Mountain Lion?!?!? What to do? - Page 7 - The Horse Forum
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post #61 of 70 Old 09-17-2012, 08:16 PM
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Exactly! That is what I thought when we had a cougar sneek up behind us. It was just curious and wanted to figure out what we were.
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post #62 of 70 Old 09-17-2012, 08:51 PM
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A woman claimed a wolf attacked her horse, broke it's front leg. Hate to burst her bubble but that was likely the result of the pasture pal delivering a kick to make it back off. Wolves head for the hind end in an attempt to hamstring the animal. Too risky trying to break a front leg in order to cripple the horse. Tell you southerns what, I'll take my black bear and huge moose and maybe a small cougar over your poisonous snakes any day.
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post #63 of 70 Old 09-17-2012, 09:14 PM
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Snakes generally leave you alone if you leave them alone.

Carpe Diem!
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post #64 of 70 Old 09-17-2012, 09:40 PM
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All this talk about cougars reminded me of my (first ever!) camping trip last month.

I was alone, walking along a trail in the woods above my cabin at dusk. It was REALLY hard to see, since it was darker in the forest than outside of it. I looked to my left, and *thought* I detected movement in the trees about ten feet from me. Something light colored.

I stood and stared at that spot for several minutes, but saw nothing after that. Finally I gave up and continued walking, but nervously kept looking behind me the whole time.

It could have been a deer, or even an elk. I had frightened an elk away from that area a few days before, but I clearly heard its hooves pounding as it ran off. With this, I heard absolutely nothing- not even a twig snapping- which is why I thought 'cougar'.

Of course, it could have been nothing, too as it was so dark in there that my eyes were having a hard time focusing. It could have just been my eyes playing tricks on me. I'll never know.
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post #65 of 70 Old 09-17-2012, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by gunslinger View Post
California has some strict carry laws, but as the old saying goes, "I'd rather be tried by 12 than carried by 6".

One of my goals is to get my horse used to gun fire. I don't really want to compete, but if I did, Cowboy action shooting would be my event.

Think we'll ever get it to be an Olympic event?
At the risk of starting a descent into another "guns on trail" thread...

In a state like CA (or my own NY) if you fire a gun, you will likely have the "book thrown at you." You will probably be violating carry laws, discharge laws and animal protection/hunting laws. I agree with the "carried by 6" rule, but I highly suggest finding a different alternative that involves less legal ramifications.

I do cowboy mounted shooting and regularly shoot pistols, rifles and shotguns off horses. Some things to consider...

- When I shoot, I do so in a controlled environment. Both I and the horse know what is going to happen in the marked arena when we cross the timer and engage the balloons. It is not a random "one off" shot in the middle of a trail ride. That loud random noise could be enough to make even an experienced horse flinch or crow hop. Which could get a rider dumped.

- When I shoot, I am excited about the competition, but I think that is a different adrenaline level than when looking at a hungry cat. My horse also does not have the scent of a predator. Of note - I was at a competition about a year ago where a bear made a kill about a mile away (in the woods). It was a windy day and the horses apparently caught the scent. Almost all the horses were pretty edgy all day and there were some near wrecks.

- A long gun (rifle or shotgun) may get around the handgun restrictions, but they are also considerably harder to operate from horseback. To use effectively - especially if you have to aim at an animal at a comfortable distance) you will need TWO hands on the weapon and your horse to stay completely still. This is a lot harder than you might think, especially under these circumstances. Even then, you are going to be in for a heap of trouble with the local authorities/game warden.

- I shoot both target (ground) and mounted. There is a big difference between live ammo and blanks. Blanks have no recoil. Drop a live .45 round in the chamber and there is a big kick.

I'm not arguing against firearms as protection on trail. For those of us who shoot off and around our horse regularly, this may be a viable option. The less restrictive your local/state laws, the more viable it becomes.

I am a big proponent of shooting sports and mounted shooting in particular. I have a mounted shooting club and help introduce people into the sport. This experience has also taught me that not everyone is ready to ride with a gun (blanks or otherwise). There is no room for error when loaded with live ammo. It takes a steady hand, a level head and a lot of training.

The odds of most of us hitting a cat at a respectable distance while mounted is pretty slim. I am sure some of you can do it on a consistent basis and have nothing but respect for your skill.

Since the majority of us will only be able to use the "noise" factor of a firearm, let me suggest this alternative. Get a starter pistol.

Small. Lot's of noise. Cheap ammo (.22 blanks). Avoid all the legal problems of a pistol license, carry laws and hunting laws (make sure it is legal in your area). Plus, you get to train you and your horse to gunfire, so you can get into something like cowboy mounted shooting somewhere down the line.

Whatever "scare" tactic you decide to use on trail, make sure you train your horse thoroughly and regularly. When in any panic situation you (and your horse) should be able to fall back on training without having to think about it.

It's like the old story - when in bear country you only need a .22 and a friend. If the bear attack, shoot your friend in the leg and run like heck.

If your horse spooks on trail and you come off, he will run and you become the unfortunate friend. :)

Last edited by Tazmanian Devil; 09-17-2012 at 11:04 PM.
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post #66 of 70 Old 09-17-2012, 11:07 PM
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post #67 of 70 Old 09-18-2012, 12:01 AM
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cat attacks would be scary. But .. realize that we have invaded thier territory. Yes i would be freaked and pissed off if a big Cat came after me. i have ridden in the mtns and came across bear tracks larger than my hand and we had circled back to camp . My horse kept whinny ing the entire ride, and thinking back I bet that bear had been checking us out.
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post #68 of 70 Old 09-18-2012, 06:09 AM
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My horse would have made a good lead mare in a wild herd.

I used to live in Colorado's Front Range, which is big lion country. I'd never seen one, though. There was one day when I took my horse out for a trail ride and as we were walking up a familiar trail we'd been up millions of times, she stopped dead and then tried to wheel around in the opposite direction. I tried to press her forward. She made it clear that she weighs 1200lbs and when she decides she's not going somewhere, there's nothing I can do about it. This is totally out of character, as she's generally a brave and cooperative creature. So I decided there must be something to it, turned around, and went out on a different trail without any bother. A couple days later, I learned that a mountain lion had been spotted further up the trail we had been walking up. Good girl!
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post #69 of 70 Old 09-18-2012, 09:11 AM
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People say that big cats are unlikely to actually attack you; however, they can and do occasionally attack.

Mountain Lion Attacks Man, 63, in California - ABC News

List of Mountain Lion Attacks On People in California

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post #70 of 70 Old 09-18-2012, 09:36 AM
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I pull a pack string almost every weekend somewhere in the Bob Marshall wilderness and have come in contact with many bears both black and griz. Only seen a couple of cats. The topic of bear spray has come up.....remember it has a short range when fired and the wind needs to be right or you and your stock will be the ones sprayed. Pepper spray is a last chance defensive weapon. When that bear is running in at 30 mph and you are holding ground till he is 25' from you thats really only about 4 steps away.
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