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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
from the VA dept of game and inland fisheries website (http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/hunting/re ... #legal-use):

"No restrictions on shot size except for spring gobbler season when it is unlawful to have any shot in possession larger than number 2 fine shot while hunting."

The rule is easy enough to comprehend and I understand it completely. Unfortunately my 12 ga is my only firearm right now and there are wild boars where I hunt. We also have bobcats and mt lions. I had a mt lion sneak up on me when I was turkey hunting one morning, not fun when all you have is #4 turkey loads. Is it unlawful for me to protect myself by carrying buckshot or slugs? The rule also says that nuisance species (hogs) can be taken any time day or night. But you can't kill hogs with #2's or smaller! The rules contradict themselves. Any thoughts on this? I won't go ten yards into the woods nowadays without at the very least some buckshot. It is scary to walk up and surprise a 250 lb hog when you aren't armed. I have done it. I may get in trouble for it but I am keeping my buckshot and slugs in my pocket.
 

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First off, I am pretty sure that mountain lions are not as far east as VA. There have only been around 10 or so confirmed sightings in Missouri and those lions were young males that were ranging from states west of Missouri. So unless somone had one as a pet and it got loose, I don't think you actually have mountain lions in VA. But, even if you do, a 12 gauge loaded with #4 turkey loads should stop any attack from a boar, mountain lion, or bobcat. In an attack situation where you are truly defending yourself and the animal is charging you, you are talking about a point blank range shot to the head with between 1 1/2 ounces - 2 1/4 ounces (depending on your load and length of shell) of #4 shot (or #2 since those are legal). This type of self defense shot will certainly stop both the cats instantly and I suspect it would the boar as well (albeit they are tougher than the 2 species of cats). But at point blank attack range with that type of load and the amount of ft-lbs of energy that you would be delivering to the head of the attacking animal, I wouldn't be so concerned for my safety as to break the law and carry the larger buckshot or slugs.
 

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If you're carrying other ammo and get stopped by the man, you're breaking the law and will probably get fined. Our local Game Wardens don't let too many things slip by up here. Having slugs or buckshot ain't gonna do ya much good, if it's in your pocket and not in the gun to start with. Best thing to do would be to back out...slowly or stay still until the whatever moves off.

HWD
 

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Double20,
I'm hearing more folks talk about there being mountain lions in SW Va. Personally I've not seen any...but, there's a whole bunch of bears and bobcats around this area that I don't see many of either. If one were killed, it'd be kept pretty well quiet. They are listed as a protected species in Va and carry heavy penalties and fines.
The areas where most of the sighting reports come from have been holding large numbers of whitetail deer for years. One theory is that they have been released, by the Fish and Game Dept, for deer control. Fish and Game denies any knowledge of them. They(F&G) have told a lot of folks that there is no way that the callers have seen one because they don't exist in Va. No photos have been shown in any of our local papers or on the news shows. With so many folks having game cameras out nowadays, if they do exist here, it's only a matter of time before one gets it's picture taken.

HWD
 

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Fish, Where abouts are you? I've wanted to try a hog hunt, but don't wanna go out of state and pay some super high price for a hunt. Are these hogs on State owned property or in the National Forest?

HWD
 

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Fishin pole joe,

Quit worrying about that stuff. I hunt where there are definitely, documented mountain lions, lots of wild hogs, and alligators (big state). Never heard of a person being hurt by either of the first two if he wasn't trying to tie or kill the hog. Worst thing about cats is they shut down the gobbling. Last documented person killed by a gator in Texas was in the 19th century, guy name of McGuill. We duck hunt with them all the time.

If you die in the outdoors it won't be a hog or a cat that gets you, it'll be a big rattler, or another hunter, or hornets (yep), etc. Or of course a heart attack or drowning or lightning. In the absence of any other laws, when it says it's unlawful to carry shot larger than number two during turkey season that is exactly what it means. Same as possessing lead shot while duck hunting. Doesn't matter you didn't shoot ducks with it and it was for shooting doves later in the morning. Possessing is possessing.

