Time to Hunt Mountain Lions [Not Shown]?

 "'Bubba,' an 11-year-old Labrador retriever, was killed Dec. 27, 2013, by what authorities believe was a mountain lion in the hills above Brand Boulevard in Glendale." (Text courtesy latimes.com. Photo courtesy of Lynnette Hamada / December 31, 2013)

Mark Kayser at grandviewoutdoors.com reports that America’s mountain lion populations are doing well. Maybe too well. “Last November, the Arizona Game and Fish Department implemented the first phase of a three-year plan to transplant sheep from the Yuma area into the Catalinas, an area they once thrived. Approximately $150,000 was spent on the project . . . and 431 collard sheep had a new home. Four months later 15 of the bighorns had been killed by mountain lions that obviously dominate the area.” The mountain lion population of Custer State Park in South Dakota is also thriving, doing what mountain lions do . . .

Once coveted as a trophy-elk area for resident-only hunting, the herd has crashed in recent years. The evidence was clear, but became crystal clear after several attempts to tranquilize and collar elk for research. In three incidents tranquilized elk, with crew and helicopter in close proximity, were attacked by mountain lions. In one batch of 30 collared calves, 16 became cougar cuisine.

OK, so mountain lions in South Dakota eat animals that humans like to hunt, reducing income for local guides and outfitters. Animal rights activists couldn’t care less. It’s their habitat, not ours. Wyoming lions? Take a hunter safety course. As Kayser points, California is ground zero for the controversy over mountain lions, where the big cats have developed a taste for labradors [see: above]. The official reaction (quoted at latimes.com)? Sh*t happens. Deal.

It’s not unusual to see mountain lions capture heavy prey, said Andrew Hughan, spokesman for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

“It’s kind of sad, but I’ve seen 100-pound deer dragged up a tree. Mountain lions are unbelievably strong, stealthy predators,” he said.

Hughan recommended that people not let their pets wander around outside and that they not leave pet food out, making for an easy target.

“People have an inherent responsibility to keep track of their pets,” he said.

Pet owners can also turn yard lights on at night to keep the large cats at bay.

“Lions are afraid of people. Ninety-nine times out of 100, they’ll run away. They fear what they do not know,” Hughan said.

Ricky Whitman, vice president of community relations for the Pasadena Humane Society — which provides animal control services for Glendale — said living close to nature is a double-edged sword.

“Part of the joy of living there is the proximity to wildlife, but tragic things can happen,” Whitman said.

I know, right? The problem here is that tragic things are happening to humans, too. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife website reports 13 verified mountain lion attacks on humans from 1986 to 2012, three of which were fatal. In a note under the stats, the Department goes to some length to blame humans for the attacks and downplay the danger.

Note: According to historical reports, four additional fatal incidents involving six victims occurred around the turn of the previous century. Furthermore, two additional incidents have been reported by the media as attacks. However, they do not fit the criteria of verifiable attacks on humans and were not confirmed. One incident involved a turkey hunter who was camouflaged and calling for turkeys when a mountain lion approached from behind. Immediately after the mountain lion confronted the hunter and realized that the hunter was not a turkey, the lion ran away. This is not judged to be an attack on a human. Every indication suggests that if the hunter had not been camouflaged and calling like a turkey, the mountain lion would have avoided him. The other incident on the Los Padres National Forest was described as a mountain lion attack on a boy near a stream. However, the alleged injuries were not verified by a physician, law enforcement officer or CDFW personnel.

So, time to authorize mountain lion hunts? Regardless, home carry people. Home carry. In an appropriate caliber, I might add.

comments

  1. avatar Larry says:

    While I home carry, I’ll concede my caliber is not appropriate for mountain lions. We actually have coyotes, don’t think we have lions yet. An appropriate caliber, to me, may require a sling.

    1. avatar JoshinGA says:

      All things considered, a mountain lion really doesnt have that substantial of a body frame. Anything adequate for humans should be adequate for lion. I think I would opt for 9mm for the extra couple rounds you can have in the same sized gun.

      1. avatar (Formerly) MN Matt says:

        That’s the choice I’ve made. I’m figuring some 9mm +P+ should handle things in my neck of the woods (or mountains, as now is the case), seeing as velocity is your friend in cases like this. If I wanted to shoot cast lead bullets a barrel upgrade would be less than $200. Still imminently cheaper than buying a new outdoor gun, new holster, new ammunition, etc.

