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Moxie 10-28-2009 06:18 PM

Possible Cougar Attack
I saw this story online today: Rochester, MN

And I got to thinking .... How would I keep a herd safe in their own pasture? Granted this isn't directly in my back yard, it's close enough to home for me. Also, I may not have horses now .... I may in the future.

So, have any of you had to face something like this? How have you dealt with it, or even tried to prevent it?

Honeysuga 10-28-2009 07:29 PM

HEHE IM TAKING OVER!!!! looong story but it does relate to the op!!
Ya something like that happened where i used to live in Millspring, Missouri... One of the guys that kept a small herd of cows(maybe 70 head) on his land that is surrounded by woods in at the end of our small village(200 or less people) had a few of his cows get torn up (young cows couple hundred pounds, ripped to shreds) right in his fiels and the local conservation office confirmed that it was a large cat that did it. This was the area i used to walk my dog Jill, there was a dirt road that led back to an old logging road past his pastures... one day i was walking with Jill in early fall and i saw a couple of tracks in the middle of the muddy path next to some poo.. the tracks looked like a giant version of my cats paws and the poo had some little boned and stuff in it(yes i poked at it with a stick, i grew up in the woods and i wanted to know what animal was in the area) while i was messing with the poo Jill started like a really looow growl and froze and her hackles started raising up and i FREAKED!!! my heart was beating like a hundred miles an hour, here i was less than 500yards from the field where the cows were killed, all alone and standing right next to some obviously catty tracks, plus jill was freaking out, she never spazzed at other dogs so i know it must have ben something else... I started looking around to see if i could spot it but i saw nothing all i could think was great im for dinner and i cant even see what is watching me. So i did what my gut told me and i didnt run though i wanted to( ive always heard that stirs animals to attack, it evoked their predatory response faster than if you keep walking) i turned back toward home but stayed facing where jill was growling(shed already peed herself she was so scared... which really didnt help me) and walked till i was out of the woods... then i ran like crazy!!! needless to say i wasnt attacked but it sure scared the heck out of me and i really do think i was being stalked or at least watched by a large cat(bobcat or mountain lion).
Then a few weeks later we got a call from the owners of the field we kept our horses in saying theyd broken the fence and were running in the highway.So we packed up the trailer really quick grabbed feed buckets and halters and first aid kit and booked it to the field which was about 4 miles away. Turns out Bo our ancient(we arent sure his age im thinking mid 20's) gelding with severe arthritis in his rear legs had been so freaked out by something that he broke through the 6 strand heavy duty(not the little silvery barbed wire but the heavy duty cow strand the steel stuff i think) barbed wire fence and the others ran after him a mile down the highway. His legs were torn to pieces, it was impossible to see if he was actually attacked by something because he was so messed up but he had some wicked gashes on his rump and sides( and he is a huge animal over 16 hands). After we got him under control(he wouldnt let us take him back to the pasture so we loaded him up in the trailer to take him home) and got the others back(they were freaked but not nearly as bad as Bo) in the pasture, we walked the field to see if maybe a tree had fallen and spooked him but we found nothing besieds a big torn up spot a few feet from where he broke the fence. Im not saying he was attacked by a cat but it takes a lot to make a horse to freak that bad and go through a fence....
Alot of stuff has happened like that to the livestock in the area, it is really scary but the only one they confirmed as cougar was the cows cause they found a tooth that had been knocked out apparently when the cow was trying to fight it off...
Scary stuff, hehe sorry i wrote so much!!

CheyAut 10-29-2009 04:51 AM

I didn't go to the link, but I had my first mini killed by a Mtn Lion. I used to board in the middle of no where, in a river bottom (here in Az, that means a big "ditch" type space that will get some water from heavy rains lol... the small little "neighborhood" wasn't right IN the river bottom, but practically). It was AWEFUL and the guy I was dating went and moved my three other horses (full size) right away to a friend's place, I couldn't bare to go back. (now I have my own horse prop)

Then VERY recently friends not too far from me (10 miles, actually a little less, probably 7-8) had their minis attacked. Two foals were killed and another mini very injured. Mtn Lion or a pack of dogs were brought up, and of course that scared me! Turns out it was dogs, and they came back and attacked yet another mini, but my friend (who put up cameras with sound the night of the first attack) ran out and stopped it in action, dog ran off of course... (their property is completely fenced except two driveways were open... they fenced off one right away and were waiting on the main drive to have a gate installed, which is done now).

Ok, that didn't really answer your question...

shortbusgeek 10-29-2009 11:21 AM

Well, we're looking at some property a bit farther out of the city than we currently are (we're in north Atlanta - Alpharetta / Milton), and this is something I've had to think about as part of our planning. I know there's some form of coyote or mountain lion or something that we can hear scream from time to time, but we've never seen it. I also read on the city's website a couple of hours ago that there is a bear that has been spotted in the area a few times that is apparently slowly heading north.

Anyhow, to answer your question, we've got a couple of rifles and shotguns that we won't hesitate to use if we feel any of our animals or people are in danger. We have electric fencing up and motion detector lights. Hopefully the combination of those two will mean that we won't have to resort to using the guns. But in the worst case scenario, I won't feel the least bit sorry about killing a predator of any of our horses - whether it's $5k or $75k doesn't matter.

Trinity 10-29-2009 11:57 AM

I guess some lady up here, I dont know her, but she had one of her horses back legs torn to crap by a mountain lion. And in my old town before I moved to my moms, we had mountain lions and bears walking through our streets! We even had a cougar in our back yard. Boy our dogs were NOT happy about that tresspasser.

my2geldings 10-29-2009 01:10 PM

Yea we have cougars around here all the time. When I started to breed show minis, we bought a Great Pyrenees to keep the coyates and the bears away. Our neighbours dogs were attacked and killed by a cougar.

Really scary stories guys.

Moxie 10-29-2009 01:18 PM

We have coyotes in our area, a couple years ago I heard through the grape vine that the DNR released a pair of cougars south of where I'm at (don't know if it's true or not) and not to long ago, there was a bear sighting in our area.

We're not REALLY surrounded by wood, so I don't suspect any problems, but you never know. Our back yard is woods, it's wooded enough to where we have people come in and hunt deer in the fall/winter. However it's nothing like northern MN where it's all woods.

Either way it's unsettling to think about. We own guns ourselves for recreational purposes, but if it ever came down to it, I know I would not hesitate if any of my animals/humans were in danger, but I'd like to think that there are ways to avoid that at all costs.

my2geldings 10-29-2009 01:54 PM

:lol: use them Bobbie! I would. (I think). Never been one to kill another animal (other than bugs), so I dont know how I would react but I think if it came down to defending myself maybe I would.

Here it's a standard thing to have garbage bins in the city as well as outside of it, to are bear proof :lol: I love the country side, but would never go to the mountains (if I can prevent it!), for that reason.

I hear just to many stories of people getting attacked or killed by hungry wildlife :lol:

MangoRoX87 10-31-2009 10:15 PM

Wow. WELLLLLL...if I was oober rich, I would set up some crazy fence, get lots of security cameras, gaurd dogs...
but thats very un-realistic.
I would probably get a guard donkey or mule.

smrobs 10-31-2009 10:22 PM

Donkeys and mules are really good choices as protection animals. Also, if it was possible, they make wire mesh electric fencing.
Sheep/Goat Electric Netting Zareba Systems (Farm Supplies - Goat Sheep - Fencing - Electric Netting

I don't know how much area you would have to cover and how much it would cost but it is an idea. Also, it would probably be possible for a predator to jump this fence but I am willing to bet that after they got bit by it once, they would avoid it and look for other hunting grounds.

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