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Being prepared when trail riding when you become the prey

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        07-31-2014, 10:46 PM
      #21
    Foal
    1) What should we be carrying to protect ourselves: Bear spray, knives, etc.

    I have to bring mace with me, since around here we have bear, mountain lions, bob cats, etc. It may sound ridiculous, but put a fannypack or something to hold the mace on your leg/boot. A knife wouldn't do much since by the time you are stabbing this animal, it is so close to you it can do irreparable damage. You could bring a baton, or a bat just for extra protection.

    2) What is the right thing to do when you see a cougar while riding. Thinking of safety of the rider and the horse. Our horses were not going to face it and stand still.

    [COLOR="rgb(139, 0, 0)"]I ride with my father on our trails and in my field. We have come across only bear and the occasional bob cat(they won't hurt much of anything) but when we do come across bear my father always told me eyes ahead. We have had a bear chase us once and this was because of cubs. I called wildlife officers and they came, tranquilized the bear and her cubs and relocated them. We always brought a bat with us, and pepper spray with a wide sprayer. So I'm not much help with the cougar(or mountain lion since they are the same animal), But I would suggest to NEVER put yourself in the danger of getting off your horse. Cougars/Mountain Lions stalk, and they will stalk until they feel it is the right time to attack. Bring your steady old guy, not your young one, if you must go while there is a cougar. And keep calling wildlife officers until they do something about this cougar on a well populated trail!

    What always gets them is when you say "If you don't do something about it, I will!" even if you don't mean it.

    Good luck and BE SAFE.[/COLOR]
         
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        07-31-2014, 10:59 PM
      #22
    Green Broke
    I thought it was unlikely for a cougar to attack a horse/rider, because they appear so large? Hopefully someone more versed in trail riding safety can enlighten me.
         
        07-31-2014, 11:21 PM
      #23
    Green Broke
    I've never come up on a cougar, but we have had bobcats come around our barn. They don't seem too scared of loud noises. The only thing I can think of is carrying a handgun, but you will need to know how to use it and making sure your horse is used to it.
    You guys are really lucky. I don't think I could have been so calm.
         
        07-31-2014, 11:38 PM
      #24
    Yearling
    You are blowing this out of proportion.

    1st of all cougars are very timid creatures. It will be rare that you will even see them. Let alone be attacked by them.

    2nd Humans are not their natural food source. So for a cougar to consider attacking you, They would need to be very hungry and just not able to find their normal food.

    3rd Cougars are members of the cat family and act much like your typical house hold cat. They are curious and will chase something for the game even if they don't intend on killing/eating. Hence Don't run when confronted by a cat. As mentioned make yourself as large as possible. Noise helps. Be loud, yell, bang large sticks against trees, discharge firearms.

    A cat may sneek up behind you to see just what you are, But once you make it feel uncomfortable they will usually flee and continue the patrol of their territory. In some areas where cougars are not hunted, they have become a little more accustomed to people. These cats might be willing to get closer and even challenge a human since they have no fear. This is usually triggered more by some body fleeing them, either because the person turns and runs away or they don't know the cat is there and they move past jogging or on a bike where they appear to be fleeing.

    Cougars will kill and eat small dogs. I've had several ladies come around camp areas calling their little fluffy lap dog, claiming it went out to go potty and never returned. Cougar will snatch those small dogs up just like a rabbit. Most 150+ pound cougars can easily kill a 60lbs hound dog, But they run from hounds. I don't know if it's the fear of the pack or just a million years of genetic instinct telling them to fear canines that causes them to run. But they do.

    As far as the woman that outran the cougar back to her car. Hog wash. If that cougar wanted to catch her. There is no human alive that can out run cougar. If that cougar has wanted to catch her, It would have been on her in seconds.

    Go out and enjoy your normal rides. If it makes you feel better carry some Pepper spray. It works on the eye and nose of cougars as wells as bears. It will also make your eyes tear up and cry if the wind blows it back in your face. A gun or something else to make loud noises will also work well. Don't go out smelling like food. If you just killed a deer and butchered it on the mountain, clean up and get your cloths changed. Don't wear bloody cloths if you are concerned about predators being in the area.

    I've spent a LOT of years in the back country of Utah, Idaho and Wyoming and have only seen a couple cougars that we did not find with hounds. They are extremely rare to spot. Consider yourself lucky if you get the chance.
         
        08-01-2014, 12:03 AM
      #25
    Yearling
    Wasp spray works like pepper spray, shoots farther ,& is cheaper
    Posted via Mobile Device
         
        08-01-2014, 12:06 AM
      #26
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Foxtail Ranch    
    Wasp spray works like pepper spray, shoots farther ,& is cheaper
    Posted via Mobile Device
    yes my BO just told me that today. I never knew that.
    Foxtail Ranch likes this.
         
        08-01-2014, 12:18 AM
      #27
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Painted Horse    
    You are blowing this out of proportion.

    1st of all cougars are very timid creatures. It will be rare that you will even see them. Let alone be attacked by them.