      2. avatar Bill says:

        you’re correct, after living in Idaho and speaking with lion hunters, I learned that while they are strong, fast and stealthy, they aren’t especially tough. The cougar hunters often used 22 mag on them just fine. A 9mm should be sufficient, certainly a .357 or .40.

      3. avatar Charles5 says:

        An old gentlemen/friend of the family always carries a revolver (.357 or .44 Magnum) when he is the woods. His reasoning is that if he is attacked by a wild animal and has to shoot it, he doesn’t have to police his brass. That way he doesn’t have to report it and deal with the paperwork and he also doesn’t have to worry about missing a spent casing and it being traced back to him some how Officially, I cannot advocate that position.

  2. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

    Where is Michael Vick when you need him?

    1. avatar Rokurota says:

      He doesn’t have a dog in this fight.

      1. avatar (Formerly) MN Matt says:

        *rimshot*

      2. avatar William Burke says:

        Oooooh!

  3. avatar DJ9 says:

    Even relatively-mountain-free North Dakota has a viable population of these big cats, and they’ve been successfully hunted (with tight restrictions) for years in the SW corner of the state.

    Occasionally, one pops up in eastern ND, too; I’m always armed when out in the woods/fields, and I keep a hunting permit handy, just in case…

    1. avatar John says:

      I actually have a question about this. If I carry for defensive purposes and have to shoot a wild animal out of sheer necessity to save myself but am not a hunter and do not have a hunting permit, could I reasonably be found guilty of violating some hunting law?

      1. avatar Alan Longnecker says:

        “reasonably”? No. Be prepared to do jail time and lose your rights anyway.

      2. avatar Bill says:

        unless there are witnesses or you have report it due to injuries, shoot, shovel, shut-up, though shoot-n-scoot should suffice. If you can, police your brass, always a good reason to load your mags with gloves.

      3. avatar juliesa says:

        Not a problem in Texas. It’s a non-game animal and can be controlled at will. The only problem might be if you are in a park where it’s illegal to discharge a gun, but then the self defense aspect would be a defense if you are prosecuted.

      4. avatar tdiinva says:

        Always keep your hunting licenses up to date. That way you will be covered under many circumstances as long as what you shoot is in season or is considered a varmint. What and when you can shoot varies from state to state.

    2. avatar DJ9 says:

      John, most states have a “defensive use” clause that will allow you to defend yourself from game and non-game animals, but if you do, it WILL be investigated thoroughly, and in most cases, you will not be able to keep any part of the critter (this is to help discourage false “defensive” cases, I suspect).

  4. avatar Kory says:

    I’m in South Dakota and we have Mountain Lion season. We do carry for both 2 and 4-legged predators. See the website link on my name for the SD hunting.

  5. avatar cwp says:

    So, what’s the minimum acceptable caliber for mountain lions?

    1. avatar DJ9 says:

      Folks that hunt them after being treed with dogs have used some fairly small calibers (70s/80s gunwriter Bob Milek (sp?) used a .22 Magnum rimfire revolver with good results). Defensive action when a big cat is attacking is another thing entirely, but I would think that a .357 or larger magnum revolver, or a flurry of well-aimed 9mm/.40/.45 slugs would get the job done, too. Although a rifle/shotgun is more effective on-target, if the first hint you have that you are under attack by the cat, is when the cat chomps you, then a long-gun is not going to be the best choice. I’d much rather have something that I can conveniently carry at all times (holstered), and if the cat jumps me from behind, I can easily poke it behind me and pull the trigger to encourage the critter to leggo and leave.

      1. avatar JoshinGA says:

        The guy on that Discovery show “Mountain Men” who does mountain lion “removal” as a job carries an FN five seven.

        1. avatar DJ9 says:

          Which is, ballistics-wise, about the same as a .22 Magnum rimfire rifle. If the shot can be taken from the side, calmly, into the heart/lung area, I’ve been told they are not particularly difficult to kill.

    2. avatar DJ9 says:

      …and no, the hunters are not being treed by the dogs.

      Horrible first sentence, there; sorry. Public education.

