Mountain lions near Leadville


Original Post
Dirt Squirrel · Oct 2, 2016 · Golden , co · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 0
Hey,

This is a warning to those out that way, especially if you go out to Mt Massive. Yesterday evening I had an encounter with a fairly good sized cougar on the way down from Mt massive. I had to throw rocks at it and it was following me for a good 20-30 minutes at dusk. I called forest service and the sherrifs office. Just be careful out there, I guess they are becoming pretty brazen and really testing the boundaries in that neck of the woods. Be extra careful if you are going solo, as I was. Stay woke.

Rob Dillon · Oct 2, 2016 · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2002 · Points: 645
Yowza. Which trail?

This is a huge bummer for one whose frequent practice entails scooting down from Massive at dusk.

Zak Munro · Oct 2, 2016 · VT,CO, Bar Harbor ME · Joined Sep 2012 · Points: 175
I never ran into any while I lived up there but it was always on my mind when I would go on solo runs or ski jaunts. Definitely pretty spooky though, glad your OK!

Dirt Squirrel · Oct 2, 2016 · Golden , co · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 0
It's the one coming out of the parking lot from the mt massive trailhead. It was terrifying.

Rob Dillon · Oct 2, 2016 · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2002 · Points: 645
Halfmoon. Yikes.

Cheyenne Chaffee · Oct 2, 2016 · North Conway, NH · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 30
They've probably been watching us for years, we just didn't see them!

Martha Perantoni · Oct 2, 2016 · Evergreen, CO · Joined Jan 2006 · Points: 5
PLEASE don't freak out! These animals have declined in population because of excessive fear-mongering. "Oh, look. there's a mountain lion, let's shoot it." If this animal had wanted to attack you it would have long before the 20-minute mark. Likely just curious, as cats are in general. You did everything right except for calling the Forest Service and the Sheriff's office. These departments are gun-happy and won't take proper steps to take a less-deadly approach.

Dirt Squirrel · Oct 2, 2016 · Golden , co · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 0
Martha, they referred me to the wildlife control people. Their take was "I hope you learned a lesson".
And yes I learned, you can't play in the woods at night here. If I go solo anywhere like that again, animal hot sauce. The gentleman on the phone seemed less than worried about it. Again, the encounter was only really scary because of it being night and I caught the animal following me out. And another point is this, this year alone a lady and her child were attacked by two mountain lions and she pried the jaws off of her child's head near aspen. In another incident, a mountain lion entered a home when it heard a crying child. And lastly, since game herds are becoming smaller, there is suspicion that predatory levels aren't as low as we think. Especially in areas like Leadville, where according to news reports, has a bit of a problem with sightings in and around town.

Anywho, just telling people to be aware of your surroundings and don't freak out if you see one, just be bigger and meaner than it and that usually will do the trick.

Fritz N. · Oct 2, 2016 · Durango, CO · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 50
Dirt Squirrel wrote:Yesterday evening I had an encounter with a fairly good sized cougar on the way down from Mt massive.
Was she wearing a North face softshell and an REI Flash 18 pack?

Joe Garibay · Oct 2, 2016 · Ventura, Ca · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 30
Martha Perantoni wrote:PLEASE don't freak out! These animals have declined in population because of excessive fear-mongering. "Oh, look. there's a mountain lion, let's shoot it." If this animal had wanted to attack you it would have long before the 20-minute mark. Likely just curious, as cats are in general. You did everything right except for calling the Forest Service and the Sheriff's office. These departments are gun-happy and won't take proper steps to take a less-deadly approach.
I'm some what with you Martha. dont want to hear stories about people being attacked but I especially am tired of hearing stories about lions being hunted and killed just because they were seen. The latter happening much more frequent.

Dirt Squirrel · Oct 2, 2016 · Golden , co · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 0
Fritz N. wrote: Was she wearing a North face softshell and an REI Flash 18 pack?
I shoulda threw my wedding ring at it... I hear Cougars hate those things!

Rob Gordon · Oct 3, 2016 · Hollywood, CA · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 80
So Martha you're cool with a mountain lion stalking you for 20 minutes? Because I'd be freaked the fuck out.

jon weekley · Oct 3, 2016 · Denver, Co · Joined May 2010 · Points: 0
Martha Perantoni wrote:
PLEASE don't freak out! These animals have declined in population because of excessive fear-mongering. "Oh, look. there's a mountain lion, let's shoot it." If this animal had wanted to attack you it would have long before the 20-minute mark. Likely just curious, as cats are in general.

This lengthy stalking behavior is actually the cat getting to know it's prey. If a cat let's you see them or follows you for a lengthy amount of time an attack is much, much more likely. If you see them you need to be loud and aggressive. If you're alone in a know area of cats exhibiting this behavior, you should be carrying bear spray. It seem to me pretty important to make authorities and trail users alert to this dangerous behavior.

