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#52954 - 06/14/06 06:46 AM talk me out of my fear
tarbubble Offline
member

Registered: 04/18/03
Posts: 996
Loc: ca-li-for-ni-a
i confess, i'm afraid. it isn't rational, i know, but the fear is there anyway. i leave tomorrow on my first solo in WAY over 2 years, and i'm scared. of what? don't laugh.

i'm afraid i'll be eaten by a cougar. why do i have such a silly fear, you ask? because i live (and will be hiking) within 10 or so miles of where that mountain biker was eaten by a cougar a few years ago. i know, they killed the cougar that did it. i know that i'll primarily be on a ridgeline for this trip and that cougars will mostly be down in the canyons, where the deer are.

but i can't help it. ever since that poor fellow was eaten, i have been cougar paranoid in my own backyard. i have this nightmare that i'll be laying in my sleeping bag, alone, and i'll hear a huge animal pad into my camp. it'll break my neck and start eating my guts while i'm still alive! i know it's only a psychological barrier, but i've actually opted for an enclosed shelter instead of a tarp for just this reason.

so c'mon, do your old pal tarbubble a favor. tell her she has a better chance of dying in a car crash on the way to the trailhead. tell her cougar-human predation is ridiculously rare. tell her something!

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#52955 - 06/14/06 07:24 AM Re: talk me out of my fear [Re: tarbubble]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
TB,

Ok, your concern is appreciated as a person who goes solo often myself.

First, if California has a Mountain Lion hunting season, then you'll probably have a hard time seeing one; as they'll be predisposed to avoiding any contact with humans.

The afore-mentioned incident was an anomaly in that the biker was mistaken for other fast moving prey,deer, rabbit, that is a normal part of a M'Lion's diet. The ML probably saw fast movement, biker, out of the corner of it's eye, and it's natural predator instinct (to chase) kicked in, and it nailed the biker. A case of mistaken identity on the part of the ML most likely caused this tradgedy. The fact that critters like to move through areas on paths of least resistance has me believing that deer and other critters frequent the same bike/hike trails that we do. Hence, the ML could have just been lying in wait for a deer to pass and the bike flew by, causing the attack.

I don't know if this was an injured or old ML either, as both situations would've predisposed the ML to preying on whatever it could get.

Wearing a bearbell, and hiking along making enough 'human noise' to be audible within 50 ft of you should have you seeing nothing but wildflowers along the trails. As you mentioned, you'll be above, on the ridgeline, where the ML does'nt waste the effort to get to, since it's prey is at lower elevations.

You could alos take along a stronger light than you normally carry and leave it on all night. bright light and a small pocket radio will keep away most critters, though it might attract a curious bear.

Best you can do is just be aware of your surroundings, and if you see a ML, RUSH IT! Nothing confuses predators like unrational behavior! It'll skee daddle!

Have a fun trip!

Earthling
_________________________
PEPPER SPRAY AIN'T BRAINS IN A CAN!

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#52956 - 06/14/06 07:45 AM Re: talk me out of my fear [Re: Earthling]
tarbubble Offline
member

Registered: 04/18/03
Posts: 996
Loc: ca-li-for-ni-a
thanks, earthling.

nope, no huntin' season for cougar. i'm a bit of the opinion that a very limited season might be helpful. our bighorn sheep are disappearing and i believe it's a combination of habitat loss and a too-large cougar population. but that's a discussion for another thread!

the cougar was very young. theory was it was pushed out of its parents' ranges once it was old enough, and thus headed into "human territory." our wild areas are VERY heavily infringed on here - the attack took place within 3 miles of a large housing tract. the poor biker had actually stopped to fix his tire - the cougar pounced on him as he was kneeling.

good idea about the noise. no bears where i'm going (although i think the largest CA grizzly ever recorded was shot in this mountain range), they're all long dead. ah, the hand of man. i'm going to try to turn my nervous energy toward figuring out the PCT food hanging method. i'm only worried about raccoons & other vermin getting into my food.

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#52957 - 06/14/06 07:58 AM Re: talk me out of my fear [Re: tarbubble]
Paddy_Crow Offline
member

Registered: 11/08/04
Posts: 2285
Loc: Michigan
If you know how to tie a clove hitch, the PCT method is pretty simple.