      1. avatar Rich Grise says:

        I thought “treed with dogs” meant that both the hunter and his dogs got treed! 😉

    3. avatar Bdk NH says:

      For protection, if I wasn’t carrying a rifle or shotgun 10mm would be minimum if I was in known cat or bear country. I am a big fan of the Glock 29. Super reliable and highly concealable. Combined with a MRDS is deadly to most any beast out to 50 yards. It is my preferred woods carry when I am scouting or bow hunting.

      For hunting, using the treeing method, I think most hunters actually make the kill with a 22 to preserve the pelt. Of course, they most likely have a rifle as back up, probably 30-30 at minimum.

      The mountain lion preying on a turkey hunter is an interesting story. I suspect 12g 3″ nitro turkey would put a lion down immediately at close range. I wouldn’t want one sneaking up to find out.

      1. avatar Bill says:

        10mm would be fine, but so would 9mm, cat bone structure, hide, and muscle are not especially dense or sturdy. These are light, high speed apex predators. 10mm for bears, perfectly reasonable and understandable, for cats, maybe a little more than necessary but still a fine choice.

      2. avatar JR says:

        “minimum if I was in known cat or bear country.”

        BIG difference in fire power ‘needed.’ 45-70 lever gun makes a good anti-bear weapon. Any handgun? No thanks.

        One problem with bears, as I understand it, is penetration and a body that is pretty fatty.

        I helped a guy track a black bear that was shot by 45-70 Govt a few years ago…hardly any blood trail at all and he never found it. That, and conversations I’ve had with friends that live in griz country, convinced me pistol rounds are no-no’s.

        So “minimum?” Yeah, in the sense that it might be better than nothing at all, but it might also be false security on a charging bear of any weight at all (we have blacks around here that commonly go over 500 lbs).

        1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          JR,

          The key to using a handgun to successfully repel a large bear attack is ammunition selection. As you mentioned, bears are big, fat, dense, strong, and have thick bones. In most circumstances, I would use hardcast lead bullets with a big flat meplat on the front. Those make holes that are at least twice the diameter of the bullet and are often capable of penetrating “stem to stern” on bears when fired from Magnum revolvers with 6 inch barrels.

        2. avatar JR says:

          I don’t disagree…I should further qualify my statement to be more consistent with the comment I was replying to.

          He qualified with an “if no rifle/shotgun” so I will, too.

          If I HAD to choose a handgun, I would choose a big magnum revolver with at least a 6″ barrel. Ruger Super Redhawk comes to mind.

          Thanks for the input; hard cast lead bullets are out of the radar most think about in this day of soft-ish jacketed hollow points. Use profile is everything.

        3. avatar Nicks87 says:

          Buffalo Bore makes some serious ammo for the big caliber revolvers. I would trust it against any dangerous animals, including bear. That being said, I fully agree that any caliber handgun would still be no replacement for a rifle .223 on up.

        4. avatar Bdk NH says:

          I am off today but these posts always suck me in. Dang it. @ JR & Bill, Agreed. However, if I was expecting to find trouble with a 500 lb bear in the woods then I would be carrying a hell of a lot more than a 10 mm or even a shot gun. I am thinking 308 battle rifle with leupold 1-4 fire dot loaded with 168g Barnes TTX. If I run into a beast that can withstand 20 of those pills then I suppose that I will be dinner.

          Unfortunately, carrying battle rifles in the woods in my area is frowned upon as we do occasionally cross paths with people who just wouldn’t understand. We only have black bears and the biggest bears are 300 lbs at MOST. That is why, unless I am rifle or shot gun hunting I carry the 10 mm concealed. BTW, my 29 in the woods has alternating loads of Double Tap 200g hard cast and 180G jhp with a back up 15 round mag of the same. Delta point lollipop sighted for 10 yards. Rough ballistics are 3 ” high at 50 yards and flat at 100 yards = cover the target with triangle. It packs roughly the same punch at a 100 yards as a 9mm point blank.

        5. avatar JR says:

          To be clear, my “problem” with the 10mm is not the cartridge per se, but the short barrels that cartridge is generally fired from (such as the G29).

