[Brandon Arnold and Tessa Gerdes and seven of their Chino Valley friends, including three children] were getting ready to make breakfast at about 6:45 a.m. when a large animal jumped out of the bushes onto the back of Arnold’s dog Apollo, a 90-pound lab-pit bull mix,” prescottaz.com reports. “‘It was hard to tell what it was when it jumped out of there covered with grass and smelling like a skunk,’ Arnold’s friend Donald Jones said. ‘I thought it was somebody’s dog, so I was just pissed off somebody brought a mean dog to camp.’ Jones grabbed the neck of both the animals to try to pull them apart. That’s when they all figured out the other animal wasn’t a dog . . .
Jones let go real fast.
“I started screaming at the top of my lungs, ‘Holy (bleep), it’s a mountain lion!'” Arnold recalled.
The lion ran into the mesquite bushes and Apollo ran after it while the men frantically looked for the nearest weapon. Jones grabbed a camping table and Arnold grabbed a 14-inch cast-iron skillet heating up on the propane stove. Arnold got to the lion and dog fight first and did what he had to do to save Apollo.
“The first time I had a clear shot I just swung the pan and hit him right on the head,” Arnold said. “It was like a cartoon – he just kind of stopped and I hit him again. He got stiff and fell over.”
He hit it several more times, then another friend shot it a couple of times just to make sure it was dead.”
In case you missed it, nature is red in tooth in claw. How about the chick who ran a mile with a rabid fox locked on her arm a few years back? (Got her on Letterman.) A rabid fox attacked a friend of mine a few years back. He ended up killing it with a rock. He carries a .45 now in the woods.
Anyway, hiking all day tomorrow. Armed.