The chances of a bad encounter with a mountain lion is very small. I know that doesn't help, I still think about the possibility of a crash every time I get on an airplane. It can and does happen. I like to carry a method of fighting back, even if it's only pepper spray or a knife. Of course, mountain lions are likely to hit from behind, so it's entirely possible you won't get a chance to use the weapon. But it does provide some small peace of mind.

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#52958 - 06/14/06 10:12 AM Re: talk me out of my fear [Re: tarbubble]
dkramalc Offline
member

Registered: 09/19/03
Posts: 1070
Loc: California
Tarbubble -

I, too, can understand your fear - but yes, you are more likely to be involved in an auto accident (or zillions of other things that won't happen either) than be attacked by a cougar. Have there EVER been mountain lion attacks on backpackers, that we know of? You will be fine, I am sure, other than suffering from occasional heart-pounding and the like. The odds are so overwhelmingly in your favor that I would laugh at your fear did I not sometimes share it... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" />

I think in your situation I would carry some pepper spray clipped to my waist, and I might even try what I've heard suggested: wear a hat with a face on the back (or a mask attached). The reasoning - since mountain lions prefer to attack from the back, they'll see a face on both sides and will be less likely to surprise you from behind, or for that matter from the front, and be too confused to seriously pursue you. I can't remember if there were actual studies carried out on this (I seem to recall so) or if this is just extrapolation from their habits, but it might add a little peace of mind (and another reason to laugh at oneself?).

The other thing that just occurred to me is that if you're wearing a pack that rises high enough in back to protect your neck, you might be less attractive also to a hungry predator since you're protecting your vulnerable spot. So maybe now's the time to load up that LL pack real HIGH and wear it!

Earplugs might help keep out those spooky sounds at night, too. It generally works for me. (Of course, there was the time baby bear sniffed at my feet through the tent - I FELT that and woke up yelling! Found the prints in the morning in the snow outside the tent - mom and baby)

Hope all my rambling is reassuring at least a little. I wish you peace of mind on this trip, and a permanent banishing of your cougar fears when you come home safely! I'm looking forward to hearing your tale.
_________________________
dk

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#52959 - 06/14/06 10:29 AM Re: talk me out of my fear [Re: tarbubble]
drembo Offline
member

Registered: 06/27/04
Posts: 69
Loc: Orange, California
Are you going to be backpacking in the Santa Ana mountains? If so, where? I can't think of any where within 10 miles of that cougar attack site, Whiting Ranch, that would be suitable.

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#52960 - 06/14/06 10:59 AM Re: talk me out of my fear [Re: dkramalc]
Paddy_Crow Offline
member

Registered: 11/08/04
Posts: 2285
Loc: Michigan
This may or may not help:

Mountain Lion Attacks 2001 - 2004

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#52961 - 06/14/06 12:27 PM Re: talk me out of my fear [Re: tarbubble]
PKH Offline
member

Registered: 07/23/02
Posts: 206
Loc: Nova Scotia, Canada
Well, there hasn't been a "confirmed" cougar sighting in my neck of the woods (Nova Scotia) for many long years - so I can't give you much helpful advice. But at least now I understand why you hate your own cats.

Cheers,

PKH
_________________________
Youth is wasted on the young.

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#52962 - 06/14/06 12:59 PM Re: talk me out of my fear [Re: tarbubble]
leadfoot Offline
member

Registered: 07/16/03
Posts: 954
Loc: Virginia
just curious, and I certainly do understand your reason for fear, but...why not go solo elsewhere in a spot you know cougars don't attack humans?

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#52963 - 06/14/06 01:10 PM Re: talk me out of my fear [Re: tarbubble]
aimless Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2860
Loc: Portland, OR
Perhaps the solution to an irrational fear should be an irrational solution - something like wearing a studded collar. Or wearing your shirt backwards so it won't know which way you are turned. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />

Or maybe you could hike with one of those high-pitched sonic devices they used to sell as dog repellents.

