Mountain Lion *how to stay safe*
Recently there have been several mountain lion sightings in my area (north east Kansas) . I know close to nothing about them besides what they are capable of and since we are calving right now and our horses are here at home, what are some things that attract /repels them? Is there anything we could do to ward them off?
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mountain lions not gonna tangle with an adult horse. dont worry about them.
If in the calving area the scent of calves being born carries on the wind for miles. If the lions get scent of that, that may bring them in.
And here I was thinking I was nuts when I saw something cat like on my way home from work a few months back, near clay center.
Unless a mountain lion is really hungry, they won't mess with bigger livestock or fudge around with coming near people. If your new calves are close to your house (and maybe a barking dog?), they will probably be fine. Just for safeties sake, I would carry a gun when out and about.
Call fish and game to see what they say to do if you spot one, and what you are allowed to do if one is harrassing/ killing your animals.. In nevada we had a season for cats (not sure if kansas does?)..they looked down on shooting one out of season even if it was killing livestock.. I knew many ranchers that shot em anyway and just shut up about it.
True they won't mess with healthy, adult horses, but they sure will take calves, foals and people. I tell tourists and relatives "You are nothing but a kitty kibble out here."
We watch our back trail and check trees and rock outcroppings. They stalk from behind.
I had one come into our yard when one of the kids (then 8 years old) was showing me how fast she could run. We've all been stalked here.
I always carry a .38 with I'm out, whether horseback or on foot. I figure chances are better I'll need to use it to signal my location if I ever get hurt, my horse busts for home, and I can't walk out or something. But, I did use it once to scare a lion when she was stalking me and the mare I was riding started to spook pretty bad in a really rocky dry wash. I figured the sound of the shot would serve to spook the lion and scare the horse bad enough she'd race for home. I hooked my left elbow around the horn and shot once. I was right about the reaction of both. Stayed aboard the mare, but had a huge bruise on my left elbow from hanging on that hard. lol
The general advice is to make yourself look as big as possible (wave your arms, act aggressive - or what we joke as "go banshee" on them), make lots of noise.
Those have always worked. Some backpackers carry bear spray in addition to a handgun.
They will generally avoid dogs, but some dogs hide when a lion comes around.
New calves on the ground will be like an all you can eat buffet for a cougar. If you have big dogs I would recommend keeping them outside at night so they can at least bark (menacingly lol) and wake y'all up if they get the scent of one.
And probably having a rifle on hand when you ride is a good idea
Be sure and tell my granddaughter that about mountain lions not messing with healthy horses...Her mare was attacked and badly injured by a big cat in her corral.Tore huge strips from back legs, long scratches on hindquarters and back. She has never been able to be ridden since then, is now someones pasture pet.
It was a mountain lion, fish and game came, footprints shown and they saw mom and babies about a week later watching from the hillside.
The chances of you seeing the mountain lion are slim to none but you may see tracks. While they typically go for the young weak or ill animals any animal alone can be a target. This includes healthy mature horses. In Nov 2011 my mare was attacked in the pasture closest to my house...tha cat had come through the herd of cows, past the barn and got Zena as she was backed up against some trees in a snowstorm. Zena survived but she did have wounds that took time to heal. As far as I know the cat has never returned....but that just means I haven't seen it or tracks....I did have a cows attacked by something last summer but her wounds were to her face and chest, not her back where you would typically see wounds from a cat.
Noise may or may not keep a cat away, there are no guarantees. Keep a gun with you and be alert. The cat may move out of the area on its own. It may need to be killed if it attacks livestock.
Has she found anything that keeps them from coming in so close? We've had them look in a window and come on the porch. Light doesn't deter. I used to have a Lab/Pit that would bark, but he wisely never ventured into the dark and the cats would hang on the edges of the light.
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