Man kills mountain lion after attack at Mono Lake

Press release

Eastern Sierra Mono County Mt. Lion Encounter

On Feb 24 2017 at approximately 1500 hours a hunter who had been hunting near the north shore of Mono Lake for coyotes had a mountain lion encounter.

The hunter was wearing camouflage clothing lying on his stomach on top of a small knoll blowing on a distressed rabbit call when he heard a noise behind him. As the hunter looked over his shoulder he saw a mountain lion had jumped in the air and was coming toward his head.

While lying on the ground the hunter threw up his arms in order to protect his head. The lion landed on the hunter’s head, sprung free and ran towards the north. The hunter, being in fear for his life fired two shots striking the lion. He returned to his vehicle and notified DFW Officers.

The hunter sustained a minor injury to the back left side of his head that did not break skin. The hunter sought medical treatment from Mammoth Lakes Hospital and initiated the rabies shot series.

Evidence from the scene was collected and sent to DFW’s Wildlife Investigations Lab in Sacramento. The lion will be necropsied and tested for zoological diseases including rabies.

An analysis of the tracks found at the scene of the incident left a very clear picture of the event and how it unfolded. It appeared the lion was responding to the distressed rabbit call and the encounter resulted in the hunter possibly being mistaken for prey by the lion.

Given the circumstances, the lion likely mistook the hunter for an injured rabbit and given the suddenness of the attack the hunter responded in fear for his life. The Department will not be filing any charges for the take of the mountain lion.

# # #

This is the fifth year of California’s drought. To learn about all the actions the state has taken to manage our water system and cope with the impacts of the drought, please visit drought.ca.gov.

Every Californian should take steps to conserve water. Find out how at saveourwater.com.

 

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Derel Swanson
Derel Swanson
3 years ago

The mountain lion pounced, got confused, and ran AWAY. The mountain lion should NOT have been shot. Any person who owns a gun, and would shoot an animal that is running away, is not mentally stable enough to be in possession of a gun, imo, whether that person was “attacked”… Read more »

Low Inyo
Low Inyo
5 years ago

Dona…..I agree with you,but it ain’t going to happen….two reasons….first,it would put the hunted animal on too much of an even keel with the hunter without his “calling devices” to lure the pray to him….and second,could you only imagine the NRA crying and whining if anyone even suggested such a… Read more »

Dona
Dona
5 years ago

BAN CALLING DEVICES! Coyote calling devices are not fair sport and hunters cannot be surprised when a predator responds to a false call.

Low Inyo
Low Inyo
5 years ago

GT….Where does it say he was white ?

Pedro
Pedro
5 years ago
Reply to  Low Inyo

Low,

Maybe it was an albino lion.

GT
GT
5 years ago

If it had been a Great Brown Hunter , Or a Great Red Hunter, Or a Great Black Hunter i guess everything would be just DANDY huh ?

BobK
BobK
5 years ago

$100 bet is still on.

Low Inyo
Low Inyo
5 years ago

BobK……What in the hell are you talking about,MLB forums ?…..think you might have me mixed up with one of those protesters,getting “paid” $1,500.00 a day by the Democrats to clog the city streets with signs and chants….or maybe one of those involved in the conspiracies and bugging trump’s hotels and… Read more »

BobK
BobK
5 years ago

Lo Inyo: I’ll take that bet $100 if you can produce any evidence at all to show that this man, a Lee Vining local, did this as a stunt or in any illegal way whatsoever. Law enforcement has already cleared him and the only people that are making claims to… Read more »

Eric G
Eric G
5 years ago

Mountain Lions/Coyotes don’t kill deer for sport, they kill because thats part of their food supply. The predator population can only grow a large as it’s food supply will allow. If the food supply is low, the lions won’t be able to eat and the lion population will shrink. I’m… Read more »

BobK
BobK
5 years ago

So many Disneyland/ Fantasy land people on this sight anymore. No wonder Mono county went blue. Each Mountain Lion eats multiple deer each week and Coyotes feast on new born fawns. Go ask your local biologist.And all you want to do is blame the hunter instead of dealing with the… Read more »

