A hunter had to act quickly to protect himself last week, when he found himself being stalked by a mountain lion. Jared C Erickson was recording himself hunting elk in Idaho when he realized he'd attracted the big cat's attention.
In the resulting video, which you can watch below, Erickson begins by calling to the mountain lion to stay back, but the animal continues to approach. After a few moments it suddenly begins to leap forward, prompting Erickson to fire two warning shots to scare it back.
As OutThere Colorado (opens in new tab) reports, both shots appear to hit the dirt near the animal, and are enough to persuade it to flee. Erickson later shared the footage (which you can watch below) on his Instagram account. (opens in new tab)
A post shared by Jared C Erickson (@jarederickson1980) (opens in new tab)
A photo posted by on
If you've been hiking or trail running in the American West, you may have attracted the attention of a mountain lion and never even known about it. Attacks on humans are extremely rare, but there are still some measures you can take to avoid a close encounter.
First of all, be mindful of your surroundings. If you're exploring mountain lion territory, keep your wits about you and leave your best running headphones at home. It's also a good idea to avoid heading out at dawn or twilight, when the big cats are most likely to be out hunting.
If you do come face-to-face with a mountain lion, Follow Erickson's example and back away slowly, not letting the animal out of your sight. Don't run away, as this can trigger its instinct to chase. Instead, make yourself look as big as possible so you look less like a prey animal, raising your hands and lifting your jacket in the air if you have one. Speaking and shouting as Erickson does it also wise, as it can distract the animal and make it less likely to go on the offensive.
If the animal won't back down, throwing projectiles and ultimately fighting back is the best course of action. Don't run or try to play dead. For more advice, see our guide what to do if you meet a mountain lion on the trail.
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Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 13 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better).
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