View Full Version : Soft Target?

roy reali
September 12, 2009, 10:13 AM
I am wondering weather mountain lions are easy to kill.


If the hunter mentioned in the article was grouse hunting, I assume his shotgun was loaded with birdshot of some sort. He fired at the cat twice and they found it dead. Even though ten yards isn't exactly long range, birdshot is already starting to spread at that distance. I was thinking maybe a pellet found its way to the heart or central nervous system, but a cougar does have hide and muscle portecting its organs.

So, is mountain lion a realtively easy animal to kill with a firearm?

September 12, 2009, 10:43 AM
I would imagine that mountain lions are pretty tough.

At close range, nothing is more lethal than birdshot. Ask any Paramedic, like me.

I worked 14 close range birdshot to the torso calls, every one but one was DRT.
The last one died the next day.
This was inside the house range, 10 to 20 feet.
Ten yards would be pushing it, but it does not surprise me that it killed the lion.

Sounds like the lion wasn't charging the guy, I can't say what I would have done in his situation.

roy reali
September 12, 2009, 10:48 AM
I am also surprised that the lion died. It sounds like fish and game has ruled the shooting justified. I also wonder what I would have done in that situation.

September 12, 2009, 10:51 AM
Ten yards would be pushing it, but it does not surprise me that it killed the lion.

The range surprises me too. Ten feet would make sense, but ten yards is pushing the effectiveness of birdshot on a creature as large as a mountain lion.

September 12, 2009, 11:17 AM
22 Hornet is a pretty popular cartridge to shoot treed lions with. It doesn't take a big cartridge to kill them, they are pretty thin skinned and about anything will work. However like any animal with teeth and claws shot placement is paramount so make the first one count.

roy reali
September 12, 2009, 11:37 AM
22 Hornet is a pretty popular cartridge to shoot treed lions with.

You can not compare a single projectile fired from a .22 Hornet, or even a .22 long rifle, to birdshot. The hunter in the article was bird hunting, he fired two rounds, birdshot I presume, into a cougar at ten yards, and the cat expired soon there after.

I am curious to what loads he was using. Maybe some grouse hunter out there could help speculate on that.

September 12, 2009, 03:12 PM
The whole thing with birdshot is the range.
As I said, if you said this happened at 20 feet, I would have guaranteed a dead cat with number 8 birdshot.
I have seen it too many times on humans.
But I never saw anyone shot at 30 feet.
I did have a buddy get shot with number 6 crow shot at 35 yards. He took 52 pellets in the back, neck, and side of the face. Those pellets penetrated about one inch.

If I had a shotgun, I would go right out and do a test at 30 feet with some birdshot. I would get an old leather boot, stick a foot long one by four in there to simulate bone, and see what a load of number 8s would do.
I bet a dollar it would blow right through the leather, blow a big hole in the board, and blow out the back side of the boot.
ie, dead cougar.

September 12, 2009, 03:46 PM
Roy, I think you missed the point I was trying to make. Mountain lions are not a thick skinned animal and even bird shot should be able to pentrate and make it to a vital area at a reasoable range. Plus we don't know what kind of choke the guy was hunting with if the guy was using a full choke the pattern could have been very dense still at 10 yards.

September 13, 2009, 01:55 AM
Mountain lions are notoriously easy to kill. Many houndsmen carry 45 Colt, 357 Mag, even 38 Special to harvest the cats.

roy reali
September 13, 2009, 07:31 AM
I visited one of our local gun shops yesterday. We were talking about this cougar shooting. The guys told me that most of the mountain lions around here are in the 100 pound range. I guess birdshot now makes some sense.

They also told me of a problem cat that to be dispatched a few years back. This baby eneded up being close to two hundred pounds. Now, I wonder how a blast of bordshot would have affected him.

Art Eatman
September 13, 2009, 09:52 AM
An estimated ten yards at the outset, and the lion was sorta approaching "sideways"? I'm not at all surprised that #8 did the number on that lion.

At some 25 yards, a load of #9 Skeet had doctors removing over 60 pellets from a buddy of mine--as deep in as his liver. Inside of ten yards with regular-load #8? Ruinacious.