Mountain Lion Shooting With An AR-15

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 1 week ago

Dean Weingarten.

When the deputy arrived at the young family’s location, he exited the vehicle with a Colt AR15 style rifle in .223 caliber.

The mountain lion was not deterred, even after the deputy arrived. The deputy tried shouting at the animal. It stopped pacing back and forth and started advancing toward the deputy.

The deputy fired a warning round in front of the big cat.  It continued to advance.

The deputy fired at the front of the cat, below the head. At the shot, the cat started charging the deputy. The first shot was from 25-30 yards out.

The deputy continued to fire, hitting the cat three or four times out of four or five shots.  The last shot was into the side of the cat as it turned. It dropped to the ground about 10 yards from the deputy.

[ … ]

When mountain lions were routinely hunted with dogs, it was common for even a small dog to tree a mountain lion.

Today, thirty years after regular lion hunting was banned in California, mountain lions routinely kill and eat pet dogs.

That’s closer than I want to be to an advancing mountain lion.  As I’ve said before, there aren’t any animals in North America that will stand and take on a pack of dogs.  Flight is their first instinct.  For large predators it needs to be a large pack.


Comments

  1. On January 19, 2021 at 1:09 am, Georgiaboy61 said:

    Re: “That’s closer than I want to be to an advancing mountain lion. As I’ve said before, there aren’t any animals in North America that will stand and take on a pack of dogs. Flight is their first instinct. For large predators it needs to be a large pack.”

    That deputy was lucky that day. Lucky to be armed, and also lucky that the mountain lion did not behave in a typical manner.

    Mountain lions are tremendous leapers and as often as not, cover distance between themselves and prey/threats in that manner. They also prefer to hunt via ambush, especially lying in wait until the intended target has walked by and its back and neck are exposed. They then silently leap onto the back of the target, which – so ambushed – finds itself at a disadvantage or worse. They prefer to grab the neck of the prey in their powerful jaws and finish it off that way.

    They are extremely fast afoot and have superb reflexes, but so do most of their natural prey in the animal kingdom. Given the tremendous energy expenditures involved in chasing down active prey, most mountain lions prefer to let the prey come to them.

    Mountain lions tend to be reclusive creatures and usually prefer places where humans are not often encountered, but there are exceptions. In Arizona, where I have seen and heard about them the most, they tend to stick to the higher elevations and mountainous desert – but if they are driven down by a lack of food or water, they can become bolder and start going into inhabited areas. Forest fires can also displace them and alter their normal routines.

    In some jurisdictions, it is standard procedure for a toxicological/pathological analysis to be done of a threatening predator who is then killed. Especially if the animal displayed rabid-type behavior or if anyone suffered wounds breaking the skin or otherwise exposing them to any pathogen being carry by the puma/mountain lion.

    Sometimes, an aging mountain lion, which can’t hunt effectively-enough on its own to survive, will take to being nearer to humans and their pets and livestock, in order to prey upon these things, or at least scavenge scraps from the garbage or road-kill.

    We most often saw them briefly just before or right at daybreak – when they came down from the mountains. Usually standing on one of the backyard walls that ring homes in Southern Arizona.

  2. On January 19, 2021 at 9:27 am, Fred said:

    That’s strange. I wonder what was wrong the cat. Hungry or sick or both I imagine.

  3. On January 19, 2021 at 8:52 pm, Georgiaboy61 said:

    @ Fred

    Re: “That’s strange. I wonder what was wrong the cat. Hungry or sick or both I imagine.”

    Or a combination of them. There are all sorts of strange things which can change behavior of an apex predator like a puma/mountain lion. Anything that alters their normal behavior patterns or physical health.

    A dental abscess in a human is usually an inconvenience (provided modern dental/medical care are nearby), but in a big cat, it can be cause for starvation, even death.

    Wounds sustained – say from fighting another big cat or other species – which prevent the mountain lion from hunting its normal prey. Drought, forest fires, diseases and blights among its favorite plant and animal sources of nourishment, the list is virtually endless.

    In comparison to humans, mammals in the wild tend to have robust immune systems, but that doesn’t mean that a mountain lion isn’t vulnerable to parasitic infections, illnesses of various kinds, even allergies and reactions to plants and other toxins in the environment. And that doesn’t even take into account all of the novel (man-made) substances in their world, which didn’t used to be there.

    And simple age and infirmity take their toll as well, just as in humans. Because of these, the big cat finds itself too slow to hunt its normal food sources and must seek something different in order to survive.

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This article is filed under the category(s) Animals and was published January 18th, 2021 by Herschel Smith.

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