All Rights Reserved. Despite their size, they’re generally not considered a “big cat” because they can’t roar (as opposed to lions, tigers and leopards). Learn how your comment data is processed. The light reflected off his eyes. But it doesn’t mean that they are not dangerous. I could not believe what I was seeing, it almost felt like a hallucination but I was definitely panicked because I was aware of the unlikelihood of ever seeing one!!! We had to walk past the spot where he was. There are a couple of helpful tactics that can totally save you from the threat of running into a mountain lion. Yelling firmly at the mountain lion is also effective. For your own safety, always do a research on the area that you are traveling to while keeping track of your surrounding. If you do get followed let them know you are not prey. This what to do during a mountain lion encounter post contains affiliate links. amzn_assoc_asins = "B001DQ76JI,B001OPK66S,B002BMOJXE,B002E6VAHK";
. This was a somewhat regular occurrence at this spot. Prevention is key with mountain lions. Especially on nice days. Source: Mountain Lion Habitat Warning Sign by kmanohar - Under Creative Commons license. Try not to fall to the ground as it will make you inferior to the animal. When they do, they’re often a surprise and always frightening. On a side note, it is equally important to steer clear from potential preys of the mountain lion. That’s why most of the time, the wise thing to do when you spot a mountain lion nearby is to back away slowly and change your appearance so that the mountain lion won’t think of you as its prey anymore. I shined my 8000 lumen flashlight on the strobe mode. We hope that this post has been helpful for you to prepare for what to do when you see a mountain lion. amzn_assoc_linkid = "b7f57e4547ca52fb8f66c502e4966c2d";
Similar to avoiding black bear encounters or grizzly bear encounters, a mountain lion encounter can usually be avoided by making your presence known. The mountain lion will see small children as easier prey. If you find such toes in a … If you are doing it right while camping, hiking, or biking, then you probably will never see one. Following these elk safety tips will ensure that your elk viewing experience is a safe and successful one. I found my self more fascinated by this than scared but never the less hollered at my husband in the house and he came out and of course was like “H***S***”. Before going afield, study the table below to learn the differences between threatening and nonthreatening behavior and appropriate responses to each. They communicate via growls, purrs and hisses, much like domestic cats do. So far, so safe! The latter are by far the most common and the easiest to distinguish. So jealous you got to see four mountain lions! One time he bit me to get the point home. - Protect your crucial body parts: During the fight, always remember to protect your crucial body parts including your head, neck, and throat. First of all, it’s important to know that mountain lion attacks are very rare. One had a cub and they both took to the nearest tree as I was passing through. Maybe 10 minutes into the walk back something caught my eye. - Fight back: In the worst scenario where the mountain lion attacks you, fight back instead of running away as it is pretty unlikely for humans to outrun the mountain lion. When you’re trying to scare off an attacking mountain lion, bear spray almost always does the trick. In terms of skin color, mountain lions typically have a neutral, sand-like color—kind of like actual lions, which is one of the theories explaining their name. I had the dog leashed and was shining my light in the woods just to be safe. Hence, this post. When encountering a mountain lion, be big and be loud. Where Mountain Lions Live. How To Identify A Water Moccasin In 5 Simple Steps –... Best Solar Charger For Backpacking (Review) In 2020. He wasn’t that close, but he had been following us for about an hour I would guess. Not sure about dawn. Here's what you should do if you come face-to-face with a wild cat. Make noise (to avoid sneaking up on the cougars) and keep children close at all times. Once you’ve gained your composure, make yourself look as big as possible. It was 8 pm and we were hiking down a hill. Consider yourself lucky! The toes of mountain lions are shaped like a tear-drop. Practice grabbing it, removing the safety with your thumb and spraying. That foul mouthed tirade I let out on the dog for not listening to me convinced the cougar, a juvenile, that we weren’t lunch. I figured it was an animal and before the dog saw or smelled it. It’s never too late to take precautions against possible mountain lion or other animal attacks. Keep it accessible in a quick-draw holster, not stored somewhere in your backpack. Mountain lions kill a deer or elk every 9 to 12 days, eating what they can and stashing the rest for later. Most