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Thread: Mountain lion defense for a CA friend of mine

  1. #1
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    Default Mountain lion defense for a CA friend of mine

    An online friend of mine who lives in California plans to do some hiking in the near future, most likely up Mt. Wilson. Mountain lions can be a problem on the trail he'll be taking, and he'll be hiking alone. This means a cat can come up on him suddenly, with little or no warning. He is looking for the best defense possible against the cats. He was thinking of something like this, or perhaps this. Would these even stop a mountain lion, or at least frighten it away? Obviously he wants a non-lethal defense. Any ideas? Maybe something out there which keeps mountain lions away with scent?

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    Default Re: Mountain lion defense for a CA friend of mine

    I wouldn't go alone. I doubt he would be grabbed by a cat, but if he is he is only gonna have seconds to react. May not be able to grab a baton/stun weapon. Best defense IMO is don't go alone and/or hike in a different area.
    Avoiding a Mountain lion attack:

    •areas where you walk at night should be lit
    •areas near your home should be free of vegetation where a mountain lion can hide
    •don’t feed wildlife
    •avoid creating prey for the mountain lion e.g. walking with a dog or cat
    •walk with other people and not at dawn and dusk, the times at which cats often like to hunt (crepuscular)
    •Carry a walking stick when walking
    •don’t approach the cougar
    Last edited by MarNav1; 09-27-2009 at 10:32 PM.
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    Default Re: Mountain lion defense for a CA friend of mine

    I've hiked all over the place in California for over thirty years and can tell you an encounter with a mountain lion is about the least likely wildlife problem you'd ever have. I actually ran into a bear once, but never a mountain lion. The number one thing I watch out for is the rattlesnakes.

    That said, I've often carried a few traffic flares with me just in case, and not just for animal repellant.

    That's probably the only decently viable way (excluding guns) to deter a wild animal who's thinking of attacking you - animals generally fear fire, and I'd be pretty amazed to see any animal stick around if it got a whiff of that sulphur smoke.

    Then of course if things really got nasty (animal actually going for you) the flare itself could inflict quite a bit of pain, AND they're also pretty difficult to extinguish, even when trying to rub them out on the ground.

    I also think it'd be very unlikely you'd actually be able to kill an animal with a flare, unless you intentionally set fire to the area...

    Anyway I can't think of a more effective non gun option - it'd be interesting to hear other ideas...

    EDIT: If I were truly worried about things bigger than rattlesnakes I'd try to borrow someone's dog, just for alerting purposes. Also as suggested above it's best to not go alone in some places...

    EDIT 2: Cannot BELIEVE I forgot to mention this one - probably the best defense is NOT BEING TOO QUIET when you're hiking around. In a group that's seldom a problem, but by yourself it can be. You want any wildlife to hear you coming - that alone will prevent a lot.
    Last edited by Dude Dudeson; 09-27-2009 at 10:30 PM. Reason: More info

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    Party Re: Mountain lion defense for a CA friend of mine

    never mind
    Last edited by smokinbasser; 09-27-2009 at 10:35 PM. Reason: irellevant
    will work for peanuts

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    Default Re: Mountain lion defense for a CA friend of mine

    No insult meant toward your friend but his preliminary picks are next to useless.

    I won't go into how remote the actual mountain lion threat is but it does exist along with any number of other threats, which is why I applaud him for thinking about the issue. As far as mammals are concerned, wild dog, bears, and bad human encounters are more likely.

    Since his options have to be non-lethal that really only leaves wilderness pepper spray as the practical option to stop a rushing animal. I like the road flare idea too, just not as a last ditch choice. It can't do anything physically to the animal unless it's already on top of you which happens to be to same problem with stun guns. Unlike a knife, neither the flare are stun-gun are practically lethal, which is exactly what's needed if the animal is on top of you.

    This is what I carry when mountain biking or archery hunting in bear & cat country.

    My girlfriend carries this one in a belt pouch for wild dog defense while hiking or walking.

