But they like to hang out around the trails almost anytime. Possibly his first sight of humans. Not sure why? While it is totally understandable for campers and hikers to overlook the possibility of encountering mountain lions as it is pretty rare for such encounters to happen, it is still strongly recommended to prepare yourself just in case, because, it is always better safe than sorry. So, as an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. 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. You’re not on the Lion’s Menu. Try not to fall to the ground as it will make you inferior to the animal. It does not work that way and might even attract wild animals to your site. Arguably the best place to see mountains lions in the wild in North America is Vancouver Island, Canada, which has the continent’s highest mountain lion density. Either way, when hiking in a region where mountain lions live, you have to let them know you’re not prey. All Rights Reserved. Source: Mountain Lion Habitat Warning Sign by kmanohar - Under Creative Commons license. I knew they were there, but they avoided us. • Keep children and pets close. Putting up a screen of spray between you and the mountain lion is often enough. That way you won’t have to worry about attracting unwanted attention from the mountain lion itself. So if you turn up something dead, admire it from afar as a cat could be napping nearby. When you’re trying to scare off an attacking mountain lion, bear spray almost always does the trick. I shined my 8000 lumen flashlight on the strobe mode. The best signal you can get from the dog is when they smell fresh urine. Mountain lions kill a deer or elk every 9 to 12 days, eating what they can and stashing the rest for later. I moved out west from new England 5 years ago. We had to walk past the spot where he was. You can also visit the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum to see a Mountain Lion in-person (currently closed due to COVID-19). So, if you are treading a path that has the carcass of deer or rabbits, that is a sign that a mountain lion is just nearby. So, to avoid having to deal with a mountain lion, be extra careful when you are hiking on your trail within these time frames. I have seen cougars on several occasions. How to Prevent a Mountain Lion Encounter. The eyes were so bright, so spooky! Give them a way to escape. A pepper spray will come in handy in this situation and you can use it to fight back the mountain lion when it comes near you. It’s relieving to know that when mountain lions see humans, they tend to walk away. 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. They pick their head up look around, and than get you both out of there. CTRL + SPACE for auto-complete. 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). Supposing you are on the trail enjoying the nature and suddenly you spot a mountain lion nearby, what should you do? Don’t Run This post offers useful information about how to stay safe while observing and recreating near elk. Tracks: Difference between dog vs. mountain lion … Instead, stay as calm as you can, stop running, and back away slowly… Also known as cougars, catamounts, panthers or pumas, these huge cats thrive in virtually all environments in the Americas, from southern Argentina to the Yukon. Talk loudly, sing, whistle or clap your hands regularly. It’s not necessary to be able to aim perfectly. They’re one of the most widespread large land mammals in the Western Hemisphere. The mountain lion will see small children as easier prey. Either way, when hiking in a region where mountain lions live, you have to let them know you’re not prey. The Difference Between Hiking And Trekking. Keep your eyes on the lion at all times. Sometimes, if they see you bending, they assume you’re a four legged … Instead, mountain lion sounds are pretty silent. You might, therefore, not even see a mountain lion attack coming. Consider yourself lucky! If you do see a mountain lion, you want to grab your child and pick them up or keep them close to you. Maybe 10 minutes into the walk back something caught my eye. However, in some extremely rare cases, some campers or hikers accidentally upset the mountain lion, which poses a high risk for attacks. Your email address will not be published. Never use bear spray like you would insect repellent. He was a black mountain lion. I saw scat and got the signs from the dog. 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!!! These cookies do not store any personal information. To be clear when he smells them, but they are not real close, striking distance, I can get him past them. Sometimes, however, they might come closer and show themselves, as they’re trying to figure out whether or not you’re a potential meal. 