Mountain Lions!

Ben Long

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Aug 8, 2011
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1,264
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Kalispell, MT
The most recent one...Two seasons ago I spotted a big muley crossing a clean snowfield and bed down above me in a burn, so I hiked up there to get after him. When I found his tracks there were fresh lion tracks on top of his, and when I got to the buck he was standing very fixated on something else below him on the hill instead of me, I never saw the cat the entire time I was up there dressing of the buck, gave me the willies.

If @Oak gets a gratuitous pic so do I...
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That's a great story. Just because you didn't see the cat doesn't mean the cat didn't see you!
 

marshman

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Jul 10, 2017
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765
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Southwest Washington
Saw a lion run across the road in front of us one time while elk hunting. We stopped to get out and look at its tracks, as it disappeared in a rock pile. Figured the lion was long gone, but nope. View attachment 219718 View attachment 219719
This is what creeps me out about cats vs bear or most any other critter. They do not always run away, cougars like to watch you. I have had this happen in the Selway.
 
Joined
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Opened the tent one October morning, still in my sleeping bag, and on the slope above me I saw tails whipping around. Was confused at first, but two lions came rushing down toward the lake after a squirrel. One stopped when it saw my tent and started to walk toward me. I debated whether to go for the pepper spray or the camera. Camera! She (he?) stared at the tent with a head while I tried to stop shaking. I figured she didn't know what that was, and I didn't want to act like prey so I kept still. After several tense minutes her ears laid back and she turned around toward the squirrel and her sibling. OMG! I packed up and turned tail myself.
 

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Carl 9.3x62

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Laramie, Wyoming
This is what creeps me out about cats vs bear or most any other critter. They do not always run away, cougars like to watch you. I have had this happen in the Selway.
Agree. Makes you wonder how many you walk right by without ever having an idea one may be around. On a side note, not once was I nervous taking pictures of the lion. It was easy to tell from its body language that it wasn't acting aggressive or anything. However, once we turned our backs briefly and looked back, it had vanished.
 

Stone_Ice_1

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Apr 23, 2014
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150
Location
Helena, MT
I have always wondered how many times during my hunting exploits that I have walked under a tree or walked right by a lion somewhere. I have seen many but my most hair raising experience was walking in the dark one morning to my hunting spot. I was walking an old logging road in and because of the solid moonlight that morning I had my headlamp turned off. I heard a growl above me and clicked on my headlamp. Just as I clicked it on I saw 2 kittens on top of a deer on the cut slope of the road about 15 yards in front of me. They looked at me and the deer jumped up and ran down the hill with the 2 kittens chasing it. So then my thought was ok, where is mom. I looked up the hill and she was up the hill about 30 yards and staring at me, with her tail up and doing that slow tail whipping thing they do. My conundrum was that I needed to walk between her and where the kittens went to go to my hunting spot. As she started walking uphill I clicked off the safety and continued up the road with one eye on her as she let me walk on by.
 

gouch

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Jan 29, 2019
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775
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SW Oregon
In the hills on the Oregon coast there are Evergreen Huckleberries. These grow up to 8 or 9 feet high with long, vinelike branches, that tangle together forming impenetrable thickets. Basically, the only way to get through these thickets is to crawl on your hands and knees because the bottom 2 ft. tend to be more or less open. We were surveying the forest Service property boundary when we ran into one of these thickets. Normally we would cut through it with a chainsaw, but we only had about an hour left to work that day and it was too far from the truck to go get a saw. So, we decided to cut as far as we could with our machetes. To do this we would leapfrog through the brush, one in front of the other working in the same direction so that nobody was ever closer than 10 feet from a swinging machete. I got to a point where I had just caught up to where Andrew had stared his segment. There was about a 5 ft. vertical drop at that point and Andrew was maybe 10 -12 ft. ahead of me. He had just taken his rain jacket off and hung it in some brush when a large animal took off from right in front of him. It ran down the hill about 50 ft and stopped and sounded like it was pacing back and forth. You couldn’t see more than a foot or two through that brush, so we didn’t know what kind of animal it was. We were speculating it was a bear when suddenly, we heard kittens crying right where the animal had run from, so we knew it was a cougar den. Andrew quickly came up to my position and we started discussing what our next move would be. We decided to bag it for the day, go back to the motel and call the boss. He told us we had to leave, and we would figure something out later. We still had to go back the next day to retrieve the equipment we had left at the site, including Andrew’s rain Jacket. Andrew said he was going to just leave the jacket so I told him I would get it for him. I wasn’t too worried about the cat. Not wanting me to be more of a man than him He said no, and that he would get it. He went down and got the jacket. The cat immediately came out of the brush about 3 ft from his leg staring right up at him. He yelled and ran. The cat just disappeared back into the brush. This was in January, and we didn’t end up going back to that job until April. I then found the den. It was 6 ½ ft from the spot Andrew had been standing. Andrew told the boss that he was just glad we didn’t have a camera because he knew that if we did, I would have crawled through the brush to get a picture of the kittens. He was right, I would have.
 