    The nice thing about large volume sprays is that they work on any animal with mucus membranes, and provide a reasonably good stand-off distance. I've seen videos where the sound of the high pressure spray discharging was enough to send a bear running. Other times, just a faint mist stopped bears or dogs. Without going into my own limited experiences, these pepper foggers work excellently and undoubtedly saved me from having to shoot a terribly aggressive dog at the lake one day.

    I'm a strong believer in carrying more than once means of self protection and would also suggest that your friend carry a basic knife of some type along with his spray. They don't weigh but a few ounces and are multi-purposed tools. Many people have used pocket knives to thwart cougar attacks during the unimaginable scenarios in which the animal actually jumps on them.
    Last edited by Patriot; 09-28-2009 at 04:11 PM. Reason: updated with correct link information

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    Default Re: Mountain lion defense for a CA friend of mine

    Bear spray should work. I always carry a large knife on night hikes just in case (Buck Knife Special). You never know if you're going to encounter a bear, a mountain lion, a rattlesnake, or someone breaking into your car when you finish your hike. Is your friend hiking only during the day or at night? During the day, you can sometimes make friends on your hike and hang out with them. Mountain lions have poor vision, and I've heard that if you encounter one while hiking in a group, you can bunch together, wave your arms around, and yell to make yourselves look like one large, threatening organism to scare off the mountain lion. Hiking at night will be more dangerous. There will be fewer people and the mountain lions will be out hunting for food. I think carrying a trekking pole or two would help. Any long object you can use to keep the animal at a distance will help. If you can lash or tape a large knife to a trekking pole for a spear in time, you may have a better chance for survival. I have found that camera flashes will scare away bears at night, at least for awhile. I used a Fenix P3D Q5 set to turbo on a small (4 foot) mountain lion that tried sneaking into my camp once and scared it off. A high frequency strobe from a bright flashlight might give you a chance at night as well. For years, I have wondered if a common stink bomb would be effective at scaring away a large animal. After all, a black bear has a sense of smell 1,000 stronger than an average dog. That might make it lose it's appetite. Hopefully, it would work on a mountain lion as well. Make sure your friend carries a means of communication such as a cell phone, a good walkie talkie, or maybe an emergency tranceiver. Also, make sure your friend tells someone the specifics of their route, their supply situation, and when they expect to be back just in case.

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    Default Re: Mountain lion defense for a CA friend of mine

    I also hike quite a bit. The only two things I've seen a lot of are rattlesnakes and coyotes. When hiking alone its better to stick with busy trails. If possible hike in a group and as someone said, don't be afraid to make noise. Dehydration, a twisted ankle, and 2 legged predators are the biggest threats I can think of. Make sure they bring a whistle, flashlight, water, cell phone, hat, etc. even on short hikes. For protection, Bear spray/Pepper spray (secured in a proper holster, practiced, and ready to go) and a good knife would probably work for your friend. A stout walking stick wouldn't hurt either. Having said that, I like Dude Dudeson's traffic flare idea. If you can get something like that lit, it would be more effective than anything else. But that would probably only work if someone else in your party were attacked by a mountain lion, not you. From what I understand about most mountain lion attacks here in CA, you won't see them until they're literally on top of you. Again, attacks are very rare. Its way way down on my list of dangerous things to worry about.
    Keep it simple.

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    Default Re: Mountain lion defense for a CA friend of mine

    Quote Originally Posted by tygger View Post
    Having said that, I like Dude Dudeson's traffic flare idea. If you can get something like that lit, it would be more effective than anything else. .
    I'd take the bear spray for an actual attack (just learned of its existence right here), but the flare might be a better deterrent at slightly greater distances.

    Or against a pack of coyotes - had an incident like that once which became my inspiration for the flare idea. I was with a friend that time who had his deer hunting rifle, ALMOST got to the point of him firing it, afterward we kept wondering how effective that rifle would have been if the whole pack decided to go off on us, despite how supremely unlikely such an event would be...