Anyway, the very fact of wearing a pack should baffle a cougar, which normally attacks by leaping on the back of its prey, where, on you, it would find this strange inert mass of backpack. This should slow down the efficiency of any attack and allow you more time to react and fight back. (Which , of course won't be necessary because an attack just isn't going to happen. Period.)

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#52964 - 06/14/06 02:46 PM Re: talk me out of my fear [Re: tarbubble]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3571
Loc: Texas
Personal confession time:
I'm NEVER not afraid when I go solo. For me, that's part of the hiking experience....there is a heightened awareness that comes with healthy fear. A rush, if you will. As the hike progresses that fear settles down to more rational thought as I get use to my surroundings. That fear is a large part of the personal challenge of backpacking and very likely why you are doing what you are doing, Tarbubble! It certainly keeps me coming back. After a day and a night on the trail, your fear will melt away into healthy respect and you'll probably find yourself disappointed you didn't see a cat! Sightings are rare which is why rangers want to know about 'em. Attacks, even more so. 1 attack makes world news and those attacks are usually circumstantial.

My favorite backpacking/camping place on Earth (my ashes will be scattered there <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />) is Big Bend National Park. There are over 2 dozen known lions in the park and more coming....to the point they don't track them with radio collars any more. I go there twice a year and have been doing so since 1974.
There are cat "attacks" reported there almost every year. I've car camped all night long peering through telescopes, solo hiked and camped for days, hiked the river, mountains, etc. My park cat sighting count is...........zero....in over thirty years.
In fact, my last solo trip there I specifically asked the ranger for a back country campsite where the last cat sightings were, hoping to see one. No luck.....but, I'm still very cautious.

One stress reliever I find works is to loudly call out "Here kitty kitty kitty...." when the trail gets curvy and you find yourself frightened. You'll likely start feeling goofy and start laughing. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" /> Especially if another hiker hears you and says "meeeooooowwwww" back. (happened! felt like a dork)
Most 'attacks' in the park were because of kids startling a sleeping animal or surprise encounters. Stalkings have been reported by trail workers using burros to haul equipment. Animals were easily chased away. Rare sighting all the same. If they weren't rare, we wouldn't hear about them, inverse of what you might think.

I consider cats and bears the same as sharks and alligators. Not dangerous unless provoked and a treat to see in the wild. Sure, be afraid, but try and be rational and look at the 'big picture'. Those critters are rare. Dangerous people are a lot less rare and bad drivers even more so.

By day two, you'll wonder if you'll ever get to see a beautiful cat! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
paul, texas KD5IVP

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#52965 - 06/14/06 07:57 PM Re: talk me out of my fear [Re: Dryer]
Tango61 Offline
member

Registered: 12/27/05
Posts: 931
Loc: East Texas Piney Woods
Has anyone thought of making a walking stick with a built in cattle prod? That'd take care of them little-bitty kitties.

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#52966 - 06/14/06 09:05 PM Re: talk me out of my fear [Re: tarbubble]
Noel Offline
member

Registered: 02/19/06
Posts: 634
Loc: Calgary
You'd be nuts NOT to have some sense of fear - but there is a massive difference between paralyzing terror and a recognition of risk.

In 'real life' I apply various forms of risk management in the information security realm. What that means in english is I spend a lot of time between various levels of business management and information technology departments 'negotiating' their fear levels below paralysis, and back into productive space. What this means in trail lingo is that a risk unrecognized is something you'll never even know to be prepared for - to me this is the worst kind of situation. In your case you are in the middle ground - you suspect a risk, but your imagination has run away with the possibilities and is causing a fear paralysis response. In fairness to history, this has served us pretty well. But it sucks if all you want to do is enjoy your vacation <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

In your case you have recognized, at quite a visceral level, that you have some fear - which means you perceive a risk but you do not know if you are managing the risk correctly. The concern that you do not know enough about the risk becomes all-consuming, and eventually all-destroying. Yecch! This is fixable!

This is an awesome state of mind, so take advantage of the boosted motivation - because you can now count yourself in the very narrow group that 'knows what they don't know'. You know you are afraid, you know some rational info, but you are still worried. To me this means that your subconcious is telling you 'Hey, this doesn't 100% compute - I don't have enough info - please learn more!'. So lets feed your brain....

