Not to mention sunburn, dehydration and blisters (courtesy forums.caves.org)

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) reports that a mountain lion attacked a golf course worker – from behind – in Palm Springs. (Press release after the jump.) The worker “was able to seek refuge by positioning himself behind a large iron gate. The CDFW investigated, couldn’t find evidence to support his story and concluded that “no further action will be taken” because “lions can [only] be taken if they become an imminent threat to public safety.” They advise residents to “be cautious.” We advise residents to pack heat whilst loping around the links (or anywhere else). Note: attacking mountain lions don’t need a large caliber ballistic remedy. Bears do . . .

California –-(Ammoland.com)- The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is advising hikers and residents along the foothills and mountains of Palm Springs to be cautious after a golf course worker’s recent encounter with an aggressive mountain lion. On the evening of Friday, March 28, 2014 a mountain lion charged a worker from behind as he was closing a gate. The worker was able to seek refuge by positioning himself behind a large iron gate. The lion was eventually deterred when the man raised his arms over his head and yelled at it.

CDFW biologists were notified of the incident several days later and investigated, but were unable to find signs of the lion at the scene. This incident is considered a threatening encounter, but because it does not rise to the level of public safety, no further action will be taken by CDFW. Under state law and CDFW policy, lions can be taken if they become an imminent threat to public safety.

Mountain lions are wide-ranging animals that can wander over areas as large as 200 square miles. Lions are widely spread out in the Coachella Valley and CDFW reminds walkers and hikers to be aware of their surroundings and use caution in light of this recent incident.

It is rare, but not unheard of, for mountain lions to threaten people. On average fewer than 10 public safety incidents involving mountain lions occur in California annually. In the event of an encounter with an aggressive mountain lion, CDFW recommends that you do what you can to appear larger. For example, open your jacket or raise arms over your head. If attacked, FIGHT BACK! People have successfully repelled lion attacks using caps, sticks and canteens or whatever else they had on hand.

Since 1986, there have been 14 verified mountain lion attacks on people in California, including six fatalities. The last fatality was in January 2004 in Orange County.

Problem mountain lions – those that threaten people, kill livestock or are a nuisance — cannot be relocated. Relocation is illegal in California and is biologically unsound. Studies have shown that relocated mountain lions have poor rates of survival and rarely stay at release sites, and their undesirable behaviors are unaffected by the relocation.

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64 Responses to CDFW: Mountain Lion Attack Not an “Imminent Threat”

  1. WTF??? Your kidding right? Well then carrying without a permit is only a misdemeanor. Rather that or be his lunch!
    So carry on folks, carry on…

    • The entire state is NOT a no-issue jurisdiction in the way IL was and NJ is.

      The way it works in CA,if you live in a populous area , you don’t get to carry a gun legally. Hope you like your stay in LA or SF.

      Rural residents with much more Constitutionally minded sheriffs are , however ,legally able to carry statewide.

      • Speaking of that, has there been any updates on the 9th district now being shall issue? En bancs, appeals, sheriff’s not complying?

        • Go to Calguns.net forums. Lots of threads. Basically waiting until the panel of judges that decided Peruta decide if CA AG Harris should be granted intervenor status (Attorneys for Peruta say she should, by law) and at that point, its expected that Harris will request en banc review, and if not granted by the 9th, then she will appeal to Supreme Court.

          In other words, another year or so for the answer on Peruta.

          In the meantime, the hope is the Supreme Court will rule on whether to take up Drake v Filko, a similar case in NJ, that involves similar issues – right to carry outside the home, and permits based on good cause including self defense. The Court is reviewing that in committee on April 18th, with answer by the 21st.

      • If you get a permit from a sherif out in the sticks is it good statewide? So someone could do that and carry in LA?

        • Jason is dead bang wrong. Permits are a state permit and are good statewide. [The only exception is a “work” CCW that may be restricted to the county in which you perform your job, but they are rare, and I believe only good for 90 days anyway.] One other caveat: CCWS are only issued in one’s county of residence, so an LA resident can’t drive out to Mono county and apply.
          Further, a CCW is not required if you are NOT in an incorporated area, as it is perfectly legal to open carry a firearm in any state or federal forest, unless specifically posted otherwise. (For example, there are a few “no hunting” zones in unincorporated areas in SoCal adjacent to populated incorporated areas where guns are prohibited.)

          Separately, lions are stealth predators who prefer to attack from behind, and will usually break off an attack on a human if “caught in the act.” Making eye contact, standing upright, yelling and screaming, will usually deter an attack.

        • Looking more into it, some counties issue for the whole state. Mine does not. Mine limits the carry to the resident’s county, but that’s not common practice it seems.