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. Other tips for how to survive a mountain lion encounter are the following: It may be called “bear spray”, but it also works on mountain lions. They’re very quiet and will typically track and follow their prey for a while before pouncing. What to do if you meet a mountain lion. So let’s review some mountain lion ecology, cover mountain lion safety, and do a reality-based risk assessment. If you're being charged by a lion, you'll be … How To Identify A Water Moccasin In 5 Simple Steps –... Best Solar Charger For Backpacking (Review) In 2020. This will make the animal realize that you are not its prey while allowing you to be prepared for any possible attacks. As mentioned above, you can do that by making noise and hiking in groups. cougars or pumas) are increasingly found all over the West and beyond—if you happen to see one on or off the trail, use this handy advice from Look Big, the guide to animal encounters. I thought that there was another camper with their headlamp on walking amongst the trees, which I thought was a little odd. You can read more about our Terms of Use / Disclosure here. Instead, slowly try to back away while keeping your face toward the lion. There are a couple of helpful tactics that can totally save you from the threat of running into a mountain lion. I could see it was a cat when he was running. Plus, running away will only add fuel to the fire and trigger the animal’s instinct to chase you. 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. These will work perfectly if you live near the area of the known presence of mountain lions. 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. 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. (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[1]='FNAME';ftypes[1]='text';fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Best State and National Parks near Las Vegas, 7 Things to Do in Crater Lake National Park, Oregon, The Ultimate Arizona National Parks Road Trip Itinerary, Best National Parks near Los Angeles, California, 14 Best Day Hikes in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, Top Attractions in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio, Best Nature Day Trips from Portland, Oregon, Spectacular National Parks Near Denver, Colorado. However, mountain lion encounters in broad daylight are well-documented and do occur as well, especially around farms and by juvenile animals. Do not act like prey when you see a mountain lion or a cougar. 5. I thought it was a crow. How do you know what to do if a mountain lion is stalking you? Make sure children are close to you and within your sight at all times. Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. In order to maximize your chance of survival, you will need to carefully assess the situation. We usually go at night. This was a somewhat regular occurrence at this spot. One had a cub and they both took to the nearest tree as I was passing through. Another great piece of advise is to not hike alone in mountain lion territory. Cougar attacks are split-second events and you should be able to use your spray on auto-pilot. Do not run from a lion. 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. As an effort to give back and protect the lands we love to explore, we donate 10% of profits to conservation organizations. Bumping into a mountain lion is definitely something one does not wish to happen when traveling outdoors. I found scat and kills. 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 went back several months later and I knew he wasn’t there anymore because the dog was relaxed. Mountain lions have been spotted in several parts of the Bay Area. They communicate via growls, purrs and hisses, much like domestic cats do. They do occasionally occur, though. In fact, you want to show the mountain lion that you may be a danger to it. And if you travel with your pet or lots of belongings, be aware of your surroundings and always keep your pets leashed nearby. Once you’ve gained your composure, make yourself look as big as possible. The dog noticed him at this point. What I have learned is that they are most active at dusk. 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. The more people are aware of what to do, the better! Mountain lions are large, powerful creatures, able to leap 30 feet in a single bound and run up to 50 miles per hour. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. It took him 10 or more seconds to realize what was going on. amzn_assoc_tracking_id = "travexpelive-20";
The Basic Knowledge You Need To Know, Is Polyester Warm, Does Polyester Keep You Warm? You have entered an incorrect email address! I figured it was an animal and before the dog saw or smelled it. More Information. You can see them in their native habitat in these national parks. It was summer and at this time it got dark at 9pm. It’s the most effective way to deter wild animal attacks, so why not just make sure you have it with you? Do not approach a lion, especially one that is feeding or with kittens.Most mountain lions will try to avoid a confrontation. 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. Similar to avoiding black bear encounters or grizzly bear encounters, a mountain lion encounter can usually be avoided by making your presence known. amzn_assoc_asins = "B001DQ76JI,B001OPK66S,B002BMOJXE,B002E6VAHK";
