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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What are your thoughts on Mt. lions in Northern California?
Have you ever seen one?
Do you ever see tracks?
Can you identify a Mt. lion track?
Are you aware of them?
Are there frequent Mt. lion sightings in your local riding area?
Do you ride in a group or alone?
Do Mt. lions effect your decision to ride alone or in a group?
What would you do if you were confronted by a Mt. lion?
Do you consider Mt. lions a threat to your safety?
What are your thoughts on reintroducing hunting quotas?

Over the past 20 years Mt. Lions attacks have increased in frequencey. Since grizzly bears are no longer present in Northern California, Mt. lions have little competition for abundant prey. Mt. lion populations are healthy and growning. It is posible that Mt. lion populations have grown out of balance and are negatively effecting other species such as big-horn sheep. As residential developments encroach on Mt. lion habitat, and lion populations continue to grow as a protected species, attacks are increasing in frequencey. Some believe that Mt. Lions should be protected, and hunting should not be allowed at all. Some believe that as populations exceed healthy limits and the danger of attacks increases, hunting quotas should be reintroduced.

I'm no biologist. That's just my basic understanding.
 

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I saw one in the San Bernadino mountains when I was driving to Big Bear a couple of years ago so I know what one looks like up close.

Here I've seen two bobcats, one at a tennis court at the park off of Foothill Expressway (San Antonio?) and a dead one on road into Portola State park off of West Alpine, and I think a juvenile mountain lion on Page Mill road (before you get to Moody Road) while doing a road ride - it was a feline that was as big as a mature labrador but skinnier and the head was smaller in proportion to its body compared to the bobcats.

I ride solo on the mtb most of the time and I avoid the really isolated trails ( that are really enjoyable when you don't have to worry about getting eaten) and try to look all around me to make sure I am not getting stalked when I am far from open spaces. In the mornings before work I do Astradero except the isolated spots and most of Fremont Older seems pretty safe to me ( not far from civilization) but I just could be fooling myself. Riding a bike is a risky hobby. Being aware of and being diligent about the risk from mountain lions is one of the risks. People who don't want that risk shouldn't live here.

I think the world would be better off if we culled all feral cats and wild horses before we got to the mountain lions.
 

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grumpstumper said:
W

Over the past 20 years Mt. Lions attacks have increased in frequencey. Since grizzly bears are no longer present in Northern California, Mt. lions have little competition for abundant prey. Mt. lion populations are healthy and growning. It is posible that Mt. lion populations have grown out of balance and are negatively effecting other species such as big-horn sheep. As residential developments encroach on Mt. lion habitat, and lion populations continue to grow as a protected species, attacks are increasing in frequencey. Some believe that Mt. Lions should be protected, and hunting should not be allowed at all. Some believe that as populations exceed healthy limits and the danger of attacks increases, hunting quotas should be reintroduced.

I'm no biologist. That's just my basic understanding.
Did you watch the program on Channel 9, KQED yesterday? Reads like it. The program mentioned that sheep lovers and mountain lion lovers are now working together to protect both species. They were at each other like, well, cats and dogs.

I have seen mountain lions once in Nisene Marks just past Sand Point Overlook. They ran, mom and young one, and I turned and went back down the fireroad. I do not worry about them. I'm more likely to get killed driving to work.
Dan C.
 

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Saw one recently

I came up behind a Mt. Lion about two months ago on my local trail, New Melones. As soon as it saw me it took off like a rocket. Nearly all my rides there are solo and I do think about it when I am in the closed in scrubby area where I saw it. I do solo night rides there too. Sometimes I really get spooked but the urge to ride is stronger. So I rarely stop in three hours of riding, and when I do I watch my back. Better to die by a Mt. Lion than from a heart attack on the couch. But realistically, the odds are a thousand times greater that I'll be killed on the highway between the trail and home.

 

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I saw one last spring on Mt diablo, on Green Ranch Trail, early in the morning. It was an adult mountain lion but far enough to not really worry me (about 100 yards). He quickly turned around as soon as he saw me.
Another time I came across, in Black Diamond mines, a part of a leg from a young cow with a bunch of mountain lion foot prints around it.
I am not worry about it and I agree with the precedings posts. I commute to work on weekends (4 hours total) and it's more risky than encountering a lion. I also was chased a few times by cows and bulls and this scared me !!
Other encounters: bobcats, wild boars.
 

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Load of crap

What he said:

Wherewolf said:
the odds are a thousand times greater that I'll be killed on the highway between the trail and home
There have been 13 confirmed mountain lion attacks in 114 years in the state of California:

https://www.dfg.ca.gov/news/issues/lion/attacks.html

Six fatalities, of which two were from rabies, which is now curable; so four in 114 years.

There were 3753 auto fatalities in CA in the year 2000 alone:

https://www.car-accidents.com/pages/stats/2000_by_state.html

4/114 is about 1/28 vs 3753 makes it over one hundred thousand times more likely that you'll be killed on the way to the trailhead than by a cat on the trail.

Also interesting is that 8 people were killed by lightning in CA from 1990-2003. 4/114 vs 8/13 means that you're 17.5 times as likely to be killed by lightning in CA than getting killed by a mtn lion. Are you worried about that?

https://www.lightningsafety.com/nlsi_lls/fatalities_us.html

I ride alone, at night in known mountain lion country all the time. The pigs are more worrysome. I don't have any pig attack statistics handy.


Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty
 

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i would love to see a mtn. lion on a ride (hopefully not too close though!!)....i've seen the other animals listed above and find that to be part of the joy of riding where we do...

i could do with a few less cows in briones however....although i do like acting like an idiot cowboy on my bike assisting them off the fireroads.....MOOOOVE!!!!
 

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grumpstumper said:
Over the past 20 years Mt. Lions attacks have increased in frequencey. Since grizzly bears are no longer present in Northern California, Mt. lions have little competition for abundant prey.
That reminds me that at a National Pakr Ranger program the subject came up on how to protect the wilderness. I suggested reintroducing the Grizzly Bear. That was not a popular idea, I guess protecting means keeping other people out.
 

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A few years ago

I saw a mt. lion in Wilder on Wilder Ranch Loop Trail. I got pretty close to it because I thought it was a dog from a distance. It did not run off when I got close, it sat down and started licking its paws. It was an incredible experience but if I had first known it to be a mt. lion I would have stayed far away! It was kind of erie that it did not run off when I came up the trail. I have seen numerous bobcats so I do know the difference between the two species.

I do ride solo and when I do the thought is always in the back of my mind about encounters with mt. lions. It does not stop me from riding though. As other posters have stated it is just part of mt. biking. I love to see animals in their natural environment.

Thanks for the stats and pic, Fast Eddy. That is one cool looking cat!
 

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I've seen 2 Mtn Lions so far at Santa Teresa Park near my house. One was an adult, and it took off as soon as I came around the corner, and the second one I saw about 2 weeks ago was a baby one, about the size of a small dog. When I saw that one I started booking pretty hard cause I knew mama was probably out there and didn't like me scaring her baby.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I agree.

Fast Eddy said:
What he said:

There have been 13 confirmed mountain lion attacks in 114 years in the state of California:

https://www.dfg.ca.gov/news/issues/lion/attacks.html

Six fatalities, of which two were from rabies, which is now curable; so four in 114 years.

There were 3753 auto fatalities in CA in the year 2000 alone:

https://www.car-accidents.com/pages/stats/2000_by_state.html

4/114 is about 1/28 vs 3753 makes it over one hundred thousand times more likely that you'll be killed on the way to the trailhead than by a cat on the trail.

Also interesting is that 8 people were killed by lightning in CA from 1990-2003. 4/114 vs 8/13 means that you're 17.5 times as likely to be killed by lightning in CA than getting killed by a mtn lion. Are you worried about that?

https://www.lightningsafety.com/nlsi_lls/fatalities_us.html

I ride alone, at night in known mountain lion country all the time. The pigs are more worrysome. I don't have any pig attack statistics handy.


Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty
I agree that it is not something to worry about. I ride alone most of the time in areas where Mt. lions have been sighted. I just think it is an interesting topic. I recently read a book which is basically a log of accounts of Mt. lion attacks in North America. It is called "Cougar Attacks" by Kathy Etling. (I missed the PBS special)

Thinking about those statistics, an interesting point is that out of the 13 confirmed attacks you sited, 11 occured within the last twenty years. Also, to get an accurate statistic on how much more dangerous it is to drive your car to the trailhead, you'd have to account for the fact that not all drivers in California are Mt. bikers. Your counting all car accidents. Most people drive but most people don't Mt. bike. You're dealing with some huge number of drivers who drive some huge number of hours, and some small number of nature lovers who spend some small amount of time in nature.

In the book I just read, there are 27 recorded attacks in California, 25 of which occured within the last 20 years. An attack may be reported in a local newspaper but not be reported to the park service. In fact, looking at the author's sitations, most of them are from newspapers--Los Angeles Times, Sacramento Bee, San Diego Union Tribune, etc. Some of them are from the CA Department of Fish and Game.

I do agree with your point of view though. In fact, I hate driving. I feel much more comfortable in nature, and I never sleep better than when I'm backpacking alone.
 

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grumpstumper said:
What are your thoughts on Mt. lions in Northern California?
Have you ever seen one?
Do you ever see tracks?
Can you identify a Mt. lion track?
Are you aware of them?
Are there frequent Mt. lion sightings in your local riding area?
Do you ride in a group or alone?
Do Mt. lions effect your decision to ride alone or in a group?
What would you do if you were confronted by a Mt. lion?
Do you consider Mt. lions a threat to your safety?
What are your thoughts on reintroducing hunting quotas?

Over the past 20 years Mt. Lions attacks have increased in frequencey. Since grizzly bears are no longer present in Northern California, Mt. lions have little competition for abundant prey. Mt. lion populations are healthy and growning. It is posible that Mt. lion populations have grown out of balance and are negatively effecting other species such as big-horn sheep. As residential developments encroach on Mt. lion habitat, and lion populations continue to grow as a protected species, attacks are increasing in frequencey. Some believe that Mt. Lions should be protected, and hunting should not be allowed at all. Some believe that as populations exceed healthy limits and the danger of attacks increases, hunting quotas should be reintroduced.

I'm no biologist. That's just my basic understanding.
Haven't seen one yet.

A few years ago I came across 1/2 a grown deer on Cinderella Trail. The head and shoulders were completely removed from the torso and hind legs. I don't know what could have done this, other than a big animal - like a mt lion...
 
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