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Old March 14, 2009, 06:12 PM   #1
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Lions or Bears?

There are many areas in this country that one of these creatures could end up crossing your path. You might be out bird hunting, fishing, or just going for a nature hike. The wrong encounter with either a cougar or a black bear could ruin your day.

My question to you is, which of these two creatures are you most concerned about. Would you be more worried about entering an area with mountain lions or black bears?
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Old March 14, 2009, 06:24 PM   #2
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Not sure on the lions but black bears do everything possible to stay clear of humans. If you scare one they still tend to run away unless they have cubs, if cubs are present then you need to make sure you stay clear because they are very mean at this time.
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Old March 14, 2009, 06:32 PM   #3
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Would you be more worried about entering an area with mountain lions or black bears?
Well, I don't guess it really matters to me. I don't worry a whole lot about either of them.

I might find a mt lion about anywhere around here; right up to and including my back yard. I see tracks often enough when I'm in the outdoors, yet don't see the cat's much. I usually keep a tag in my pocket when the season is open though, just in case.

I'd have to drive a half mile or so to get into bear country. Most of the areas i frequent around here are a bit lower in elevation than where bears like to live, although they do come down out of the hills now and then.

As a note: anywhere around here that's considered bear country is also likely to have cougars. The bears are more isolated in higher country, but the lions live about anywhere around here.

I've called in bears with a mouth blown predator call; I've called in some lions to, although I haven't killed one yet. Their scream is something you won't soon forget though. They're just animals, and when you've spent enough time in the country they live in, you learn to either avoid or deal with them.

They really aren't all that big of a deal, and chances are good that you'll never have a problem with either..

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Old March 14, 2009, 06:34 PM   #4
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Far and away the cougar! Bears are just tick "predator" over flat out scavenger. Exception being me 'tween a momma and cubs.
I would do my best to let the cougar know I was not a "soft target" in hopes of dissuading it from continuing to track me.
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Old March 14, 2009, 06:49 PM   #5
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I have spent the majority of my life in lion country and have never seen one, your chance of ever encountering a mountain lion are much less than running into a black bear. Also, if you fight back a mountain lion can be persuaded to leave you alone. Bears on the other hand are much stronger and more common, so I think the chance of having a bad encounter with one is higher. Still, every black bear I have ever seen was hightailing it away from me once he saw me. Honestly, you shouldn't worry about either, other than storing food safely in camp, etc.
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Old March 14, 2009, 07:22 PM   #6
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The only conflicts for people vs. cougars around here is up in Big Bend National Park. Around the house, here at my place, I see tracks from time to time, and some years on a regular basis. They don't bother anything. Most of the bears that ever show up in the area generally are out of Mexico, and on average run 200 to 250 pounds. Bigger ones have been seen, but infrequently.
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Old March 14, 2009, 09:03 PM   #7
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Have Both

We have both animals around here, but there are more mountain lions then bears. One of our game wardens told me that bears sometimes follow cougars. Cougars are better at bringing down deer. The bears wait for the cat to make and kill and then move in and bully the caracass away.
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Old March 14, 2009, 09:17 PM   #8
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Mt. Lions

Northern Ca. has plenty of both. I've seen plenty of black bear, I've had then brush up against my tent at night on several occasions. I've heard them coming toward me through the brush. I've even had one "barking" at me from 30-40 yards away while I ate my dinner. I've had to chase one away from my ice chest in the middle of the night. I feel better with a gun in my hand but they don't scare me too much.
Mt. Lions on the other hand are stealthy predators, I think that a lion has a very good chance of being on you before you know he or she is in the neighborhood. I think a good knife may be a better weapon in lion country because you may be trying to fight off an animal that is on your back, biting on your neck.
I've only seen one, near Lake Shasta, only for a fraction of a second, I've seen tracks and kills quite a lot when hunting and hiking. No question in my mind, Lions are fearsome preditors.

Last edited by Ricky; March 14, 2009 at 09:27 PM. Reason: left out stuff
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Old March 14, 2009, 10:21 PM   #9
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IMO Bears

We get both here. Seen both within a mile of the house, and evidence of both in our yard. IMO bears are the scariest, but neither are really a problem. Lions tend to shy away from people, it's why they are rarely seen. Bears don't care, and at least around here, aren't shy. Want to see one? Be dumb enough to leave dog food outside, or in the fall, leave out birdfeeders. So some folks think they are tame ... WRONG. They just are not particularly afraid of any puny things like humans.

I have an agreement with both species that seems to work great. I leave them alone, and do not let my dogs chase them. In return they leave me alone. Worked fine for 20 years so far.
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Old March 14, 2009, 10:36 PM   #10
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Would you be more worried about entering an area with mountain lions or black bears?
Neither! Both species will do their best to avoid humans because they have been hunted for years and are afraid of people.

