Single Shot 12 Gauge V.S. Mountain Lion/Black Bear


February 27, 2013, 02:33 PM
So I've got an extended camping trip coming up with the in-laws and family soon.

We'll be in the sticks 10 or so days. There's been some aggressive Mountain Lion activity in the past according to them. I'm not very worried about the Black Bear, in my experience they're pretty docile if you leave'em alone. I've had no experience with Big Cats though.

I'm going to bring my Rossi Single Shot in 12 Gauge with a 20" barrel. Do you gentleman think that'll be enough for a Mountain Lion? If so, what type of shot?

I'm not going to be HUNTING them, I don't really do the "IT MOVED! KILL IT!" thing either. Trust me I'm quite the animal person, I love cats AND dogs, No matter the size :D.

I'd like to be able to put a Big Cat down if I bump into an aggressive one though. Don't know how I'll end up doing that, I may step on ones' tail. It'd be my luck!

Thanks THR.

P.S. I don't think I'll be bringing a sidearm. If I do it'll be a Glock 27. I was thinking of leaving it at home so I could take a .22lr instead though.

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Jesse 8
February 27, 2013, 02:36 PM
Slugs often are used for bear protection, from my understanding, they work well. One shot....I would definitely bring the Glock just in case

February 27, 2013, 02:39 PM
I think the Glock and the .22lr would be more effective.

i know you're not pursuing them, but if they pursue you...try to recall all the successful dangerous game hunters who use(d) single shot guns, then compare that list to the list of dangerous game hunters who didn't come out on top despite having a readily available second shot.

February 27, 2013, 02:41 PM
You will never know a mountain lion is in the area until it is attached to your back, biting through your neck vertebra.

A shotgun would be a feel-good thing to have camping perhaps.

But you will never have an opportunity to use it if a mountain lion attacks you.

I would be more worried about a dead tree limb falling on your tent and impaling you in your sleep.


February 27, 2013, 02:44 PM

The thought process here is rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it. Even if I've got a slim chance against a hungry cat, I'd rather have a gun than just a camp knife. :neener:

@Desidog: How do you think Federal Hydrashoks will fare against fluffy sharp tooth? :D

I'm attracted to my Single 12 because it's lightweight and I've got a better chance to make a solid hit if I have to make a "Snap" shot.

What kind of holster would you use for hiking if I took the Glock? Shoulder? Traditional Hip?

February 27, 2013, 03:02 PM
I think any of those guns would do the job, but honestly neither of those animals are very dangerous to people. Just don't let your dog wander around unattended or leave your garbage out.

February 27, 2013, 07:06 PM
I agree with rcmodel, if you aren't killing a dog treed cougar you won't know it's there.
They don't generally go after adult males either but if one does attack you will have at best, one shot to kill it.

I have spent a lot of time in northern Wisconsin bear country and they don't generally go after adult males either unless you stumble onto a mother bear and cubs.

My cousin and I met a bear face to face in a blackberry patch, we backed out, the bear didn't follow.
The oldtimer who had a cabin just down the lake from ours killed one that got under his cabin and was tearing the insulation out in an attempt to get in. He got the bear up into a tree and killed it with a single shot under the chin from an old H&R .22 revolver.
He only killed it because it took a swipe at him as it ran past.
My aunt was fishing off the dock one morning and turned to find a bear sitting at the end of the dock looking at her, she hollared for my uncle who scared the bear off with a single shot from a shotgun.

February 27, 2013, 07:14 PM
I would highly recommend a pump 12 gauge if you have it, but if you are looking for bear loads, I use the 2 3/4 Special Forces slugs by Brenneke.

February 27, 2013, 07:20 PM
I'm with the others on the mountain lion and not knowing it is there until it is too late. Black bears will eat you, not just maul you. And this time of year they are coming out of hibernation and will be thin and hungry. If I had the Glock, I'd use FMJ's over hollow points just for penetration sakes. And a chest holster is generally where your hands will be if you do get attacked. Stick in a group and chances are if you ever even see a bear or Mountain lion, it will run away. Being alone will get their attention if they are hungry enough.

February 27, 2013, 07:51 PM
You do not have to kill the cat (or bear). Just shoot one of the in laws in the leg and run like hell.

February 27, 2013, 08:27 PM
I'd rather have a gun than just a camp knife. :neener:

Running, or bicycling by yourself in Spandex on a jogging or bike trail, or 3 years old, is what gets you attacked by a mountain lion.

Look it up on Goggle for "Mountain Lion attacks" or "Cougar Attacks" in the USA and see for yourself.

Cougars are stealth hunters, and respond only to the Fight or Flight instinct.

If you see them first, make eye contact, or stand your ground, they will not Fight, and will take Flight.

If you are moving fast, running, cycling, or skiing?
To a cat, you are escaping food, and they will chase you and jump on your back, dig in with all their claws, and bite at your neck & throat for a choking kill.

If you are a toddler?
You are food, small enough to take down without any risk of getting hurt themself.

Just like a house cat killing a mouse.

