When the crap hits the fan, here's how to survive a mountain lion attack.
The fall months are one of the most popular of all the seasons for a vast majority of outdoorsmen all across the US. While mountain lion encounters are rare, understanding how to respond if you ever find yourself face to face with one can make all the difference in ensuring your safety. Here are the top five tips on how to survive a mountain lion attack and not become cat food.
1. Stay Calm and Avoid Eye Contact: In the event of a mountain lion encounter, your first instinct might be to panic, but it's crucial to remain calm. Slowly stop and stand your ground. Avoid making direct eye contact, as this might be perceived as a threat. Instead, lower your gaze while still keeping an eye on the mountain lion's movements.
2. Appear Larger and More Dominant: Mountain lions are solitary creatures that typically avoid confrontations. If a mountain lion approaches you, make yourself appear larger by raising your arms above your head and opening your jacket. Stand tall and maintain a confident posture. If you're with a group, gather together to create a larger, more imposing presence.
3. Speak Firmly and Back Away Slowly: As you stand your ground, speak to the mountain lion in a calm and assertive voice. This helps the animal recognize you as a human and not potential prey. While talking, begin to back away slowly, avoiding any sudden movements that might trigger the mountain lion's predatory instincts.
4. Fight Back if Attacked: In the rare instance that a mountain lion exhibits aggressive behavior and lunges toward you, it's crucial to fight back with all your might. Use whatever you can find – sticks, rocks, or even your fists – to fend off the attack. Aim for the sensitive areas like the eyes, nose, and throat. Remember, your goal is to show the mountain lion that you're not an easy target.
5. Carry a Weapon: While encounters with mountain lions are uncommon, carrying defensive tools like bear spray or a gun can offer an extra layer of protection. Bear spray is designed to deter large animals, including mountain lions, and can be effective in creating a barrier between you and the animal. A handgun on the other hand, well, we're pretty sure you can figure that one out. Regardless, make sure you prepare yourself with on how to properly use bear spray or a pistol before heading into the wilderness.
Remember, mountain lions generally avoid humans and prefer to hunt other wild prey. By staying informed, remaining calm, and knowing how to respond appropriately, you can greatly reduce the chances of a dangerous encounter and can likely survive a mountain lion attack. Prioritize safety, respect wildlife, and be sure to watch your back, especially from up above! PS - we are not responsible if a mountain lions kills you.