Dirt Squirrel · Oct 4, 2016 · Golden , co · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 0
I've a few days to think about my encounter and to those who are saying "don't hurt that beautiful animal" I agree. He was doing his cat self... BUT, like the great philosophizer Mike Tyson once said "everybody has a plan until they are punched in the face". So, just think about that. Wanna get "punched in the face by a cougar"? Then be completely unaware of your surroundings, play at night, etc... But you should probably be aggressive and mean and big with those guys if you do encounter one and it's not really affected by your presence. It's about becoming an "inconvenient meal" for them. And whatever you do, don't run.

Tomaz · Oct 4, 2016 · Lakewood, Colorado · Joined Apr 2008 · Points: 0
Dirt, stop being a pussy. ;-)

trice Rice · Oct 5, 2016 · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2014 · Points: 0
This is absolutely terrifying. I spend a lot of time running alone at dusk/night. Granted it is in the front range, but it is good to always be aware of your surroundings.

Anyone have suggestions for keeping lions away? Do you need to make a lot of noise to keep lions away from you? Or are they pretty much always aware that you are cruising through?

Glad you are OK DirtSquirrel

KevinCO · Oct 5, 2016 · Loveland, CO · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 55
trice wrote:This is absolutely terrifying. I spend a lot of time running alone at dusk/night. Granted it is in the front range, but it is good to always be aware of your surroundings. Anyone have suggestions for keeping lions away? Do you need to make a lot of noise to keep lions away from you? Or are they pretty much always aware that you are cruising through? Glad you are OK DirtSquirrel
I believe that hiking poles could be a deterrent. The cat could perceive you as being more formidable. Also, take bear spray in a holster.

However, if a Cougar does attack, there will be much less warning than with a bear attack. When I am hiking alone, I think three dimensionally and turn around occasionally in wooded sections to look behind me and look up into trees. Also, Mountain Lions don't hibernate.

Scott McMahon · Oct 5, 2016 · Boulder, CO · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 105
Fritz N. wrote: Was she wearing a North face softshell and an REI Flash 18 pack?
I've seen that one...she's quite brazen at this time of year.

I was just up in Tennessee pass over the weekend and camp with a handful of cougars, but alas I wasn't attacked by any. My roommate was though.

Check out this video of some rangers getting a cougar out of a trap. Balls of steel I tell you.

http://www.amazingpandph.com/wild-cougar-stuck/

Kent Richards · Oct 5, 2016 · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2009 · Points: 3

Troubleshoot This: Stalked by a Cougar


http://www.backpacker.com/survival/troubleshoot-this-stalked-by-a-cougar/

>> Assess “Most attacks are surprises, so often there’s no chance to be proactive,” warns biologist Rick Hopkins. Cats are most active from dusk to dawn, and they follow their prey. If you’re in deer or elk territory, stay especially alert. If you see a mountain lion and it’s hissing, crouching, or flattening its ears, it may be preparing to pounce.

>> Make space Attacks are most likely in rocky and brushy terrain, where cats can stay hidden. If you corner one, slowly back away to give it an escape route. If you see cubs, move into open terrain.

>> Stand your ground Cougars are not usually aggressive, so they’ll likely leave you alone if you don’t run, but quick movements may trigger predatory instincts.

>> Act large Wave your arms or poles, shout, and throw stones or sticks (if you can grab them without crouching or turning your back).

>> Fight back If a cougar lunges, use anything you have (bear spray, knives, sticks) to defend against the attack or to strike it (aim for the eyes and nose). Keep fighting.

Gut check “If cougars saw people as food, there’d be hundreds of attacks a year instead of one or two. Don’t act like prey, and you won’t be a victim.” —Rick Hopkins

Safety in Numbers Mountain lion attacks on multiple hikers are very rare; walk with a friend.

======================

Mountain Lion Safety


https://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/mtnlionsafety.htm

A glimpse of one of these magnificent cats would be a vacation highlight, but you need to take precautions to protect you and your children from an accidental encounter.

  • Don’t hike alone.
  • Make noise to avoid surprising a lion and keep children close to you at all times.
  • If you do encounter a lion, do not run. Talk calmly, avert your gaze, stand tall, and back away. Unlike with bears, if attack seems imminent, act aggressively. Do not crouch and do not turn away. Lions may be scared away by being struck with rocks or sticks, or by being kicked or hit.

Lions are primarily nocturnal, but they have attacked in broad daylight. They rarely prey on humans, but such behavior occasionally does occur. Children and small adults are particularly vulnerable. Report all mountain lion encounters immediately!

Redyns · Oct 5, 2016 · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2011 · Points: 0
How to defend against a stalking Cougar:

http://www.returnofkings.com/63256/5-things-you-must-do-if-you-have-a-female-stalker

John Byrnes · Oct 6, 2016 · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Dec 2007 · Points: 241
Rob Gordon wrote:So Martha you're cool with a mountain lion stalking you for 20 minutes? Because I'd be freaked the fuck out.
This is paranoia. Cougars don't "stalk". They conceal themselves, usually in a high place (boulder next to the trail) and then jump down. If the cat is actually hunting you, you'll never see it until it's too late.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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