What to do when you encounter a Mountain Lion

We were asked what should I do if I encounter a mountain lion will hiking or scouting. Well there a some key things that could save your life

From AZ fish and Game Dept…

“Do not run from a mountain lion: Running may stimulate a mountain lion’s instinct to chase. Instead, stand and face the animal. Make eye contact. If there are small children there, pick them up if possible so they don’t panic and run. Although it may be awkward, pick them up without bending over or turning away from the mountain lion.

– Do not crouch or bend over: A person squatting or bending over looks a lot like a four-legged prey animal. When in mountain lion country, avoid squatting, crouching or bending over, even when picking up children.

– Appear larger: Raise your arms. Open your jacket if you are wearing one. Again, pick up small children. Throw stones, branches, or whatever you can reach without crouching or turning your back. Wave your arms slowly and speak firmly in a loud voice. The idea is to convince the mountain lion that you are not prey and that you may be a danger to it.

– Fight back if attacked: Many potential victims have fought back successfully with rocks, sticks, caps, jackets, garden tools and their bare hands. Since a mountain lion usually tries to bite the head or neck, try to remain standing and face the attacking animal.”

Some of our experts gave us some more info on the matter…. From Mountaineering Books.com

If the cougar is within  50 yards and is intensely staring and making         an effort to hide or conceal itself:

  • Do all of the above.
  • Make yourself look bigger appear as aggressive as possible. Raise your hands overhead.
  • Attempt to move to safety. Don’t run, but if there’s  a safer location nearby,  move toward it slowly while facing and watching  the cougar. Try to get on higher ground than the cougar.

If the cougar is staring intensely and trying to hide, combined with         crouching and/or creeping toward you:

Throw things at the  cougar if it’s close enough without bending over to pick things up.

  •  Show the cougar your teeth. Be very aggressive .
  • Yell, shout, and make intimidating noises, many experts say if you can bark like a dog often works well. Your goal is to convince the cougar that you are treat and not prey.

If a cougar is staring  intensely, with its tail twitching, body low  to the ground/crouching, and ears erect, the  cougar is waiting for a chance to attack. If  the cougar’s rear legs are also pumping or moving up and down and its ears are turned  fur side forward, an attack is imminent:

  • Do all of the above.
  • Launch a preemptive  strike by taking aggressive action toward the cougar.
  • If you have a weapon,  use it. If you have a tree branch or walking  tick, quickly run toward the cougar and shove the stick in its face. If you don’t   have a stick, yell and run toward the cougar  with your hands overhead but stop before you’re  within reach of its paws.

If a cougar attacks and  makes contact:

  • Fight for your life.   Use any weapon available: camera, binoculars,           a knife, a fishing pole, or your fists. Direct  your blows to the cougar’s eye’s, nose, ears, and face.
  • If a cougar attacks  a child, adults should attempt to fight the           cougar off by any means possible, including  bare hands. It has worked, and the cougar    rarely turns on its assailant.
  • If a cougar attacks   and injures a child, then retreats a short distance after being driven off, guard the  child and watch the cougar carefully—cougars  have been known to return again and again, focused entirely on the child.