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Dylan Ross, of Montrose, Colorado, was in the woods, hunting mule deer on November 5. He was sneaking through the woods a little after daylight when he heard a noise.


Words can’t even describe my hunting experience yesterday. I was and hour over a vertical mountain before it got light. I got to the other side and was sneaking through the timber then suddenly I hear something to my left. I turned and it was a lion! No more than 5 yards away. Right when I turned she hissed and came at me.

I killed her at 8 steps away from me. It’s one of the scariest things that’s ever happened to me. I took these mountains for granted. All the way down that mountain all I could think about is I was one moment away from never seeing my family and my 2 little girls again. I killed the lion at 7:34 A.M. then came all the way back down that mountain. I reported it to DOW, I showed them all the video evidence and gps coordinates and they said it was all legal. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to keep the lion.

So after all that mess I went back to hunting around noon still shaking like a dog from the lion. I just kept recalling that lions hiss ten steps away it was like sneaking through the woods and stepping near a 120 pound rattlesnake. Anyways I shot up the mountain to one of my favorite spots and bam there was buck right when I got there.

I didn’t count points I just knew he was big enough and POW he was dead. This all happened at 130. I couldn’t figure out what the hell happened!!!! A lion tried to kill me 6 hours ago, now here I am sitting next to the nicest buck I’ve killed. I’m very thankful for November 5th, I’m also thankful for DOW Matt I didn’t get his last name, and most importantly to be alive and enjoy my family and friends and be able to share this story with them and you!!

All I can say is watch out, I thought I was the hunter and I was being hunted. I’ve never felt fear like a lion coming at me and killing it 8 steps away. She was aged at 4 or 5 years. My buck was 26” wide and 203 pounds dressed.

Dylan is obviously an experienced, competent hunter. The big cat was a 120 lb. female, a deadly threat. The videos that Dylan took at the scene make it clear what happened. A lion coming at you from less than 20 feet away isn’t a lion that’s content to avoid humans.

The videos and pictures taken at the scene also so the power of digital media as a way to protect your freedom. Digital recorders are becoming as important to your Constitutional rights as the access to arms protected by the Second Amendment.


©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

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    • The PETA dorks will release a statement telling people how senseless the death of this cougar is and PETA will give advice to future bowls of walking cat chow on how to save a hunter/hiker’s and an attacking cat’s life

      “Just throw a little cat nip under the mountain lion’s tail, it will calm the poor cat down with the hunter and animal both walking away alive. With this life saving procedure maybe the hunter and the cat become good friends”

    • I heard a lot of pops off in the distance today. Must have been the heads exploding in Boulder over this.

    • Nobody seems to mention effectiveness of bear spice on non-Ursus characters. Nobody seems to mention that bear country might have other four (and two) legged predators.

      • I’ve long mentioned the limitations of bear spray and pepper spray, and got a lot of flack for it years ago. That doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. Sprays are irritants with extremely limited range. Bullets crush tissue. While sprays can work, I’d rather have a ballistic solution for hungry / angry / protective predators.

  1. And that’s why you are a hunter, hats off to you. I’ll bet you slept great that night after an adrenaline dump like that. I shake my head every time I am out hunting and see some soccer mom with her 3 year old hiking and no weapon…… they have no idea that you are not the top of the food chain when in the woods.

    • And I shake my head every time an overweight hunter has an heart attack field-dressing a deer or falls out of a tree stand. Statistically these events are a lot more likely than getting attacked by any animal. Going out in the woods is serious business and a gun does nothing to protect you from the biggest risks.

      • If they’re overweight, what do you want them to do? Sit and read the forum all day? Some people get exercise AND enjoyment from hunting.

        The only thing I shake my head at is why he didn’t get to keep the mountain lion as a trophy. What a waste.

        • To discourage idiots who you know would willingly shoot critters when they shouldn’t, and use the excuse it was attacking me.
          However with the video evidence he should’ve been able to keep it, it was a righteous kill.

        • If you’re overweight, the time to exercise is BEFORE hunting season, so you don’t have problems during.

          I used to know a guy who got gobs of exercise all summer for the explicit purpose of being in good shape for hunting. After the season, which corresponded pretty well with the holidays, he turned into a slob until the next summer. We never did manage to convince him he’d be better off just staying in shape.

  2. 120 pound females is a deadly threat. True enough. But I saw a 190 pound female beat a man into the hospital.

