I have never encountered one on the trail, but I saw one in the backyard of my old house when I was six or seven. It was really strange, since there were some woods behind my yard, but only for about a quarter/half mile before reaching the back lot of a Home Depot. I have only told my boyfriend about this since I know that my family would play it off as my overactive imagination, but I know what I saw. It was a huge, cream colored cat, stalking through the grass at the edge of my yard and disappearing into the forest. Me, being a little girl who loves animals, decided to go outside to try to tame it and make it a pet. Luckily, I was so mesmerized by this regal cat that I stared at it for too long, and by the time I got outside to look for it, it was long gone. I was really sad. :(
But, I would have been lion lunch, so there's that.
I trail ride in a fairly rural area. Private land, with permission of course, and while I have heard, and briefly hunted, coyotes, I have never witnessed the family of bears, wild boars, and possibly cougars that everyone else has. Call me lucky, I guess? I've never even seen a deer, but I had seen their tracks and scat. I also chased a wild turkey once, for the heck of it.
Mountain lions are rare, but there have been whispers of them in my area over the years, and if they are going to congregate anywhere, I'd say my trails are ideal. :/ Especially with the dead calf someone put out there as coyote bait.
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