Mountain Lion?!?!? What to do? - Page 2
   

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Mountain Lion?!?!? What to do?

This is a discussion on Mountain Lion?!?!? What to do? within the Trail Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Horse wont go on trail alone anymore
  • Anything u can do to make hunting boots quieter

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    07-28-2012, 04:30 PM
  #11
Trained
That is so scary!
     
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    07-28-2012, 04:39 PM
  #12
Trained
Everyone has given great advice. I have seen a couple lions here (The mountains of Oregon) once on horseback, but mainly during deer/elk season when I'm hunting. Trust me, they will always see you first, an they are the only animal in the woods that scare the hell out of me.

I always trail ride with my pistol around my hip and my small knife in my pocket and larger knife on my saddle. I don't ride with pepper spray because I am more comfortable with a gun, but if guns aren't your thing and your horse wouldn't stand to be shot off of, I would go get some spray.
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    07-28-2012, 09:46 PM
  #13
Yearling
Eclipse. Just what zoom the little Kodak point and shoot digital camera has. We were not very far away as we had a gang of dogs chasing that cat. And we were right there pulling the dogs away from the base of the tree.

This brings up another issue. California does allow hunters to chase cougars with dogs. We almost never kill the cats we chase. But the fact that we do chase them helps the Cougars keep a healthy respect for avoiding man. Cougars in California, never get chased and hence have become more accustomed to being around people.
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    07-28-2012, 11:16 PM
  #14
Foal
Thank you SO much, everyone, for your awesome advice...I'm sorry I've taken so long - we've had guests in from out of town and I totally underestimated my ability to get on a computer.


That said, @Boots, OMG. How brave and cool headed a response when you saw your child come so close to danger? Wow. I got chills just reading your story.

@Darrin - When I got back to the barn I promptly told the barn owner who said they'd spread the word a lion had been spotted so close...I don't know if that includes Game and Wildlife Management. But I will check. And you're right - my lion seemed totally unruffled. Also, I totally agree about the gun thing - not only am I only familiar with the water-pistol variety, but I suspect that Playday (accustomed as she to craziness from her former life harness racing ) would not respond well. I'd probably end up saving the cat the trouble of having to work for it's meal!

@Paintedhorse - You are so right. Seeing the lion in the wild was exhilarating...its shoulders moving in the sunlight was a sight I'll never forget. Even though I was choking on fear at the same time! If I'd seen one up in a tree like in the INCREDIBLE picture you shared, I'd have froze. In fact, it didn't even occur to me one could be in a tree. Which is kind of embarrassing (OF COURSE they'd be up a tree! Wasn't that how it went down in Little House on the Prairie?). I'll be a bit less bold charging up the trail next time, proud of myself for scanning the undergrowth for cats. I'll have to include the trees now too! Also, why won't California chase cougars? It seems like a sensible thing if it makes them more wary of humans...

@BSMS, I'm actually glad to hear about the gun permit situation, since that makes it officially not an option! I really wouldn't feel comfortable carrying a gun at all. But pepper spray...that's something I'm more familiar with.

@Flygap - Thank you! Playday is pretty awesome. If you can believe it, she's only 4! I can only imagine what a steady girl she'll be when she's older. As for me, I surprised myself. I thought for sure if I ever encountered one I'd not be able to control my fear. It's kind of a relief to know that I kind-of-sort-of did the right thing...and thank you for the pepper spray tip. Self-injury is my concern with any weapon. But I'd feel better with a last resort like pepper spray - I ride out alone a lot.

@Sorrelhorse- Thank you!

@Celeste - It was! :) I suspect that since you're in Georgia you're like me and large predators are something that have only been seen at the zoo!
     
    07-28-2012, 11:55 PM
  #15
Weanling
Nifty thing called a scabbard.
You can put a pump shotgun or a lever action rifle in it, and it's readily accessible if ol' shiny eyes pokes it's head out at you again.
Even if used as anoisemaker, if things start going south, you still have the lethal option, as a last resort.
     
