Outdoors blog

Think "large" if confronted by mountain lion

Research shows nonselective, heavy hunting--like with WA's boot hunt--leads to increased kitten mortality and potentially increased problem animals. The conversation must continue to find the best solution for cougars and people. 
 (Art Wolfe )
Research shows nonselective, heavy hunting--like with WA's boot hunt--leads to increased kitten mortality and potentially increased problem animals. The conversation must continue to find the best solution for cougars and people. (Art Wolfe )

WILDLIFE ENCOUNTERS -- As young mountain lions are displaced from their mothers this time of year, they must learn to fend for themselves.  It's a tough lesson that often brings them into suburban and even urban settings as they explore food sources, like they did last week moving into neighborhoods of Butte and Bozeman.

Newman Lake and Spokane-area homeowners also have reported cougars in neighborhoods this month. 

Most areas surrounding cities and towns also have healthy white-tailed deer populations that may attract lions.

Most mountain lions are so stealthy they're never seen, and if they are, it's usually a fleeting chance.

But Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks officials offer these tips should you encounter a mountain lion that lingers to size you up:

Get big (make yourself appear as big as possible and wave your arms)
Get loud (yell, scream and stomp)
Create a barrier and/or throw objects at the lion
Don’t turn your back and DON’T RUN 
 
FWP also urges recreationists to carry bear pepper spray at all times because it's an effective deterrent for mountain lions as well as bears. 
FWP says propert owners should avoid wildlife feeding, which – in addition to being dangerous to those animals – may bring unwanted predators into the neighborhood.



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