Mountain Lions and Guns

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by 460Shooter, Jul 3, 2013.

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  1. DonnyBrook13

    DonnyBrook13 Member

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    Night stalker

    Never seen one, but last year before backpacking part of the Outlaw Trail in Utah (Butch Cassidy's hideout), we read an account on the login sheet at the trailhead -- guy was solo camping several miles into the trail. At night, he heard and saw a cougar prowling around his campsite. Said he spent the whole night awake armed with flashlight and rocks to chase it off -- it kept coming back.

    It was late Spring, very hot, and we didn't carry tents. I didn't sleep well at all on the open ground, paranoid that I'd wake up with a cat's fangs around my throat. I know house cats have night vision approximately 9 times more sensitive than humans, and they are good nocturnal hunters. I suspect the same about cougars. No, you're not going to get a shot off from a dead sleep with no tent for a barrier!

    I carried a .380, because it's light, only 20 ou. unloaded. My .357 Highway Patrolman is just too damned heavy -- we had to pack a lot of water. Loaded with Buffalo Bore hardcast, the Bersa .380 with 3.5" barrel gives about 295 ft./lbs muzzle energy, approaching 9mm levels. I've read two accounts of charging pit bulls being stopped in their tracks with a .380, so I didn't feel underarmed.
     
  2. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    Actually, a tent works pretty well as protection. Here in Arkansas, a black bear attacked a hiker in a tent. Not quite knowing what it was, the bear dragged the tent about a hundred yards, with the hiker inside, before he finally gave it up as a bad job. The hiker was not injured.

    The point is, while the critter is trying to figure out the tent, you have an opportunity to use your gun -- only this fool didn't have one.
     
  3. DonnyBrook13

    DonnyBrook13 Member

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    I think I would have traded my .380 for a tent, just to get a good night's sleep!

    A similar case in the Chiricahua mountains a few years ago -- a black bear tried to drag a cub scout in his sleeping bag away (no tent). The other scouts heard him screaming, woke up, and chased it off by throwing stones and sticks.

    Also a case in AZ of a mule killing a mountain lion. I've got photos somewhere -- the mule stomped on the lion, then picked it up with its teeth, slammed it hard on the ground, and stomped on it some more. It was a group of mounted hunters. Don't know how the lion got so close, but -- don't mess with a mad mule!
     
  4. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator Staff Member

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    Or something like that...;)

    I've heard all kinds of internet legend about the lion killing mule. But the truth of the matter is that this is an outfitter who hunts lions professionally with hounds. They bayed up and killed the lion. After it was dead the mule came over and "worried" the lion carcass which in itself is an amazing display of strangeness for a mule.

    The mule has always had an interest in dead cats for some reason and started this behavior off with sniffing and nibbling of the carcasses. He has been reported as getting more and more aggressive with cat carcasses as time goes on. I think that mule has a beef against dead lions for some reason! I'm guessing the mule is a racist!:D

    http://www.snopes.com/photos/animals/mulelion.asp
     
  5. DonnyBrook13

    DonnyBrook13 Member

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    Thanks for the update. I suspected that the lion had been wounded or killed by the hunters before the mule desecrated its corpse, but there was no text in the email I got.
     
  6. jack44

    jack44 Member

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    lions are thined skined so a good shot with a 22 mag. under the ear should put the kitty alseep.
     
  7. DonnyBrook13

    DonnyBrook13 Member

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    As an aside, I can see why Butch Cassidy and gang were able to escape and remain safe in their Utah hideout -- it's barren sandstone, rippled and carved into a thousand possible ambush sites. No cover at all for pursuing lawmen -- the clacking of horseshoes on that hard rock is a dead giveaway. A wounded man out here (at least back then), was probably a dead man.

    Most of the deputized men who pursued them knew this and didn't go very far into this baked wildnerness -- most, I think, just took the money, made a perfunctory foray, and then returned -- "Nope, didn't find a thing."
     
  8. DonnyBrook13

    DonnyBrook13 Member

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    It's often claimed that a .22 mag takedown rifle would be the ideal wilderness survival firearm. I believe it, after hearing about the .22 mag being extensively used in Alaska by Inuit hunters (mainly because they're poor, .22 mag is relatively cheap, and it gets the job done).

    Unfortunately, no such gun is in current production. Taurus/Rossi made the pump-action version for awhile, and Marlin had a bolt-action. If somebody ever came out with another .22 mag takedown, in whatever action, I'd be the first to buy one.
     
  9. Ian

    Ian Member

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    I was out hiking in northern AZ this spring, and hear what I thought was a noisy bird's nest up in a rock crevasse. I climbed up a bit to take a look, and saw this:

    [​IMG]

    No mother cat in sight. The fact that I was carrying a big .45 revolver didn't give me the slightest bit of reassurance - I sure made haste out of that area, trying to watch 360 degrees the whole time. Last thing I want is for a protective mother cat coming after me!
     

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  10. SharpsDressedMan

    SharpsDressedMan member

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    About 20 years ago, I had one jump out of a juniper tree in the foothills of NW Colorado right after I had walked under the tree while hunting mule deer. Big THUMP, and a glimpse of his butt in the dust. Fortunately, he was intent on going the other direction, or he could have easily jumped on my back a few seconds earlier. Now I look in trees while hunting deer out west. I think a .38 Super, .357, or heavier, would do the job.
     
