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Old October 4, 2006, 08:00 PM   #1
Freetacos
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caliber choices to protect self from mountain lions

What about these choices if limited to a handgun:

.45 acp
.357 mag
.44 special/mag

p.s. yes I know the best thing is to leave them alone, a rifle is a better choice etc. etc.
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Old October 4, 2006, 08:10 PM   #2
Edward429451
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Mountain lions are very thin skinned and any of the choices should work. The traditional mtn lion round is a 22 LR. The dogs tree it and he's shot through the lungs to bleed out in the tree. If one would wallop it with a maggie and knock it out of the tree, the lion would tear up some expensive dogs in its death throes.
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Old October 4, 2006, 08:16 PM   #3
TJ Freak
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Lion

I would think any of those calibers would be fine. My dad used to shoot em when running dogs with a .22
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Old October 5, 2006, 12:27 PM   #4
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.44 mag or .45 colt is a good balance of firepower/controllability/energy & stopping power, for 150 lb lightning-fast ball of muscle bent on ripping you to hamburger. But a 7-shot .357 mag stoked with some 158s or heavier, comes in a very close 2nd place, with the added round count and sectional density over a .44 or .45. I'd feel reasonably protected with either.
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Old October 8, 2006, 10:21 PM   #5
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As for me, any round is better than no round!
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Old October 8, 2006, 11:44 PM   #6
UniversalFrost
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I can't resist.

Search the posts for a thread about a guy in colorado using a BB gun to protect himself against the mt. lions that had been bothering him and his dogs. I believe rich or art locked that thread after it went too crazy. Anyway anything better than a pointy stick or bb gun should work against a mt lion. I know that many a mt lion has been tree'd and taken with a 22, but I personally wouldn't want to be alone in the woods and have a mt lion come after me when all I got is my 10/22 or 22 revolver. Personally I carry an old colt snubby 38spl revolver when hiking the local woods scouting for possible deer stands (in rural south eastern SD along the missouri). The mt. lions and bob cats have finally started a come back and while there have been no close encounters with people several local pets have gone missing in the past few years and a friend who ranches a couple thousand acres lost a few yearlings over the last few years as well. I've seen a couple off in the distance while glassing the hillsides for deer or yotes, but the closest one was a couple hundred yards away and looking right at me, did hear one scream and it sounded like it was just over the hill one evening at dusk a few deer hunting trips ago. I would rather carry a .357 or bigger, but the colt is well worn and I wouldn't cry if I lost it while hiking (unlike my 1911, USP c, new XD 45, or 96 brigadier).

in my opinion anything bigger than a pointy stick or red rider bbgun should at least make the cat think twice about gnawing on you leg.
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Old October 9, 2006, 11:16 AM   #7
Art Eatman
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I imagine that if there are lions around, keeping a bit of a watch out along the back trail would be a Good Thing. If you see one, yell as loud as you can; that'll work 98% as well as a gun. If one is gonna jump you, an IPSC grand master couldn't draw and fire quickly enough to prevent a serious problem.

But any handgun of, say, .38 Special with a HydraShok or equivalent would be basically good enough. .357 or more is even better insurance.

Circumstance, time and distance. There's no "one size fits all".

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Old October 9, 2006, 08:29 PM   #8
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I know a guy who killed one with his bow. He was in some thick older patch of forest (reprod, for those that know what that is). He heard a step, scanned his area for elk (what we were hunting), then started looking for a deer, finally saw a long tail flicking above the ferns. One arrow, middle of the chest. Not a preferred shot, but better than being kitty poo.
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Old October 9, 2006, 08:37 PM   #9
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Agree with Art. They're about as dangerous as rattlers; meaning, they're pretty much not looking to take on able bodied humans.

They expire about as easily as a rattler and are about as tough to hit, when moving.
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Old October 9, 2006, 09:42 PM   #10
Art Eatman
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On two occasions I've seen lions who were seriously practicing being elsewhere. I'm quite willing to believe that a lion can do the 100-yard dash in some four seconds.

