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Get your permit.

Some wilderness areas and parks do not allow guns in them. Contact the Forest Service. The fines in the past were hefty and I believe they could take your truck, trailer and horses (at least some places in Washington they used to do that, may still be the case). In some cases, they did allow you to buy your stuff back. I know when my Agency seizes trucks/trailers/horses/dogs for hunting violations we often allow people to try and buy them back for a pretty big price.
 
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Painted Horse please dont ever bring up slitting a horses throat to kill it again. I am only so tough until a animals gets hurt or killed.
My riding teacher always brings a gun. I am not scared of animals. If we were to meet a cougar on the trail I would hop off my horse let him run and I would bolt up a tree(yes I can climb like a monkey). However some people are creepy so a gun is there for that purpose.
What would be the better thing if the person didn't have a gun? Let the horse suffer?

You might want to read up a little more on cougars. They'd be on you before you got to the tree. You do NOT run. You're best to stay on your horse and look really big.



Here is a section of our living with wildlife from our agency website, although the first sentence isn't the case anymore. We are seeing more and more cougars, even coming down and going into neighborhoods and school yards.
Relatively few people will ever catch a glimpse of a cougar much less confront one. If you come face to face with a cougar, your actions can either help or hinder a quick retreat by the animal.
Here are some things to remember:

  • Stop, pick up small children immediately, and don’t run. Running and rapid movements may trigger an attack. Remember, at close range, a cougar’s instinct is to chase.
  • Face the cougar. Talk to it firmly while slowly backing away. Always leave the animal an escape route.
  • Try to appear larger than the cougar. Get above it (e.g., step up onto a rock or stump). If wearing a jacket, hold it open to further increase your apparent size. If you are in a group, stand shoulder-to-shoulder to appear intimidating.
  • Do not take your eyes off the cougar or turn your back. Do not crouch down or try to hide.
  • Never approach the cougar, especially if it is near a kill or with kittens, and never offer it food.
  • If the cougar does not flee, be more assertive. If it shows signs of aggression (crouches with ears back, teeth bared, hissing, tail twitching, and hind feet pumping in preparation to jump), shout, wave your arms and throw anything you have available (water bottle, book, backpack). The idea is to convince the cougar that you are not prey, but a potential danger.
  • If the cougar attacks, fight back. Be aggressive and try to stay on your feet. Cougars have been driven away by people who have fought back using anything within reach, including sticks, rocks, shovels, backpacks, and clothing—even bare hands. If you are aggressive enough, a cougar will flee, realizing it has made a mistake. Pepper spray in the cougar’s face is also effective in the extreme unlikelihood of a close encounter with a cougar.
 

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PaintedHorse - keep in mind, that if you get caught, you might have a high price to pay. One of our Officers has a saying, "people always get caught". Not sure if he tells that to people to make them tow the line. Just sayin'.
 

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I get it believe me. I work for fish and wildlife and walk remote areas getting to lakes to check anglers. I don't get to carry anything. Not a gun, not pepper spray nothing. And if I get caught carrying them, but trouble. I have my handy Sears crafstman knife, but that's not going to do too much in close combat. I'm always watching over my shoulder, but have found my bigger problems are really squirrels throwing sticks down on my head.
 

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Painted, where are you from? I'm from Joseph Oregon (live elsewhere now) but love getting back for Chief Joseph Days.
 
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