          Comparing some numbers, completely ignoring energy loss to cycling the action:

          10 mm, 4″ barrel, 200 gr bullet: 1077 fps, 515 ft-lbs at the muzzle.
          (G29 barrel under 4″ so this is likely a bit generous)

          .44 Mag, 6″ barrel, 200 gr bullet: 1197 fps, 636 ft-lb

          .44 Mag, 8″ barrel, 200 gr bullet: 1282 fps, 730 ft-lb

          Going with the longer barrel revolver in a true magnum caliber is 30% additional energy at the muzzle.

          Still marginal (hard cast lead bullets notwithstanding) for an attacking bear that’s already in close, in my opinion, but I’d sure take it over nothing. 😉

          For that matter, I would take the 10mm over nothing, so mostly this is an exercise in “gee whiz” more than anything else.

          Data sources:

          http://us.glock.com/products/model/g29
          http://www.ballisticsbytheinch.com/10mm.html
          http://www.ballisticsbytheinch.com/44mag.html
          https://billstclair.com/energy.html

    4. avatar Nicks87 says:

      .357 mag is what I carry in big cat country. I figure that should be good enough for most dangerous creatures, humans included.

    5. avatar jwm says:

      If you’re not actively hunting, just enjoying the outdoors you’re not likely to want to lug a rifle or shotgun around. And if you do get attacked by a mountain lion it will be a stealth attack and you probably won’t see it coming.

      I believe it was in the 60’s that I read an article by Jeff Cooper on protecting yourself from just such attacks from large predators. He reasoned that a short barreled .357 mag was the way to go. He recommeded a two and a half inch model 19 S&W.

      His line of thought was that you would be on the ground, being mauled and trying to hold the animal off with one hand while bringing your gun to bear with the other. The gun had to be butt simple and reliable. A double action revolver.

      Range and accuracy was unimportant. Any shot you took under those circumstances were contact shots. It sounded like very good advice to me.

  6. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    Outdoors carry ALL the time when out mushrooming, hiking, target shooting.
    Here kitty, kitty, kitty

  7. We have now had several confirmed sightings here in Eastern Missouri of these big cats. One was live captured.

    I am not entirely sure mountain lions roaming free in populated areas is a great idea.

    1. avatar Gregolas says:

      They’ve been spotted in NE Alabama as well.

    2. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      I, on the other hand, think that having mountain lions, wolves, bears (black and grizzly), coyotes and other large predators roaming free in urban and suburban America is a great idea.

      It would do two things:

      1. It would rid us of “the homeless problem.”

      2. It would show all these dazzling urbanites what we westerners have been dealing with since the idiot “environmentalists” put wolves and bears on the endangered species lists and forbade any control of their populations. Wolves especially so.

      I’d love to see a pack of a dozen wolves running loose in Central Park, NYC.

      1. avatar Avid Reader says:

        Winner!

        Time for a “lesser” prairie chicken dinner!

      2. avatar Jim R says:

        A pack of wolves running loose in Central Park would definitely make the park safer. What mugger/rapist is going to skulk around the park late at night if he thinks he’s going to get attacked by wolves?

        It’d also sharply reduce the rodent problem in the area. Since the wolves won’t have any BIG game to go after (aside from the aforementioned 2-legged variety) they’ll likely subsist on smaller game–rats, squirrels, pigeons, etc. Pest animals nobody wants around anyway.

      3. avatar Accur81 says:

        Dyspeptic for the win! Mountain lions and wolves to “manage” the homeless population. I wonder how high wolves and lions would get after ingesting the drug-addled remains of our homeless and urban campers. We might see more lion vs. car crashes.

        1. avatar jwm says:

          How about a buzzed mountain lion stealing a car and driving high? Think of that traffic report.

        2. avatar Avid Reader says:

          Toonces! Bad kitty!

    3. avatar juliesa says:

      They’ve been seen in San Antonio city parks. They occasionally eat pets, but so far don’t mess with the humans. In central Texas, they have plenty of hog and deer meat to eat, plus they’re scared of humans because in Texas we shoot and trap them at will. The only place in Texas they’ve attacked humans in many decades has been in the Big Bend national park, and probably partly because until recently it was illegal to carry guns there, plus the cats were over-populated and hungry. All the attacks there have been non-fatal.

    4. avatar APBTFan says:

      Rest assured for every one lion sighted there are ten more in the area that haven’t been. Stealthy buggers they are.