It would be silly to take a ticket for some irrational fear. Be analytical about the risk, and decide how much you want to take and manage and if you feel there's too much to manage, find another hobby.
 

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I concur with the others. Carrying larger shot is just plain paranoid. You can stop any animal in N. America with a turkey load at 4'.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
huntswithdogs said:
Fish, Where abouts are you? I've wanted to try a hog hunt, but don't wanna go out of state and pay some super high price for a hunt. Are these hogs on State owned property or in the National Forest?

HWD
I am in Lee county, "where Virginia begins" , or ends depending on the direction you came from. The hogs are on private property. The ones I see actually come from across the state line in Tennessee. They are usually only seen a few times a month between spring and fall so I wouldn't disappoint you by inviting you to come and hunt them. I've been trying to kill one for three years :( . A couple of friends of mine have killed a bunch of them but they live on the river right where the hogs are. You have to be in the right place at the right time. I'm not sure if they have gotten into the National Forrest areas or not but they have been moving farther into the county.

double20 said:
First off, I am pretty sure that mountain lions are not as far east as VA. There have only been around 10 or so confirmed sightings in Missouri and those lions were young males that were ranging from states west of Missouri. So unless somone had one as a pet and it got loose, I don't think you actually have mountain lions in VA. But, even if you do, a 12 gauge loaded with #4 turkey loads should stop any attack from a boar, mountain lion, or bobcat. In an attack situation where you are truly defending yourself and the animal is charging you, you are talking about a point blank range shot to the head with between 1 1/2 ounces - 2 1/4 ounces (depending on your load and length of shell) of #4 shot (or #2 since those are legal). This type of self defense shot will certainly stop both the cats instantly and I suspect it would the boar as well (albeit they are tougher than the 2 species of cats). But at point blank attack range with that type of load and the amount of ft-lbs of energy that you would be delivering to the head of the attacking animal, I wouldn't be so concerned for my safety as to break the law and carry the larger buckshot or slugs.
I hope that I am never close enough to a live wild boar or a mountain lion to take a point blank shot. I've never hunted Mt. Lions so I have no idea what it takes to bring one down and I sure wouldn't want to experiment with #4's. Turkey loads would only make a hog mad.
We certainly do have Mt. Lions here. I was in the woods one morning turkey hunting. It was still dark and I was using a very bright (115 lumen) Coleman headlamp to get set up. When I sat down I started to turn my light off but it was still quite early so I left it on. A few minutes went by and along comes a big buck. I watched him come and go. Just a minute later I see a big brown tail sticking up through the weeds following the exact path that the deer had taken. I thought to myself "There goes someones hunting dog tracking that deer". I kept watching and realized that the animal did not move like a dog. When it got in front of me it took an interest in my light and started slowly in my direction. It was only about fifteen feet away when it stopped and looked at me. When I saw its face I realized that it was a Mt. Lion. He hunkered down and started to make a circle around me so I fired a warning shot which scared him away. I stood there shaking with my back against a tree until the sun came up. I have never hunted that spot again. I guess it was a good thing that I left my light on because I would have never heard him. I have friends who live in that area and they have seen them also.

Thedogfather said:
Fishin pole joe,

Quit worrying about that stuff. I hunt where there are definitely, documented mountain lions, lots of wild hogs, and alligators (big state). Never heard of a person being hurt by either of the first two if he wasn't trying to tie or kill the hog. Worst thing about cats is they shut down the gobbling. Last documented person killed by a gator in Texas was in the 19th century, guy name of McGuill. We duck hunt with them all the time.

If you die in the outdoors it won't be a hog or a cat that gets you, it'll be a big rattler, or another hunter, or hornets (yep), etc. Or of course a heart attack or drowning or lightning.
Its not just fear and worry that are bothering me, I am being territorial also. When I was growing up, the only dangerous animals around here were snakes. Most of them were black snakes or you might see an occasional copperhead. I'm not used to sharing the outdoors with hogs and things that can hurt me and I feel like the hogs are invading my space. It makes me mad as heck to be honest. I like what you said about dying in the outdoors though, certainly a lot of truth in that statement.
I suppose I could borrow a sidearm from a friend for protection but I still say its a dumb rule.
 