However, two friends and I were on our way back to our vehicle one evening after dark after hunting rabbits and were using our small pocket flashlights as we walked along. We had to walk about two miles and on the way we were surrounded by a pack of coyotes. The circled us just out of flashlight range, but we could hear them and got an occasional glimpse of them. It was an eerie feeling. So, after hunting both bears and lions for years with hounds, my scariest experience was actually with a pack of coyotes.
There is only one tactical principle which is not subject to change. It is to use the means at hand to inflict the maximum amount of wound, death, and destruction on the enemy in the minimum amount of time." - General George Patton Jr

Last edited by Big Bill; March 15, 2009 at 12:27 AM.
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Old March 14, 2009, 10:55 PM   #11
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If we are talking odds,I would say ticks with disease,Mosquitos with encephilitus,fleas with bubonic plague,rockslides,lightning,falls,flash floods,and rattlers all might have higher statistical probability.I dunno.

But,I had plenty of folks tell me not to worry about bears when I went to AK.Glad I ignored them.

I have seen a lion on a hiking trail in No Co that was about 150 yds away.He could see me,and he wasn't scared.Eventually,he walked away.

I know the standard PC dogma is "Don't worry,they are more afraid of you,etc"

But I see it different.I have looked up a tall ponderosa and seen the ribcage and spine of a deer about 12 ft up in the crotch of a tree,and we had a child snatched off a trail by a lion and killed some years back.There was a lion incident near Boulder as I recall.

In my whole life,I have had to kill one bad bear.I have had 2 flat tires.I still carry a spare tire.I buy a lotto ticket once in a while.I carry a .44 in the woods.

And I will not advise someone to not worry about it.
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Old March 14, 2009, 10:59 PM   #12
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Neither! Both species will do their best to avoid humans because they have been hunted for years and are afraid of people.
That goes at least double for coyotes. They won't attack a human unless they've become VERY accustomed to being around people, or are rabid.

I've called in and shot way over 1000 coyotes over the years, and never once have I felt threatened by them. I've personally had them close enough that I could have slapped them on more than one occasion, and they high-tail it with just a slight whiff of human scent.

I spent a couple of hours one night keeping a mt lion back from camp. It knew I was there, and it screamed often enough for me to know that it was still there, too. We were deer hunting, and had two horses in camp. One horse was tied, the other was loose all night to graze. When the cat was there, the loose one wouldn't leave the tied one's side.

That particular experience made me a bit nervous, but I still feel the same way about cats, bears, coyotes, or any other critter; they'll all leave you very alone most of the time if they know you're there.

The next morning after that happened, I saddled up and headed into the hills just like I had the day before. I just don't worry about such things, since I'm well able to take care of myself just about anywhere I go.


Last edited by Daryl; March 14, 2009 at 11:07 PM.
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Old March 14, 2009, 11:21 PM   #13
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We have both around here. I came on a bear with two cubs at about 60 yards. She sent the cubs up a tree and she walked off about another 25 yards. I took a couple of pictures and left. Another day I had my lab on one of the back roads. He was about 50 yards in front of me and a loin crossed the road between us. It went up on a hill about 40 yards from me and sat down and looked at me. My dog started to follow it, but I called him back. I was able to get two pictures of the cat. I carry a 40 cal with me always, but I really don’t worry about either. I have had two people tell me they have seen a grizzly not far from my house. Them I worry about, but I have never even seen a track near here. I did see a grizzly track about 150 miles north of me. I carry a Ruger Alaskan in 454 when I am in their country.

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Old March 14, 2009, 11:31 PM   #14
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Well a couple of bad weekends come to mind for me, one is where I was almost attacked by a Grizzly while hiking in Canada, it got to the point that I had to get into the fetile position and momma bear decided to come sniff me up, growl and roll me a couple of times, before she figured that I was no threat to her or her two cubs. Let me tell I did **** my pants . Another time was with a Black bear and her cubs and she did stand up and roar, and after that grizzly experience, I had to pull out and put a shot into the floor, I din't want to kill momma bear she was just protecting her own, and she didn't run at me, but she just might have and as I said after that grizzly experience there is no way I was going to let that damn bear get near me. Now a friend of mine has a nice set of claw mark scars on his rib cage and hip and a nice bite mark on his trap from an attack, while he was hunting antelope Wyoming. So I would say from experience be aware of them all.
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Old March 15, 2009, 12:28 AM   #15
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Here are a couple of additional comments about my story. I as a young scoutmaster at the time (about 22 years old) and had a couple of my scouts with me. I had one .22 and the plan was just to go shoot a little and see if we could scare up a rabbit or two. I was driving a 2X pickup and we were on an old road in the foothills that was rutted. And, like a fool, I got high centered. We tried for several hours to get unstuck, but couldn't and I had to have the boys home right after dark (which didn't happen). So, I finally decided to start walking and we took a couple of small flashlights I had in the truck, but I also left my rifle in the truck - I don't know why! It was on our way out to the nearest ranch light that we were circled by several (probably curious) coyotes. They just circled us; but, it was a spooky experience. When we arrived at the farmhouse, I called one of the parents and they came and got us. I guess it goes without saying that I didn't last very long as scoutmaster in that troop. It was an embarrassing experience for me. The next day, my hired guy and I pulled the truck out.
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