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Are mountain lions likely to attack a person on sight or are other factors involved? We hear rumors of sightings without report

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  • Are mountain lions likely to attack a person on sight or are other factors involved? We hear rumors of sightings without report

    Are mountain lions likely to attack a person on sight or are other factors involved? We hear rumors of sightings without reports of attacks but of course, no State confirmation. I have seen what looked like tracks in the Adirondacks and some rumors of sightings in Ohio but no reports of attacks. How many people are actually attacked by them?

  • #2
    Mountain lions normally avoid contact with adult humans, though children and pets ought not be left unattended. When I lived in southern California, habitat encroachment put the cats at odds with Orange County residents, and they began to appear in public parks and shopping malls in the '90s, not long before I relocated to the Northwest. There were rare attacks on children and joggers in south Orange County and Riverside County. Again, attacks were very rare.

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    • #3
      Lions almost never attack people - there are more problems with coyotes going after human targets than lions. I routinely hike, alone, at night, in lion country, and have never even seen one (of course, you won't see the one that gets you). I know they are around - I have numerous trail-cam photos.

      Most lion attacks occur when:

      You find one on a fresh kill
      You are walking a small dog
      You are a very young child alone

      Assuming that none of these apply to you, I wouldn't worry about it. If you have a small child with you, keep them in eyesight - which you should be doing anyway - and you won't have a problem.

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      • #4
        I think that in all of the lion attacks I've read about the victims were joggers in California.

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        • #5
          3+ Years ago on an old lease it was B-power Season,I was in Camp starting to Cook lunch for the Crew...when I get a call on the 2Way from a member who needs help tracking a Doe! I get the 4-runer and meet him we tracked the doe 1/2Mile or so and the trial goes cold. looking down a dirt road WE SEE a Black Bear with the Doe in its mouth it STOPS turns and looks at us....drops the deer and stands up looking at us. I said lets go back to camp! YOU have All Week to Hunt......lets eat lunch

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          • #6
            They're more afraid of you than you are of them! I live in California and every once in a while you hear about someone getting mauled. My guess is that it happens when the animals feel cornered, or are protecting cubs.

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            • #7
              Have owned ranches in California, Montana, and Idaho. Have hunted extensively in Alberta,British Columbia, and Mexico. Oh, forgot New Mexico, and Arizona. These are all Cougar Country. Only place cougars seem to chase humans is Souther California. Probably because it is illegal to hunt Mt Lion, and the joggers are rumored to taste like chicken.

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              • #8
                My hunting partner and I were field dressing a deer killed at dusk in southern Arizona some years ago. My buddy was holding the flashlight while I worked. Just as we were finishing up, he swung the light onto a 7' mountain lion that was crouched a measured six feet from where I was kneeling. The cat was staring intently at the deer. Had the cat wanted to attack us, I believe he would have. I think he was very curious and was attracted by the deer kill. Yes, curiousity did kill the cat.

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                • #9
                  Ah nose two people who were attacked.

                  One attacked somebody in his front yard.

                  A "target of opportunity", Ah suppose.

                  The other wuz teaching her yearling cubs to follow a scent trail, and followed it right up to a friend who wuz sitting on a stump with a .30-06.

                  Montana and Washington.

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                  • #10



                    Hi...


                    Any reports that I have studied appeared to be of people moving fast (bicycles, joggers), and/or in other than a standing-up position.


                    And in remote...or somewhat remote...areas.



                    Should one be extremely old (when hard to kill USUAL prey), that might shed another light on the matter.

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                    • #11
                      We have plenty of lions around here. Returning from hunts I have found lion tracks following mine, and once saw a female lion with her half grown cub shadowing me 300 yards up the ridge. They attack horses and cattle around here, kill plenty of deer and elk. I always keep an eye behind me and to the sides when I'm hunting just in case.

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                      • #12
                        Mountain lion attacks on humans are extremely rare. A list on Wikipedia shows 20 confirmed fatal attacks in North America between 1890 and 2011, which averages out to one fatal attack in the U.S. and Canada every 6 years. Of course there are non-fatal attacks too, but they are rare. When they do occur, unfortunately, it’s almost always on children, which is why wildlife officials in the West recommend keeping kids close while on hiking trails or in campgrounds. Lions do not see adult humans as viable prey, except in the rare case of an animal that is unusually aggressive for some reason. I live, hike, hunt and camp in lion country, unarmed except for while hunting, and I’m a lot more worried about being struck by lightning (meaning I’m not very worried at all.)

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                        • #13
                          A number of years ago I was fortunate to attend a tracking seminar put on by an expert from the heart of mountain lion country. He said that lion attacks are extremely rare and usually involved a cornered cat. However, he was aware of at least one attack where the victim was a female jogger who stopped to tie a shoe - this crouched position had made her appear small and vulnerable - appearing to be an easy prey opportunity.

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                          • #14
                            i have seen dozens of lions over the years here in arizona (usually one or two a year) only 2 have not been when I was sitting behind binos. one was when sitting on a tank and the other was with kids and small dogs present. I can guarantee there have been more lions that have seen me while i have not seen them. Considering I spend around a month or more in the woods almost all of it lion county im not to worried.

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                            • #15
                              A cougar will attack a person when they are hungry or cornered.

                              If you check out the link below of "California Cougar Attacks" most people were hiking, camping or standing still when the attack happens. Cougars are not picky eaters when it comes to human activities.


                              www.cougarinfo.org/attacks.htm

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