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Well, maybe it's not so dumb. Hopefully it dissuades some of the yahoos who want to cripple turkeys at 100 yards with buckshot or BBs.

I get it, the part about being territorial. I was born and reared in Kansas where a poisonous snake (prairie rattler) is so rare it makes the papers and that's about the only living thing, except bugs and livestock, that can threaten an outdoorsman. Moving to coastal Texas was an experience, with several types of abundant poisonous snakes, hogs, and gators, and hunting South Texas where the occassional mountain lion and even a jaguar every ten years or so, trek.

I'm especially with you on the hogs. They are the one animal I will kill just to kill, if I have no one to give the meat to. They are a plague on the land.

But, where big cats are concerned, try looking at it in another light. I have seen one, like you, while turkey hunting. While they aren't terribly uncommon in S Texas, many natives live their whole lives without glimpsing one. I feel priveleged to have been able to watch this big boy for a couple of minutes. I'm sure it's even rarer in VA. You were invited to a private viewing of a very special show. Something to tell folks about, something you'll remember as long as you live. We don't have too many of those in our lives.

Good luck, and stay safe.
 

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fishinpolejoe said:
I hope that I am never close enough to a live wild boar or a mountain lion to take a point blank shot. I've never hunted Mt. Lions so I have no idea what it takes to bring one down and I sure wouldn't want to experiment with #4's. Turkey loads would only make a hog mad.
In a true self defense scenario, point blank would be the only shot you could take or else it wouldn't be self defense. Of course, you would try to de-escalate the situation by hollering, shooting a warning shot, etc. with the hope that the hog or cat would leave. Then, only if they charged and you were forced to shoot would you be defending yourself. If a cat or hog is 20 yards from you and not charging, then you are not under a direct threat at that point and shouldn't shoot. And the turkey load would be ineffective at that range anyway. And if they suddenly charge from 20 yards away, you probably will only have time to get off one shot before they reach you and your best chance at stopping the threat with your turkey load is shooting when they are as close as possible - point blank. Shooting any sooner could, as you say, make the animal mad. But 2 ounces of #4s at point blank when the shot hasn't even left the wad is going to stop even a hog (assuming a brain or spine hit). At that close of range with the shot still in the wad you pretty much have your shot acting like a slug. Granted, letting a dangerous animal get that close isn't the ideal situation but that would be what you would have to do to stay within the limits of the law and not carry slugs or bigger shot and still defend yourself. I would take the turkey load at point blank range over a knife or sharp pointy stick any day. :)
 

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I really don't want to encourage risky behaviour, but the invincibility of a wild hog is sometimes overhyped. They are commonly killed in the marsh, and especially on spoil banks, down here, by duck hunters using steel duck loads. On purpose. It's true that there's a difference between a 300 pound boar and a seventy pound shoat, but some pretty big ones are shotgunned with what would seem to be inadequate firepower. Every hog I've personally shot, except one, was killed with a .22 mag.

"If a cat or hog is 20 yards from you and not charging, then you are not under a direct threat at that point and shouldn't shoot. And the turkey load would be ineffective at that range anyway."