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    Default Re: Mountain lion defense for a CA friend of mine

    I agree with most of the other posters here. I've done a lot of hiking on those trails, and recently hiked Mt Wilson just a few months ago by myself. The chance of a mountain lion attacks are somewhere in between being struck by lightning and seeing the boogeyman. Even so, a stun baton is a very poor choice for hiking protection, the range is limited, it's heavy, and how do you know it's going to have the same effect on a mountain lion that it does on a human? I'd prefer bear spray over a stun baton. Maybe even an air horn. When I was camping up in Humboldt, there were a family of bears that kept raiding our campsites. The ranger there carried an air horn to chase them away, she said it was less invasive and more effective than bear spray, apparently bears don't like loud noises. Not sure if it's the same with mountain lions, but I think at least the bear spray would work.

    There are other reasons to carry protection up there, but mountain lions are way, way, way down the list. I know there have been a couple of widely publicized attacks just a few years ago, but we're talking single digit numbers in the last couple decades.

    Also, with the recent fires up there, I think the trail is going to be closed for a while, and a lot of the animals have either died or been displaced to other areas.

    EDIT: A flare might work in some other parts of the country, but I don't think you'd want to try that in the Angeles Forest. Google pics of the Station Fire to see why.
    Last edited by InTheDark; 09-28-2009 at 10:56 AM.

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    Default Re: Mountain lion defense for a CA friend of mine

    Regarding flares, air horns or other loud noises, have a read of the testimonials at the UDAP Pepper Products site. Quite a bit of reading but belligerent or defending animals often don't seem to mind horns, yelling, waving of hands, people pounding on them with fists etc.

    In almost every stopped attack, the defender had only a few seconds to recognize the attack and fire their spray. Flares might be better as a long range deterrent since any large predator within 30-40 yards is an imminent threat and would require preparation for a stronger response.

    The other nice thing about sprays in that they instill a powerful aversion response to humans within the animal without any permanent harm. Sort of like the effect a skunk has once the animal learns what it is, but with a lot more "sting."

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    Default Re: Mountain lion defense for a CA friend of mine

    In past years I've hiked around Mount Wilson, but have never seen mountain lions in that area. I have seen them on a couple occasions at some distance while upland bird hunting but it was obvious they were uninterested (thankfully) in our presence.

    From what I've read about ML attacks, you won't have time to react. If you're fortunate, you may be able to use a knife to save your life. If an ML selects you as prey - you'll never see it coming...
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    Default Re: Mountain lion defense for a CA friend of mine

    Thanks for the very informative responses. Bear spray seems to be the favorite idea so far, and my friend had actually mentioned also. I've sent him a link to this thread. Here are the answers to some of the questions asked here:

    1) As far as I know he only intends to hike during the day. That should reduce the already remote chance of getting attacked by a cat.

    2) He's hiking alone because none of the people he knows would either want to do this, or are in the physical shape to do it. If I were local to him I'd join him but I'm obviously not. Trying to hook up with other groups of hikers sounds like a pretty good idea to me, even if they're only with you part of the way.

    3) My friend has a cell phone, and so should be able to call for help if an emergency arises (don't know how good the cell phone reception is at Mt. Wilson however-maybe someone here knows more about that).

    I'm glad to hear that the chances of a mountain lion attack are extremely remote. That should hopefully set his mind at ease. I'm also glad the responses here lean against the stun baton idea. I didn't think it was a great idea when I started the thread, but having little experience dealing with wildlife, I wanted to hear from those better informed than I.

    Thanks to all who posted, and any further suggestions/ideas are welcome!

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    Default Re: Mountain lion defense for a CA friend of mine

    How about calling in a Predator Drone strike?

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    Default Re: Mountain lion defense for a CA friend of mine

    About a month ago, while backpacking in Henry Coe State Park, I encountered my first Mountain Lion. I had just removed my pack and put down my trekking poles to do a little scouting around the area that I had planning on staying for the evening. I was walking on a trail that was at the base of a small hill and I startled a squirrel and I saw the squirrel jump three times. On the third jump, the Mountain Lion that was stalking the squirrel pounced on him and had him by the neck. The Lion and I were about 25-30 feet away from each other and we both froze.

    We stayed that way for what seemed like a minute or so and then I took two steps back and the Lion didn't budge so I froze once again. After about another minute, I decided that the staredown had to end so I pointed my head to the ground but kept my eyes on the lion and I took two steps sideways off the trail and with the Lion turned and ran up the hill with it's prey.