With just a little reading - probably most of it via google searches - that you can learn 'what you know you don't know'. Specifically, search out all the US and Canadian parks services sites that deal with cats (use both cougars & mountain lions as search terms), and what to do. You will find that your fear decreases because as you integrate the new information, you get less 'chaff' from your subconcious. Once you learn that one key bit of information that you don't know now, your mind will quiet itself, because it will be satisified that it has that missing bit of info.

For example, check this old page I just found with a quick google:

Banff Wildlife

Once you learn the basic parameters from here, use this info to do more searches of what they are saying - eventually, and in fairly short order, you will be 'book smart' beyond most of us, and should you be lucky enough to see one of these cats in the wild, you'll be among a rare group indeed.

TTFN
_________________________
Noel

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#52967 - 06/15/06 08:30 AM Re: talk me out of my fear [Re: tarbubble]
azcanyon Offline
member

Registered: 07/12/04
Posts: 264
Quote:
i have this nightmare that i'll be laying in my sleeping bag, alone, and i'll hear a huge animal pad into my camp. it'll break my neck and start eating my guts while i'm still alive!

tarbubble, you're being so irrational about this. In all likelihood, you'll die immediately the instant the lion breaks your neck. So by the time it eats your guts, you won't feel or experience anything.

Feel better now?

<img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

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#52968 - 06/15/06 09:35 AM Re: talk me out of my fear [Re: tarbubble]
ringtail Offline
member

Registered: 08/22/02
Posts: 2296
Loc: Colorado Rockies
After reading the tread about Jack the attack cat maybe you should take your cats.
<img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
"In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not."
Yogi Berra

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#52969 - 06/17/06 07:44 PM Re: talk me out of my fear [Re: tarbubble]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Just don't think about it. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> Just focus on the beutiful scenery, flowers, what your going to make for dinner, how much better it is than being at work....or clear your mind altogether. As many have said including yourself, your more likely to get in a car wreck anytime you get behind the wheel. We don't all think we are going to die everytime we drive somewhere or no one would drive. We just clear our mind to that realization.

That probably doesn' help, but that's what I do. If i'm worried about bears(when I lived in Montana) I would just focus on other things, otherwise I would have never enjoyed my backpacking trips. Then again, I have no trouble clearing my mind. (not much to clear) <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

Have fun!

If all else fails, as others have mentioned, cougars usually break their preys neck instantly. It should be a quick and painless death. Seems so natural to die in that manner...much better than slipping in the bathtub, or a carwreck or something.

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#52970 - 06/18/06 04:41 AM Re: talk me out of my fear
WyoBob Offline
member

Registered: 05/04/04
Posts: 204
Loc: Buffalo, WY
Quote:
If all else fails, as others have mentioned, cougars usually break their preys neck instantly. It should be a quick and painless death. Seems so natural to die in that manner...much better than slipping in the bathtub, or a carwreck or something.


When I die, I want to go quietly in my sleep like my father did.

---not screaming like his passengers.

WyoBob

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#52971 - 06/18/06 06:51 PM Re: talk me out of my fear [Re: WyoBob]
Anonymous
Unregistered


<img src="/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />

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#52972 - 06/20/06 10:13 AM Re: talk me out of my fear [Re: tarbubble]
tarbubble Offline
member

Registered: 04/18/03
Posts: 996
Loc: ca-li-for-ni-a
thanks, everybody. the thought that i would likely die instantly was very reassuring.

i ended up changing my plans at the last minute, for more reasons than just the cougar paranoia. then, my problem became loneliness, not fear. i just don't think i'm cut out to go solo at this phase of my life. i missed my kids & husband terribly. i ended up finishing early because i just plain old wasn't enjoying it.

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#52973 - 06/20/06 10:16 AM Re: talk me out of my fear [Re: tarbubble]
aimless Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2860
Loc: Portland, OR
Well, at least now you know.