      1. avatar Mark N. says:

        Not so sure about that, but maybe things are different in different parts of the country. Here in California, cats are solitary, and keep to defined large territories that they mark and defend from other cats. There are an estimated 1.7 lions for every 100 sq km.[38 sq. mile or app 25000 acres.] Males are known for killing kits, so the females leave the males immediately after mating. When kits mature, females will chase them out of their territory. So if you see one, there probably isn’t another within several miles. At least in California. Population here is about 3000 animals, and they are protected with no hunting season. they may be killed in self defense or with a predation permit.

        And the state is so anti-hunting cats that the president of the Fish & Game Commission was voted out of office because he legally hunted and killed a huge cat in Idaho.

  8. avatar BobS says:

    “Part of the joy of living there is the proximity to wildlife, but tragic things can happen,” Whitman said.

    And THIS is the problem with liberals in general. As long as the collective (read that “not me or mine”) benefits then the cost to you individuals is just a statistic. So suck it up and be a good little plebe and let your “betters” make the decisions. You’re not important enough to matter.

  9. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

    I’ve seen what I believe to be mountain lion tracks at my place in North Texas.

    I didn’t think mountain lions were in this region, but the tracks were way too big and the stride was too long to be a bobcat.

    I don’t know what caliber is the minimum for an attacking lion, but I know what I’m going to being using…

    Spoiler alert: whatever the hell I have on me.

  10. avatar Kyle in CT says:

    You can’t complain about deer (or any other prey animal) overpopulation, wasting diseases, tick-borne disease prevalence, etc., then get annoyed when the predators that you’ve been trying very hard to get back, actually do come back and cause different problems. If the lions are overpopulated, add them as a huntable species with an appropriate bag limit and be done with it. I’d rather have the lions and deal with the consequences than have a wildly unbalanced ecosystem where there are no natural predators left.

    1. avatar rlc2 says:

      This is exactly right. I recall the game warden giving the required Hunter Safety Certificate class for getting a hunting license relate what the biologists had found on Camp Pendleton- many more mountain lions than the habitat could support. Keep in mind that base is the last and biggest contigous piece of coastal mountain range in So Cal, and at about 200 square miles, had 13 collared cats.

      Normally, the range of ONE mountain lion is about 200 square miles. They will fight one another and predate upon the young of others. That is normal big cat behavior. An adult pair of lions needs about 20 deers a year.

      When the big fires in So Cal burned up a lot of the habitat to the east, we had sightings in the suburbs as close as a couple miles from the ocean, and I recall an article about an emaciated cat found in a shallow cave hear a playground in S. Orange county, with badly burned paws- couldnt hunt anything but housepets and was looking at the kids next.

      It is like any other species- habitat is key- as more people move out into the country, that takes away habitat from the cats’ normal food sources, and the cats naturally adapt to take the livestock and domestic pets next. Nature rules.

      http://www.glendalenewspress.com/news/tn-gnp-mountain-lion-kills-85pound-labrador-named-bubba-in-glendale-20131231,0,6356020.story

  11. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    Carry in the woods where there are both four-legged and two-legged predators. Think about it: what is the worst possible place that a predator could attack? Answer: in the middle of nowhere where no one is around to see or hear the attack, no is around to help, you probably don’t have cell service, and even if you did have cell service response time could be hours.

    When you are out in the woods, carry the largest caliber that you can. A nice revolver in .357 Magnum is a decent choice. Of course .44 Magnum is better. If you are sensitive to recoil and Magnums are off the table, then consider a revolver with a six inch barrel chambered for .45 Long Colt and load it with hardcast lead bullets. While the muzzle velocity of such a round is modest at 900 fps or so, that hardcast lead bullet will create something like a 3/4 inch diameter hole in an attacker — and make that hole well over 20 inches through bone and muscle. That sort of terminal ballistics will seriously impair any attacker.

    Important note: do NOT carry hardcast lead bullets for self-defense around town. The property of hardcast lead bullets that make them fantastic for defense against animal predators (huge amounts of penetration) make them bad for defense against human attackers who often have innocent bystanders behind them.

