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Author Topic: COUGAR SURPRISE by Gun Lemke  (Read 1631 times)

Offline Terry_Green

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« on: March 28, 2004, 06:03:00 AM »

by Gun Lemke


   I was scouting for Whitetails and looking for matches to some of the shed antlers I had already found this spring. I had been out for about an hour and a half that afternoon and was systematically working my way along the edge of a pasture about 25-30 yds. in the woods. I had just climbed onto a good-looking bench and saw a deer trail which I turned on, taking me deeper into the trees. I went another 20 yds. or so then glanced back down in the direction I came from off to my left side. I caught a motion out of the corner of my right eye. When I looked that way, there in front of me 20 feet away sat a Mountain Lion! I reached back to a side pocket on my fanny pack to get my camera to try to get its picture. I thought it would turn and run off at any moment, as with most other critters.

   As soon as the shutter clicked the cat crouched down and started approaching me. I thought, "wait a minute, what's going on here"! I had an empty can of a high-energy malt drink I had just finished; I threw it and caught the Cougar right on the end of the nose. (Right up there with one of my better instinctive shots) It hesitated for a second sniffed the can and ground a bit then came at me again. I raised my arms and started yelling at it while walking backwards. I tripped on something and went down on my back, but was up again in record time grabbing a stick on the way. I threw this at it too. It kept coming. I reached back and got my Leatherman tool out and fumbled with the knife blade as I slowly kept walking back while watching the lion. I gained some ground as it was sniffing a bit where I was walking. I got to the edge of the trees and looked back into the pasture. When I turned back I could not see the Cougar anymore and stopped to look and listen, nothing. I thought of making my way along the edge of the bush back to my car. Then I decided to cut across the safer open pasture and just get out of there.

   All this took place in perhaps 2-3 mins.

   Back home later I called Fish and Wildlife to report the incident. I was told by an officer they figure there are as many as five Cougars living in that area. He said I did the right thing in slowly backing out of there. I wondered about what would have happened if some young kid had been in my place. I also wonder how many times I've been watched by a Cougar and not known it.

   This happened in the Calgary Bow Zone not 10 minutes from the city limits!

   Currently there is no Cougar hunting allowed in the Bow Zone. There have been numerous accounts of dogs being killed and dragged off. Also livestock. A few years back a landowner and myself discovered a yearling Whitetail that was killed by a Mountain Lion and covered in leaves and brush not far from where I had my encounter.

   This is only to make you aware of other predators out there and one doesn't have to be in the Mountains to come across a Cougar. Let's be careful out there.

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