Partial reasons not to take your gun:
Cougars in attack mode use ambush method. Ordinarily this would leave no time for self defense with a firearm.
In Alaska, if you kill a bear, you are responsible for removing the carcass.
You don't indulge in logical fallacies of any kind.http://onegoodmove.org/fallacy/toc.htm
The number of animal attacks on hikers annually, divided by the number of hikers, equals what?
There is lots of similar, reliable information available, but I find this from Lee County (Fla.) Sherriff's Office):
"A firearm is more than forty times as likely to hurt or kill a family member as to stop a crime."
Reason to take your gun: If you think the effort is worth whatever satisfaction you may get.