    1. avatar Charles5 says:

      I completely disagree with the notion that .45 Colt is a less effective round than .44 Magnum. You might only be able to get 900 fps using cowboy action loads, but not if you are using the hot stuff. I have personally clocked .45 Colt+P 325 gr Buffalo Bore out of my Ruger Blackhawk 5.5 inch barrel at 1342 fps. That is 1300 foot pounds of of energy at the muzzle. Sure, some .44 Magnum loads can top that, but not many and they usually require a 7 inch plus barrel. 1300 foot pounds is no joke. By contrast, the hottest 10 mm rounds fall around 750 to 780 foot pounds.

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        Charles5,

        I was commenting about standard .45 Long Colt loads for people who are sensitive to Magnum level recoil.

        Your example of .45 Long Colt +P loads are indeed Magnum level with respect to velocity, energy, and recoil. Given that .45 Long Colt +P rounds produce .44 Magnum velocities with an even larger diameter bullet, I have to think those are even better at stopping a bear. But again I was offering a suggestion for decent stopping power for people who choose to avoid Magnum recoil.

        1. avatar jwm says:

          Only in America is a .45 bullet clocking 900 fps called “modest.”

  12. avatar MrVigs says:

    I live in north central MN on 15 acres adjacent to 1500 acres of state forest and 2 summers ago we had one walk thru our yard in the middle of the day. It had a rabbit in its mouth. Both my labs were out running around, kids playing and my wife even got video with her iPhone. That thing was not afraid. 2 weeks later a huge black bear wandered thru. My wife is comfortable with her Remington 12 gauge but I can’t convince her to carry a sidearm when she’s outside. Any suggestions?

    1. avatar DJ9 says:

      “Up” her life insurance amount?

      J/K. Mostly.

      Just talk her through the most likely attack scenarios for this type of wild animal, then ask her how she thinks the shotgun can keep her safe while she does day-to-day stuff in the yard. The kids might be another way to get the immediacy of an attack to sink in; ask her how she’d stop an animal from gutting or carrying off one of the kids, when the shotgun is inside?

    2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      I suppose you could start with simply asking her why she does not seem to want to carry in the home and outside and go from there.

  13. avatar Kevin Mussack says:

    Shoot, Shovel & Shut-up………….

  14. avatar Avid Reader says:

    I’ve lived in Colorado for most of my adult life (30+ years), much of it in the mountains. I’ve only seen one cat, in a remote area of the north central part of the state. However, I’ve seen tracks near I-70 not far from where the first recorded human fatality from one occurred, and often heard them when I lived in the foothills. I’m actually quite surprised we don’t hear more stories of humans encountering them.

    On a related note, a Colorado woman is being vilified online for harvesting a 175 pound tom and posting a picture on the web.

    http://denver.cbslocal.com/2014/03/27/colorado-hunter-in-cross-hairs-after-online-bullying-by-anti-hunting-activists/

  15. avatar rlc2 says:

    That DFG link for mountain lion stats is pretty amazing. Apparently, by re-casting the stats as filtered “only when verified by a physician or DFG” they are removing information that might be helpful to people. I wonder if the State of CA is politicizing this agency, as others have been, for progressive purposes.

    I know for a fact, as I’ve lived in San Diego County for 30+ years and hiked all over the mountains to the east and north, that there have been at least two fatal attacks – an elderly lady hiker in Cuyamaca, and there were a couple of other mountain bikers attacked in same area,
    and a mountain biker in the northern range of those hills, was killed and eaten, all within the same Cleveland National Forest.
    http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2004-01-09-mountain-lion_x.htm

    Heres an excellent book on mountain lion attacks, and the trend.
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0393326349?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creativeASIN=0393326349&linkCode=xm2&tag=insta0c-20

    Here’s a link to an amateur list, with more commentary by people on the ground.
    http://www.tchester.org/sgm/lists/lion_attacks.html

    That quote by the DFG spokesman just makes me want to shake my head in disbelief: “Lions are afraid of people. Ninety-nine times out of 100, they’ll run away. They fear what they do not know,” Hughan said. No, actually, they are not afraid of people, and as a result of more habituation, and growth of the lion population, we will see more mountain lion predation on humans.