    • Pig season is year round in CA. Get a hunting license and pig tag and you can carry a gun anywhere it’s legal to hunt. Public lands are all over CA and hunting is usually allowed.

      Now, how much hassle would you face for shooting a lion, even in self defense? I don’t know. But I’d rather be mauled by the court instead of the lion.

      • If you should shoot and kill a lion, just takes it’s paw, and scrape it on your arm a little, until you get a speck of red, and then say that the lion attacked you, and show them your arm. It might work??

      • jwm, since you (and I) are going to be out there scouting and hunting wild-pig, we have as much or better chance of being stalked by a mountain lion as anyone else hiking or working in the suburbs on the edge of mountain lion habitat, so you might be interested in this explanation, found here:
        http://www.mountainlion.org
        /defining%20mountain%20lion%20depredation%20in%20California.asp

        “If a mountain lion is found in the act of attacking a domestic animal or is seen as an immediate threat to human life, it may be killed by a resident, without repercussion, as long as the California Department of Fish & Game is immediately notified after the incident”.

        I can find nothing specific about mountain lions in the CA code, searched here:
        http://www.animallaw.info/statutes/stuscacalfishgcode4150.htm

        or in the excellent Q&As on CDFW rules here:
        http://californiaoutdoorsqas.com/?s=attacked+by+mountain+lion

        but I am quite sure a credible re-telling of the attack and any obvious evidence will be enough. Healthy cats living on the edge, or within the urban fringe become habituated to humans, especially those who dont routinely “condition” them by scaring them off, and thus can consider us as prey, or be stimulated into the attack mode, by prey running away-type behavior.

        I plan to shoot to kill, if attacked, and fight with knife, rock, whatever- to protect myself, my kids, and my dog. Two female bikers in San Diego were attacked in 2006 I think- and the one being mauled was being pulled off trail, while her friend beat at the cat, finally driving it off by hitting it with her bike. Pretty sure they weren’t cited for cruelty to animals…and judging by the mention of hunting down and killing the mountain lion that attacked, CDFW has learned the lesson that Boulder City and County did, about habituation and problem lions, in Baron’s book.

        • I’ve seen mountain lions twice in the bay area. Once in San Ramon in a well established gated community and once near there in a site where houses were being built.

          Always amazes me that you can have eyes on them and they are still silent when moving. When I’m in the boonies I look over my shoulder. A lot.

          Course I do that a lot in the city too. Head on a swivel is good advice.

      • yes, the cute fluffy lions are protected, you cannot hunt or shoot them legally. They are also not even remotely endangered, very populous and putting huge dents in the deer herds. Now if those eastern states with deer problems want a good solution, we can prolly export them about 5k lions, no sweat. Per state even, we got lots and lots of them.

  2. No threat to see here, move along people. Lion was probably just upset the gate was being closed even though he was only 20 minutes late for his tee time.

    • Well, we are far enough into this thread now, that we better explain just what a mountain lion is. Those poor city feller’s back in NYC probably never heard of that kind of a critter.

    • Actually, it made me think of the scene in Wizard of Oz where Dorothy made the Lion cry by yelling at it. Poor lion, the golf course worker probably scared him.

  3. CDFW’s helpful hints for resisting a mountain lion sound somewhat like your big city po-po’s techniques for fighting off a rapist. I’m surprised that CDFW didn’t include projectile vomiting and the soiling of one’s britches. Maybe next time.

    • Yes!

      Stop, drop, shit, piss, puke, scream and roll.

      Also known as the Saturday night special in many liberal households.

  4. I almost ended up attacked by one of these bad boys myself. Thankfully my sidearm was loud enough to chase it off!

  5. I used to play golf around Phoenix, until I cured myself of the masochism. I usually had a .45 1911 on my hip, while doing so. Fortunately the most dangerous thing I saw was a roadrunner.

    • Anyway of those are enough for black bear and you can get hot .4544 mag enough for brown bear. Question is how much recoil are you trying to tame? As the Alaskan is going to be hard on you. And it would appear a 4″ .454 Casull would yield better ballistics out of a finer firearm than a Smith 629 if you are looking for fire breathing.

      • You don’t even need a hot 454 for brown. Any decent bullet would work. The bonus to 454 is that you can practice with 45 lc.

      • 45 ACP is good enough for your average black bear but i still prefer a 1oz Federal vital shock slug. Just remember to use ball when you go into the woods in bear country. JHP will not penetrate to vitals on a bear.

