couple and their 4 year old were walking a paved trail in the woods about 40 miles North of me. They reported seeing a blur and a big cat ran past them and into the brush with their kid in it's mouth. No sound, no alert of any kind, the kid was gone. The ranger types found a few remains about 1/4 mile away. Point is, do not ever think you will see the cat that's stalking you.

    Many years ago I was maintenance superintendent of a mountain retreat camp. Our water came from a creak over a mile from camp and a lot higher. I had to climb a very steep rise and hike back in to the source. I liked going up there because I was the only one around for miles and felt really home with nature.

    My first winter I went up to the source and checked things to make sure the pipe insulation was holding and no debris had worked into the inlet area. It had snowed but was less than 1' deep in most places. So, on my way down I was shocked to see the biggest cat prints ever following the prints I made going up. I could see where it had jumped off the path I had taken. I figure it heard me coming back so it had to be only a few feet away. I managed not to soil my pants, but I really felt alone right then, mostly because I never even thought about carrying as it all was so peaceful. I think I jumped back and yelled, then took off toward camp. I discovered it's really hard to run as fast as you can while trying to look over your shoulder for something trying to eat you. Later I told the camp director about it and he could not believe how stupid I was not to carry up there. Said something about "Damn Flatlanders" and stomped away. Thinking back on that I am certain I never did hear that big cat either.

  6. #20
    VIP Member Array zacii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    Mountain lions aren't especially tough, but like any wild animal--don't underestimate it!
    +2. I don't think I'd take any chances if I encountered a cat. Oft times, while calling coyotes, I worry about cats sneaking up on me, thinking I'm an easy meal.

    I've read lots of material about cat hunting, I think anything that will kill a man, will kill a cougar. Some pros that I've read about, like to pack .41 mag revolvers and .30-30 carbines.

    The only lion that I've ever seen was through binoculars, about a mile away whilst I was glassing for elk. It was pretty impressive, even at that distance.
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  7. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by radman View Post
    I was reading that in India, where they have tigers, the villagers wear hoods with faces on the back. The reason being that the tigers like to surprise attack from the rear and I guess they cant find the rear that way. I dont know if it would work for mountain lion but worth a try.
    It's not the fake face that turns them off, but the memory that the last time they attacked one, it took too long to pick the plastic out of their teeth.
    Like most uneducated precautions, it doesn't really work.
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  8. #22
    VIP Member Array 9MMare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikerRN View Post
    If the lion is in view of humans it should be shot on site.

    Biker
    But of course in most circumstances that would be illegal...you realize that I'm sure.

    And it would also be your loss. And everyone else's. Wildlife viewing...of wildlife in the wild, where they belong....brings in alot of $$ in the US. Humans share the wild with wildlife. The cougar I came upon, within 30 ft, was no threat to me. We looked at each other for some time (he sitting just twitching his tail), made our decisions, and I moved on.
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  9. #23
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    This is interesting reading. My girlfriend kind of lives out in the sticks and has to keep an eye out for mountain lions. They've actually found a torn up calf at the end of their driveway before. The interesting thing is they live near a place called Tiger Safari. It's a big cat preserve and zoo type thing. They've had animals, namely a tiger, escape before. She can't carry yet, but we're working on it.
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  10. #24
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    loboleather summed it up pretty good. They are pretty sneaky, from my experience. If you have to shoot, don't worry about what you have to shoot at them. When hunted around here they'll often use a 22 or 22mag to finish a treed cat.
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  11. #25
    VIP Member Array tkruf's Avatar
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    According to the VA forestry department, there are no mountain lions in VA. HA HA. The wife and I have seen prints while out hiking. Her family lives back in a holler and two of their dogs have been attacked. They have seen a big cat so far 4 times. Their neighbor says that she has had 20 some odd chickens go missing. But we have no mountain lions in VA. Yeah right.
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  12. #26
    Member Array Mark IL NM's Avatar
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    We hike NM and AZ regularly; only time I saw a mountain lion he/she was 10 yards away, going the other direction fast... good. The dog I had with me didn't even notice it, they are truly stealthy... Have seen tracks other times, they're around. A friend up the road was confronted by one near his truck when gathering wood. Nothing he did would scare it away... it was stalking. He wasn't carrying, but a pickup is good protection. I suspect the most likely time most of us might have the opportunity to shoot would be when the lion is dragging someone else away... they have to work to drag an adult human, according to a couple of reports of attacks. Myself I wouldn't run or bike in lion areas... always best to hike with someone else, but that said, I've been hiking alone for over 50 years, not likely to stop now if my spouse isn't available (more fun with her, tho).

  13. #27
    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    If "several" people are seeing it along the same "running" trail... it's time people quit running that trail. If they did, it would move on to another location. But, it's found them and it will declare it's territory at some point.

    I wouldn't shoot it unless I really had to. As said, unless they are extremely hungry and starving they wont' attack , and esp if they think you are too much effort. However, if he found the trail and is hanging around people.... shotgun blanks, etc. and scaring them away from the area is a well advised action on part of any animal control or wildlife folks. You don't want them getting "comfortable" in seeing and being around people.
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  14. #28
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    We have cats up here - just the normal precautions.........

  15. #29
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    Our ranch hand has like 12 dogs he uses for hunting cats. He has some awesome pictures of treed cats and the best one of a cat on the edge of ciff with two dogs just standing there within two feet of the cat and its sittign down with its teeth bared.

    While elk hunting we stopped for a quick bite under a tree and we looked up to see a cat just sitting on branch watching us. It wouldn't respond to "here kitty, kitty"

    I'm pretty sure I wet my pants a little.

  16. #30
    Member Array radman's Avatar
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    I was out mountain biking one time with a couple friends up around Flagstaff. We rolled up to a little clump of trees to take a break when I noticed something sitting under a tree about 50 feet from us. He stood up facing directly at us, we thought it was a calf because we had just passed a bunch of cows a few hundred yards back. It turned sideways & we just about crapped our pants. I was very surprised by how narrow it was yet it was BIG. He took about 2 steps towards us, we took 3 steps back and grabbed our bikes, figured I'd hit him with it since thats all I had. He turned and ran into the woods covering about 50 yard in 3 steps and a half a second. We finished our ride looking over our shoulders a lot.

    Later as we were drinkin a beer and reliving our "near death" experience, I told my buddy I really wasnt worried, I didnt have to be faster than the lion, just faster than him.
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