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Here, Kitty...

Old 09-06-07, 05:27 PM
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M_S
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Here, Kitty...

Yesteryday, around 6:00 pm I was charged by a mountain lion while riding my bike.

This is my second week in Montana, too.


There isn't much to the story. I was riding some trails just outside of town and had just tourned around to head back. I was going pretty fast downhill, when all of a sudden somehting crashes out of the bushes on my left, but slows down a few feet from my calf. Yes, a few feet. I see a flash of brown and at first thin it's a dog, though that lasted less than a second. I put on the brakes and stop about thirty feet downhill from the lion, which is now standing in the trail, looking at me.


This is where I'm pretty proud of myself. I remembered that with cougars you're supposed to act big and yell at them, which is what I did, shouting at the top of my lungs, hissing, etcetera. After a couple of seconds it darts back into the bushes on the other sid eof the trail.

Wow.

I also remember one of my first thoughts being that it wasn't very big. Definately a young lion, under 100 pounds.

Yes, I did report this to Fish and Wildlife. What I've learned (and I had thought of it myself too) is that the young ones are most likely to be involved in "incidents." because not only are they inexperienced and may mistake cyclists for deer, but because they aren't as adept hunters and are thus more desperate.

In this case I think it was the former reason, though, because as I said it put on the brake as it got (really) close. I think it was startled to see that I wasn't a deer or elk.

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Old 09-06-07, 05:47 PM
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I had one cross the road in front of me about dusk a couple years ago. I wasn't sure what it was until it ran up on the embankment on the other side of the road, crouched, and gazed at me ........

I have 4 cats, and as soon as it did that, I knew it was a cat .... and a VERY large one.

It just watched me ride past, and I watched it too ... one eye on the road, and one eye on the cougar. I was a bit nervous for a while after that.
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Old 09-06-07, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by M_S View Post
Yesteryday, around 6:00 pm I was charged by a mountain lion while riding my bike.
…snip

…how much?

- Wil
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Old 09-06-07, 06:07 PM
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About three feet.

....Oh...

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Old 09-06-07, 06:12 PM
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…so how come you let it ride your bike anyway?


…yeah, as if you were going to refuse it! duh!!!



- Wil

BTW: pics would have been nice… (also, if it had been me, I think there would certainly have been a significant "laundry event", so well done for keeping so calm!)
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Old 09-06-07, 06:38 PM
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Yeah, I was going to pull out my cell phone to snap a pic of it. I really did think "I should take a picture, nobody is going to beleive me." But my beter half prevailed. The "I should keep shouting until it goes away" half. No, as soon as I knew i twas leaving I was outta there!


I've spent a lot of time in the outdoors and thus have heard alll the varyng opinions of what to do when encountering various animals. The consensus on cougars is to look as big and mean as possible. Basically appear as to much of a PITA to deal with. Running away is the worst thing to do. Deer run away.

Last edited by M_S; 09-06-07 at 08:33 PM.
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Old 09-06-07, 07:03 PM
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A few years back up here in BC we had a logger get attacked by a cougar in his bike ride home ....he stabbed it over and over and over again until it died, he had multiple severe lacerations, including several arterial. A passing motorist almost ran them both over , he stopped to help the guy, drove him to hospital (no cell coverage to call the EMT's). Guy lived, had some pretty wicked scars.
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Old 09-06-07, 07:15 PM
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This is a bit OT, but the other day I was riding through Kendall Square in Cambridge, Mass., and came across a TURKEY on one of the paths between office buildings. Cambridge is the fifth-densest city in the US, so I was pretty surprised to find him marching across the sidewalk.

I tried to take pictures with my phone but they didn't really come out. Later I learned that Mr. Gobbles, as he's known, is famous.
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Old 09-06-07, 07:57 PM
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I used to live in Bozeman MT. I was just outside of town, hiking the Bridgers after the first dusting of snow in late Oct. When I doubled back to the trailhead I noticed mt. lion prints next to my boot prints. Apparently a mountain lion had been tracking me for 75% of my hike and I had no idea. I knew that he was up in the rocks somewhere watching me as I walked back to the car. Very creepy.

At any rate, I guess that is what lions do but there have been an increase in attacks all over the U.S.

And speaking of weird animal sightings, I saw a bunch of peacocks and peahens on my last ride. Apparently someone is keeping them as pets?
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Old 09-06-07, 08:05 PM
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holy crap!!! chased by a cougar!!! sounds like a tv episode...

many years ago while hiking on part of the appalachian trail in the smokies, i met a bear once... i got off the trail on one side and he got off on the other... we passed each other about 25' apart...

all the time, we both looked at each others eyes...

when we were passed, and had gone about 50 feet or so, he stopped, turned around and made some sort of noise... i can't describe it, maybe a grunt sorta like a pig, or a snopffing sound... i don't know... maybe it was a snicker cuz my knees were pretty much jelly... but he went on and i didn't hang around long myself...

problems now are the deer running across the road in front of you... they're having a tuff time in southern KY now as we're in a severe drought and their search for food is bringing them out of the woods...
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Old 09-06-07, 08:26 PM
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Several years ago a mountain biker in SoCal was attacked by a cougar. Can some of you southerners come up with a reference?