Scott85

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Nov 22, 2018
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1,177
Agree. Makes you wonder how many you walk right by without ever having an idea one may be around. On a side note, not once was I nervous taking pictures of the lion. It was easy to tell from its body language that it wasn't acting aggressive or anything. However, once we turned our backs briefly and looked back, it had vanished.
I guess it’s a good thing that there have only been 27 reported fatalities ever reported and around half of those were children. Think about if they thought of man as another prey item.
 

EYJONAS!

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Mar 17, 2017
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4,978
Lion stories are the best, IMO. I've had the good fortune to run dogs with some great houndsman. The one I've ran the most with is a "old school" houndsman who has a passion I've never seen before when it comes to working with dogs.

Probably one of my favorite memories is watching a friend climb up the tree to get a photo or 2 about 25 ft off the ground in a giant ponderosa. He went up and took some photos and the cat came basically walking right down the side of the tree. I dunno if they were more than 3 ft from each other. Face to face the cat decides to continue the descent and my buddy let's go of the tree and grabs a limb. He's literally hanging there like he's on a pull up bar. Trying to reach the tree body with his legs and get back on. We were all fairly nervous at that point. The cat goes between him and the tree. Runs off and we were all in shock. My buddy climbs down and says, well I've done that about 150 times in my 30 years and I'm pretty sure that would be my last time. Couldn't believe he didn't fall out and thankful he didn't.
 

mrcowboy

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May 9, 2017
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156
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New Mexico
I've seen one in the flesh (Pecos); one on a game camera; one walk within 50 yards of my tent on night sleeping in the Gila. It screamed for 15 minutes close. The dog and I stayed in the tent with the hand gun. Dog kept looking at me wondering why we weren't going out. Later that weekend I found two kills. Cow elk and big mule deer buck. We were in his or her feeding area i guess.
 

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Rzrbck918

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Bixby Oklahoma
Ive seen one in North Central Arkansas about 15 years ago walking down a two track road at our cabin. My wife and I were riding down the road on a four wheeler and it was in the road facing directly away from us when we rounded a corner. She immediately recognized it as a mountain lion; but at that time they were considered extinct in Arkansas, so I tried to convince her and myself it was a huge bobcat. About that time it turned sideways and that long sweeping tail discounted my "they aren't in Arkansas" argument.

Never seen it again but a few years ago we were dumping carcasses of whitetail deer in a clear cut and as we were unloading the side by side, we heard one scream. It couldn't have been more than a couple hundred yards away and we were unarmed in the dark covered in deer blood. After involuntarily adding an unappealing cover scent, we quickly retreated.
 

AlaskaHunter

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Jan 20, 2017
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interior Alaska
We had a lion kill a doe about 30 yards from our house a few weeks ago.
Lion then dragged the carcass out into the pasture and flipped it hide side up when it was done.
Near Polson MT, the next day my vet said one of his clients a mile away had a lion sleeping in a tree outside their window.
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Ben Long

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Kalispell, MT
So when I was a newspaper reporter I was always keen to interview victims of animal attacks. This was before today's privacy laws so I could sweet-talk and/or sneak into the local hospital to interview folks in their hospital beds. I remember one tourist family. Can't remember where they were from but they were on their way to Spokane via Glacier Park. The Dad stepped off into the woods to pee. His boy followed him and was sitting on a log nearby. Cat came up behind and just swiped the kid off the log, claws to the poor boy's face. The dad rushed in wearing only flip-flops and started kicking the cat. Cat backed off. This, along with the cat v. dog account I mentioned earlier, reinforced in my mind the need to fight back if you get into a tangle with a cat. Flip-flops and ski poles are not heavy weapons but they worked. Of course, these attacks are quite rare. I've seen five lions in the wild and most only for a fleeting second.
 

cedahm

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Sep 22, 2015
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Location
Colorado
Wow, what a beast.
Well fed...
He wasn't even the biggest of the 3 cats we had on camera that season - this pic is from a camera that is slightly further away from the cat than the other one. This big boy showed up about 30 minutes after a flock of domestic sheep had been through the meadow (this is about 2 miles away as the crow flies from the other picture):

imcat1 - Copy.jpeg
 
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