    Needless to say, I was a bit scared but I felt that we had pretty much made our peace with each other and since I was camping on a dry riverbed with sporadic water holes, I figured that anywhere there was water, there was bound to be life.

    Basically, I made sure from there on out that the kinfe that was on my rig now lived in my pocket when I didn't have a pack on and I will always carry trekking poles even when just scouting.

    So my reccomendation is to have whatever you choose as a defense on you at all times and while I like the knife idea and will continue to use it in the future, I like the trekking pole the best to keep anything at a distance. From what I have heard, if you are over 5 feet, then you are basically off the menu due to your size and from the way that I saw that Lion attack that squirrel, I don't think that yoiu would know that you were being stalked in the first place but it at least feels good psychologically to have some sort of defense. The trekking pole idea in my opinion is great because it is always in your hand, provided that you don't put it down like I did.

    Solo hikers tend to encounter more wildlife seemingly because they are more quiet than groups of hikers but for me, that's what heading out intop the wild is all about.
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    Default Re: Mountain lion defense for a CA friend of mine

    I do alot of solo hiking in CA and have never encountered a mountain lion. I have come across big cat tracks, spoor, and dinner leftovers. That being said mountain lions in general attack from behind. They use their incisors (fangs) to punch holes into the base of the preys skull. I believe they like to hunt at dusk.

    I don't wear headphones and turn around alot when hiking.

    Your best defense is to hike with someone you really don't like. If you spot a big cat, stab your partner in the leg and run!

    I'm not a cat person...
    Last edited by kelmo; 09-29-2009 at 02:40 PM.

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    Default Re: Mountain lion defense for a CA friend of mine

    Quote Originally Posted by kelmo View Post
    Your best defense is to hike with someone you really don't like. If you spot a big cat, stab your partner in the leg and run!
    That's a good point.
    You don't have to outrun the mountain lion - just the people you're with...
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    Default Re: Mountain lion defense for a CA friend of mine

    Besides scaring off potential mountain lion attacks, road flares are also great ways of starting wild fires in the dry brush of California's mountains.
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    Default Re: Mountain lion defense for a CA friend of mine

    Quote Originally Posted by kelmo View Post
    I do alot of solo hiking in CA and have never encountered a mountain lion. I have come across big cat tracks, spoor, and dinner leftovers. That being said mountain lions in general attack from behind. They use their incisors (fangs) to punch holes into the base of the preys skull. I believe they like to hunt at dusk.

    I don't wear headphones and turn around alot when hiking.

    Your best defense is to hike with someone you really don't like. If you spot a big cat, stab your partner in the leg and run!

    I'm not a cat person...
    Great idea but running triggers the attack response of the cat so may I suggest that after the stabbing, you should silently watch your questionable friend be eaten and when the cat is satiated, you can walk away of your own accord.
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    Default Re: Mountain lion defense for a CA friend of mine

    nah, you guys got it all wrong; IF you are attacked it's going to be most likely from BEHIND; you're not going to see him coming!

    your best first defence, and I'm not kidding, would be a metal collar with an extension down your back a ways..

    I have not seen anything ready-made like this, but if there were something comfortable and light (sheet metal tin would suffice) I'd buy it in a heatbeat..something like a padded cervical collar..it would surprise the lion no doubt, and give you a few seconds to deploy your sprays and shocks and what not..
    there really is no other way..
    I see some tribes in Africa and South America paint eyes on the backs of their heads to ward off lions, but the lions learn this trick and eat a few of them every year anyway...

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    Default Re: Mountain lion defense for a CA friend of mine

    I’ve seen four mountain lions in over the past 10 years, so I know there are plenty of them out there since there are probably dozens in the areas I frequent that I never see. One was seen from my vehicle as it crossed the road, but the others were on foot while hunting deer or elk. Knowing that they’re out there in reasonably strong numbers I treat the subject seriously because it’s one of only two animals capable of hunting and killing me no matter how remote the possibility. The black bear population is very dense in one of the areas I archery hunt in and gave me my biggest scare. I think the main differences between bears and cats from a psychological and practical aspect is that bears are often seen several seconds or minutes before an attack. With most lion attacks, there is little or no warning because if their sights are on you, they’re already in predation mode and intent on making you their food. While I do hunt with a group, the nature of archery hunting often has each person going off in their own direction to hunt their own particular area, blind or stand. While someone would eventually be looking for me if I didn’t show up at the vehicle or camp, it could be hours before help came. When I’m doing that mile long hike back to the vehicle, long after the sun has gone down, there’s probably nothing that holds a larger place in the back of my mind than the possibility of being stalked by a cat. Having a great light really brings peace of mind along with the fact that I have the option of lethal force even if bound to fully defensive position.