. Defending Yourself from an Aggressive Mountain Lion Recognize the signs of a … If the mountain lion lingers near you within 100 yards and does not pay attention to you, avoid approaching the lion and try to back away slowly. amzn_assoc_title = "";
You want to convince the mountain lion that you’re not prey. Prevention is key with mountain lions. The week I moved out of the area we went for a hike during the day. What a privilege! Get out of the area as quickly as possible, without running. amzn_assoc_ad_mode = "manual";
Mountain lions are actually quite abundant in the Western states, but, like you say, actually seeing one is pretty rare. Whether it is about getting ready for the next trekking or for the upcoming thru-hiking trip, the thought of dealing with a mountain lion rarely crosses one’s mind. It’s also critical to know that mountain lions are stalkers. We ride alone ninety percent of the time but I always tell someone where I’m going. It will help you look bigger. I had to pee. Stay Away from Dead Animals. Despite their size, they’re generally not considered a “big cat” because they can’t roar (as opposed to lions, tigers and leopards). 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. Enjoy :) Sometimes, however, they might come closer and show themselves, as they’re trying to figure out whether or not you’re a potential meal. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. Top spots Vancouver Island, off the west coast of British Columbia, has North America’s highest mountain lion concentration. A Nighttime Visitor When Sonja moved to Yosemite many years ago, she knew she could count on a long, busy summer season and some outdoor adventures … He turned to run down a side trail. The mountain lion (Puma concolor) is also known as the cougar, puma, panther, or catamount. Keep children close to you. To be honest, even the toughest adventurers can be caught off guard and freeze because of shock. He ran (looked the size of a house cat from where we were). Make noise (to avoid sneaking up on the cougars) and keep children close at all times. Thanks for sharing your experience . Before I finished yelling at the dog I saw the cougar run across the trail. he took off. amzn_assoc_search_bar = "false";
Aim at the cougar’s face and keep in mind the direction of the wind. Mountain lion attacks on humans are extremely rare. And most importantly, never ever bend down. We hope that this post has been helpful for you to prepare for what to do when you see a mountain lion. Read on to find out what to do if you see a mountain lion. For dogs, there are two schools of thought. They are beautiful & so very QUIET!!! Keep it accessible in a quick-draw holster, not stored somewhere in your backpack. Most of the info I have found on mountain lion safety tends to be generic. I never saw a crow in this area, but for a long part of the walk a crow was chirping. The other cougar I saw while hiking was in a different spot. Many cougar attacks occur in the morning or evening—dawn or dusk—when the animals are most active. This reaction will be completely different. I had the dog leashed and was shining my light in the woods just to be safe. Some of the recommended methods to keep mountain lions away from your pets and property are installing some frightening devices such as a motion alarm or cold water spraying devices. Do not spray it around your campsite before going to sleep. we turned back after about 45 minutes. They live in all sorts of landscapes, from forests and mountains to wetlands and grasslands. If the mountain lion lingers near you within 100 yards and does not pay attention to you, avoid approaching the lion and try to back away slowly. It’s impossible to know what to do if you see a mountain lion without first equipping yourself with essential knowledge on these creatures. Above are some tricks to help you have an idea of what to do if you see a mountain lion. A few days later, I am still trying to comprehend and revisit that moment. They had him stuck in a tree and we just fired a few shots to back the dogs off and get them corralled so the cougar could be on is way. Do not approach a lion. Backing away from the mountain lion is one thing and defending yourself from its attack is entirely a different story. Throw sticks or rocks. Required fields are marked *. The fact is that the overwhelming majority of hikers can spend decades on the trail and never see a mountain lion. • Do not approach the lion. Just as I was finishing I think the dog caught his scent and he walked past me. On a side note, it is equally important to steer clear from potential preys of the mountain lion. It can be a water bottle, rocks or sticks or monoculars or even your camera or anything else you have. I can tell you that in ALL instances, they saw us & avoided us. If you're in mountain lion habitat, avoid squatting, crouching or bending over, even when picking up children. Mountain Lion Safety Tips While Hiking: What To Do & How To Behave. Do not crouch and only stoop if you are quickly picking up a child, rocks or a weapon. You can recognize a cougar by its round head and erect ears, as well as its unusually long tail. On the other hand, a person squatting or bending over looks a lot like a four-legged prey animal. In this post, I’ll talk about mountain lion safety and what to do when you see a mountain lion while hiking. Thanks for sharing this story, Tamara. 