Cougars are very dangerous creatures, and many people worry about encountering them when out on the hiking trail. This article provides a guide for what you should do in the event of a cougar encounter. The good news is that there are many precautions and actions you can take to ensure that you stay safe.
The Complete Guide to Cougar Safety
When it comes to staying safe and avoiding cougar attacks, you’ve got statistics on your side. Cougars are shy creatures and usually want nothing to do with humans, making cougar encounters very rare, and attacks all the rarer. Furthermore, when attacks do happen, they are usually not fatal.
Nevertheless, cougars are strong, fast, and cunning predators. The few attacks that do happen usually involve small children, small pets, and adults who are jogging or hiking alone. You do not want to get into a confrontation with a cougar, and if you do, you need to be prepared.
Precautions That Can Help Keep You Safe
The best way to stay safe from cougars when out on the trail, or if you live in an area that is known to have cougars, is to take the following precautions:
1. Don’t hike alone. Make sure you always go in a group of at least two people, but ideally even more.
2. Make noise as you go. Don’t be disruptive enough to bother other people, but try to talk amongst your group.
3. Consider carrying a walking stick. It can be used as a weapon if you encounter a cougar.
4. Never let your children wander off when out in the wilderness. Keep them close.
5. Keep your dogs on leash.
What to Do If You See a Cougar
If you see a cougar from far off, then do not panic, and take the following steps:
– Do not approach the cougar under any circumstances
– Gather your group close together and pick up any children.
– Do not run or turn your back.
– Take out your bear spray if you have some
– Make sure that the cougar has a way of escape, and that you’re not blocking its path.
If the cougar shows no signs of approaching, then slowly retreat back the way you came.
What to Do If the Cougar Is Coming Closer
If a cougar notices you and begins to approach, then you need to keep everyone calm, pets and children included. The cougar may be hissing or snarling if it sees you as a threat, but you still need to fight the urge to turn and run. Instead, you need to:
– Let the cougar know that you are not prey by making yourself look big. Wave your arms, hold something over your head, or spread your jacket.
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