    Mountain lions and bears don’t typically kill their pray very quickly, the lion because it can’t, the bear because it doesn’t have to. While I would hate to deal with the circumstance of being in the clutches either animal I have to suspect logically that my chances of surviving a mountain lion are much better if I have even a 3” or larger knife. A mountain lion can hold onto a human without much trouble, at which point it as to figure out how suffocate, bleed you out, out sever your spinal column from the back of the neck. They do this by focusing their attack on the head, neck and face region. Most cat attacks on human adults involve a prolonged struggle until somebody gets the upper hand, so to speak, plenty of time to reach for an well retained sharp instrument placed reasonably anywhere on your person. When alone, the knife is about the only weapon that’s document-ably reliable for saving lives once a cat already has you in its clutches. In the four cases I looked into, the mountain lion released its victim the instant it was stabbed. Three of the mountain lions died shortly after, two stabbed in the chest, one in the neck. The forth which was stabbed in the haunches also “let go” and would have probably lived had wildlife management not killed it the next day, which was unfortunately necessary.

    Some great quotes I pulled off of a couple resource sites:

    “If you want to virtually eliminate any mountain lion danger to yourself, don't hike alone. All hiking fatalities in California have occurred to single hikers. However, recognizing that the danger is low, I continue to hike alone. Being human, and therefore suffering from the same fear of rare events as everyone else, for a while I carried a big stick, which at least made me feel better.”

    “The general advice to avoid being eaten by a mountain lion is to travel in groups. If you encounter a mountain lion by yourself or with your children, stop, make yourself look as big as possible, and pick up small children and put them on your shoulders to make you appear even larger. Aggressively defend your position. The idea is to deter their attack by making them think that it isn't going to be easy for them. Pick up a branch or a rock to help fight them if needed. They are just big kitty-cats, so you don't want to appear as smaller prey to them. In particular, running away makes them think you are prey, and will encourage an attack. Yell for help by screaming cougar! or something similarly specific rather than just help!”




    Some other dos and don'ts

    Record of mountain lion attacks in California

    Relative outdoor dangers



    So, while it is something to consciously consider the threat is obviously very low, even if you're hiking or biking by yourself. Still, any sensible person will take minimal precautions. Think of clipping at least a small knife to your person the same way that you'd think about buckling your seatbelt when once seated in your car. If one compact defense mechanism is good, the a second is even better, whether that's pepper spray, a hiking staff/trekking pole, or small firearm. They're all better than having nothing on you at all. I would hate to be one of the people who struggled to their deaths with nothing more than their fingernails.





    When I'm outdoors working, hiking, biking or hunting I always carry the bare minimum of at least one small 3-4" knife, my cell phone, a head/face hood and way of quickly making fire. Out here in AZ, bees and rattlesnakes are magnitudes more likely of harming or killing me than cougars. I can pull the mesh/mosquito net out of my pocket and cover my entire head and neck with it in less than 5 seconds, should I encounter swarming bees. I've had to run from them twice now. The knife as well as instant fire are tools with multiple uses. Lastly, a fully charged cell phone is indispensable in areas with coverage.