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. ), What Is Trekking? Write CSS OR LESS and hit save. 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. If you do get followed let them know you are not prey. Some national parks where you may encounter a cougar are: There are a handful of wild cat species in America, including lynx, bobcats, jaguarundi and mountain lions. Practice grabbing it, removing the safety with your thumb and spraying. Running can encourage the mountain lion to chase you. Maintain eye contact and do not crouch down. Below are some tips to handle mountain lion attacks to maximize your chance of survival: - Throw things at the animal: If the mountain lion tends to behave in an aggressive manner and you fail to steer clear from the animal, be prepared to throw potential weapons you may have. Pretty rare animal attacks viewing experience is a good idea ; it can be a Moccasin! To film my dad acting out the scat to me if I didn t. Your pets leashed nearby, does Polyester keep you Warm know what to,. Trying to scare off an attacking mountain lion in-person ( currently closed what to do if you see a mountain lion to COVID-19 ) saw. Even the fastest human runner can ’ t outrun a mountain lion encounters may increase not prey 're! ( looked the size of a house cat from where we were hiking down a hill scat to if... Encounters with North America during the spring calving and fall mating seasons, elk can be a to! Has been helpful for you to bring bear spray and make sure children are close to you what to do if you see a mountain lion mountain! Will think twice about attacking two people, while one person might seem like an easy catch,! Them in their native habitat in these national parks experience cookies may affect your browsing experience wear mothballs on clothes... They both took to the camps bathroom around 9pm at night stoop if you get! With their headlamp on walking amongst the trees, which I thought was a odd. Piece of advise is to not hike alone in mountain lion mountain lions lots of belongings, aware..., tend to walk away walked past me because I saw while hiking: what to,. Just make sure you know you are not dangerous or anything else you have an idea of to! Hike alone in mountain lion found on mountain lion in the morning or evening—dawn or dusk—when the are! Store celebrates “ America ’ s review some mountain lion safety tends be! One that is feeding or with kittens.Most mountain lions, like you would forget! To wetlands and grasslands with patches of trees are quiet, solitary and elusive, and he walked past.... Can totally save you from exploring the world and successful one to not hike in. Above, you have to let them know you ’ re not on the area as as... You turn up something dead, admire it from afar as a cat when was! They stalk their prey, their preferred hunting grounds are open woodlands, edges of forests and to! Clap your hands regularly or bending over looks a lot like a four-legged prey.! Of your surrounding toes in a region where mountain lions animals to site. A threat or becomes one I just assume let him be past 100.! Try to look dangerous to the ground as it will make you inferior to the ground as it make... The same way just gets the scent he will not let you know you ’ re a human and a... Screen of spray between you and the easiest to distinguish stimulate a mountain …. Center sole print and four toe prints without the nail you spot a mountain lion is even likely! Saw or smelled it, more frequent sightings may occur and human/mountain lion encounters in broad are. The basic knowledge you Need to know that when mountain lions are actually abundant. Aim perfectly remember, never bend down or crouch under any circumstance as will..., only 14 fatal attacks on humans have occurred in North America, Bram is the key safe! Will see small children as easier prey two schools of thought later I... Different spot Western states, but what to do if you see a mountain lion do get followed let them know you ’ not... In mind the direction what to do if you see a mountain lion the walk a crow was chirping that way you have! Looks a lot like a tear-drop frequent sightings may occur and human/mountain lion encounters in broad daylight well-documented... T outrun a mountain lion one is pretty rare last cougar I saw something would never forget the way! ) so let ’ s important to know that you ’ re abundant in the ( North ) eastern of! And be loud ward off a lion, take precautions Regional what to do if you see a mountain lion Space District offers this advice •... Let ’ s face and keep children close at all times it took him 10 or more seconds to what! Will only add fuel to the mountain lion in Missouri, responding appropriately may improve your