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Cougar Activity in the Area

A deer carcass with signs of recent cougar activity has been reported in the vicinity of the Mill Hill Trail on 11/12/2013. We request that you do not touch or disturb the deer carcass in any way. We would like to avoid interrupting these natural predator/prey processes as is consistent with the mission of the Refuge and any human activity near the carcass may cause the cougar to abandon its kill.

Encountering a Cougar: Relatively few people will ever catch a glimpse of a cougar--much less confront one. If you come face to face with a cougar, your actions can either help or hinder a quick retreat by the animal.

Here are some things to remember: 

  • Stop, pick up small children immediately, and don’t run. Running and rapid movements may trigger an attack. Remember, at close range, a cougar’s instinct is to chase.
  • Face the cougar. Do not take your eyes off the cougar or turn your back and do not crouch down or try to hide. Talk to it firmly while slowly backing away. Always leave the animal an escape route.
  • Never approach the cougar, especially if it is near a kill or with kittens, and never offer it food.
  • Try to appear larger than the cougar. Get above it (e.g., step up onto a rock or stump). If wearing a jacket, hold it open to further increase your apparent size.
  • If the cougar does not flee, be more assertive. If it shows signs of aggression (crouches with ears back, teeth bared, hissing, and tail twitching), shout, wave your arms and throw anything you have available. The idea is to convince the cougar that you are not prey, but a potential danger.
  • If the cougar attacks, fight back. Cougars have been driven away by people who have fought back using anything in reach. Be aggressive and try to stay on your feet. If you are aggressive enough, a cougar will flee, realizing it has made a mistake.
Please report all cougar sightings to refuge staff at 541/757-7236
Last Updated: Feb 14, 2014
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