Au contrare. At 20 yards, with a turkey choke and turkey loads out of any 12 ***** gun, you might well blow a hogs or a lions head completely off. I've patterned those monsters out of an Undertaker choke and I'm not sure they would stop a rhinoceros at 20 yards.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
double20 said:
fishinpolejoe said:
I hope that I am never close enough to a live wild boar or a mountain lion to take a point blank shot. I've never hunted Mt. Lions so I have no idea what it takes to bring one down and I sure wouldn't want to experiment with #4's. Turkey loads would only make a hog mad.
In a true self defense scenario, point blank would be the only shot you could take or else it wouldn't be self defense. Of course, you would try to de-escalate the situation by hollering, shooting a warning shot, etc. with the hope that the hog or cat would leave. Then, only if they charged and you were forced to shoot would you be defending yourself. If a cat or hog is 20 yards from you and not charging, then you are not under a direct threat at that point and shouldn't shoot. And the turkey load would be ineffective at that range anyway. And if they suddenly charge from 20 yards away, you probably will only have time to get off one shot before they reach you and your best chance at stopping the threat with your turkey load is shooting when they are as close as possible - point blank. Shooting any sooner could, as you say, make the animal mad. But 2 ounces of #4s at point blank when the shot hasn't even left the wad is going to stop even a hog (assuming a brain or spine hit). At that close of range with the shot still in the wad you pretty much have your shot acting like a slug. Granted, letting a dangerous animal get that close isn't the ideal situation but that would be what you would have to do to stay within the limits of the law and not carry slugs or bigger shot and still defend yourself. I would take the turkey load at point blank range over a knife or sharp pointy stick any day. :)
I see what you are saying. Shooting point blank with turkey load would put a hurting on most anything. I have heard of slugs flattening out against a hog's shoulder with zero penetration though.
I wonder how the VA dept of game defines self defense. You can get a good idea of an animal's intention's by its body language. I knew when that cat hunkered down and started to circle me that I was considered prey. I wouldn't have hesitated to shoot it if I had of been carrying larger shot. It would be my guess that if he had decided to jump on me from three yards away I would have been very lucky to get a shot off at all.

Thedogfather said:
Well, maybe it's not so dumb. Hopefully it dissuades some of the yahoos who want to cripple turkeys at 100 yards with buckshot or BBs.
Sometimes I forget how irresponsible and dumb people can be. :?

Thedogfather said:
But, where big cats are concerned, try looking at it in another light. I have seen one, like you, while turkey hunting. While they aren't terribly uncommon in S Texas, many natives live their whole lives without glimpsing one. I feel priveleged to have been able to watch this big boy for a couple of minutes. I'm sure it's even rarer in VA. You were invited to a private viewing of a very special show. Something to tell folks about, something you'll remember as long as you live. We don't have too many of those in our lives.
I'm glad that I saw it. Now I know to watch out for them! I have enjoyed telling people the story I suppose. I've never been so scared in my life though and I'd rather not do it again. You ever hear of Mt. Lions attacking anyone out there?
 

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fishinpolejoe said:
double20 said:
fishinpolejoe said:
I hope that I am never close enough to a live wild boar or a mountain lion to take a point blank shot. I've never hunted Mt. Lions so I have no idea what it takes to bring one down and I sure wouldn't want to experiment with #4's. Turkey loads would only make a hog mad.
In a true self defense scenario, point blank would be the only shot you could take or else it wouldn't be self defense. Of course, you would try to de-escalate the situation by hollering, shooting a warning shot, etc. with the hope that the hog or cat would leave. Then, only if they charged and you were forced to shoot would you be defending yourself. If a cat or hog is 20 yards from you and not charging, then you are not under a direct threat at that point and shouldn't shoot. And the turkey load would be ineffective at that range anyway. And if they suddenly charge from 20 yards away, you probably will only have time to get off one shot before they reach you and your best chance at stopping the threat with your turkey load is shooting when they are as close as possible - point blank. Shooting any sooner could, as you say, make the animal mad. But 2 ounces of #4s at point blank when the shot hasn't even left the wad is going to stop even a hog (assuming a brain or spine hit). At that close of range with the shot still in the wad you pretty much have your shot acting like a slug. Granted, letting a dangerous animal get that close isn't the ideal situation but that would be what you would have to do to stay within the limits of the law and not carry slugs or bigger shot and still defend yourself. I would take the turkey load at point blank range over a knife or sharp pointy stick any day. :)
I see what you are saying. Shooting point blank with turkey load would put a hurting on most anything. I have heard of slugs flattening out against a hog's shoulder with zero penetration though.
I wonder how the VA dept of game defines self defense. You can get a good idea of an animal's intention's by its body language. I knew when that cat hunkered down and started to circle me that I was considered prey. I wouldn't have hesitated to shoot it if I had of been carrying larger shot. It would be my guess that if he had decided to jump on me from three yards away I would have been very lucky to get a shot off at all.