    Heres a good explanation on the background, including growth in numbers since hunting was banned, due to the PETA type folks, removing that means of managing the species, just as fish and game departments do on other game and non-game animals.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A5917-2004Dec16_2.html

  16. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    Here’s a tip from someone who lives and hunts in lion country:

    Keep your head on a swivel. Lions don’t like frontal attacks. They’re going to try to sneak up on you from behind or rear quartering. They will do this even on an adult male of my size (over 6′, 200lbs) without blinking an eye. I’ve busted more than one lion starting a stalk on me from 100 yards away in rocky, uphill terrain. As soon as you turn around and lock eyes with the cat, they’re gone. They see/smell you from well uphill and they’re going to stalk downhill or side-hill. You need to keep checking your back when glassing downhill for game or sitting still. You will not hear them approach unless they’re exceedingly clumsy or you’re lucky.

    As soon as you turn around and stand up, their stalk is blown and most of the time they’re going to flee. Don’t corner them and they’ll bolt.

    Corner them… and you have just bought yourself a problem.

    1. avatar rlc2 says:

      When I am pig or deer scouting I do same out here in So Cal.

      Typically, they will perch on an oak tree branch or rock ledge above a trail and jump on the back of a deer passing by, biting the spine behind the head, breaking the neck and hanging on until the animal stops struggling, either paralyzed or strangles to death.

      Then they feed on the soft tissue- starting usually with the eyes and face, and then the gut. Same for human prey- verified by coroners reports on remains.

      When the cat is full they pull the leftovers off trail and cover with leaves, and its believed some hikers and mountain bikers have been attacked likely by lions protecting that cache.

      They are fond of storm or erosion control culverts, nice and cool in the hot season, so keep an eye on those too.

      Whatever you do, don’t run- that triggers the prey reflex, and they will jump to the attack, hungry or not- just like teasing a house cat with a toy…

  17. avatar Jim R says:

    Import more sheep. Once you get more sheep than the cats can kill, you’ll have a stable population. The predators will pick off the slow, stupid, or weak ones and the rest of the herd will be able to thrive naturally.

    1. avatar Avid Reader says:

      How about we just capture members of Congress and release them for the cats? They can take the slow and stupid ones first.

  18. avatar Ontheotherhand says:

    I think it would be interesting to hunt mountain lions, now that I don’t hunt big game anymore

  19. avatar rlc2 says:

    Heres a funny blog post about keeping mountain lions in perspective:

    http://vacougarsighting.blogspot.com/2009/10/should-we-fear-mountain-lions.html

    that #3 applies to me- thinking I am still 21 and can boulder anything led to a rather “exciting” roll down a rock cliff with rifle strapped on, fortunately catching a bush on the way down… before continuing on into a rather large mass of poison oak at the bottom…

    d’OH!

  20. avatar juliesa says:

    One thing, if you’re out hiking in lion country with children, keep the kids in the middle. In the very few attacks we’ve had in Big Bend NP, the lions try to cut the kids out of the herd. They go for the shorter humans.

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      Exactly so. They’re opportunistic hunters. They’re constantly on the lookout for prey that is either so small, it can be overwhelmed in a direct face-to-face attack, or larger prey that isn’t paying attention and can be surprised with a swift covert attack.

      Too often, kids (especially city kids being dragged away from their electronic entertainment) are both small and not paying attention.

  21. avatar IdahoPete says:

    Mountain lions became protected sacred animals in California in 1971, and their population there increased to the point where deer and bighorn sheep populations have declined. The lion protection laws were passed by legislators from the big cities (LA, Frisco, etc.) whose constituents never have to deal with mountain lions except in zoos.

    I have a proposal for any multi-millionaire hunter reading this post: “Someone” could fund a clandestine live trapping program in lion-heavy areas. Trapped lions would be sedated and quickly transported to, and released at night into, Golden Gate National Park in San Francisco, or any large city park in a nearby city (LA and NY would be great). The city people could then get wonderful personal experiences with these “magnificent predators” without having to travel into the boonies.

    A grizzly bear transplant program would be a logical next step.

    Hey, just trying to give the city folks a truly natural wilderness experience.

    1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      This is SO full of win.

    2. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      I have the same idea for wolves, Pete. Trap and sedate a bunch of them, then take them down to the Sierra Club HQ in SF and turn them loose at night, then high-tail it out of California and turn on CNN for “Breaking News” with whatever space cadet gets the new leading story.

      Oh, and put those stupid tracking collars that might be on any of the cats or wolves up under a Yellow Freight truck headed for the east coast. That’ll keep USFWS busy for a week or two.

