Mountain lion/woods gun

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Smokepole14, Apr 7, 2021.

  1. Smokepole14

    Smokepole14 Member

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    I see plenty of threads on the best bear/woods gun. Probably because if it’ll kill a bear it’ll kill anything, but that could lead to carrying something that’s overkill. I plan on this year taking a trip and doing some hiking in New Mexico/Utah territory where there’s big cats lurking. What’s y’all’s go to rig for this? Let’s put a different spin on the bear/woods gun topic.
     
  2. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    I'm far from a expert but I'd like some that you can pull and shoot fast, I'd think 9mm will be fine.
     
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  3. dh1633pm
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    dh1633pm Contributing Member

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    Troy, when is the last time you encountered a mountain lion? Instead of what you recommend, I would say at least a 9 mil. Yes I am teasing. I would say the same.
     
  4. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    Seen one when I was drilling a well in line bush, not far from the Sullivan county line. I seen a deer carcass up a tree I e day with my dad. There's been one around my buddy's neighbor got one on his trail cam 2 years ago, Dec said it was a bobcat.
    then there's my cousins they have a animal preserve, they mostly have retired circus animals. There half a mile away and things have gotten out. The black panther was a fun weekend.
     
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  5. Smokepole14

    Smokepole14 Member

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    I would want to think a good hot 9 mil round would take care of a cougar. I would assume any carry ammo like a hst or gd would do the trick if needed.
     
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  6. Anchorite

    Anchorite Member

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    As a youngster I read many articles about varmint hunting and the like. I recall one about Steve Matthes (I may be off on the spelling) who was a government trapper out in California in the 60s and maybe early 70s. He had a Colt SAA converted to shoot 218 Bee that he used for cats. And I enjoyed the article in F&S about Jonathan Kibler (The Lion Dogs) who, out in Arizona, did 5 day dry ground hunts with dogs for cats. He had a Ruger Blackhawk 44.

    I don’t have any first hand personal experience hunting lions, but I have to believe they aren’t hard to kill, so given the opportunity I’d be happy with a 41 magnum, just to be different. I’m sure a stout 357 would let the air out of a cat, but the 41 is more reassuring and on the heels of a 44, which is probably tad too much power, if there is such a thing when hunting something with fangs and claws.
     
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  7. Frulk

    Frulk Member

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    In most places black bear and cougar ranges overlap. That includes the southwest.
     
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  8. George P

    George P Member

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    38 spl and up will kill a mountain kitty; IF you see him before he gets you from up and behind
     
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  9. MatrixReality

    MatrixReality Member

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    Remember “Never bring a knife to a gunfight”? I think this applies: “Never bring a pea-shooter to a battle”. Cougars have talons, sharp canines and kill by ambush and surprise. I’d rather have a large caliber than a pipsqueak. IMO, no such thing as “too much gun”! If I recall, there have been more humans mauled and killed by cougars than bears over time. Personally, I would carry nothing less than a .357 for protection. .44mag is my preference
     
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  10. HoploDad

    HoploDad Member

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    Using a single action in .45 Colt would put you right up there with John Wayne.
     
  11. Ru4real

    Ru4real Member

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    I carry a S&W mountain gun in 45 Colt. But I may switch to my Kimber K6S 4” Combat 357.

    Last year archery hunting elk I saw a cow elk in a clearing, about 125 yards away with two hours of shooting light left. No cover between me and her so I just watched. Two cougars would alternate coming out of the opposite timber, walk towards the cow, and then walk back in the timber. One cat was big, the other a little smaller. The cow left after about an hour. I walked across that clearing with my hand on the butt of my holstered 45, back to camp at dusk.

    The next day I found part of that cows calf, half eaten, under a log pile. The cats were walking out in that clearing to keep the cow at bay. The grip of my 45 never felt better as I walked across that field.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2021
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  12. WYO

    WYO Member

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    I usually have a Sig P365 9mm loaded with 124 grain Gold Dots or 115 grain Xtreme Penetrators when I step out of the cabin, although I occasionally will pocket a Glock 42 .380 loaded with Buffalo Bore hard cast. Here is a video of the front door of my cabin.