  6. This is my neck of the woods. I have never seen a Mtn Lion, but I have seen black bears & bob cats.

  7. I was in a cage with a young captive mountain lion a few years ago. He was tame but like most cats, ornery as all get out. His owner told me to never, ever turn my back on him. I had been throwing a chew toy back and forth across the 40 foot or so enclosure when he went to the opposite end to rest.
    He was watching me and as soon as I turned to my wife to say something, he cleared the length of the enclosure soundlessly and landed all four paws on my back while nipping me with his canine teeth on the back of my neck. He probably weighed no more than 30 or 40 pounds and he was just playing but you get the idea. Wifey got the whole thing on video tape.

  8. Growing up just outside of town in semi-rural Northern California, we’d hear about possible mountain lion attacks every once in awhile. I always wondered what I was supposed to do if I came upon one/one came upon me. I think that was one of the few situations that made my vaguely anti-gun parents ponder their stance.

    ‘Course, I was more likely to get run over by cows than attacked by a mountain lion.

      • Bingo. Add the various other big, sharp, or tall things on a farm, and mountain lions were WAAAAY down the list of things to worry about. Or, you know, just not be a dumbass and completely skip the having to worry.

      • The only thing that makes cows even manageable is the fact that they don’t know how large they are and that they are fairly skittish. I had to back down a young bull that had gotten out of his fence once when I was about 18. He backed off after I stomped my foot and jerked towards him.

      • Thinking about the little bit of hiking I’ve done out that away, and a bunch of camping to the south, in Anza Borrego;

        There are LOTS more likely ways to get hurt- than a mountain lion:
        falls, heat-stroke, lightning-strike, flash-floods, rattlesnakes, bee-stings (yes we have the africanized “killer bees” now in this area), even pitbulls-on-the-loose dog-bites.

        So, yeah, the odds are low- but then, when that one-in-a-million happens on YOUR day, it tends to spoil your whole day… kind of like CCW- a little preparation goes a LONG way…

        Reminds me of this true story- another great read- about an eccentric older PCT thru-hiker, who got turned around and lost in a snow-storm, and the young couple hiking for first time in those same mountains above Palm Springs, who found his stuff…

        http://www.backpacker.com/october_2006_skills_survival_lesson_how_the_loss_of_one_hiker_helped_two_others_stay_alive/skills/12223

    • Cows sleeping in roadways are a real killer too. Nothing like hitting a 2000 lb Black Angus at 60 mph to ruin your whole life.

      • Yup. I forget the slang name en espanol for the long-haul truckers driving the semi’s on Mex 1 in Baja years ago- something along the lines of “crazy-mo-fo’s tweaking like crazy” but then they had to, and were equipped with the six foot high by eight foot wide homemade welded “bull-bar’s” on the front of their trucks, to just smash the sleeping cattle off the road…if you are going 80KPH theres no room to stop or get off the narrow road, if the drop off is 18″ of crumbly crappy asphalt down to sand, or another 60 meters down to a rocky gully…which is pretty much the whole stretch, actually…

        Made a couple of those 1000km long all-nighter road-trips to the south end of Baja to go fishin’ and diving, back when I was young and dumb and full of …. (well, it wasnt common sense), and it was pretty common to see two or three fly-blown piles of hide and meat and bones every ten or 20 km, lying right along the side of the road.

        Can remember laughing like a maniac at the reaction of my then “mi corazon” (now “mi esposa”) freaking out at the grazing cattle heads and butts looming suddenly out of the darkness sometimes at finger-tip distance, as we brushed on by thru the bushes,..snaking on down some old pickup truck trail to the beach camps.

  9. In my wasted youth (USFS) the numerous incidents of Mountain Lions stalking crews in the wild always made me carry a well sharpened fire shovel instead of a Mcleod or Pulaski

  10. Just read “Beast in the Garden” by David Baron on the kindle.
    Great read.

    http://www.beastinthegarden.com/Home.html

    I won’t spoil it for you, other than to say, if it WAS a mountain lion,
    then I think CDFG is wrong on this incident “not being an imminent threat to public safety”. There’s not a lot of detail on that Ammoland link, and I dont have time to dig deeper.

    A month ago, a homeless person in Perris, on the other side of the hill from Palm Springs, was pretty chewed up, and CDFG set out traps and so forth:
    http://www.ammoland.com/2014/02/california-man-attacked-by-mountain-lion/#axzz2yRmugrQd

    The only difference I can see is the worker got behind a gate before the charging cat got him. Its always possible it was another animal…per the link CDFG “found no sign”. Odd.

  11. If you encounter a mountain lion, then it is probably already on your (or someone else’s) back and for that situation I’d prefer to have something pointy and sharp rather than a gun.

  12. “Found no sign” well duh…they never do. Especially days after the “encounter”. I live in the middle of cougar county and I will tell you they can be hard to spot let alone track!

  13. Moms demand to be victims need to be educated on firearms or SHUT their mouths.As soon as you callthem to the carpet on their background and experience with firearms. They shut up and avoid the question!

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