A rich oilman decided that he oughta have some elk on his south Texas brush-country ranch. The lions agreed that it would be a great idea. The father of a close friend of mine was the ranch foreman. He tracked and wound up killing an 80-pound female who had dragged a 500-pound cow elk some 100 yards from the kill site to some brushy cover.

But lions are far more likely to track out of curiosity, and leave if disturbed by a human.

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Old October 9, 2006, 10:15 PM   #11
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Funny thing how folks get it in their mind that they need some sort of protection from critters that actually pose very little risk. Mountain lions can and do kill humans, but very rarely, less than domestic dogs kill humans.
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Old October 9, 2006, 10:40 PM   #12
Trip20
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Quote:
Funny thing how folks get it in their mind that they need some sort of protection from critters that actually pose very little risk.
Nope, doesn't seem funny to me. Grown adults have been taken down and killed quite handily. Lions are powerful animals, masterful stalkers, and if not for their own apprehension we'd be on the menu much more often. If they only knew how easy a fight it would be…

Are lion attacks likely? Well no, of course not especially by comparison to other things such as dogs, which greatly out number lions.

Does that mean it’s a ‘funny’ idea to consider protection just because it’s not likely? No. In fact the same comparison could be made to show how 'funny' it is that people carry concealed firearms, I mean, if we're basing how funny things are on probabilities and all.
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Old October 9, 2006, 10:47 PM   #13
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Well, speaking as the statistical aberation that had to stare one down for 10 minutes while he wondered whether I would be good with ketchup or not.......

I took to carrying my .357 during my deer hunts in kitty country. Hunters are not "normal" with respect to wildlife encounters; you can almost say we're looking for trouble. And that turn bolt rifle is not all that comforting once you figure out how fast they can cover that 30 feet.

I wouldn't exaggerate the risk mind you; but since most of us on the forum have prepared for Armageddon in our own unique ways, I certainly wouldn't begrudge anyone carrying a pistol in kitty country.

Having said that, shooting a treed lion with a precise .22 shot would not be the same as encountering them when they are hunting you. I think .357 is entry-level.
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Old October 9, 2006, 11:43 PM   #14
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I have (now) two "woods" guns a Glock 21 .45 auto and a S&W 6906 9MM we've got "kittys" here in WV and I feel fine with ether stuffed full of FMJ

Just be sure to hone your woods sense and be able to know when somethin's about other then the friendly stuff
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Old October 10, 2006, 09:57 AM   #15
Edward429451
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Some of you guys crack me up. No one said a .22 is a good round for defense against a mt lion, just that its used for lions suggesting that the penetration is enough so the pistol rounds would be adequate.
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Old October 10, 2006, 07:58 PM   #16
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I would suggest hunting with a "friend" that is heavier and slower than you.
Any round will do if the mountain lion is in chase. Shoot your "friend" in the leg and run like the dickens. I figure by the time the lion is done exchanging blows with your friend you could be , say, a quarter of a mile away.

By the way, I am looking for a new hunting partner for next season. I am concidering someone a little portly and under 5' 2''. Must be a very poor shot.
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Old October 11, 2006, 05:29 PM   #17
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I agree with Art on this one. Yell and it will probably head the other way. If it is bent on attacking you, I doubt you would see it coming and have time to react with a handgun in a holster.

So, handgun choice if it makes you comfortable is... whatever you've got that you shoot the best that would be considered a good round for human predators. Me, I would probably carry a 4" 41 mag revolver because I shoot it well and I'm not concerned with concealment issues in the outdoors.
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Old October 11, 2006, 06:15 PM   #18
rem33
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Freetacos, I would agree with Art and If I remember right you stated you were from So Cal.
I lived in the foothills of the San Bernardino Mtns. for several years 60's 70's working in the Mtns. and playing/working all over outside. I never saw a mountain lion. I did hear one scream or whatever you'd call it once. It was a problem one year freaking out the rental horses up near Heart Bar and I have seen tracks.