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#52974 - 06/20/06 11:04 AM Re: talk me out of my fear [Re: tarbubble]
davidson Offline
member

Registered: 12/12/04
Posts: 577
Loc: deepest,darkest Oregon
You sound like a good candidate for having a traildog for company IF you continue to pursue solo trips. A well behaved and trained dog can be a wonderful companion and could also make you feel a little better about venturing alone into cougar, bear and 2footed country.
Best of luck and drive carefully (statistically speaking...). <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
< = >

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#52975 - 06/20/06 12:14 PM Re: talk me out of my fear [Re: tarbubble]
Bearpaw Offline
Moderator

Registered: 07/25/04
Posts: 1732
Loc: Tennessee
Don't feel bad. It took me a good four or five days to get over the lonely funk I hit when I started my Colorado Trail through-hike a couple of weeks ago. I'd spent a week with my girlfriend touring the Yellowstone and Teton area (also to help me get acclimated), and when I started hiking, especially with the discomfort of the heat, I just kept thinking life would be so much better with her around. I've managed to work through it and I'm having a great trip now, but this was a new sensation for me with nearly 4000 miles of solo trekking. I totally understand what what you mean by "this phase in life".
_________________________
http://www.trailjournals.com/BearpawAT99/

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#52976 - 06/20/06 01:25 PM Re: talk me out of my fear [Re: tarbubble]
oregoncarver Offline
member

Registered: 10/06/05
Posts: 129
Your trip may not have gone as planned but you have learned something very valuable as a result. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

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#52977 - 06/20/06 03:51 PM Re: talk me out of my fear [Re: tarbubble]
PerryMK Offline
member

Registered: 01/18/02
Posts: 1155
Loc: Florida panhandle
A slow hiking partner would solve two problems for you.

1. You would have company
2. You would have someone to outrun when the cougar came calling

Someone had to say it (smile).

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#52978 - 06/21/06 06:30 PM Re: talk me out of my fear [Re: azcanyon]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
azcanyon et all,
I have to agree, you won't feel anything...

I have been challenged by a mountain lion and it almost pounced on us but I always go for the pre-emptive attack and it ran when I attacked it first.

I spend a lot of time solo in lion country and have had 2 come to my camp - I now live in lion country - my backyard is someones territory... if it makes you feel anybetter - you won't see it, even if its stalking you, or especially... I do feel comforted sitting up watching the stars with my .44 mag nestled with the butt against my chest... BUT I've never had to use it and its heavy...

I think a hiking stick is about as good a weapon as any... unless its titanium...
Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#52979 - 06/22/06 04:40 PM Re: talk me out of my fear [Re: Jimshaw]
pennys Offline


Registered: 12/31/01
Posts: 2842
Loc: Washington
I'm going to toss in a suggestion to read the book "Beast in the Garden" by David Baron. It's a very interesting study, and an easy read, about the habituation of big cats to humans specifically around Boulder, CO. He presents all sides, and an incredible amount of information about cat behaviour, and how that changes as humans enter thier environement.

ps
_________________________
tips for making gear

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#52980 - 06/23/06 02:26 PM Re: talk me out of my fear [Re: davidson]
Paul_C Offline
member

Registered: 07/14/05
Posts: 506
Loc: Beaverton, Orygun
I agree. I tried going solo on a few days around Mt Hood here in Oregon, but ended up hiking along with another guy I met on the second day. I like hiking alone all day, but I do like company at camp. Maybe when i become more confortable by myself in the wilderness I'll welcome being alone.

But for now, I got me a trail buddy: a yellow lab.
_________________________
Jeeper - NW mountain roamer

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#52981 - 06/23/06 04:42 PM Re: talk me out of my fear
kevonionia Offline
member

Registered: 04/17/06
Posts: 1322
Loc: Dallas, TX
While up in Banff a couple years ago, I read a big story in the Canadian papers about an old, retired guy sitting at a bus shelter somewhere in British Columbia who was pounced on by a cougar. He had a pocket knife to defend himself. Hard to believe but he lived, despite some serious wounds. And the cat didn’t! Guess you can take solace in that.
I recommend the book “Ghost Walker” by R.D. Lawrence, a very sympathetic book about cougars and their plight. We are trampling on their ground, after all.
And remember, when at ridgeline on a cloudy afternoon, when you poke your Leki pole in the air, the chances are much, much greater of getting zapped by a lightning bolt than eaten by any nearby cougar trying to get the heck away from you. ("Man, crazy chica! She trying to get us both fried?")
_________________________
- kevon

