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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Washington teen shoots cougar with arrow, saves brother from attack

Amaya Simpson (left) and Cole Seymour pose with a cougar that stalked them near their home in Inchelium. Amaya shot the cougar with her bow, scaring the big cat off. (Francesca Seymour / Courtesy)

On Sept. 8, Amaya Simpson and Cole Seymour decided to head into the woods near their home in Inchelium, Washington, and practice elk calls.

Something else showed up.

“They ended up calling in a cougar instead,” said Francesca Seymour, Amaya and Cole’s mother. “My daughter got an eerie feeling and the cougar was about 3 yards behind my son.”

Amaya, 16, saw the cougar, which appeared to be stalking the 6-year-old Cole.

“She said, ‘Come here, come here,’ ” Seymour said.

Cole thought Amaya was joking at first.

She wasn’t. Amaya nocked an arrow in her bow. Once Cole was at her side, she shot the young female cougar. The arrow sliced the cat’s ear and went into the animal’s backstrap.

Injured, the cougar ran off, as did Amaya and Cole.

“They got home and she was pretty worked up, and my son, I don’t think he really knew what to think,” Seymour said. “He was scared because his sister was scared, but he also thought it was cool.”

Seymour and her husband headed out with their dogs to try and find the cougar. Later that evening, they did. Seymour’s husband shot and killed the animal.

“She was really freaked out at first, thinking about what could have happened to her brother,” Seymour said of Amaya. “But she’s been raised to hunt. She’s also a two-time national qualifier in archery.”