  3. “suddenly I hear something to my left. I turned and it was a lion! No more than 5 yards away”

    He’s so very fortunate…

      • Cougars are America’s apex predator, whereas bear and wolves will likely leave you alone if left unprovoked, cougars are just the opposite, they are opportunistic, and will kill just because they can…

        • “Cougars are America’s apex predator”
          The mountain lion is an exceptional predator, truly remarkable.
          And they are little more than annoying meat to a brown bear. I’ll try and find it, but YouTube used to have a video of a mountain lion trying to separate a cub from a female brown bear. She tolerated it for a while, but then with a single slap of her paw broke the lion’s back in half. It was over that fast.
          The brown bears can be over 9 feet tall and weigh well over 1,000lbs. The record Polar Bear, a type of brown bear, is over 2,000lbs.

        • Some are smarter. I came face to face with one at more like twenty yards, happily with my rifle already up. I calmly told the beast neither of us would be happy if it pounced. It couldn’t have been long before it turned and left, but it felt like forever.

          The worst part was that I’d drenched my clothes thoroughly with sweat — getting them scent-free again was all too much work.

          But the one I faced was no 120 pounds; I’d guess it at just under a hundred. If 120, I probably would have sweated off another ten pounds.

      • That movie was proof man is not at top of food chain. I just saw that movie the other day. And I’m sure that was not what he said. And if others are wondering the movie is Jurassic Park.

  4. Quite a story…but I thought a heavily muscled puma could easily leap 15feet. Lucky boy…

  5. Seven billion people on this planet, how many mountain lions? A hundred thousand? And I’m supposed to sympathize with a human?

    • Go get eaten by one. We’ll see if anyone at your memorial has sympathy for you.

      Sure, they’ll saw some nice things publicly but as they walk away they’ll mutter words like “moron”.

        • Cute. Remind yourself to never visit a National Park in the West and never live anywhere in the Rockies or West of that mountain range.

          After all, there are Mountain Lions living in L.A. (close to downtown actually) and others with territory that covers pretty much every major city in the West.

        • Nine is right. Every few months we get treated to another story of a jogger in the hills around LA getting mauled by a hungry cat; and on well-beaten jogging paths regularly frequented by unarmed humans who forgot that nature is still out there and thinks you look like an easy and tasty meal. 🤠

        • You sound like a city slicker, and that’s fine. Stick to your urban jungle. However, that is no excuse to criticize those who hunt or hike in the mountains where the cats roam. Would I ever want to shoot one of these magnificent animals? Heck no, but I don’t want to get eaten either.

        • BLoving:

          Scarily enough there are known populations of these cats in both Griffith Park and Will Rogers State Park.

          There’s also a plan in the works to build a “wildlife overpass” over the 101 near the Hollywood Reservoir so I’d expect to start seeing such animals in other areas around L.A..

          There’s a fascinating JRE podcast with a guy who tags and tracks coyotes, bears and big cats in the L.A. area.

        • So if an Asian tourist in Griffith Park taking photos with an $8,000 camera gets mauled, would that also be an invader of cat territory? Please inform me how your brilliant philosophies can keep me more safe than carrying weapons?

        • “Guess what, I don’t invade their territory and I am doing just fine.”

          Well you win the prize for the stupidest thing said on this site in a long time. That’s impressive. Really, hat’s off to you there. Did you know that mountain lions in Texas have been known to have a range as far as 300 miles? The exact same cat that was snacking on poodles in San Antonio was found to be eating deer in the Chihuahuan desert.

        • It’s not just the wilderness cougars that are dangerous, there’s plenty of cougars lurking in the big cities looking for vulnerable men! Just ask Al Franken’stein!

    • That’s right. You stay in your city and don’t come out. Be afraid. Them hills is full of lions and tigers and bears! And hillbillys! The second you step outside city limits you could be suddenly gang raped by an entire herd of hillbillies! Keep within the confines of your city and continue to watch your snarky comedy central instead.

  6. Similar event happened to an acquaintance of mine a few weeks ago. He was doing a slow stalk for elk in thick woods, he was all camo’d up. A big male dropped out of a tree at about 10 yards on the trail and crouched staring at him.
    As he is a taxidermist, he can patch the hole in the head.

    • On one of my first deer stalking forays into the Michigan woods with a smokepole, I’d stopped near a big burly elm after spotting deer color ahead; when an uppity squirrel started up at me. No sooner had I looked up to shoot it the evil eye, I heard a rustle, followed by something crashing down towards me.

      My first thought was deadfall, but then I saw four outstretched bobcat legs & claws. I had already jumped back, and a young tom (along with a large dead branch) landed nearly where I’d crouched. It looked surprised when it landed, and outright spooked when it realised I was there.