    07-29-2012, 12:59 AM
  #16
Green Broke
Gtmochi, I would be very very careful with pepper spray. If the wind blows wrong your horse will get a dose and that will save a cougar the trouble of chasing you down, and you come with seasoning already applied. Pepper spray is not something you can train your horse to accept I believe.

For non lethal your best bet would be an air horn. You can work with your mare (she's really only 4 with that attitude?) to stay calm when used. Start with something fairly quiet, like a whistle and go up from there in decibels.

I'm not sure of CA laws on hunting cat but just up north in Oregon it has been illegal to use dogs for hunting cat for some years now. There is also laws against harrasing game so cats up here basically are not hunted. They've lost their fear of man and are slowly becoming more of a problem. Interestingly, the official state hunter for Oregon is allowed to use dogs to nab troublesome cats. What's good for the goose isn't good for the gander it seems.
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    07-29-2012, 02:28 AM
  #17
Super Moderator
First of all, I would not go out on those trails alone anymore.

Wear the bell. It might help. Though cats tend to follow you, and watch you and maybe staulk you, so warning them may not do anything.

On horse back, spraying pepper spray might only bring a cloud of it back in your own or horse's eyes.

If you had a rope and your horse could tolerate you swinging it off of her, then you might swing it and yell at the cat.

Otherwise, given all, I think you did well and made the best choices.
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    07-29-2012, 02:35 AM
  #18
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darrin    
gtmochi, I would be very very careful with pepper spray. If the wind blows wrong your horse will get a dose and that will save a cougar the trouble of chasing you down, and you come with seasoning already applied. Pepper spray is not something you can train your horse to accept I believe.

For non lethal your best bet would be an air horn. You can work with your mare (she's really only 4 with that attitude?) to stay calm when used. Start with something fairly quiet, like a whistle and go up from there in decibels.

I'm not sure of CA laws on hunting cat but just up north in Oregon it has been illegal to use dogs for hunting cat for some years now. There is also laws against harrasing game so cats up here basically are not hunted. They've lost their fear of man and are slowly becoming more of a problem. Interestingly, the official state hunter for Oregon is allowed to use dogs to nab troublesome cats. What's good for the goose isn't good for the gander it seems.
Thanks Darrin! Now I think maybe the air horn is the safest for me since I can work with Playday to get used to it. I always feel that I'm safer mounted, and the last thing I want to do is make myself a spicy treat for an alarmingly large predator.

The whole dog/no dog cougar hunting sounds like a huge double standard...if the cats aren't being hurt and it helps keep them wary of people, it seems a win-win for everyone? Although admittedly my knowledge about hunting and things related is lacking. Unless it involves fox hunting. Which in the few rides I've done did not actually involve a fox. So really, I guess my hunting IQ = 0.

Meanwhile, I can't resist gushing - isn't it amazing she's only 4?? Lucky for me she didn't make it as a harness racer (she clips her front L with her back R and wasn't quite fast enough) so her owners brought her home from the track in Sacramento as a riding horse. She's a total pro when comes to almost any kind of potential scary moment: fire trucks, large groups of bikers, plastic bags, rogue beer cans clattering out of no-where, 4 wheelers, assorted animals including yaks but excluding sheep....still can't figure out that one. Large groups of them give her the willies!

Thanks again for your (and everyone's) advice. I knew you all would have great knowledge and experience to share!
     
    07-29-2012, 02:40 AM
  #19
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by azwantapaint    
Nifty thing called a scabbard.
You can put a pump shotgun or a lever action rifle in it, and it's readily accessible if ol' shiny eyes pokes it's head out at you again.
Even if used as anoisemaker, if things start going south, you still have the lethal option, as a last resort.
Oh man. Me and guns are not a good mix! I have never shot one in my life! But thank you :)
     
    07-29-2012, 02:47 AM
  #20
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny    
Though cats tend to follow you, and watch you and maybe staulk you, so warning them may not do anything.

.
This terrifies me. I have resisted not going on this trail anymore. Such great hills for working on her bum and my balance, and so cool when the southern trails are hot. Not to mention that my riding times are when everyone else is working (I freelance from home).

Something to seriously consider. Thinking about it following us gives me the shivers.
     

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