Referring to Rich's post, rattlers are a concern in your area. I've killed dozens of them in all sizes, from little guys of about a foot to larger of over 5'. From below sea level ( Salton Sea) to over the6000' level. It is quite rare to hear of lion attacks although they do happen, but very common for folks to get snake bit. I shot several with a 22. Shot shells would be a good choice but rocks or a shovel work as well.
All that being said if I were you and was wanting protection in the rural areas near you I would pick a 38/357 with the first cylinder loaded with a shot shell then good hollow points behind that for lions or other dangerous critters you might encounter.
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Old October 11, 2006, 07:25 PM   #19
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I would pick a [Fill In the Blank Revolver] with the first cylinder loaded with a shot shell then good hollow points behind that for lions or other dangerous critters you might encounter.
There's some advice I live by.
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Old October 19, 2006, 02:16 PM   #20
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I live in Elk country. I understand that there are cougars in the area, and that people have seen tracks where the cats are stalking people.

My plan is to get a .45, and should I get faced with the situation of me or the cat, it means I give the cat a double tap. If that is not enough, continue to empty the rest of the rounds and get away.

My rifle is a .308 Pre-64 Winchester Model 70.

I would want it good and dead. I have heard too many missionary stories of having to go and track down wounded lions in Africa so that they wouldn't kill the locals.

OP
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Old October 19, 2006, 04:13 PM   #21
bigautomatic
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I don't think I could hit a charging cat with any firearm, but if I had to try, I'd say any of the calibers mentioned in the original post would work. My preference would be low recoil, heavy lead. I guess bear mase(spelling?) might do the trick also.
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Old October 19, 2006, 07:57 PM   #22
pumpkinheaver
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Any of your choices will work. The odds of a lethal encounter with a lion are very low. The odds of me having a lethal encounter with anything in rural Missouri are very low but I still don't leave the house unarmed!!!
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Old October 19, 2006, 08:36 PM   #23
Edward429451
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Odds are low to encounter a mtn lion but I hear about attacks almost every year here in Colorado, mostly joggers. One death a few yrs back, numerous attacks on pets chained up or in dog runs. Just because the odds are low doesn't mean you shouldn't be prepared for an encounter. It does happen and seems to possibly be increasing in frequency.

My sons friends dog got chased back to the house by a pack of coyotes. Right on the edge of town. A customer recounted a story to me that he heard noises outside his front door one morning and thinking it the neighbor kids went and jerked the door open to tell em to go home and found himself FTF with a black bear, hello!

A friend who lives up the hill a little recounted that one night he was about 1/2 drunk and seen the neighbors big black lab dog poking around his fishing pond in the weeds so mischeviously snuck up on it and pushed it into the pond...only to find out that it was a blackie! The bear screamed, he screamed, and twisted his ankle getting back to the house so fast.

So yeah, it happens. Try not to be too suprised if it happens to you. Anyplace that has deer will have mtn lions pretty much.

Somebody tell me how one can ascertain a lion had been stalking a human by the footprints. I've heard that before but I don't understand how.
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Old October 19, 2006, 08:43 PM   #24
Oregon Pastor
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cat stalking people

So this guy from my church is telling me how is out with a couple of his friends hunting and he goes for a walk down a road and sees some cougar tracks. So he follows them, and they lead up to a spot overlooking where his buddy is sitting at camp. (ten yards away maybe) The tracks kind of meander around in that spot and then leave. So he follows the tracks, and sees that they lead right across the tracks on the road that he made when he started out on his walk. Those tracks weren't there before. The cat was checking out where he had been.

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Last edited by Oregon Pastor; October 19, 2006 at 08:44 PM. Reason: wrong word. Ooops!
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Old October 19, 2006, 08:57 PM   #25
Edward429451
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Ok, I'll buy that! For some reason that strikes me as incredibly funny. (I know its not really) But wow!

Where I usually small game hunt lion tracks are everywhere and I've seen them on 3 or 4 occassions. I'm gonna start following my own tracks back to camp looking for fresh tracks...

Who's huntin who?
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