Monday, May 29, 2017

Mountain Lions, somewhere north of Eaton Rapids

Last night Kubota was coming home from an evening of mud-bogging.  He was north of our house when he and Big D both saw what they claim was a Mountain Lion (Puma concolor) loping across the road.

Kubota likes to pull our leg but I think he may have actually seen one.  He was very rattled and this would be the first time he had somebody corroborate one of his "Big Windies".

So when Mrs ERJ and I took our walk (about noon today) I carried a can of 10% Red Sabre pepper gel.

A half mile north of our house we saw a Whitetale doe break cover, dart half way across the road and then jog, hard, away from us.  She was scooting.
I was taking this picture when the dogs across the street went berserk.
A couple of hundred yards later I was snapping a picture of some columbine when the dogs across the street started squealing.  The lady who lives there loves dogs and she has an ever-changing cast of canine company.  At this time, I think she has a couple of smallish (65 pound) pitbull bitches and a generic ankle-biter.  All three dogs were squealing like pigs.

Two of them came tearing around to our side of the house yawling like nobody's business.  They could clearly see us through the chain link fence.  They were not barking at us.  They did not find what they were looking for and did 180s and tore-ass back the way they had come.

If, and that is a big "If", there is a Mountain Lion in the neighborhood then I suspect it is a pet "drop-off".  We are, quite literally, where the pavement ends.

A young male would not be hanging around 14 hours later.

A young, wild male would be proficient at hunting and we would not have seen that doe squirt out of cover.  It would have been dead.

A young, wild male would be doing what every other respectable teenager is doing at noon.  He would be sleeping.

If anything, a pet drop-off would be more dangerous than a wild animal.  The wild animal would take great pains to avoid human contact.  IF there is a large carnivore hanging out in the neighborhood it does not seem stressed by humans.

I will cheerfully attest that the remaining 2.5 miles of our walk had a unique zest.  I don't know about Mrs ERJ, but I kept checking my back trail and scanning limbs that hung over the road.

The next time we go for a walk Mrs ERJ will be carrying the pepper gel and I will open-carry the 9mm.  Concealed carry has its place but you cannot beat open-carry for quick access.  There may only be a 5%-to-50% chance that Kubota saw a Mountain Lion but it costs nothing to be ready.


  1. Prepared and ready beats the hell out of the alternative...

  2. I saw sitting in a bar here in SW Wisconsin when a local came in with a picture she'd just taken and printed out. It showed, as far as I could tell, a really ugly Jaguar. She took the photo in her backyard.
    Is there a Jaguar running around in SW WI? Doubt it. Probably a bobcat, of which we have several. Perspective is everything.
    Never believe what you hear and only half of what you see.
    I lived right in lion country in Colorado for decades. Heard them, smelled their pee. Saw fresh tracks, as in just made. Saw kills but never saw one on the hoof.
    Still, carrying a noise maker in .357 or so is a good idea. Enjoy.