Lions and Wolves and Bears…Oh, My!

Contributed by Judy Hagerott

You run into a mountain lion while hiking and it looks like it wants you for supper…what do you do?  Last night in the C-TEL Presentation Hall at Sheridan College, 30 people heard Dave Moody with Wyoming Game and Fish from Lander present the seminar, “Staying Safe in Bear, Lion and Wolf Country.”

While there are a few wolves in the Big Horns, Moody stressed the fact that wolf interaction with humans is extremely rare and they are of little threat to people.

Those folks in our neck of the woods are more likely to meet up with a black bear or mountain lion while enjoying the outdoors.  The first order of defense is accessible pepper spray…have it handy, not stuck somewhere in the bottom of your back pack.  Next, yell. Throw sticks and stones; wave your arms; make yourself look big -- but never, ever turn your back and run. And if you must, fight with everything in you, because that bear or mountain lion is meaning to make you dinner.

Educate yourself and be alert to your surroundings. And just as important, keep your kids close; don’t let them run around, especially at dawn and dusk, which are prime feeding times.

Mountain lions are the top carnivore in the Big Horn Mountains, eating 40-50 deer a year. As of yet, not one person has ever been killed by a mountain lion in Wyoming.

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Good point.

I am a houndsperson and have spent a lot of time on the mountain running lions and always carry a firearm. I have to say I have had more scary run ins with freaky people in the canyon and on the mountain than I have ever had with the wildlife. Would rather face a lion or bear anyday to some of the wierdos you run into on the mountain. Thus the reason I pack a sidearm.

Okay, and the point of this was?

So I am curious if these 30 people that attended this seminar had to pay? We have never had a case of a human attack from a lion or a bear here in the Bighorns. I can assure you that lions rarely prey on humans, especially if they have an abundant food supply as they do here. The black bears here you can pretty much chase off and we are not in grizzly country, so what was the whole point of this? I have had more close calls with moose here and they are far more dangerous. Just seems that this is just another thing to get people paranoid over lions and bears. I can assure you that the chance of anyone getting mauled or attacked by a lion or bear while hiking here is so remote. You are more likely to get mugged in Walmart parking lot in broad daylight.

You had a lion attack on a

You had a lion attack on a human right next to the town of Bighorn within the last 6-8 years.The whole write up was in the press.The victim was trying to keep the lion off of him with a shovel that he was using for irrigation,neighbor heard him screaming and ran over helped kick the lion off of him.WYGF showed up and used hounds to run down the lion and killed it.

And if all else fails

pull your gun and shoot it!

Lions and Wolves and Bears…Oh, My!

So I read this article, this very important subject of personal safety and see that there is no mention of the implementation of the best form of self defense, a firearm. When "the experts" because of their aversion to the finest form of self defense on the planet intentionally omit even a mention of it, the whole article turns into political jibberish. It reminds me of what the Illinois State Police tells women to do when they are attacked, in essence, "anything but use a firearm". Absurd. At the moment of attack, give nearly ANYONE the choice of having pepper spray or a firearm, and they will choose the firearm. I say 'nearly' because I actually met a genuine pacifist who told me that under these circumstances, it would be better to die than hurt the animal. I indicated to this person that they should be confined and studied and have not spoken to them since. Aside from the lackadaisical pacifist, personal safety is the most important issue here. When you go into the wilderness unarmed, you are entering their food chain, and you do so on the animals' terms. That is simply reckless.
So Dave, no offense, but keep your advise. When I am in the woods packin, I'm really packin. I wish someone would have asked him what he has on his person and in his truck when he is off in the backwoods, I'll bet it's more than pepper spray.

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