Spotting large predators in the wild is a thrill for any hiker or outdoorsmen, but coming face-to-face with a 220-pound cat can turn a walk in the woods into a fight for your life. Also known as cougars in some parts of the country, mountain lions tend to attack when cornered, or when they believe you might be a reasonable piece of prey. The key to avoiding a deadly encounter on the trail starts with a calm reaction.
- Avoid the urge to run, as it may trigger a mountain lion’s attacking instinct.
- Make yourself appear as large as possible. Use clothing, gear, and motion to increase your size.
- Create lots of loud noise. Emergency whistles, radios, or simple shouts can help intimidate the mountain lion.
- Establish and maintain eye contact to help distinguish you from prey.
- Slowly create distance between you and the mountain lion.
- Fight back if attacked. Use anything available as a weapon to defend yourself.