Low Inyo
Low Inyo
5 years ago
Reply to  BobK

BobK……kinda like they blamed President Obama for 8 years of everything,huh ?….the “hunter?”….what “hunter”?…..you mean the guy lying on the ground play-pretending to be a wounded rabbit ?….not a real hunter in my world….besides,the story is fishy….mountain lions don’t pounce and miss with their teeth and/or claws on someones or… Read more »

Daniel Boonedoggle
Daniel Boonedoggle
5 years ago

Why are all these rugged mountain folk so terrified of the animals that live around them? They actually sound more like city folk, lying awake worrying about coyotes, and lions, and bears, oh my. Very simple rule for life in the woods: don’t mess with the animals and they won’t… Read more »

Matthew Duncan
Matthew Duncan
5 years ago

Hope the brave coyote hunter survives his ‘injury’ that did not even break the skin.

DESCO
DESCO
5 years ago

So, a guy wearing camo that makes him invisable, laying on his stomach and blowing into something that mimics a dying rabbit is surprised when a big cat jumps on his head. Not his feet, not his ass but his head where the sound is coming from. As soon as… Read more »

D.
D.
5 years ago

See I believe the reason why they don’t identify the man is because although he didn’t so anything illegal there’s still some people that believes he shouldn’t have killed the lion even after being attacked and bit in the head by it. If thats not enough then people probably would… Read more »

Allen Berrey
Allen Berrey
5 years ago
Reply to  D.

Perhaps; but if the DF&W was so concerned that this person would be harassed, maybe it shouldn’t have issued the press release in the first place.

And if harassed, the hunter can call the local constabulary for protection and/or seek a restraining order.

Thanks.

Eric G
Eric G
5 years ago

Sounds like he should have just drove on over to Bridgeport. Could have shot a few coyotes from his truck.

Allen Berrey
Allen Berrey
5 years ago

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife spent public money investigating this incident, including the cost of a necropsy on the deceased lion. So, why does the press release not identify the individual who caused the public to incur this expense? If it were a couple of lost hikers rescued… Read more »

sugarmags
sugarmags
5 years ago
Reply to  Allen Berrey

certainly their report should be available to the public, yes?

Barry
Barry
5 years ago
Reply to  Allen Berrey

Nothing he did was questionable. Why should his name be released, so a bunch if ignorant, hateful, anti-freedom, lowlifes can threaten this man and his family?

I wish the man a speedy and healthy recovery.

Mono Person
Mono Person
5 years ago

All this talk about coyotes…I live in Bridgeport, we are currently overrun by coyotes. They sometimes need to slim down the population, so why not let people go out and hunt them? Or do you want the coyotes to eat your precious seagull eggs? Whether you like it or not,… Read more »

Mono county person
Mono county person
5 years ago
Reply to  Mono Person

Very true but these people don’t live in the area to understand. …. they’re clueless…

Mono Person
Mono Person
5 years ago

And it is very hard to “argue” with people that have no idea about our area. We are not trying to be ruthless individuals or trying to destroy our environment. There is truth and then there is “fairyland” – we live in truth…

Low Inyo
Low Inyo
5 years ago

Way I think about it,if you want to be a “hunter”,then hunt the real and old fashion way,not lying down pretending to be a wounded animal….for others,not using dogs to run bear or cougars up trees,then drive your truck to the location…get off your butt,start walking or hopping on a… Read more »

Barry
Barry
5 years ago
Reply to  Low Inyo

Might I suggest that since you’ve never been out in the wilderness and haven’t got the first clue about hunting, you would be better off not making such an ill-informed, ignorant statement.

Low Inyo
Low Inyo
5 years ago
Reply to  Barry

Barry……I used to be a hunter…..bagged a deer outside of Bridgeport X-12 zone,,place called Volcanic Butte…which included a lot of hiking getting to and bringing the buck back…..got a buck in Oregon,a place called Peppermint Creek….another long walk included in that hunt,to and from….I’ve spent plenty of time in the… Read more »

Eric G
Eric G
5 years ago

Why was he hunting coyotes?