I haven't come that close to a cougar. Yet a few decades ago my dad and I walked down an MUP to see a waterfall. Minutes later as we walked back we saw a new line of soup plate sized tracks crossing the path, still filling with water. Dad figured that the hippo had been watching us and had waited for us to go by before heading for the river. If it had panicked we'd have been humanburger. The river was the Zambezi at Victoria Falls.
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Old 09-06-07, 08:30 PM
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Also one of the only instances of a fatality I could find was..a mountain biker

Cyclists are apparently easy targets.

I've been reading lists of encounters, and they are much more rare than I thought. From what I can tell, this kind of thing only happens a few times a year in the US and Canada, unless the compilations I've read aren't very good.
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Old 09-06-07, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by M_S View Post
Also one of the only instances of a fatality I could find was..a mountain biker

Cyclists are apparently easy targets.

I've been reading lists of encounters, and they are much more rare than I thought. From what I can tell, this kind of thing only happens a few times a year in the US and Canada, unless the compilations I've read aren't very good.
Are you talking about that woman from California? She really got messed up.
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Old 09-07-07, 03:35 PM
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Yeah. A lot of encounters are in California. Maybe because there are so many people...?
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Old 09-07-07, 09:28 PM
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You might find these interesting:

http://tchester.org/sgm/lists/lion_attacks.html

http://users.frii.com/mytymyk/lions/attacks.htm ... quite a number in British Columbia, and quite a few of those on Vancouver Island (a fact I'm glad I didn't know when I was cycling there in April).

The August 19, 1996 one in Princeton, BC made the news all over Canada, I remember reading about it.

And if you read the April 28, 1998 one, you'll see that making himself appear big and all that didn't work. Same thing for the April 17, 1999 account.

In the January 2, 2001 report, that event occurred fairly close to the place where I saw a cougar. I remember hearing about that one in the news too.

The February 8, 2001 report is an attack on a cyclist on Vancouver Island. I noticed three other mtn bike reports, but that's the only road bicycle report I noticed.
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Old 09-07-07, 09:51 PM
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Old 09-08-07, 02:50 AM
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Originally Posted by CrimsonEclipse View Post
I was at this bar, and this cougar pounced me, did some damage.

Hips hurt for 3 days and she never called.

CE

(*sigh*)
When i lived in minneapolis they used to travel in packs, sneaking in from outer suburbia to prey on young, unsuspecting and very drunk uptowners.
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Old 09-08-07, 03:53 AM
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I'm lucky to live in a place where there are no dangerous animals! Except for humans, of course...
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Old 09-08-07, 12:31 PM
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scary!
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Old 09-08-07, 05:38 PM
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http://www.missoulian.com/articles/2...bnews/br82.txt

I was also interviewed by a local TV station. Should be on the 10 o'clock news.

This is my 15 minutes, I guess.
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Old 09-08-07, 07:26 PM
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Do you carry?
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Old 09-08-07, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by M_S View Post
Yeah. A lot of encounters are in California. Maybe because there are so many people...?
Or more likely a combination of increasing cat numbers with less fear of humans since hunting them (in California) was outlawed a couple decades ago.
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Old 09-08-07, 08:39 PM
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Those cats have made it all the way to the Southeastern USA. There was one that kept stalking me back in May when I was staying with my parents in rural Darlington County, SC. She was obviously nursing. I was certain she was tracking my 2 year old daughter while we were walking along the woods on a power line right of way, prompting me to put her on my shoulders to make the target look too big, and divert our course to the parallel dirt road. I did see the cat and her two cubs a few nights later.
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Old 09-08-07, 09:24 PM
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A few months back I went to pick up a bike from a guy. It was about midnight when I finally found his house. As we entered the front door, he warned me that I might get "jumped" by his cat. No biggie, I'm a cat person. So when we got to the kitchen, there was the cat, peering at me from around the counter.

All 80 pounds of BOBCAT!!

I tried to make nice, but got swatted for my efforts! (good thing he was declawed or I'd have lost some skin or my hand!)

And I thought the guy was just messin' with me.
 
Old 09-09-07, 09:19 AM
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I had one here a few months back. I wish I'd had a bike computer, I'm sure I broke a personal record with my flight reaction for that "OH **** IT'S A LION GET IN THE CAR" moment.
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