Pay Special Attention at Dawn and Dusk: Prime hiking hours in early morning and early evening overlap with the times when mountain lions are active. Grizzly bears are generally found in Alaska, Western … So it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with mountain lion safety. Try to remain standing to protect your head and neck. Compare this with attacks by dogs. Carrying, and knowing how to use, bear spray can help help deter an aggresive enounter with large predators. Some people say not to look it in the eye, but there’s nothing empirical about that advice. Mountain Lions are quite elusive animals and trail encounters with them are rare. During these hours, stay near camp and do not wander around alone. Researchers have developed several devices designed to frighten or deter large carnivores from attacking livestock, though these are generally effective when livestock are confined in small pastures. It’s nothing personal, but their survival depends on avoiding people. Make Yourself Look Bigger: Wave your arms slowly over your head and open your jacket or shirt to appear as large as possible. Bear spray may help to deter an attacking lion. Prime hiking hours in early morning and early evening overlap with the times... Keep Children Close and Dogs on Leashes: . Be aware of what you can throw at the lion if it begins to act aggressively. Instead, slowly try to back away while keeping your face toward the lion. Cannon said hikers wishing to avoid mountain lions should refrain from hiking early in the morning and at dusk, and hike in larger groups. Each year in California, about 100,000 dog attacks cause their victims to get […] The longer you can punch, hit, and fight it off, the more you will convince the mountain lion that you’re not worth the effort. The first thing to remember about mountain lions is that they really don’t want to have anything to do with you. Instead, back up slowly while speaking firmly and loudly and maintaining direct eye contact. The best way to avoid … If you have trekking poles, raise them up too and get ready to use them if it approaches you. LiveAbout uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. While mountain lion attacks are rare, in early February 2019, a 31-year-old trail runner named Travis Kauffman was running in the Horsetooth Mountain Open Space near Fort Collins, Colorado. Focus on nothing other than surviving and hitting back. Stay Smart Cougars are all-star stalk­ers, but you might be able to spot oth­er signs that they are in the area. If both top toes are level, it’s a dog. But don’t assault a mountain lion that isn’t showing threatening behavior. Mountain lion attacks are rare, but hardly unheard of. Put your hands in the air, make noise, and act bigger than you are. Wave your trekking poles and shout. If you don’t have anything, use your fists. If you come upon a lion, give it plenty of space so it can escape. Bear spray is great if you see them coming, but keep in mind, if you are in the middle of a wilderness area, that may not be the best option that could be available. If you find yourself behind the lion when grappling around, you can also. You may have heard about Travis Kauffman surviving a mountain lion attack in the Rockies. Stumbling upon a mountain lion is pretty rare, but if you happen to do a lot of stuff outdoors, it’s good to be prepared just in case. She must have really hit the right note. The problem is identifying it. Groups of people seem to deter Mountain Lion attacks too so travel in groups, even when making short trips (e.g. Cougars are solitary animals. If you come upon an older, partially buried carcass, immediately leave the area. While it would be amazing to spot one in the wild we must keep our safety in mind, because mountain lions … If it’s dry, it’s old, if it’s moist and warm, it’s probably new. Bear Encounters. Keep your eyes peeled for cougar tracks (four toes, and usu­al­ly no claw prints since their claws are retractable) and drop­pings, and scan trees for fresh claw marks. Backcountry vs. Frontcountry vs. Slackcountry, Climbing Longs Peak, Keyhole Route Description. Don’t Run: Turning and running can stimulate a mountain lion’s chase instinct. If … Keep Children Close and Dogs on Leashes: Children and smaller individuals are more likely to be attacked. Start hitting the animal in the head, specifically the eyes. Since 1980, there have been only 13 attacks in all of California (where David and Charley live) and three people have died as a result. You also have a better chance of unintentionally poisoning yourself, with 42,000 Americans dying from that. If one toe is in front of the others, it’s a cat. Don’t Approach Mountain Lions: Seeing a mountain lion is a memorable experience. Mountain Lion Attacks Mountain lion in Arizona. If, however, the mountain lion is crouching, snarling, or begins stalking, an attack may be imminent. Either way, just seeing tracks means that the lion has been where you are and could come back. Their paw print is about 2″ tall by 4″ wide, and doesn’t have claw/nail prints (dogs do). Make noise when you’re hiking, this will help ensure that you don’t walk up on an unsuspecting lion. Hold your arms up or hold a stick above you to appear larger. Even when you’ve done everything possible to prevent a snake encounter, there is still the possibility of bumping into one - after all, your hike is in their territory! Look for Warning Signs: Like housecats, mountain lions are curious and may observe you for a while before disappearing. This story definitely falls under the category "don't try this at home." Mountain lions may return repeatedly if food, water, or shelter is available. Where You’ll Find Bears. If you see a snake, the first thing you want to do is to give the animal some space. Hiking or trail running in groups puts the numbers to your advantage, decreasing the likelihood of being attacked. Safely Deter Mountain Lions If you need an effective mountain lion, bobcat, or cougar repellent that is humane, environmentally friendly, and easy to use, Nite Guard has the solution for you. For one woman in Colorado the meeting happened while hiking and you won't believe what she did to keep the big cat from attacking her. How to Avoid Mountain Lions Pay Special Attention at Dawn