    Lastly, I just wanted to share my closest lion encounter which took place in the Kaibab National Forest, north rim, one September, while archery hunting for deer. One morning I decided to hunt off of a forest road where I had seen a large Mule deer cross the previous evening. Large east and west running canyon fingers were to the north and south so I parked just off the road and hunted the northern side. After walking down about 300 yards I found a few nice openings that presented some open shot avenues which also looked inviting to deer, with several trails converging. I decided to still hunt from the ground so I found a nice shallow depression at the end of a log with 1 foot tall grass all around. My back was wide open and I sat facing the end of the downed tree since that the direction that was most likely to have deer walk into the frame. If they approached from behind, I'd have to remain still until the passed before drawing the bow. The elevation there is about 7800' and heavily wooded. After about 2 hours of sitting I heard a light footed twig snap from somewhere behind me. I thought to myself, 'this could be looking really good if it has antlers.' Sitting indian style, I slowly rotated my head all the way to the right to see nothing. I slowly rotated my head all the way back to the left with one eye leading when I saw a tan blob standing slightly behind me about 15-18 yards away. After a few seconds of brain adjustment, I realized it was a 100-125 lb mountain lion which was now walking again. It was quartering toward me but not looking at me. It continued walking until broadside to me at about 10-12 yards, still looking down the ravine. Turns out that it never even saw me even though it was almost looking through me when I first saw it. I already had an arrow knocked and as it slowly moved away from me I drew the bow and had it dead to rights at 16-18 yards quartering away. The only problem is that I didn't have an over the counter lion tag and therefore couldn't legally take the shot. Now, that wouldn't have stopped hunters that I know as they would have killed it and purchased tag after a quick run into town. Since I don't operate that way, it wasn't an option and I watched that beautiful animal walk down the hill. I had an old 1MP kodak camera back then, my first digital but by the time I remembered that I had it, it captured nothing more than a flash of fur in the image.

    About 10 minutes later another hunter who had been in a tree stand farther to the south of me rattled down out of the tree and started walking up toward the road. I was still sitting on the ground and as he passed about 50 yards away I lifted my hand to wave. Turns out I had met the guy two nights earlier in his camp when I stopped to offer a cold one and to visit for a while. This guy's name was Jody and he was a good ole boy from Arkansas. In any case, he was about 30 feet! up in an aspen tree when the two doe he was watching suddenly go spooked. They started to maneuver and that's when Jody saw my "flash of tan" booking down the hill and leaping from a large downed tree toward the deer. The doe bolted in opposite directions and the lion grabbed a tuft of hair from the leg of one of the deer but couldn't catch it before it blasted through a stand of baby pine trees, knocking them over as it passed. Jody then drew his bow but apparently the lion saw this slight movement in it's peripheral vision and leaped straight into the air. When it came down it ran with huge leaping bounds and disappeared as quickly as it came. Never having seen a lion and not knowing anything about them he quickly decided that he didn't want to be out there with it and was headed back to camp. He excitedly shared his experience with me and I coaxed him into going back down the ravine to show me how his Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom scene unfolded. Anyhow, I feel pretty lucky to have been that close to one and then have the additional story from Jody to add to my experience.

    With regards to hunting them, hunters are urged to purchase lion tags because we've had a declining mule deer situation here. Large cats normally kill one deer per week along with smaller game in between. We don't have a lion shortage.
    Last edited by Patriot; 09-29-2009 at 07:28 PM.

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    *Flashaholic* LuxLuthor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mountain lion defense for a CA friend of mine

    So ixnay on the onedray?

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    Default Re: Mountain lion defense for a CA friend of mine

    Quote Originally Posted by LuxLuthor View Post
    So ixnay on the onedray?

    omit drone?

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    Default Re: Mountain lion defense for a CA friend of mine

    Quote Originally Posted by Patriot View Post
    omit drone?
    Apparently you missed my earlier, erudite post.

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    Default Re: Mountain lion defense for a CA friend of mine

    Quote Originally Posted by LuxLuthor View Post
    Apparently you missed my earlier, erudite post.


    LOL !!!!!! yes, very scholarly.

    yes, I did miss it. It's all making sense now though.

  25. #25
    Flashaholic* EV_007's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mountain lion defense for a CA friend of mine

    I've seen plenty of cat tracks, but never spotted a Mountain Lion itself. They are sneaky and if they want ya for dinner, they will. They are usually afraid of us and will go to great lengths to avoid us, unless it is injured or rabid.

    As mentioned, they strike from behind and usually from above. Hiking in a group and avoiding feeding time is your best defense. Although threats from 2 legged creatures and stupidity is your worst enemy.

