If you’ve ever spent time in the Northwest United States, then you know the potentials of seeing cougars. While the jokes about human cougars never seem to stop, the threat of real cougars is one that seems to grow over time. The reason is because hunting bans were placed on them, particularly in Oregon. Now outlying rural areas are becoming overrun with cougars and making their way into urban neighborhoods nearby. Families with animals and children may not even realize the potentials of seeing a cougar in their own backyard. If they do, it might put them into a sense of panic about how to handle the situation.
One thing they can’t do is shoot them or they’ll face a major fine. In that regard, you only have intuitive skills at your disposal to handle a cougar within your sight. These skills have to be handled with true skill, though, or you could face a potentially serious situation.
Preventing Cougars from Entering Your Property
Many cougars aren’t going to be seeking out humans anyway since they’re very independent. Even if they may be carnivores, they aren’t going to automatically attack a human being as a source of food unless provoked. Nevertheless, they’ll still hunt prey when they’re hungry enough. If you set up food situations where you attract nature to visit your yard, you’re asking for trouble. Part of the problem in this scenario is when people set up food for raccoons and deer. Because cougars hunt these animals for prey, you’re only attracting cougars onto your property they’d more likely stay away from.
One of the biggest threats to families from cougars is letting pets roam free around their property. If you do this and have no proper fencing, a cougar could easily be hiding nearby and attack or your dog or cat. When you’re living in noted cougar country, always bring your pets in at night where they’re vulnerable. The same goes for any livestock you might have like sheep or cows. Place them in a barn at night with a lock so cougars won’t have easy prey at their disposal.
And if you have children, you don’t want them playing in cougar country without solid fencing around you. Children can be targets of cougars because kids don’t react calmly when they see one. If they start running or screaming, cougars may get confused, think of them as prey, and attack.
As for adults, the same can potentially happen if you don’t use some calm if you happen to encounter a cougar face to face in your own yard or while out hiking.
Teaching Your Family to Act Calm
It’s not easy to be calm when you encounter something unexpected. Because most people are going to place an automatic stigma when encountering a cougar, panic may set in. You have to learn how to handle staying as calm as you can, even though you ultimately have to face the cougar head on to avoid being considered prey.
An immediate instinct, especially with children, is to make a run for it if encountering a cougar head-on. It’s the worst thing you can do, and a cougar will start chasing you immediately if you dart away. With their ability to run faster than you can, you may end up with a serious attack that could be potentially fatal.
When you’re with children and encounter the cougar, it’s important to pick your children up so they aren’t at ground level. By slowly backing away from the cougar and keeping yourself facing to the front, you can appear to be more of a threat. In that regard, allow some space so the cougar can escape. Most likely they will if you look threatening enough.
Occasionally, though, a cougar may attack on a whim for no particular reason. That’s one reason why panic is so easy to set in, even if the calm method above works most of the time. In a scenario where a cougar does attack, though, you simply need to fight back as hard as you can with any weapons you have at your disposal. Rocks, branches, or even a knife can help show the cougar that you’re a threat, and they’ll run off as a result.
Yes, it’s a strange dichotomy that if you kill the cougar attacking you, you might get into legal trouble. No matter you feelings about preventing the hunting of cougars, they’re beautiful animals with mercurial tendencies. Keeping a tall fence around your property will already do a lot in keeping them from entering your property at the worst possible times.