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#3210258 - 08/16/19 08:26 PM Cougar Looking For Chicken Breakfast
ajgunner Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 01/03/08
Posts: 129
Loc: N.W. Oregon
I was abruptly woken from my morning slumber yesterday at 6:40am, by the wife yelling get out here, get out here, and hurry up. She is pointing out to the chickens in the pasture 30 yards from the house. I see nothing, but she swears there was a cougar right there. I jump into some shorts and tennis shoes and grab a shotgun, loading up on my way out the door.

We recently lost 2 chickens to a fence jumping coyote that continued a serpentine path right between the neighbors cows. Due to the proximity of the cows he was able to beat a hasty retreat with a warm breakfast. With this fresh in my head I had revenge on my mind as I crept into the woods where the wife says she last saw the cougar.

I get about 20 yards into the trees (25yo thick Christmas tree patch) when the hair on my neck starts to stand up. Something hits my brain as I suddenly remember that cats climb trees.

I start to survey the trees looking up and around when I catch a sudden flash. I quickly brought the gun to my shoulder, but I have never before seen anything move this fast and silently in the woods!!! Really all I saw was a big yellow blur. Way to fast for a golden retriever and way to big to be a bobcat, and believe me, there is no mistaking that giant long fat tail. The neighbors dogs on the far side of the timber started barking so I knew it was already way out of shotgun range. I thought it might circle around and head for the open field out to the side, so quickly made my way over to the fence line hoping to get either a long shot or at least another glimpse of it. Waited about 10 minutes and could hear other neighbors dogs start to bark in the distance as it must have been passing through the neighborhood of 5 acre lots instead of hitting the open ground.

This was only my 3rd look at a cougar in the wild, and while only a fleeting glimpse, it was only about 30-40 yards away. When I returned to the house the wife is asking if I saw it. She says she saw me shoulder the gun but asks why didn't I shoot. Fastest critter I have ever seen, so fast that I did not even have a chance to touch one off, let alone line it up with the bead on the end of the barrel.

While I am certainly not an expert, I have seen plenty of pics on here and other web sites. Judging by the size I would guess it was a juvenile, probably close to 100lbs. It was lacking the big sway belly I have seen in pictures, but estimating 4 feet in body length and again----that giant fat tail which will stick in my memory.

Happy to report that no chickens were harmed this time, and hopefully it has plenty of other choice chickens, ducks, and goats in the neighborhood to choose from next time it passes through here.

Friends have asked, why a shot gun and not a rifle. Due to the close proximity of houses and livestock I keep only a shot gun and 22 ready to roll. I mostly deal with raccoons and skunks, and either of these have always gotten the job done. I will however be switching out the number 4 shot for some buckshot.

#3210574 - 08/21/19 04:17 PM Re: Cougar Looking For Chicken Breakfast [Re: ajgunner]
rainshadow1 Offline
Custom Call Maker

Registered: 12/22/05
Posts: 4915
Loc: Washington State
#4 Buck is a good choice for lions, #4 bird... not so much! Youngsters are the most likely troublemakers, and also they are the largest part of the population. They're also looking for their own territory to claim, so SHOOT ANYWAY! Might make it decide to look elsewhere!
- - Steve
RainShadow Game Calls & Custom Knives,
Mountain Lion Calling:

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