    (I carry the Sig with Xtreme Penetrators when bowhunting.)

    Mountain lions and black bears aren't the most ornery critters we run across. This can be:

     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2021
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  13. Barbaroja

    Barbaroja Member

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    The previous owner of my property had a cougar on trail cam 50yds from the back porch. That said attacks are so incredibly rare it’s more likely that you will need to worry more about what to do if you twist your ankle out on the trail. I’d say 38spl on up would cover you if lightning were to strike.
     
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  14. T_Walker

    T_Walker Member

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    There are mountain lions and coyotes on my property and plenty of mule deer for prey. My carry through "their" woods is a 9mm with 124+p JHPs. I like to scan all tree-tops and what is behind me. Walked my dogs down there this evening and thought about taking something bigger, but really didn't feel the need to.
     
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  15. DocRock

    DocRock Member

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    There is no such thing as “overkill” with something that can kill and eat you. You want dead dead, not just enough dead.
     
  16. Rex in OTZ

    Rex in OTZ Member

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    A reliable 10mm carbine (20 round mag) with a illuminated reflex sight.
    maxresdefault.jpg
     
  17. RETG

    RETG Member

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    These threads are very common, must be a lot of people heading out of the cities. :rofl:

    In regard to bears in NM, southern UT, a .40 might be an overkill, they are small. Even in the Lasal Mountains SE of Moab, they are more frightened of you than you will be of them. After l living in Moab for over six years, and hiking in the Lasals the bears were never a problem; unless you left the food out at night, and then it would disappear at night. And the bears in the mountains of western CO and Northern NM are small (at least compared to the biggies up here in Idaho, WY. MT).

    In fact, camping years ago outside of Colorado Springs at the WYE campground, I had two walk into my camp and simply setting off the seven stage alarm on a Hummer got them running down the trail looking like they were not going to stop till Montana. Noise works. And after coming head to head with grizzlies, spray works great!

    As for mountain lions, a .22 would suffice if you see it first. I have run across them a few times, and three rounds in the ground in front will get them running in the other direction. Problem with a ML is if you don't see them until they are on you, at which point the gun might be a club. Best to stay Bear/ML aware.

    As for where to see a ML, sometimes it is as simple as viewing a trail cam in your backyard... aQR9Cxr.png

    And another thing I didn't think of till last week is there are other dangers out there in the woods. There are bigger animals just as dangerous if startled.

    I walk my dogs every AM around 3-4AM and last week coming around a trail I walk on quite often, out of the trees to the right came a very large moose and she did not look happy. My 150 male Malamute got it running, but that was questionable for a few seconds. I should have thought of this many years ago. There are not the animal to attack, kill and eat you, but a 1000 pound cow peed off coming at you will do you in just as fast as a ML. And if it is a 1400 lb male...say goodbye.

    Why should I have realized there are moose where I live....my back yard....
    Oedwn7s.jpg

    Mchwpb5.jpg
     
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  18. WrongHanded
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    WrongHanded Contributing Member

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    I've never seen a wild mountain lion up close, but if they can take down an Elk, they must be pretty strong. I honestly don't worry about them much when I'm in the woods during daylight, but that's largely based on what I know about their typical behavior.

    Personally, a 9mm 124gr FMJ-FN doing over 1300fps is my minimum where mountain lions are concerned.
     
