Get The Sticks And Rocks Out, The Mountain Lions Are Coming!

BY Herschel Smith
3 years, 5 months ago

Following up the revelation via the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife that sticks and rocks are more effective weapons than guns against mountain lion attacks, reader Fred is still questioning that guidance.

POCATELLO, Idaho (AP) – Idaho State University officials are warning people to use caution after a second mountain lion was spotted on the Pocatello campus in less than a week.

On May 11, Idaho Department of Fish and Game officials tranquilized and relocated a cougar from a trail south of the university. On Wednesday, ISU officials issued a campus-wide alert after a resident reported spotting a mountain lion near the school’s Stephens Performing Arts Center.

ISU public safety officers, Pocatello police and state wildlife officials searched the area but didn’t find the big cat.

Mountain lion sightings in and around Pocatello, as well as elsewhere in the state, happen throughout the year, especially in areas that are on the edge of the urban-wildlife interface.

Since only the King’s men may hunt the royal forests (tip to reader Josh for the comment), Fred may have to test this hypothesis for us by going into the bush in Idaho without a gun to see if a stick is more effective against a big cat.  I think I’ll let Fred go on this adventure by himself.


Comments

  1. On May 23, 2018 at 11:32 pm, Georgiaboy61 said:

    Statists must not go out into the wild very often. Only someone utterly naïve of life in the wild, where nature is red of tooth and claw, would be so idiotic as believe that you are better off without a firearm than with one.

    As it happens, mountain lions are often ambush hunters – and often leap astounding distances onto the backs of their prey, aiming to sink their fangs into the neck of that unfortunate deer, big horn sheep or elk. There is no warning an attack is coming; the predator is upon you.

    The odd backpacker wearing a sizeable pack has survived such attacks, the mountain lion, mistaking the pack for something good to eat, sinks its teeth into the pack instead of the hiker!

    Not withstanding that fact, it is much, much better to be in possession of a firearm than not, when in mountain lion country. Mountain lions also stalk prey and sometimes reveal themselves shadowing something of interest. As they are usually reluctant to attack when spotted, a warning shot often saves prospective prey and mountain lion alike. Failing that, sterner measures may be needed – as seasoned outdoorsmen know.

    Mountain lions, called puma in the east, such in their Florida and Southern Georgia swamp habitat, generally avoid humans and are difficult to spot in nature, preferring to avoid man altogether. They can sometimes be spotted at dawn and at dusk, on the edge of clearings or watering holes. They like to keep to themselves.

    In mountains, deserts and heavily-forested areas, they seldom reveal themselves easily, and prefer to avoid populated areas. I’ve only been fortunate-enough to see them once or twice at first light, of all places on a backyard fence in the Arizona desert north of Tucson.

    The exception being when game and other food is scant up high, they sometimes risk coming down nearer to populated areas in search of food. They have been known to feed upon pets – dogs, cats, etc. – as well as livestock, when their normal prey are absent or tough to find.

    These big cats have ben spotted on the great plains as well, as their protected status has helped them repopulate areas formerly devoid of them. Some years ago, one even managed to make its way down from northern Wisconsin and into the heart of Chicago somehow. Regrettably, no animal control officers were nearby, so the Chicago cops shot the hapless big cat.

    In other words, the authorities are A-OK using weapons to deal with cornered and dangerous wildlife like a mountain lion; they just don’t want you to have the same option should you find yourself in a similar situation.

  2. On May 24, 2018 at 8:00 am, Fred said:

    Of course, ISU could simply make the campus a Mountain Lion Free Zone. Just put up a sign, that’ll work. There’s no end to the silliness.

    To be clear, I’m partial to big cats and am glad that the North American Mountain Lion was not hunted to extinction. This of course does not preclude a man from defending himself or preserving his property (livestock, etc.).

    I have looked for them in both Florida and the Mountain West. One thing is for certain, they know your coming long before you’ll catch a glimpse of one. So let’s just say that they got to observe a man in the wild looking mostly like a lost idiot, smile. I’ve petted one in an enclosure. They purr, heh!

    I saw some recent discussions about caliber and shot placement and blah blah for cougars. They are solitary hunters, and as such cannot afford to get injured. They pick their pray carefully. They are not African which take much bigger risks because they have multiple breeding females in each pride. And they are not bears which, although they are solitary, forage and are omnivorous therefor they have a wide variety of food sources. So, if a cougar can’t hunt they can’t eat. The sting of a single .22lr round would very likely be sufficient to deter a cougar. But I’m not putting my life against a hungry lion with only a single shot 22.

  3. On May 24, 2018 at 5:49 pm, Bob Kerstetter said:

    Several months back, a cougar keeper at a Texas zoo told me cougars seldom attack humans. This confirms advice received while vacationing at the NRA Whittington center a few Decembers back. The Whittington person said a 9mm handgun contains more than enough power to take down a cougar at close range. “They are pretty fragile,” he said. “They would only attack a human if they are very hungry or sick. And then they would attack the stragglers at the end of group of hikers. Especially a child. It is good idea to keep your children ahead of you.” The Texas zookeeper said the cougar is an opportunist. “Punch it in nose and it will leave,” he said. “Cougars don’t like resistance.” These comments referred to the pumas of west Texas and New Mexico.

  4. On May 25, 2018 at 2:45 pm, John said:

    Apply the 3 S’s as needed.

  5. On May 26, 2018 at 10:57 am, TheAlaskan said:

    Sticks and Stones can break my bones,

    But wad-cutters shatter matter.

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This article is filed under the category(s) Firearms,Guns and was published May 23rd, 2018 by Herschel Smith.

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