(avatar: raptor, Lake Dillon)


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#52982 - 07/29/06 11:46 AM Re: talk me out of my fear [Re: tarbubble]
lamanite Offline
member

Registered: 07/25/06
Posts: 114
From what I understand, the time you need to fear a cougar the most is in the winter when food is scarce. If it's springtime, summertime, or fall you shouldn't have to worry about it too much. There is plenty of food and their stomachs are full. Maybe it's a load of crock; I don't know. But it sounds reassuring. Sorry to hear your trip didn't go as planned.

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#52983 - 08/01/06 05:03 PM Re: talk me out of my fear [Re: tarbubble]
longhair29 Offline
member

Registered: 06/11/03
Posts: 1328
Loc: Floridad
Hello Tarbubble,

Are you a man or a woman? If you're a lady then don't go at Thee end of the month. But if you are a Man...then don't be a wimp. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

Cougars are most active at dawn and dusk = no hiking alone at night.

Sleep in a Tent or a shelter that has all-enclosing walls. No tarps.

Carry a single Trekking Pole.

Be alert and in-tune to your surroundings.

Don't be paranoid.

Just get outa' the darn house now!

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#52984 - 08/01/06 09:05 PM Re: talk me out of my fear [Re: longhair29]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Longhair
I'm rethinking night hiking with NVG in cougar country.
Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#52985 - 08/04/06 01:54 PM Re: talk me out of my fear [Re: lamanite]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
I'm WAY more concerned about getting to the trailhead safely, what with all the lame a** drivers out on the roads these days, than I am of anything i MIGHT encounter on a hike AWAY from Humanity!

One on one with wildlife? I'm pretty sure I can survive an encounter. One on one with a crackhead or other jacked up druggie with a weapon in town? Again, I'm pretty sure I'd survive, not so sure about the druggie though <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
PEPPER SPRAY AIN'T BRAINS IN A CAN!

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#52986 - 08/09/06 05:21 PM Re: talk me out of my fear [Re: Earthling]
bash Offline
member

Registered: 01/27/05
Posts: 146
Loc: Scotts Valley,CA
agreed!

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#52987 - 08/16/06 01:49 PM Re: talk me out of my fear [Re: longhair29]
tarbubble Offline
member

Registered: 04/18/03
Posts: 996
Loc: ca-li-for-ni-a
Quote:
Are you a man or a woman? If you're a lady then don't go at Thee end of the month. But if you are a Man...then don't be a wimp. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />


whaaa? is this some lame menstrual joke? caveman. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />

-the very girly tarbubble

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#52988 - 05/14/08 11:23 PM Re: talk me out of my fear [Re: Paddy_Crow]
lv2fsh Offline
member

Registered: 04/27/08
Posts: 111
Loc: socal
I know this is an old thread but my daughter was a friend of the female mt. biker that was attacked by the cougar that supposedly killed and ate the other mt biker. After the investigation was over, they now believe that the deceased biker possibly had a heart attack and was dead before being eaten. The lion was a young one and they believe was startled while eating the first victim. They believe that the lion was defending his "food". I have lived in the southern California mountains for almost 30 years and have hunted and fished there and all over the western U.S. and canada for even longer. Like Dryer, I have yet to see a mt.lion. I have seen their tracks and used to have hounds when I was a teenager and hunted with guys that had taken lions. The lion that attacked the mt biker was beaten off by the female friend of the victim. The lesson is "will to survive". Never ever give up!

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#52989 - 05/26/08 10:01 PM Re: talk me out of my fear [Re: tarbubble]
northernbcr Offline
member

Registered: 05/26/08
Posts: 125
Loc: bc/yukon border area
tarbubble, your fear is not irrational there was a incident. just think the whole thing out, cougar attack will be one of the lowest risks you will face on your trip. the area i live in is filled with grizzly i feel alot of apprehension and fear every time i solo but i would not be able to stand myself if i just gave up and did not go.there is usually a couple incidents a year but there is also thousands of hours of bush use put in by workers and hikers.the odds are almost nil anything will happen. i push myself to go and the reward is tremendous and eventually you conquer your fears .the only way to is to go thru them .i would wear a large bear spray and a sturdy sheath knife on your person at all times ,stay alert trust your gut feelings go on your hike and keep going it is what makes us alive.