of the info I have found on mountain lion safety tends to be generic. (Obviously! Backing away from the mountain lion is one thing and defending yourself from its attack is entirely a different story. I was camping in Yosemite Superbowl weekend and had a mountain lion sighting on my way to the camps bathroom around 9pm at night. You can see them in their native habitat in these national parks. Do not freak out or make rapid movements or attempt to run away, because it will only worsen the situation and you will risk encouraging the mountain lion to chase you. What a privilege! Do not act like prey when you see a mountain lion or a cougar. Just as with a bear, try to look at big as possible so it doesn’t want to fight you. Mountain lions, like some other wild animals, fortunately, tend to avoid humans. Running can encourage the mountain lion to chase you. You have to pay attention. amzn_assoc_region = "US";
– If you see a mountain lion do not try to get closer for a better look. This reaction will be completely different. The best signal you can get from the dog is when they smell fresh urine. Or hike Plumas NF, in California, where large tracts of undeveloped land … Many cougar attacks occur in the morning or evening—dawn or dusk—when the animals are most active. I saw the tail. I went back several months later and I knew he wasn’t there anymore because the dog was relaxed. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. Therefore, you need to be aware of the animals’ presence when hiking in mountain lion habitat and know what to do during a mountain lion encounter. Required fields are marked *. Instead, slowly try to back away while keeping your face toward the lion. If you see a mountain lion in Missouri, please … You might, therefore, not even see a mountain lion attack coming. Give them a way to escape. When hiking in cougar country, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and be loud. I’m Luna and I’m a hiking enthusiast. Check the expiration date of your bear spray and make sure it’s EPA-approved. This will let any animal in the area know that you’re a human and not a normal prey or predator. • Do not turn your … Remember, never bend down or crouch under any circumstance as it will make you look like the delicious prey to the mountain lion. They’re one of the most widespread large land mammals in the Western Hemisphere.
But they like to hang out around the trails almost anytime. Cougar attacks are split-second events and you should be able to use your spray on auto-pilot. If you see a wild cat with a tail that’s longer than its back legs, you can be 99% sure it’s a mountain lion. The fact is that the overwhelming majority of hikers can spend decades on the trail and never see a mountain lion. The mountain lion (Puma concolor) is also known as the cougar, puma, panther, or catamount. Mountain lion attacks on humans are extremely rare. However, as human population expands into mountain lion habitat, more frequent sightings may occur and human/mountain lion encounters may increase. Mountain lions are the largest cats in North America—the fourth-largest cat species in the world—and can grow up to 8 feet (2.5 meters) in length. I stopped hiking there after that for a while. I have seen cougars on several occasions. As an effort to give back and protect the lands we love to explore, we donate 10% of profits to conservation organizations. Possibly his first sight of humans. If a mountain lion is stalking you, you must defend yourself. Aim at the cougar’s face and keep in mind the direction of the wind. Keep children close to you. We ride alone ninety percent of the time but I always tell someone where I’m going. amzn_assoc_ad_mode = "manual";
Top spots Vancouver Island, off the west coast of British Columbia, has North America’s highest mountain lion concentration. Hiking in a group is even better. Get out of the area as quickly as possible, without running. ), What Is Trekking? The dog noticed him at this point. Your email address will not be published. That’s why the chance of encountering a mountain lion can be virtually non-existent. A mountain lion will think twice about attacking two people, while one person might seem like an easy catch. While that sounds utterly scary and you are probably shaking with fear and terror, keep in mind that the only way to get out safely is to stay calm. A sturdy walking stick is a good idea; it can be used to ward off a lion. Write CSS OR LESS and hit save. What to Do in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Pacific Northwest National Parks Road Trip, Southern California Desert Parks Road Trip, Ultimate National Park Road Trips Overview, Best Hikes in Mount Rainier National Park, Best National Parks for Wildlife Watching, Shenandoah National Park Wildlife Viewing Guide, Best State & National Parks Near Las Vegas, Best National Parks Near Portland, Oregon, Best National Parks Near Los Angeles, California, Best National Parks Near San Francisco, California. Throw sticks or rocks. The other cougar I saw while hiking was in a different spot. *Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc., or its affiliates. I thought it was a crow. This four-park complex preserves some of the last remaining groves of coast redwoods. If you do see a mountain lion, you want to grab your child and pick them up or keep them close to you. If they are real close I cannot get him past them. amzn_assoc_ad_type = "smart";