    2nd Humans are not their natural food source. So for a cougar to consider attacking you, They would need to be very hungry and just not able to find their normal food.

    3rd Cougars are members of the cat family and act much like your typical house hold cat. They are curious and will chase something for the game even if they don't intend on killing/eating. Hence Don't run when confronted by a cat. As mentioned make yourself as large as possible. Noise helps. Be loud, yell, bang large sticks against trees, discharge firearms.

    A cat may sneek up behind you to see just what you are, But once you make it feel uncomfortable they will usually flee and continue the patrol of their territory. In some areas where cougars are not hunted, they have become a little more accustomed to people. These cats might be willing to get closer and even challenge a human since they have no fear. This is usually triggered more by some body fleeing them, either because the person turns and runs away or they don't know the cat is there and they move past jogging or on a bike where they appear to be fleeing.

    Cougars will kill and eat small dogs. I've had several ladies come around camp areas calling their little fluffy lap dog, claiming it went out to go potty and never returned. Cougar will snatch those small dogs up just like a rabbit. Most 150+ pound cougars can easily kill a 60lbs hound dog, But they run from hounds. I don't know if it's the fear of the pack or just a million years of genetic instinct telling them to fear canines that causes them to run. But they do.

    As far as the woman that outran the cougar back to her car. Hog wash. If that cougar wanted to catch her. There is no human alive that can out run cougar. If that cougar has wanted to catch her, It would have been on her in seconds.

    Go out and enjoy your normal rides. If it makes you feel better carry some Pepper spray. It works on the eye and nose of cougars as wells as bears. It will also make your eyes tear up and cry if the wind blows it back in your face. A gun or something else to make loud noises will also work well. Don't go out smelling like food. If you just killed a deer and butchered it on the mountain, clean up and get your cloths changed. Don't wear bloody cloths if you are concerned about predators being in the area.

    I've spent a LOT of years in the back country of Utah, Idaho and Wyoming and have only seen a couple cougars that we did not find with hounds. They are extremely rare to spot. Consider yourself lucky if you get the chance.
    Thank you for being the voice of reason!

    I personally would LOVE to see a cougar. You just don't hear about them attacking people unless they are sick. I ride out in the woods ALL THE TIME and have never seen one. They are actually extremely shy animals.

    I would worry a lot more about facing a bear, but even the bears I have encountered have turned tail and run as soon as they see us.

    The one person I know of that got killed by a bear did so while walking her small dog after dark. Not a good thing! The bear was used to coming into her neighborhood to eat trash.

    Anyway, if a cougar is really doing all these things Game and Fish needs to take care of it. Period. But I can't imagine a healthy cougar being so bold.

    People are a lot more dangerous to people than wildlife.
    Foxtail Ranch and 6gun Kid like this.
         
        08-01-2014, 12:27 AM
      #28
    Weanling
    Yes cougars are usually elusive, but this one saw us and had no problems letting it see it, and it was slinking down the trail towards us and then followed us in the bush parallel to the trail. If this is the same cougar that has been stalking and following people and chasing trucks, it is not normal cougar behavior and it is either very young and hungry or something else is wrong with it which is scarey. Conservation had the trails closed a month ago, and since then there have been altercations with what I believe to be the same animal as they have all been relatively close to one another. I wish they could find this one and relocate it or do something before someone really gets hurt. This morning there was no posters or warnings anywhere at the entrance to the trails.
    littlebird likes this.
         
        08-01-2014, 12:31 AM
      #29
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mochachino    
    Yes cougars are usually elusive, but this one saw us and had no problems letting it see it, and it was slinking down the trail towards us and then followed us in the bush parallel to the trail. If this is the same cougar that has been stalking and following people and chasing trucks, it is not normal cougar behavior and it is either very young and hungry or something else is wrong with it which is scarey. Conservation had the trails closed a month ago, and since then there have been altercations with what I believe to be the same animal as they have all been relatively close to one another. I wish they could find this one and relocate it or do something before someone really gets hurt. This morning there was no posters or warnings anywhere at the entrance to the trails.
    They at least should have warnings posted......along with advice on what to do and who to call if a person should sight it. A wild animal with no fear is a bad thing!
         
        08-01-2014, 12:42 AM
      #30
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Painted Horse    
    You are blowing this out of proportion.
    ...
    I've spent a LOT of years in the back country of Utah, Idaho and Wyoming and have only seen a couple cougars that we did not find with hounds. They are extremely rare to spot. Consider yourself lucky if you get the chance.
    Normally, I would agree with you, but as Mochachino said, this cougar (or small population of cougars) is different. They are being way too bold. I'm not sure I conveyed how heavily trafficked the galloping goose trail is. Landford, the area where the cougar was shot, is a suburb.

    There are always exceptions, like the tsavo man-eaters. I'm not saying the behavior of these cougars is as extreme as the pair of tsavo lions, far, far from it. But they have the potential to be a real threat.
    Mochachino likes this.
         

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