Thursday, March 14, 2013

Posts From the Road - Signs in Cougar Country

Out West where I grew up, cougars share the landscape with us and since the 70's ,cougar attacks are on the rise, some fatal.

Cougars are a concern even now, as  the animals sometimes wander down to the edges of the subdivisions that border the hills. 

One lady I met, when I was visiting my daughter, who lives in the foothills of the Rockies, said she came home from work as a nurse late, and upon parking, noticed a mountain lion tail twitching under the car in frontn of her. She wisely chose to stay in the vehicle until the big cat wandered off.

If you do run across a cougar in the wild, here are some safety tips.
Never approach a cougar. Most likely they'd prefer to avoid a confrontation, but like all wild animals, they can be unprectible. A cougar feeding on a kill is very dangerous.

Always give a cougar an avenue of escape.

Stay calm. Talk to the cougar in a confident voice. If you have a small child with you, pick them up off the ground and have older kids slowly back up towards you. Children frighten easily and their rapid movement could provoke an attack.

Do not run (remember that whole sudden movement thing). Try to back away from the cougar slowly. Sudden flight may trigger an instinctive attack.

NEVER turn your back on the cougar. Remain upright as best you can, try and look as large as possible. Do your Steven Segal impression, wave a rock or stick up over your head. Look like a threat, not prey.

Watch for signs, if you see signs of a cougar, young, spoor, scat, a kill area, leave the area immediately. Some signs are obvious, but as the cougars enter the fringes of urban areas, the signs may be harder to spot.

Or not.


  1. If deer are present in the area, so are mountain lions.

  2. I was hoping this was the direction you were going. Saves me the trouble of coming up with something witty in the comments ;)

  3. Durn, thought I was going read about Mercury.

    Lady out south of town, a rancher, found one in her garage. She closed the door and called the Sheriff. They showed up along with the wildlife people. It was shot because it had wandered so from from its habitat. Then we have lots of turkey out here and Mountain Lions like to dine on turkey.

  4. Actually, this advice is good in half of the bars near here ...

  5. Actually that goes for pretty much ANY wild animal... other than deer, that is... :-)

  6. At 52, I'm probably safe from cougars...

  7. Ha! Once again, I don't know what is more entertaining, your post or reader comments! I would freak if I came home and found one in my garage!!!

  8. Well Seasoned - well, not in Farmer Franks field, but there WAS Og singing the testicle song in the middle of the corn row, flushing out a buck.

    Lois - indeed.

    Jennifer - That car was almost as good as the one that showed up at the UPS store where someone had spray painted the rims with gold paint, withOUT taping off the tires. The owner was actually was strutting around like it looked cool.

    john - they're wandering further, I'd bet we'll see one in Indiana before I retire.

    Borepatch - remember . . . "sacrifice a friend. . hi, there's my friend Dale, he has a Beemer!", or, if they've hadtoo many Cosmos "Drop and Roll".

    Old NFO - biggest scare I ever had in the woods as a grown up was a dang porcupine, I thought I was getting stalked by a cat, when I turned around and turned on the flashlight, the poor little guy about had a heart attack.

    The Donald - you never know, you certainly don't look 52.

  9. I'm not at liberty to say how much older, but suffice to say, my wife is "a few" years older than me.
    I'm not sure the term "cougar" had reached vernacular status back then.

  10. "but there WAS Og singing the testicle song in the middle of the corn row, flushing out a buck."

    That would flush out just about anything, no?


  11. I've only ever seen one Big Cat, it was reclining in the back of a rancher's pickup parked at the drugstore. It had previously been munching on his heifers. The story was that Cali F&G were trapping them so they wouldn't eat FiFi & Fluffy and releasing them over the stateline...

  12. You said Cougar and I had a whole different set of thoughts go through my head :)

  13. Remove your pistol from it's holster, take aim, and open fire.


  14. I know I'm being a bit dense but I don't get the last picture.
    Can someone splain it to me in words of one syllable, please.

  15. Brigid, here in west-central IL there have been occasional sightings by folks that have homes in timbered areas, or farmers and hunters who catch a glimpse; these were all denied by the DNR until they started being found dead alongside the road near deer carcasses. Yep, they're likely in your area, too. We've had the occasional elk and bear sightings, too-- denied by DNR.

  16. Charles C - female cougars, as imaged on TV, tend to like bright pink AND animal print accessories.

  17. I'm not sure about that last pic unless you saw a dog-eared copy of "Fifty Shades of Grey" on the back seat.

    The campus tour groups should get a lot more interesting after the movie hits theaters.

  18. Aaaaaah the seat covers!
    Yes, bit dim today,
    thank you Brigid



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