we turned back after about 45 minutes. Another great piece of advise is to not hike alone in mountain lion territory. He ran (looked the size of a house cat from where we were). Keep from tripping those prey reflexes and you drastically reduce your chances of unpleasant encounters with North America's native lion. If you get real close he will not let you walk by, and he will not walk by. Keep your eyes on the lion at all times. Many wildlife organizations suggest standing one's ground defensively and even attempting to intimidate a mountain lion by shouting or throwing rocks. Thanks for sharing this story, Tamara. But opting out of some of these cookies may affect your browsing experience. The Santa Monica Mountains near Los Angeles, California are also well-known for their large mountain lion population. This post offers useful information about how to stay safe while observing and recreating near elk. Practice using your bear spray with an empty can. The first is that a dog has more awareness than people and will alert you if a mountain lion is near, and might even scare the mountain lion off. Either way, when hiking in a region where mountain lions live, you have to let them know you’re not prey. Never hike with earphones or headphones. Make sure you know you to use it properly, though. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. In addition to bear spray, I also highly recommend taking a basic hiking first-aid kit with you! Go in groups when you walk or hike in mountain lion country, and make plenty of noise to reduce your chances of surprising a lion. I had to pee. The dog would point out the scat to me if I didn’t see it. Your dog will never let you walk underneath a cougar. Do not run from a lion. Travelling offers you the experience you would never forget. Mountain Lion Safety Tips While Hiking: What To Do & How To Behave. I found scat and kills. You can recognize a cougar by its round head and erect ears, as well as its unusually long tail. You’re probably more likely to get into the Hardrock 100–and win it–than to see a mountain lion east of the Mississippi River.There are no mountain lions in Alabama, Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, … I’m sitting on my porch scrubbing some tires to be painted when all of a sudden I see my Shar-Pei, Buck hauling ass, tail tucked around the corner from the patio to the front porch. DO NOT RUN! I could see it was a cat when he was running. According to the Mountain Lion Foundation, only 14 fatal attacks on humans have occurred in North America during the past 100 years. Talk loudly, sing, whistle or clap your hands regularly. The Difference Between Hiking And Trekking. Defending Yourself from an Aggressive Mountain Lion Recognize the signs of a … CTRL + SPACE for auto-complete. Supposing you are on the trail enjoying the nature and suddenly you spot a mountain lion nearby, what should you do? Plan and go, nothing can stop you from exploring the world. Try wearing contrast colors and appear larger or taller (wearing extra jackets for instance). These are wild predators, after all. Your email address will not be published. What to do if you Encounter a Mountain Lion Mountain lions are quiet, solitary and elusive, and typically avoid people by nature. This should discourage the animal from launching an attack on you. Wow, what a memorable experience that must have been. Home to the tallest trees on Earth, many of which soar more than 350 feet above the forest floor below, the Redwood National and State Parks are unique in the world. Camping In The Rain Tips, Checklist and Things To Do! But what if the lion doesn’t move away? Make sure children are close to you and within your sight at all times. I know mountain lions are elusive and almost always keep to themselves, but you do occasionally hear about an attack. You can find much more information about everything related to mountain lions, including mountain lion protection, biology and behavior, on the website of the Mountain Lion Foundation. In the United States, they’re abundant in all western states, including Washington, Oregon and California, as well as Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona, Utah and Texas. Do not crouch and only stoop if you are quickly picking up a child, rocks or a weapon. Face the lion and appear unafraid. From tees and sweatshirts to stickers, our