      That cat popped straight up, and took off at ludicrous speed with it’s bob at max-poof while I lost it, whatever I’d seen unassed the AO, and that damn squirrel laughed at all of us.

      • We were calling yotes one night. A rather large bobcat came into our spot. I watched him investigate our gear and then leave. We were within shotgun range of him most of the time.

        I never heard a sound from him. None. Had eyes on but heard not a step, rustle or any other noise. Amazing.

  7. As always, the female of the species is more deadly. Of course, that’s never stopped me trying to slay 120lb cougars whenever I can.

  8. How prescient. He must’ve answered yes to the question a few days ago, “can you kill a lion”?

  9. There are cougars (aka catamounts) in the East, too. Not many, mind you, but some. They live in remote areas of the Blue Ridge and Appalachian Mountains west of where I live in Fairfax County, VA. But that doesn’t mean they don’t roam. A lady of my acquaintance who used to own a horse farm out on U.S. Hwy 15, east of Middleburg, told me that once in a while she’d sight a big cat on or near her farm – there were wooded hills nearby. There were no attacks on people or horses – evidently the cougars were people-shy. The black bear population is growing around here, too – mostly young males looking for territory away from the mountains. They have spread east into suburban areas around Washington DC, where one is occasionally killed by a car. There are occasional reports of bear attacks on mountain hikers and others who think they are cute.

    • The suburban areas west of Richmond, VA recently seem thick with fox. Bear sightings pop up at least every other year. Coyotes have been seen for a while now. While none of these are near the size and weight of the western predators they aren’t in the mountain wilderness. They’re deep in the suburbs inhabited by the disarmed demanding moms. Even if they don’t attack us, they’re a threat to domestic animals and potentially spread rabies.

  10. Oh wise and educated people of this site, give me your knowledgable opinions.I have two pet pumas, they share the house with me, granted they are powerful creatures, but they are not the human death machines you portray. I saved them from the den of a mother who was illegally shot. They had their eyes closed when I found them, and pose no threat to me. As I’ve read your opinions on other subjects, I know I’m going to get the ” you just wait till…..” My thought of those are jealous individuals who will say nothing good about anything unless they own it

    • Is this true? What state are you in? Is it even legal? Tell us more. If legit, it sounds pretty dam cool.

      • All I wanna know is how much do you pay per month in meat costs? I’ve read that those things can easily eat 20lbs of meat per week each.

    • Well, I think that such a creature taken out of the wild just after birth and raised inside your house will behave quite differently than one who’s entire life has been spent in the wild looking for prey it can easily defeat. Your comparison of the two is meaningless.

      • Have you ever seen a house cat lose it’s shit for no apparent reason and swat someone? I have, and everyone I know who has cats has stories about that. Now imagine that the cat weighs 100+ lbs. Having big cats as pets is stupid. Even house cats are only one small step from a wild animal.

        • I saw a ten-pound house cat go berserk once. $2k later in emergency room bills and several hundred to replace shredded coat and shirts, we got told we couldn’t put down the cat, we had to let the Humane Society come trap it.

          I think if I’d remembered that while I was facing down its much larger cousin I would have done more than just sweat.

    • I live in Indiana and over in Ohio there are lots of folks with Apex predator pets. Every once in a while the “pet” decides the owner is a snack, doesn’t need their face or just decides to get out and munch on someone who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Everyone believes their little pet would never turn on them. Plenty of folks in the ground who made that mistake.

      In some cases the animals get taken away and brought to a shelter/zoo type place where they can be cared for since they are no longer able to live in the wild. The closest place to me is Black Pines Animal reserve, they take lots of the Ohio Apex pets when the owner can no longer care for them. If you are ever in the Churubusco area, check it out! Lots of animals being taken care of far better than a individual can take care of them in most cases.

    • So I dated a girl that worked at a big cat park. There was a baby white tiger there and i was playing with him. When she said something to me, I took my eyes off the cat and it climbed on my back and bit the back of my neck, playfully of course, but i knocked him off and she took him and calmed him down. You’re an idiot if you think for one moment that you won’t be hurt or become lunch because you are weaker than them, slower than them, and apparently dumber than them.

      Just ask Roy how that worked out

  11. ” A lion tried to kill me 6 hours ago”

    Haha. Nope. If he only noticed the lion when it was 5 yards away it was not trying to kill him. Mountain lions can pounce over 10 yards. If the lion had been trying to kill him it would have done so. Hissing is a cat’s way of saying “back off” not a prelude to an attack.