Again, a shotgun would be totally useless for defense against a cougar once that happens.

A sharp blade, or a handgun you can get too is a much more logical choice once attacked and it is on top of you.

If you are one of a very few people attacked by a Mountain Lion 3 or 4 times a year in the whole continual USA & Canada?

There will be no advance warning.
And you will most likely never know there was a Cougar (Mountain Lion) in the same state with you until it is too late to do anything about it with a shotgun! :neener:


February 27, 2013, 09:39 PM
When I lived out West, folks would get tags for mountain lions. The preferred dispatch method was a 38 spl. No need for slugs - better to have 6 shots than 1

February 27, 2013, 09:45 PM
rc has it pretty well nailed down. You'll be better off with a small dog on a long leash than a shotgun.

February 27, 2013, 10:04 PM
I agree with RC.
I think your better off with the glock on your person. A shot gun in camp doesn't hurt if your not hiking in.

February 27, 2013, 10:23 PM
tripple 0 buck? i bet itd work pretty well

February 27, 2013, 11:29 PM
3-0 Buck?
You fail to understand the risk, or the problem, it seems.

Professional Mountain lion (Cougar) hunters kill them out of trees over dogs with a .22 RF revolver.

People who get killed by them, never saw it coming!

And never had a chance to defend themselves.
Once the claws and teeth were in place for the kill.


February 28, 2013, 01:17 AM
This is a nice reality check. :eek:

Well I guess the 12 Gauge will stay at home when the time comes! I'll just play it safe and stick with a group of people.

Although that didn't quite work in Jurassic Park! :D

Thanks all!

February 28, 2013, 01:35 AM
This is a nice reality check. :eek:

Well I guess the 12 Gauge will stay at home when the time comes! I'll just play it safe and stick with a group of people.

Although that didn't quite work in Jurassic Park! :D

Thanks all!
You can never go wrong with a 12 ga as a camp gun, even a single shot. If it is the only shotgun, bring it. My first gun was a single shot 12 ga. Think about it, the mountain men conquered the west with single shot muskets nearly 200 years ago. A 12 ga is nothing to sneeze at, even single shot.

Secondly, depending on which part of Idaho you are in, we have griz to deal with as well. The 12 ga is considered powerful medicine even for griz.

Handguns for back up are always warranted, even a .22 LR is better than a stick against just about anything.

February 28, 2013, 01:38 AM
I'd take the shotgun and a hand full of shells. May not need it, but a slug at 50 yards or buckshot at 30 is some powerful medicine. With a little practice you can run one pretty fast if need be. When I'm out in the woods, I always have a firearm with me, you never know what might happen.

February 28, 2013, 02:06 AM
I hate to interject again. :neener:

But, you don't need to worry about the wildlife killing you on your camping trip, nearly as much as the humans.

The most dangerous animal you will ever meet or see in the woods camping?
It will be standing on two legs, wearing a wife-beater T-Shirt, or an old dirty down jacket.

Fear that animal.
Not a cougar or bear.

What animal stands the best statistical average of hurting you on a camping trip?
That animal is standing on two legs, wearing a wife-beater T-shirt, or dirty down jacket.

I'd still take the shotgun, and the Glock.

But not for the cougers or bears! :neener:

You Neenered me first!!!


Jesse 8
February 28, 2013, 09:44 AM
A friend of my uncle's was stalked by a mountain lion while hunting, she heard it about 10 feet behind her, tried scaring it and when that didn't work it got a taste of her hunting rifle. So if any of your companions are female, and are on 'that time of the month' keep your wits about you.

February 28, 2013, 10:19 AM
Wear a Nixon mask facing backwards.

bubba in ca
February 28, 2013, 11:58 AM
Not to knock the single shot with buck, as I carried one camping for many years. It was a great feel-good gun that would have served for many emergencies including the most vicious predator on earth, H. sapiens.

But, the dangers you describe are sudden and hidden--if you have any response possible it is shooting very quickly and quite possibly from the ground. For this I would suggest a revolver in .357 or .44 mag, single or double action, in a good holster.

the shotgun would be a great addition for in camp/at night.

February 28, 2013, 12:10 PM
@RCModel: Very good point! Last thing I want is to bump into an angry Meth Head un-armed!

I'll stick with the Glock and Shotgun. My Fiance carries a SR22P, I might loan my brother in law a .22. Not sure though, Hard to tell when you can trust someone with a gun. Not that he'd hurt anyone, but he might not be the safest kid!

@Bubba in CA: I've got no wheel guns sadly :(. I like to believe that Glock is very close to a revolver reliability wise.

February 28, 2013, 10:31 PM
I ran hounds for bear and lion for many years. RC is correct, the .22 LR is sufficient for bustin a cat out of a tree. Nothing will help if he is on your back. I would carry a pistol, either a lion or a bear will more likely run from you than at you during a chance encounter. But you might see a snake......

February 28, 2013, 10:40 PM
Sheesh, maybe just stay home under the covers. I hope there's no cats in your house though.....:scrutiny:

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