  11. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator Staff Member

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    Ian,

    That is super neat!
     
  12. EssToy

    EssToy Member

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    About 5 years ago a cougar encounter convinced my wife to get a handgun.

    She choose a sw642 .357

    Apparently two females and two large dogs made this cougar curious.
    Rocks and shouting worked that time.

    I saw one last weekend. About 300yd away and running.

    Normally I have a .357 or a .45, but all we had was a double 20gauge. We watched for about 30 seconds until it was out of sight, and went back to the campsite.

    Really impressive to see.

    Scott
     
  13. Deaf Smith

    Deaf Smith Member

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    Yea Ian, that was some sweet kitty there.

    Hope it made it ok.

    Deaf
     
  14. flyingtiger85

    flyingtiger85 Member

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    I bought a Winchester 30-30 off a guy I worked with that only had 50 rounds through it.He claims that outside of Montrose Colorado he was stalked by a mountain loin coming slowly in front of him and he had shot 5 rounds in it before it stopped dead.That's a pretty powerful round.
     
  15. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator Staff Member

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    Mt Lions are super soft and easy to kill with a bullet. Unless you don't him them in the goods. Just like any animal you can gut shoot them multiple times with little apparent effect.
     
  16. danweasel

    danweasel Member

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    Mmmm mt loin...

    -Dan
     
  17. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    And there it is.

    I haven't read the whole thread, so this may have been covered.

    Mountain Lions can be found pretty much where you find the terrain that they like, regardless of what the experts say. I've seen'em on Pilot Mountain in North Carolina, and there are reports of "Cattymounts" in the Uwharries.

    They're ambush predators who come not only from behind, but also from above whenever possible...and they'll move parallel to the target until they can maneuver themselves into position to make the strike. So, avoid high outcroppings, or any terrain above your line of sight whenever possible, and if you have to pass close to such terrain, look up. If one has you on screen, that's where he'll be, and very often in plain sight. If you see one...stop and stare at him.

    I read once that some village residents in Bengal greatly reduced the incidence of Tiger predation by simply wearing a mask on the backs of their heads, with exaggerated eyes painted on the "faces" because the big cats won't normally attack if their quarry is looking at them unless they're defending their young or in a response to an invasion of their territory.
     
  18. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    That has been covered 1911Tuner, but saying it again isn't a bad thing. Many people assume pumas are always trying to kill you. Chances are, if you see the cat it is not stalking you. If they mean to attack, you probably won't know it until it is on you.

    I talked to some guys doing trail maintenance at a national monument near my home. They looked up the hill, and a large cat was perching there and watching them. As they walked away for the day they looked behind them frequently and the cat was following them. But ears were up and it was keeping it's distance. It was just curious is all. All critters can be curious.

    If you see a cat with ears up and watching you, keep an eye on it. Ears down and back, legs pumping, you better draw and pray all at the same time.

    This tells me it was probably just curious and he killed it for no reason.
     
  19. Torian

    Torian Member

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    An assumption of course. It would also be an assumption to say the cat had lost its natural fear of humans based on it's "curiosity", and was considering them for a meal.

    We will never know for certain.

    What we do know is that assuming the cat is a threat is a far safer course of action.

    If I go out in the woods to camp, or walk a trail, I'm not out there to shoot a wildlife special for National Geographic. I have zero qualms about dropping the hammer on any predator that gets too close or starts eyeing me.
     
  20. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Member

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    Same here but in my case,living in Alabama,I had better keep my mouth shut about it or have the attack documented on film. Otherwise the legal battle would be as damaging as the original attack!
     
  21. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Yeah. Any wild animal...especially a predator...that doesn't show fear of humans is rarely a good thing. One little-known symptom of rabies is a reversal of the animal's natural behavior. Wild animals sometimes become tame...even friendly. Be afraid.
     
  22. Stevie-Ray

    Stevie-Ray Member

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    We have them here, though nobody's seems to have actually seen one. However, I found the prints from one on one of my walks last year. Told my neighbors about it and they're keeping better eyes on their pets now.
     
  23. Deaf Smith

    Deaf Smith Member

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    In Texas cougar are considered vermin. Open season year round. No bag limit either.

    You just have to find them and that is the problem.

    Deaf
     
  24. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    Yeah, I guess I agree with you. I retract my comment and assumtion. If it's showing no fear, putting it down is the best corse of action.

    I guess my natural aversion to killing, and admiration for all large cats took over. I really struggle with killing something I won't eat also.

    Still though, I do agree in that sircumstance after rethinking it.

    Wow, I just wanted to share my sighting, and this thread is still going with relevant posts...... nice!
     
  25. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

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    I sure don't revel in the idea of shooting a cat just because it lingers or may follow me for a short distance. There are many things one can do before the need to "put it down" comes into play.
    A good shout, wave your arms, have a dog all are viable deterrents to having to have the final showdown with a cat or any other wild animal for that matter.
    There seems to be a little to much drama in some of the discussion, cats are not grizzlys and while they have indeed attacked humans I think that if you research documented cases they most often happened in locations that prohibited hunting and the management was essentially hands off due to politics or rabid environmentalism.
    A gun is never a bad thing to have in the wild but just shooting one because it looks at you funny is a poor excuse to shoot.
     
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