    • I wouldn’t take that chance. It’s one thing to theorize and expound on behavior study and another to smell the cats breath in front of you.

      • In theory he should have never seen the cat. Cougar should have vanished before the hunter saw him.

        But there they were. Face to face at knife/claw range. At which point the smart human fires. And since no charges were filed it appears to be a valid shoot.

    • Funny, When my cat hisses it’s usually just before she morphs into a small furry tornado full of concertina wire and razor blades powered by pure hatred for the universe that burns hotter than satan’s butthole after a night fueled by cheap tacos and bad curry.

    • “Hissing is a cat’s way of saying “back off” not a prelude to an attack.”
      DaveR, cat’s aren’t people. They aren’t acting with the same logic and reason as humans. When they hiss, they aren’t saying “back off”, it’s a lot more fuzzy than that. Closer to what they are saying is “be afraid of me.”
      That “be afraid of me” is helpful when they want a threat to go away, or to allow them to retreat. It is also very helpful when they want pretty to remain cowered and still.

  12. This proves you should always carry one up the pipe when moving. Carry in an empty gun and you’ll be on the menu. You just never know when you might be lower on the food chain.

  13. And just why did he NOT get to keep it. I understand NOT keeping the Thug you might drop trying to Mug you but this? Why does he NOT get to keep it. Who does get it? What will happen to it?

    And James69… LOL “I hope he had on his brown pants…”

    • Undoubtedly they will cut that cat up into tiny pieces and examine every part of it under a microscope for scientific research.

    • They don’t want people to have a profit motive for making false claims of self defense. Want a trophy animal and its not season? Claim he was ‘coming right for us’.

      DNR will do a complete investigation into the killing. And you will not get to keep the animal or any part of it.

      • I would think a quick check would tell you “Yeah you shot him in the face” he must of been coming atcha bro. You got lucky.
        Or according to this Bullet hole the Bullet was traveling from Behind the Cat just below the Left Armpit passing through the Chest cavity & exiting just front of the Right front leg. Poor cat never seen it coming.
        Hands behind you back please.
        Course I ain’t no Forensic Pathologist or nothing but I think I could tell if the cat saw it coming from 8 feet away. Might even be some Gun Power residue from that distance.

        My Money is it went on someone Else’s mantle. Even if it is just in the Game Warden’s Office.

  14. I was bowhunting in northeast Oklahoma, an area where mountain lions aren’t supposed to exist, when I had my encounter. I was hunting on the ground and had been leaned up against a big tree listening for any steps on the crunchy fallen leaves. I heard what I assumed was a deer walking up the side of a very large river berm.

    It was last light and the critter was moving very slowly. So slowly that last legal shooting time past in the process. It was a full moon so there was plenty of light and I decided to stay where I was so I could at least see if it was a buck or a doe.

    After what seemed like an extraordinary long time I finally saw it crest the top of the berm. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and the shock was quickly replaced with fear as I realized I was only 15 feet or so from a mountain lion and nothing to defend myself with. Oklahoma doesn’t allow you to carry a handgun during hunting season unless it’s a legal means of taking the animal, which obviously isn’t the case in bow season and there was no such thing as legal concealed carry at the time. I couldn’t nock an arrow without giving my position away and my knife was in my pack on my back. I very, very slowly pulled one of my arrows from the quiver mounted on my bow and figured if things took a bad turn I might have a tiny chance of stabbing it with the arrow if it didn’t break, which was very likely.

    With as little of myself as possible peering around the tree I kept one eye glued on the large cat knowing that the tiniest sound or swirl of wind I may be fighting for my life and at a huge disadvantage. I could see the lion extremely well at that distance and I could hear the low guttural growl like noise it was making as it sniffed the air and moved slowly ahead in a crouched sort of walk.

    How it never smelled me, heard me or saw me I’ll never know but it was absolutely terrifying. I’m not even sure how long it all lasted. Of course many folks didn’t believe me but perhaps after multiple sightings and photos of cougars in the area a few years later they’ve since changed their minds. I also never bow hunted again without a way to protect myself.

    • Wow — I thought it was bad facing one when I had a rifle aimed at it!

      My encounter was also in an area where there supposedly weren’t any big cats. When I reported it to wildlife people, they were all excited that a cat had returned! So they were even more excited when a couple of weeks later I found parallel cat tracks, enough that they set up a system to catch photos and verify a breeding pair.

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