  22. avatar old air force says:

    My EDC is 40S&W but when in the woods my “old friend” is a Ruger Blackhawk 41 mag. with 6 inch bbl. loaded with 265 lead bullets in front of a sizeable charge if H110. It stings a little from my end but will stop anything short of a tank, even bears.

    1. avatar DJ9 says:

      Yup, that ought to “Get ‘er done.”

  23. avatar Ontheotherhand says:

    juliesa, but what if your just a shorter person? I’m 5′ 10″ but seriously, what if I was confused as a child. Haha

  24. avatar AZlocal says:

    http://www.azfamily.com/home/16th-bighorn-sheep-dies-in-mountains-near-Tucson-250703791.html

    It’s much worse percentage-wise. They didn’t transplant 431 sheep, but only 31. And 16 have been killed.

  25. avatar Ontheotherhand says:

    One thing I read a couple months ago stated that the wolf population in Wyoming is increasing which has led to a higher wolf population in Colorado, this has lead to more mountain lions, especially in the Rocky Mountain national park area

  26. avatar Juliesa says:

    Ontheotherhand, 5’10” isn’t short :).

    The TX biologists say to do whatever you can do to look taller, like holding your bag over your head if you have to face one down.

  27. avatar Firepig says:

    Going along with the “let’s relocate big game into urban parks” theme….how ’bout breeding hot-weather loving wolverines and plant them along the southern US-Mexico border in large quantities?

  28. avatar ensitue says:

    The area between Prineville and Burns, OR has several cats on display in different business locations, all measure over 9′ and all weighed close to 200 pounds. A number of folks have fallen to cougars over the past decade. The Prog Feds and their minions have made law abiding ruralites out to be crazed FUDDS when they attempt to protect their animals and family giving rise to “SSS”.
    Having shot a cat inside my kitchen during a remodel I have sympathy with those forced into such endeavors

  29. avatar Pg says:

    Agenda 21 is thriving, make no mistake, they want you disarmed and off the land and back into the crowded urban areas where you can be more easily controlled.

  30. avatar ggrimes2 says:

    Lived in the high country in Arizona for many years. While looking for survey markers to determine some property lines I found myself being “followed?” by one. If you want a creepy feeling just try and concentrate on your work knowing such a cat is checking you out. I was armed (.30 carbine rifle) but they were/are protected and I really did not want to shoot one. That plus just try and hit something that you only catch a glimpse and makes no noise. I never did see the whole cat just a head, a tail or chunks of a body and it moved between rocks and bushes. This was early afternoon, since they are usually nocturnal I suspect somebody was hungry it had been another very dry season in AZ. I had a long careful couple mile hike back to my jeep. I returned the next day and finished my work but for the rest of that summer I took a blue heeler with me as an early warning system. I did not see the cat again

  31. avatar tdiinva says:

    Nice dog picture. Looks like my black Plott Hound Mr. Jethro. My son in Colorado has a red named Rocky. Rocky is a much better hunter than Mr. Jethro. When I was walking his dogs in February down by the Big Thompson I noted the presence of lion tracks. So did Rocky.

    Mountain Lions are the equivalent of a small to medium sized human. A 9mm JHP will stop a cat in its tracks. They are not 500lb African monster sized cats. Personally I carry a 45 in the woods loaded with ball if there are bears about if I don’t have dogs with me. Even 45 ball is almost overkill for a mountain lion.. When I am with the dogs I carry a 9mm because it is easier to handle with one hand. If you are just interested in self protection bear spray works on big cats. They are probably even more sensitive to it than a bear.

    Like bears, I think the cats should only be dealt with when they are killing livestock, a threat to humans or when there are too many for the game population. To all those humane society types if it’s between me and the cat, the cat dies. Just remember, in the wild there are only the eaters and the eaten.

    For those who are interested I recommend “The Beast in the Garden” By David Baron. It is about the collision of people and mountain lions in Boulder Colorado and its environs.

  32. avatar Ontheotherhand says:

    juliesa, I’d rather just shoot, shootings easier. I carry glock 22 when I hike or generally venture into the mountains

  33. avatar Haiku Guy says:

    As my Pappy says, “One’s fondness for large predators varies proportionally with the distance”.

    They should run to catch and release programs, letting the lions go in downtown San Francisco. That would change attitudes.

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