and Dusk: . If you have an air horn, give that some blasts. In a large portion of Montana, bears and lions inhabit the same areas. Seeing a dead animal carcass, especially a fresh one. Imagine a house cat but several times larger and way more powerful. The sound of a human voice on the radio is a sure way to scare a mountain lion away from your camp or whatever path you are treading. Kauffman, the Colorado resident who, on Valentine’s Day 2019, killed a lion with his bare hands while out running in the mountains. If you have an air horn, give that some blasts. You have a much better chance of dying while driving to the trail, with 36,000 Americans dying in motor vehicle accidents every year. Just don’t come at it, corner it, or antagonize it in any way. You can also tell them apart from dog tracks by looking at the top toe. Stay Clear of Deer Kills: Deer are the favorite prey of mountain lions and a fresh kill is a sure sign of a nearby mountain lion. However, in other parts of the country, black bears, grizzly bears, mountain lions, or other large predators might give a person pause. Never Hike Alone: You’ll be safer and the extra noise helps alert mountain lions that there are people in the area. Be careful when hiking, climbing or camping in areas that are prime habitats for mountain lions. A women in Northern California fended off an attack with a ballpoint pen. Remain calm – Always hold your ground and walk away slowly, never turning your back to the animal. A mountain lion male is usually up to 40% larger than a female lion. Grab a knife, a GPS, a rock, a stick, anything hard that you can hit with. However, mountain lions use natural areas, such as washes, to move through populated areas to more remote areas, and such movements are necessary to prevent problems with inbreeding and local extinction associated with habitat fragmentation. Unlike bears, however, mountain lions have to take a human seriously, because a human may outweigh the 100 to 120 pound cat. By using LiveAbout, you accept our, How to Prevent an Attack By a Cow When Hiking, How to Survive an Encounter With a Baboon, How to Stay Safe From Lightning on the Golf Course, Climbing Harney Peak: South Dakota's High Point, Where Are You Hiking? Don’t hike alone. And a dog running ahead on a trail is easy prey for a mountain lion. How dangerous are mountain lions? read more about your privacy and HikingGuy.com here. And with largely nocturnal habits and an aversion to well-traveled trails, mountain lions (also known as cougars or pumas) are pretty good at staying away from us. The mountain lion is typically 6-8 times larger than a domestic house cat. However, if you get in a situation, follow these guidelines and be prepared to do whatever it takes to overpower the lion and prevail. EPA Approved Bear Spray May Help Deter a Mountain Lion. A mountain lion’s hind foot steps in his front track, creating overlapping patterns too. This past January, north of Eureka, a mountain lion attacked a 70-year-old man hiking with his wife. Seeing fresh mountain lion scat. Watch Your Back: Bending and crouching can make you appear more like prey to a mountain lion and leaves your head and neck vulnerable to attack. During his run, Kauffman heard something behind him and turned around to see a male, adolescent, 40-pound mountain lion. Report any mountain lion encounters or incident to the local Ranger District, or Fish and Wildlife Office. Try to grab something to fight back with. They are known to be able to sprint run up to 50 miles per hour. Carefully (and while minimizing any crouching) pick up children and put them on your shoulders. He is a contributing writer for Los Angeles magazine and writes a column on hiking and the outdoors for the Los Angeles News Group. 3 mountain lions killed after shocking discovery near popular Arizona hiking trail. If you run into a mountain lion, stay calm. “Sometimes those simple things can … Wave sticks, wave your pack, whatever you can do to look scary. They generally are reclusive and avoid making any contact with humans. Mountain Lions Attacking Trail Runners. Photo: CEBImagery. The data tell an interesting story. Here’s what you should do: Put your hands in the air, make noise, and act bigger than you are. Don’t run – keep any children close to you, and if you spot a cat, pick them up to prevent them from trying to run away. In general, it can be big, almost the size of human poop, especially in circumference. This goes to confirm the reason why they are less likely to attack humans. 3 mountain lions killed after shocking discovery near popular Arizona hiking trail. There are exceptions but that’s a good general rule. All Rights Reserved, 14 verified mountain lion attacks on humans in CA, hiking tricks and tips that I’ve learned over the years, what hiking gear works and what gear doesn’t, please erase and block them using your web browser. Seeing deer, sheep, or other bigger animals that would be mountain lion prey. Make yourself as big as possible – Lift up your backpack and hiking poles, pick up children, keep pets close and stand close to your fellow hikers. Use rocks, jackets, sticks to turn away the mountain lions. If a Mountain Lion hears you approaching, more often than not it will slip away into the brush to avoid a confrontation. Try to remain standing and get up if you’re knocked down. Second, if you can, determine the species of the snake (using that handy field guide). Mountain lions have no problem feeding from a carcass, whether they killed it or not. Keeping a fire going may deter the Mountain Lion from entering your campsite area. Keep your family safe during recreation such as hiking and biking in mountain lion country. And a dog... Stay Clear of Deer Kills… Not that you would ever be likely to meet a mountain lion at your home, but you get the idea. To recap, here are the steps to preventing or surviving an encounter with a mountain lion: Avoid escalation – know what to look for in order to spot a mountain lion early, and steer clear of areas that may pose a risk. Detecting the Mountain Lion's Presence Before an Attack Look out for tracks. Matt Jaffe is a journalist specializing in outdoor recreation, travel, and the environment. Mountain Lions prefer to hunt in the evening and nighttime hours.