Thedogfather said:
Well, maybe it's not so dumb. Hopefully it dissuades some of the yahoos who want to cripple turkeys at 100 yards with buckshot or BBs.
Sometimes I forget how irresponsible and dumb people can be. :?

Thedogfather said:
But, where big cats are concerned, try looking at it in another light. I have seen one, like you, while turkey hunting. While they aren't terribly uncommon in S Texas, many natives live their whole lives without glimpsing one. I feel priveleged to have been able to watch this big boy for a couple of minutes. I'm sure it's even rarer in VA. You were invited to a private viewing of a very special show. Something to tell folks about, something you'll remember as long as you live. We don't have too many of those in our lives.
I'm glad that I saw it. Now I know to watch out for them! I have enjoyed telling people the story I suppose. I've never been so scared in my life though and I'd rather not do it again. You ever hear of Mt. Lions attacking anyone out there?
No. There are many, many deer hunters in the border country where the pumas occassionally are found, many ranches are managed specifically for big money deer hunting. They have guys walking around in the night trying to find deer stands, guys field dressing deer, blood trailing cripples and I am reasonably sure there hasn't been a documented attack on a person in Texas in modern times, or I'd have heard a story of it. Hogs are more of a threat, being more numerous and bolder, and I have never heard of an UNPROVOKED attack by one of them, either. Now that does not count some guys who get cut by trapped or wounded hogs, or if the dogs let one get loose as the knife man is closing in for the coup de grace. But just minding your own business and a hog attacks - no.

What surprises me somewhat is the absence of alligator attacks down here. We duck hunt (wade) with them, wade fish in waters they inhabit, work on duck blinds in their "house" - I have stepped on them and been tail brushed by them on a couple of occassions. No unprovoked attacks on humans in modern times in Texas. Last one was in the late 1800s near Refugio, Tx.

Do I mean to imply that these animals are harmless and that we should not be aware of their presence and manage our risk? Not at all. Alligators, contrary to their behaviour around humans, have eaten a good many dogs, including some great retrievers. I retrieve my own birds during the early (September) teal season. I take care not to "corner" a large gator in a dead end canal, slough, etc., when wading. I avoid feral sows with piglets and solitary boars when I'm unarmed. I used to live in a water front community bordering the marsh and nearly had a heart attack when I saw small (3 y.o.) children playing unsupervised near the shallow waters of a gator infested bayou. After "rescuing" them I had to explain to the city dwelling parents why that was such a bad idea.

What I am trying to convey is that statistically, and actually, you are more likely to be attacked and killed or badly injured by an 80 year old human than you are any of these large wild animals. A trip to walmart is infinitely more dangerous than even a midnight wade in the "gator marsh" or being dropped into a herd of agitated wild hogs.

NOW, if you lived in Florida, or in California, where the do gooders and animal rightists have turned the natural order of things upside down and inside out, and alligators have turned to cannibalism because the only prey available to the severely overpopulated reptiles is smaller alligators, or where all hunting of cougars has been banned and housing developments with populations of small house pets has become "natural prey" for the young males pushed out of the territory of their birthing and seeking a way to make a living, All bets would be off. But you don't.

I have been stalked once (I think), by a black bear in Alaska. I know the chilling feeling. He was following me off the trail, taking care to remain hidden, what AF&G calls "predatory behaviour" or "don't stop shooting till the gun's empty behviour". I caught a whiff, then a glimpse of him and prepared a large caliber revolver for immediate deployment. Perhaps I made eye contact with the bear, or simply stopping and changing posture convinced him/her to abandon the stalk and melt into the woods, but when I next glimpsed him he was topping a railroad grade a quarter mile away or so, going away. It didn't stop me from going to AK, and I hope to go again, back to that same little creek. It's possible the bear simply didn't know what I was or what I was doing there and was discreetly investigating. Same way with your mountain lion. Predators near the top of the food chain are curious to one degree or another, of unnatural activity.

