Hunter says he killed cougar in self-defense By By MARIJA B. VADER The Daily Sentinel Monday, September 19, 2005 RIFLE A Denver-area deer hunter shot and killed a mountain lion in self-defense after it brazenly threatened to attack him Friday evening, officials said. The hunter, who was not identified, first attempted to scare the animal off by throwing items and yelling at it, said Division of Wildlife spokesman Randy Hampton. But when those actions didnt faze the approaching cougar, the man shot it with his muzzleloader. It was snarling, hissing at him, Hampton said. He threw some stuff at it and couldnt scare it off. The man had been hunting deer with his muzzleloader in a ground blind, at a stationary location when the cat came up on him, Hampton said. After he shot the mountain lion, the hunter found the animal dead beneath some bushes. The incident took place between 12 and 15 miles north of Rifle on Parker Ridge in Garfield County. The hunter immediately notified the Division of Wildlife, and District Wildlife Manager Brian Gray investigated Saturday morning. The hunter was not cited, Hampton said. He was certainly within his right to defend himself, Hampton said. The hunter was a little shaken up that a lion had rushed him, Hampton said. Wildlife officials found the carcass where the hunter indicated it would be. They determined the cat to be 2 to 3 years old. Hampton said officials do not know why the animal charged the hunter. What we suspect is its a juvenile cat and may have been curious and didnt know better, Hampton said. Everything at the scene was consistent with what he told us, Hampton said. He had done everything right by reporting it to us. Mountain lion sightings are rare. Rarer still are incidents involving a charging cat, Hampton said. Mountain lions are typically very reclusive and wont approach humans, so we dont see a lot of problems, Hampton said. Mountain lions in their nature will shy away from people. Still, the danger exists. Theyre certainly capable of injuring and killing someone. Marija B. Vader can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.