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#52990 - 07/16/08 08:21 AM Re: talk me out of my fear [Re: Paddy_Crow]
johnranyt Offline
newbie

Registered: 07/14/08
Posts: 5
There are risks in everything we do. Weather you are driving a car, swimming in the ocean, crossing the street, or whatever. I think we should always be aware of our surroundings, and take precautions to protect ourselves. But don't let fear of a small chance of something happening spoil a potentially great experience.

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#52991 - 07/18/08 06:31 AM Re: talk me out of my fear [Re: ringtail]
MistaBrown Offline
member

Registered: 11/16/07
Posts: 35
Cats of a particular manner could be quite vicious. About 2 weeks ago, we were on our way to my girlfriend's parents place, and she was telling me how one of their cats supposedly chased a fox off the property. It sounded to me like an exaggerated version of some ordinary event. Later that night when we were sitting by the fire, we saw a deer walk up, no more than 30 ft away from us. A few moments later, we saw a streak of white fur and some glowing eyes take off after the deer. It was their housecat, affectionately known as "Skunk" Skunk was unsuccessful in his hunt, primarily because his legs are much shorter than the deers, but he still was quite proud of his attempt, walking over to us and confidently relieving us of a hot dog. I guess he earned it <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />

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#52992 - 08/26/08 12:29 PM Re: talk me out of my fear [Re: tarbubble]
schweinhundert Offline
member

Registered: 08/24/08
Posts: 36
Loc: Amerikkka
They usually only manage to take a few bites before you can drive them off. And the scars will make great conversation for years!


Edited by schweinhundert (08/26/08 12:32 PM)

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#52993 - 08/30/08 05:53 PM Re: talk me out of my fear [Re: WyoBob]
BorealHiker Offline
member

Registered: 02/02/08
Posts: 75
Loc: The Third Maine
Quote:
Quote:
If all else fails, as others have mentioned, cougars usually break their preys neck instantly. It should be a quick and painless death. Seems so natural to die in that manner...much better than slipping in the bathtub, or a carwreck or something.


When I die, I want to go quietly in my sleep like my father did.

---not screaming like his passengers.

WyoBob


I am certainly happy to hear that that's how it goes for the cougar's normal prey. I'm not sure it would be that way if we were the prey, though! I'm not getting much comfort from your post, to be honest.Yikes!

I've always said the griz is the only thing I'm truly afeard of. And that's after living in Yellowstone for 3 years. Maybe the griz isn't the only thing afterall---

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#52994 - 11/13/08 11:15 AM Re: talk me out of my fear [Re: longhair29]
KYratshooter Offline
member

Registered: 10/25/07
Posts: 29
Loc: North KY, S of Cincinnati
They are out there.

They are after you.

They will eat you.

They sneek up behind you while you are releaving yourself and pounce on you from out of nowhere.

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#52995 - 11/15/08 12:50 PM Re: talk me out of my fear [Re: KYratshooter]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Two year old post and people still reply to it. I think he/she has either conquered the fear or taken up some urban form of exercise by now...

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#52996 - 12/04/08 09:33 AM Re: talk me out of my fear [Re: tarbubble]
hikerFedEx Offline


Registered: 11/11/08
Posts: 19
Loc: United States
bring lots of catnip!

..and a shovel to thump him if that doesn't work!

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#52997 - 12/08/08 05:13 AM Re: talk me out of my fear [Re: tarbubble]
chaz Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/07
Posts: 1149
Loc: Tennessee
Fear is only a state of mind. Never be afraid of what your mind can conceive.
Or 9mm snake shot to the face.
_________________________
Enjoy your next trip...