Too much rambling on. Suffice to say, (not that I need to AGAIN), don't let the presence of these animals dissuade you, or fear detract from your enjoyment. You are very safe, with or without firearms, but ESPECIALLY with a shotgun with those turkey loads in it!

OBTW this
"I see what you are saying. Shooting point blank with turkey load would put a hurting on most anything. I have heard of slugs flattening out against a hog's shoulder with zero penetration though."
didn't happen unless the hog was wearing a kevlar vest. A big boars shield is indeed tough and affords a good deal of protection, but it isn't that tough. By a long shot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
We have plenty of deer and small game so I guess there shouldn't be any hungry cats around :D. I don't know how you guys get in the water with those gators. I have a friend from Florida who says he used to wade with gators all the time and go hog hunting with nothing more than a knife. I thought he wasn't scared of anything until I took him to my hunting spot. There are lots of places where the ground is cracked open or sunken in and sounds hollow when you step (caves). He would jump over the cracks and go around the sunken spots for fear of falling in. I got a big kick out of that. I guess its all about what you are used to.
Thanks for all the advice. I think I'll be okay with my number fours.
 

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I think you raise a legitimate concern although I believe the posters above have put both the risk of predator attack in perspective and pointed out the potential efficacy of close range #4 shot in the event a defensive shot is required. But I think the advice not to break the regs is both sincere and serious.

In New York, carrying a firearm of any description during bow season is illegal. I think the bow hunter who is packing out a dressed deer through woods full of black bear must have substantial concerns.

On another note, there are now feral hogs in Rockland County on the New York, New Jersey border and the DEC is actively researching alleged mountain lion sightings in the Catskills!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
RPRNY said:
In New York, carrying a firearm of any description during bow season is illegal. I think the bow hunter who is packing out a dressed deer through woods full of black bear must have substantial concerns.
:shock: Someone would have to pay me a large sum of money to do that. I would bet though, if that were one's situation, they could toss their deer in front of the attacking bear and escape unharmed.

RPRNY said:
On another note, there are now feral hogs in Rockland County on the New York, New Jersey border and the DEC is actively researching alleged mountain lion sightings in the Catskills!
It seems as though many species are moving into new habitats. In my 31 years, black bears, wild hogs, mt. lions, elk, beavers, otters, and bald eagles have all become new species in my area.
 

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#4 shot will kill a lion. A pheasant hunter killed one by my place a couple of years ago with #4s. When you are close, shot will kill no problem. The cat was in the cattail slough he was hunting and his dog cornered it. He shot it out of fear of his dog getting hurt more than himself.

BTW they (excluding hogs) are not moving into new environments, just moving back into areas we exterminated them from in the past.
 

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If you have ever looked at the pattern throw by a shotgun up close, it does make you wonder if it wouldn't stop most things with any shot size, although I would prefer a larger shot than #4, I think. One fairly famous african lion hunter said that he didn't fear any soft skinned animal on earth with a double gun loaded with buckshot as a backup. The story goes that he would sit down on a lion charge and let the lion have it at very close range. Too close for me. It does need to be very close. I would probably just crap in my pants and shoot myself. I shot a black bear by accident with #2 shot at about 10 to 15 yds. It didn't kill it. Shot placement may have been a factor, but I was aiming at the eyes and it was standing still. You might wonder how a jackass shoots a bear at 10 to 15 yds by "accident". I once witnessed a huge dog shot at 10 or 12 yds with #4 shot. It put him down but didn't kill him stone dead immediately. There was a case in Alaska where a guy shot a grizzly up close with #4 shot. They found what was left of the body and an empty gun.

Mountain lions do get a few people. I know, here, over the years there have been a few incidents. I don't know how many people they get other places. For some reason they will drift into town occasionally here. I have read in the paper where they have got aggressive. They mostly just kill a few dogs.