    That being said, walking stick or pair of trekking poles and bear spray are probably most effective, non lethal and politically correct forms of defense out there on the trail.
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  26. #26
    Flashaholic* QtrHorse's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mountain lion defense for a CA friend of mine

    I would take a bear or hippo with me. Either of those would scare off a lion.

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    Default Re: Mountain lion defense for a CA friend of mine

    Even a dog is good to take with you as an early warning system. Cats are inherently afraid of dogs in general.

    They can also alert you to rattlers and other creature out of sight.
    TWO is ONE and ONE is NONE, but THREE is more FUN.
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    Default Re: Mountain lion defense for a CA friend of mine

    I think if you get jumped on you are screwed one way or the other. If I go hike where they are present I'd bring something like this to even the odds a bit. Not a folder because I doubt I can open one without dropping it under those circumstances.


  29. #29
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    Default Re: Mountain lion defense for a CA friend of mine

    Quote Originally Posted by jzmtl View Post
    I think if you get jumped on you are screwed one way or the other. If I go hike where they are present I'd bring something like this to even the odds a bit. Not a folder because I doubt I can open one without dropping it under those circumstances.

    Nice Spyderco Rock Salt!


    One gentleman who was senior in years was out hiking and sat down for a moment to rest under an overhang. He got back up and started to move when a big lion came from his left at a running pace and pounced on his back. After a minute or so of struggling the man remembered that he had a knife on his belt in a leather pouch. He unsnapped the pouch, removed and unfolded the old school, Buck Ranger style, folder and stabbed several times over his left shoulder with his right arm. Twice he punctured his own shoulder and didn't realize it because of the effects of adrenalin. At least one of the stabs stuck the lion in the neck which let go and died only a few yards away. The man did sustain some serious injuries but he walked back home himself. A very interesting story indeed since if I heard the set-up scenario without hearing the end story, I'd have guessed the old guy didn't stand a chance. Given that this fellow made it, I suspect you'd do as well or better, especially with your Spyderco.

  30. #30

    Smile Re: Mountain lion defense for a CA friend of mine

    When the forest is open, I regularly ride near where your friend plans on hiking.
    The Angeles National Forest is officially closed indefinitely so your friend will need to be more concerned with Rangers then mountain lions.

    A couple months ago I was riding my mountain unicycle down Brown mountain and a juvenile mountain lion was in the road about 60 feet in front of me for about 50 feet. On Tuesday evening we were in Arroyo Seco canyon and a lady and her two dogs ran into a mountain lion drinking water. It was not happy to see two dogs.

    I just got finished with a night MTB ride with a group of friends in the Verdugo mountains which has mountain lions too. I ride there solo at night when people cannot go with me and have seen a mountain lion in those mountains.

    Regarding what to do and current likelyhood of seeing one-

    First of all there are mountain lions currently in the front non-burned portion of the mountains in front of Mount Wilson and with so much of the forest being burned the likelihood of running into one is higher then in pre fire times.

    Second as long as there are deer around and plentiful your friend really does not have anything to worry about. Mountain lions are deer specialists and won't eat other things if they don't have to eat other things.

    The forest service literature says-
    The best defense against a mountain lion is a compressed air horn.
    Also carry a walking stick or staff, not for fighting but for making your self look bigger as you yell and wave it around.
    As a rule predators kill to eat and do not want do deal with things that are likely to put up a fight.

    When I ride solo at night I have a very loud whistle, a Storm whistle that puts out over 130 decibels. Mountain lions have very sensitive ears and VERY LOUD sounds are excruciating to them.

    Your friend needs to understand that mountain lions are ambush predators, it is not the mountain lions you see and hear that are a concern and if it is your time the ones you don't see will kill you before you have much chance to do anything physical with a knife unless you survive the initial attack and have a quick deploy knife that you are very proficient with in a kydex or other similar sheath. If you have to unsnap anything you will likely already be dead.

    Once again as long as deer are plentiful I would not be too concerned. Rangers however may not be to happy so see somebody in a closed national forest.

    Take Care,
    mtbkndad
    Last edited by mtbkndad; 10-01-2009 at 11:10 AM.

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