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#108300 - 12/25/08 02:43 PM Re: talk me out of my fear [Re: tarbubble]
Jim M Offline
member

Registered: 11/23/03
Posts: 261
Loc: Kitsap Peninsula, WA
As yourself: How much do you like hiking? What are the odds of being eaten? If the rewards of hiking outweigh the risk of being eaten then the "risk management" answer would be to keep hiking. I was fearful but an no longer for two reasons. First, I am an old man and I'm going to die anyway, so if I fall off the mountain or am eaten by a bear, so what? Secondly, I have spent so much time in the woods (72 days last year) that I have habituated to the fear. I saw 2 or 3 bears close up last year, one just casually walked through our camp. It was a wonderful feeling and really one of the highlights of the trip. I'm a scuba diver and I used to, when I started, be afraid of what I might do or think when I first saw a shark. When I finally did they swam by me like all the other fish and then went on their way. No big deal. Since then, if I see a shark I hope he/she stays around long enough and gets close enough for pictures. What I am saying, is just keep hiking and spending the night out and you will get used to it. It wouldn't be the wilderness if we were all protected from all the hazards. You could Stay at the KOA if that is what you wanted. Keep on treking! JIM
_________________________
Jim M

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#108314 - 12/26/08 01:19 AM Re: talk me out of my fear [Re: KYratshooter]
Jim M Offline
member

Registered: 11/23/03
Posts: 261
Loc: Kitsap Peninsula, WA
KYRATSHOOTER---------
You are right!
However, so far, in 40 years of hiking and climbing, I have been able to outsmart them....but just barely. lol


Edited by Pliny (12/26/08 01:20 AM)
_________________________
Jim M

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#108516 - 12/30/08 10:58 PM Re: talk me out of my fear [Re: Jim M]
Keith Offline
member

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 1664
Loc: Michigan's Upper Peninsula
Originally Posted By Pliny
KYRATSHOOTER---------
You are right!
However, so far, in 40 years of hiking and climbing, I have been able to outsmart them....but just barely. lol


Naw, Pliny, they're just letting you think they don't know what yer doin'! They'll gitcha when you think you've outsmarted 'em!
crazy
_________________________
Human Resources Memo: Floggings will continue until morale improves.

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#155728 - 10/12/11 01:24 PM Re: talk me out of my fear [Re: tarbubble]
ppine Offline
member

Registered: 01/10/10
Posts: 184
Loc: Minden, Nevada
Tarbubble,

Congratulations for confessing your fear. I used to hike solo a lot in the 70's. Now I am old and scary, so I usually bring a handgun. If you don't like that idea pepper spray or a cattle prod, or a big dog. You brain needs to know that you are not defenseless against an animal that "has equipment."

Riding horses and mules has made me much more aware of the presence of mtn lions. Most of them tolerate bears better. Their ears point the way. I got bucked off a mule in 2007 and broke my femur when crossing a mtn lion trail in eastern Oregon.

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#155737 - 10/12/11 04:05 PM Re: talk me out of my fear [Re: ppine]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6400
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Since this is a 5-year-old thread, I think we can safely assume that tarbubble has conquered her fear or gone on to other activities.... smile
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#155888 - 10/16/11 12:20 PM Re: talk me out of my fear [Re: OregonMouse]
ppine Offline
member

Registered: 01/10/10
Posts: 184
Loc: Minden, Nevada
Overcoming fear is always a good idea. It is what separates the active people from the wishers. A concept like that is always worth talking about.

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#157111 - 11/09/11 08:42 PM Re: talk me out of my fear [Re: ppine]
Kent W Offline
member

Registered: 10/15/09
Posts: 607
Loc: IL.
While I am not scared my wife is. To comfort here I bought a can of bear spray repellent before my last trip. While I didnt want to carry the extra 15 ounces, it was no big deal! She said she would sleep better while I was gone. I am more afraid of stumbling across drug growers! I recently took a class and got my Utah concealed carry permit! The permit is reciprical in many states. Downside is the 45 Kimber is heavier than the bear spray! When the good lord decides Im tru here , Im tru!
No worrys!

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#160642 - 01/19/12 05:19 PM Re: talk me out of my fear [Re: Kent W]
under10kg Offline
newbie

Registered: 01/19/12
Posts: 14
Loc: Australia
When I get a irrational fear coming into my mind I like to change the thought in my head to a micky mouse high piched tone. As this is rather stupid, the fear thought looses its intensity and I can move on!
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