A few years ago a lion ambushed a cross country skier here. I can't remember now if it killed him or not. I suspect, because of the circumstances, a lion picked off a small kid south of here.

I do get a little cautious when camping in lion country with little kids. Big predators are opportunistic and cats are very sneaky. I have no doubt they would take whatever they can get.

On the other hand, if you go out to find a lion to photograph or hunt--good luck. Even if you spend a good part of your life in lion country--seeing one in the wild is a rare thing, imo. I don't have many lion pictures. I do have a few. Tracks you can find. About the only way you can hunt one is with dogs. That is the way to do it.

One of my most terrifying experiences with animals was from a mountain lion. They might not stalk you, but I can tell you first hand they may stalk your wife. I guess you could say they are just curious. What bothers me is what a cat is usually curious about. I would say usually something to eat or mate. I am not interested in being the object of either one. I am afraid I would end up feeling like the tom cat that was mating with a skunk that said, "I have enjoyed about all that I can stand."
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
http://www.gunnersden.com/index.htm.sho ... ougar.html

" The cougar has the largest range of any wild cat. Before the modern human population explosion in the Americas, the cougar ranged across most of the Americas. Even now, it has the widest range of any New World land animal, spanning 110 degrees of latitude, from northern Yukon in Canada to the southern Andes on both the Chilean and Argentinean sides. It has also been sighted recently in northern Connecticut and other parts of New England, however, sightings are not generally regarded as reliable enough to serve as scientific evidence."

"The cougar is gradually extending its range to the east, following creeks and riverbeds, and has reached Missouri, Michigan and Kansas. In Texas, there have been Cougar sightings in 218 of the 254 Texas counties, with confirmed mortalities in 67 counties since 1983, an indication that it is expanding statewide to its historical range."

" In the eastern United States, rumors and myths of the cougar never died, but this cat is slowly making its way from myth to reality, especially along the Appalachian Mountains from Virginia to Georgia. In this region cougar sightings are steadily increasing, and a government bounty is offered in many places for confirmed sightings. "

"Ethical hunting practices need to be strictly followed to humanely harvest any game animal. Humane harvesting of an Cougar with a high powered rifle with a bore diameter of .308 or 30 caliber or less requires that, the bullet needs to have at least 400 foot pounds of energy down-range at point of impact, when it impacts the animals vitals (Heart & Lung Area) for a humane harvest. (Cartridges).
Popular North America Hunting Cartridges: 243 Winchester, 270 Winchester,
308 Winchester, 30-06 Springfield and 7mm Remington Magnum.
Popular North America Hunting Rifles: Remington Model 700, Ruger M77 &
Winchester Model 70."
 

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Thedogfather said:
Fishin pole joe,

Quit worrying about that stuff. I hunt where there are definitely, documented mountain lions, lots of wild hogs, and alligators (big state). Never heard of a person being hurt by either of the first two if he wasn't trying to tie or kill the hog. Worst thing about cats is they shut down the gobbling. Last documented person killed by a gator in Texas was in the 19th century, guy name of McGuill. We duck hunt with them all the time.

If you die in the outdoors it won't be a hog or a cat that gets you, it'll be a big rattler, or another hunter, or hornets (yep), etc. Or of course a heart attack or drowning or lightning. In the absence of any other laws, when it says it's unlawful to carry shot larger than number two during turkey season that is exactly what it means. Same as possessing lead shot while duck hunting. Doesn't matter you didn't shoot ducks with it and it was for shooting doves later in the morning. Possessing is possessing.

It would be silly to take a ticket for some irrational fear. Be analytical about the risk, and decide how much you want to take and manage and if you feel there's too much to manage, find another hobby.
I will apologize in advance for disagreeing but you missed the NatGeo show on the woman in Nova Scotia killed by (big eastern) coyotes. I was expecting a confused young pup story but the alpha male and alpha female in that territory actively hunted her (she ran).

As my wife always says, our ancestors killed-off the big predators for a reason. We have forgotten what can happen when they are around. I am all for them coming back, but you need to be prepared.

Bill
 
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