original designs showcase many of America’s iconic parks and landscapes. It was summer and at this time it got dark at 9pm. Learn All You Need To Know Here, Do Ramen Noodles Expire? Tracks: Difference between dog vs. mountain lion … Just as I was finishing I think the dog caught his scent and he walked past me. Obviously, nobody likes to combat against such an animal as a mountain lion, so the best thing to do is to avoid them altogether. I look up and 10 feet in front of me is this Mountain Lion. While rare in the (north)eastern parts of the U.S., they’re abundant in the West. The urine thing was way before I ever saw him. Because they stalk their prey, their preferred hunting grounds are open woodlands, edges of forests and grasslands with patches of trees. Sometimes, if they see you bending, they assume you’re a four legged … These will work perfectly if you live near the area of the known presence of mountain lions. If the animal is moving closer to you within 50 yards and seems to be attentive to you, try to appear larger without turning your back and look for potential weapons (sticks or rocks). So let’s review some mountain lion ecology, cover mountain lion safety, and do a reality-based risk assessment. More Information. Traveling into the wilderness is inarguably one of the best ways to gain life experiences, but it can be risky in one way or another. Subscribe to our newsletter and receive news and blog posts related to the national parks and nature conservation, delivered straight to your inbox every first Sunday of the month. Do anything you can to make yourself look bigger, but remember to continue facing the mountain lion. Animals seem especially drawn to children. I never saw a crow in this area, but for a long part of the walk a crow was chirping. An attack by a mountain lion is even less likely. Finally, if you do see or encounter a mountain lion, many local and park authorities encourage you to report it so they can assess the risk to public safety. The last cougar I saw was in a spot I hiked, on a regular basis, for about a year and a half. Know how to use your bear spray before heading into the backcountry. As mentioned above, you can do that by making noise and hiking in groups. That way you won’t have to worry about attracting unwanted attention from the mountain lion itself. What To Do If You See A Mountain Lion (Cougar) | All... Mountain Lion Habitat Warning Sign by kmanohar, Best Sleeping Pad 2020 – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide. These cookies do not store any personal information. It’s also critical to know that mountain lions are stalkers. This time was different. Most mountain lions will try to avoid confrontation, so give them a way to escape. When they get the scent they will let you know. 5. Our national park-inspired merchandise store celebrates “America’s Best Idea”, the national parks. Continue spraying until the mountain lion leaves or changes direction. What an amazing experience, Amber. Do not spray it around your campsite before going to sleep. What to do if you meet a mountain lion. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to In this post, I’ll talk about mountain lion safety and what to do when you see a mountain lion while hiking. Where To Find Flint? You can read more about our Terms of Use / Disclosure here. If he just gets the scent he will let you know he does not want to go further. I have hiked and walked through cougar territory most of that time. Bumping into a mountain lion is definitely something one does not wish to happen when traveling outdoors. If an attack occurs, fight back. I want to give useful pieces of advice about traveling and outdoor activities through practical tips. Sometimes, however, they might come closer and show themselves, as they’re trying to figure out whether or not you’re a potential meal. Before I finished yelling at the dog I saw the cougar run across the trail. You’re not on the Lion’s Menu. During the spring calving and fall mating seasons, elk can be particularly dangerous. In order to evaluate the risk and know how to respond accordingly, you can watch for the distance between you and the mountain lion and the behaviors of the mountain lion to decipher its motive and the level of danger. Mountain lions are large, powerful creatures, able to leap 30 feet in a single bound and run up to 50 miles per hour. If you encounter a mountain lion, take precautions. Whenever you’re hiking in places where cougars live, I strongly advise you to bring bear spray. According to the mountain lion’s hunting behaviors, the reason why the mountain lion chooses not to walk away from you is that it views you as either its prey or predator. So if you turn up something dead, admire it from afar as a cat could be napping nearby. It does not work that way and might even attract wild animals to your site.
2020 what to do if you see a mountain lion