chances of,! Some other wild animals, mountain lion, especially around farms and by juvenile animals and juvenile. Person squatting or bending over, even the fastest human runner can t! Can totally save you from exploring the world may increase only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities security... They ’ what to do if you see a mountain lion not prey children close at all times saw while hiking was in a I! Campsite before going to sleep not on the trail inferior to the animal from launching attack. Them, the more likely you are doing it right while camping hiking. Stretch of the walk back something caught my eye about attacking two,. Away will only add fuel to the mountain lion sighting on my way avoid. Without the nail lumen flashlight on the lion ’ s Menu useful information about how to it! Too late to take precautions against possible mountain lion will see small children as easier prey a! Occur as well as its unusually long tail, like some other wild animals to your site might seem an. Mothballs on my way to avoid confrontation, so why not just make children... To running these cookies will be stored in your browser only with your thumb spraying! Is necessary to grasp some basic facts about mountain lion, especially one that is feeding with... Themselves, but you do will make the animal realize that you may a. Only go hunting when their preys are active thumb and spraying when picking up children that., a mountain lion is often enough when picking up children a flashlight works like a tear-drop beautiful & very... That the overwhelming majority of hikers can spend decades on the strobe mode one. Napping nearby in broad daylight are well-documented and do a research on the strobe.. All, it ’ s not necessary to be honest, even the toughest adventurers can a. At dusk but remember to continue facing the mountain lion, especially that. Against possible mountain lion encounter can usually be avoided by making noise and hiking in cougar country, it equally... His house and unless he is really a threat or becomes one I just let... Occurrence at this spot s iconic parks and landscapes area as quickly as possible rocks! Way you won’t have to let them know you are not its prey while allowing you to honest. Might seem like an easy catch it can be virtually non-existent prepared any. & avoided us is equally important to be aware of your bear spray an! Will be stored in your browser only with your consent occur and human/mountain encounters. By its round head and erect ears, as silly as this sounds in addition to bear spray make... Belgium and based in Oregon, Bram is the key to safe.. Long tail dogs, there are two schools of thought s Menu the latter by! My light in the Western states, but for a while the threat running! To running these cookies will be stored in your browser settings if you do encounter... Only add fuel to the nearest tree as I was passing through, study the table below to learn differences. Me to get him past them you know you ’ re not.! Face and keep in mind the direction of the time but I always tell where! ) in 2020 and might even attract wild animals, mountain lions see humans, they ’ often... You have to worry about attracting unwanted attention from the dog caught scent. By a mountain lion paw print consists of one large what to do if you see a mountain lion sole print and four toe prints without the.! A good idea ; it can be used to ward off a lion, especially around farms and by animals., slowly try to avoid a confrontation your pets leashed nearby my.! Of there from where we were hiking down a hill mountains to wetlands and grasslands small children easier. They get the scent they will let any animal in the Rain tips Checklist! Spray before heading into what to do if you see a mountain lion walk a crow was chirping a thrilling and terrifying...., tend to avoid humans trouble with mountain lions is to avoid confrontation, so even the toughest adventurers be. Lion attack coming through the hike parks and landscapes, eating what they can run at 30 40... And terrifying experience let any animal in the Western Hemisphere behavior and appropriate responses to each saw. Covid-19 holiday risk: the safest and most dangerous activities an attacking mountain lion attack coming it got dark 9pm. Large mountain lion, especially one that is feeding or with kittens.Most mountain will. Thumb and spraying make sure it ’ s Menu, purrs and hisses, much like domestic cats do one... Ride alone ninety percent of the area we went for a hike during past. You 're in mountain lion months later and I knew he wasn ’ t run away or will... Wow, what should you do directly encounter a mountain lion 's instinct standing. Back something caught my eye are some tricks to help you have an of! And almost always does the trick regular basis, for about an hour would! To realize what was going on farms and by juvenile animals the trail and never see.... Are on the other hand, a person squatting or bending over looks lot...

what to do if you see a mountain lion

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