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  19. bigmike45

    bigmike45 Member

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    About 25 years ago I was bow hunting just outside Three Rivers, TX. I spotted one of the biggest Bobcats I had ever seen stalking a young doe. I always carry a handgun in a cross chest holster and on this day I was carrying a .44magnum, but I had inadvertently loaded it with .44special FMJ's, because my wife liked to shoot it that way. I was about 30' from the cat and I decided to take him out of the picture. I aimed for a heart shot and just before I pulled the trigger he started his leap. The gun went off and it blew both of his front legs off at the shoulders. He dropped in the tall grass. By the time I got out of the stand to go over to where I saw him drop, he was gone and there was a blood trail for about 50'. My hunting buddy arrived and we headed down the trail. I saw him laying with his back facing me, looking very dead and my buddy started to reach down to grab him. I stopped him and picked up a limb that was about 6' long and about 2" diameter and poked him in the back. Faster that I could believe, he rolled over grabbed the limb with his hind legs and started shredding all the bark off that limb. I pulled the gun out and shot him in the heart area again and after about 3 minutes he finally died. Now this was a huge cat (weighed out at 27lbs.) but nothing like the mountain lions I have seen here in Texas. I will never carry anything less than a .357magnum if there is a chance I could encounter one of those big cats. I now carry my .41mag with 250gr. hardcast bullets clocked at 1250fps.
     
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  20. CoalCrackerAl

    CoalCrackerAl Member

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    My son said he spotted an Mt lion twice where we hunt. I have not seen it myself. But i always carry a side arm when hunting. Either my 44 mag or my 10mm 1911. Where planing a hike today. Im taking my 22 lever action for plinking at junk we come across. And i'll have the 10mm on my side. Plus were taking 2 dogs along. Dogs are good warning devices.
     
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  21. Pat Riot
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    Pat Riot Contributing Member

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    When I hiked in Oregon near Mount Hood and areas to the south I carried my S&W 327 Night Guard with 8 rounds of Hornady American Gunner .357 magnum and 2 speedloaders. There was no threat of bear there (that I was aware of) but there were plenty of two legged varmints and I had heard of big cats there but never saw them or even any evidence of them.

    On hunting trips in Southern California I only encountered one big cat up close. I have seen others at a distance and saw plenty of sign. The cat I saw up close was hiding behind some bushes on a game trail about 20-25 feet away from me. It may have been stalking me or I may have just come upon it. Had I not stopped because I felt I was being watched and just happened to be looking directly at it when it blinked I probably would not have seen it at all. All of a sudden 5 rounds of .270 in a bolt action just didn’t seem like the right thing to have on me for this scenario. I didn’t panic (externally - I was wetting my pants internally). I faced the cat and backed down the trail the way I came. When I backed up to the tree stump where the trail had turned I slowly turned and walked back down the trail towards my truck. That was the longest hike ever...it was only about a quarter of an mile or a little more.

    I did see a mountain lion attack a deer once on a white water rafting trip. A lady on our raft said “Oh, look at the deer.” I just happened to look up when the lion came out of the bushes in a flash and was all over that small doe in a split second. The lion made short work of killing the doe and dragging it into the bushes. It was all over very quickly.
    I thought of that doe attack when I encountered my lion on the game trail. Man, are they fast.

    Personally, I would carry a revolver. They don’t go out of battery when pressed into something to fire. I would carry a .357 or a larger caliber.
     
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  22. WYO

    WYO Member

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  23. DR505

    DR505 Member

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    I have seen Mountain Lions up close and personal in New Mexico and Colorado. Had one walk within 20 paces of me, while elk hunting in the Conejas area, before he knew I was there. He froze in mid step and slowly turned his head in my direction, locking eyes with me. We stood like that for half a minute (seemed like a year) until I stood up taller. For a fraction of a second my view of him was obscured by a tree branch; he disappeared in that time and I never saw him move! I had a .350 Remington Magnum rifle and a Model 29, so was not too worried, but decided my hunt for the day was over so I went back to the truck.
     
  24. George P

    George P Member

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    When I lived out West, there were always reports every winter of cross country skiers in the greater Tahoe area who got attacked by cats from above and behind as they skied in a single line
     
  25. Meeks36

    Meeks36 Member

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    I think you have a better chance at Winning the lottery then being attacked by a mountain kitty. Now if in cougar territory 35 and under it’s a good idea to walk/hike with a mate or s/o. Been attacked by a cougar before. Was fun for my 25 year old self. But that’s for a different forum.
     
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