Barry
Barry
5 years ago
Reply to  Eric G

Because it’s a legal, ethical activity. Maybe he was trying to save all of those bunnies, birds, deer, etc from being ripped apart by coyotes? Maybe he was trying to get rid of the rabid, mangey, diseased varmints? Maybe he needed to sell the pelt to put food on his… Read more »

Keli Hendnricks
Keli Hendnricks
5 years ago
Reply to  Barry

Preventing predators from eating their natural prey is not doing the world a favor. Nature is pretty adept at managing itself and doesn’t require the help of some camo clad moron that probably didn’t make it past the 8th grade. Its just an attempt to put a noble spin on… Read more »

KT
KT
5 years ago

Pretty clear the mountain lion attacked the man. If something attacks you what’s your reaction? If attacked my child and I had something to protect myself I would without a doubt . These are wild animals not pets. You don’t know if it would turn around and keep attacking .… Read more »

Alice Chan
Alice Chan
5 years ago
Reply to  KT

KT, you won’t see me in a situation like this because I would never pretend to be a wounded rabbit so that I could lure in some coyotes to shoot.

KT
KT
5 years ago
Reply to  Alice Chan

I won’t see you in a situation like this cause either you don’t live in the area or if you do you probably stay home and don’t go hiking anywhere around here. If do your research there are several cases of mountain lions attacks in the US not only motivated… Read more »

Alice Chan
Alice Chan
5 years ago
Reply to  KT

KT, clearly you didn’t read what I said. It doesn’t matter if I live in the area or not, but as it happens, I lived there for two decades. Never once in that time did I pretend to be a wounded rabbit so I could lure in some coyotes to… Read more »

Mono Person
Mono Person
5 years ago
Reply to  Alice Chan

Do you know he was hunting for “fun” or to reduce the population of coyotes?

Noname
Noname
5 years ago
Reply to  Alice Chan

Alice-again I ask you were you but your meat from? Than go some research on what they do to those animals to be able to put that meat into your table at night!!

KT
KT
5 years ago
Reply to  Noname

Good question no name!! People like Alice don’t understand it. People that don’t like hunters are hypocrites because most of them do buy their meat in the store and dont think how that got there…..Most hunters kill the animal to eat like venison, elk, wild turkey, ducks etc. Then hunters… Read more »

Low Inyo
Low Inyo
5 years ago
Reply to  KT

KT….Bull….most now-days “hunters” do it to “selfie” themselves with their kill on facebook…not for meat on the table for their families….nothing like it used to be….getting the zone-tag…packing up your truck….getting to the area you have scouted out….go for a hike with rifle in hand,and hunt down the animal…and then,if… Read more »

Matthew Duncan
Matthew Duncan
5 years ago
Reply to  Noname

Noname, Do some research about the concept of veganism.

D.
D.
5 years ago
Reply to  Matthew Duncan

Matthew, being vegan or vegetarian is a choice that alot of people make and should be respected as well you wouldn’t like people being mean to you for your choice .Then yes these people did some research to find out how the meat from the store got there. However others… Read more »

sugarmags
sugarmags
5 years ago
Reply to  Noname

noname…are you suggesting that the person who was attacked was going to eat the coyote? I thought most coyote hunters just use the pelt and tail.

KT
KT
5 years ago

People are idiots.. oh let’s save the cat!!! Til…one of them attack their child , or their wife, or their teenage son or daughter, or their pets, or their husband, or their mother n kill them. Then …oh then I wanna see them saying Oh let’s save the cat!!!

Alice Chan
Alice Chan
5 years ago
Reply to  KT

It’s pretty clear from the report that the mountain lion was running away from the hunter when the hunter shot him. The mountain lion posed no threat to the man at that point.

sugarmags
sugarmags
5 years ago
Reply to  Alice Chan

True, but I’m sure his adrenaline was pumping….I don’t think any of us can say how we would have reacted at that moment. It’s pretty clear that the mountain lion didn’t want any part of attacking a man, that he appeared smaller while hunched down, making a dying rabbit sound.… Read more »

Noname
Noname
5 years ago
Reply to  Alice Chan

Alice- I want to see an animal attach your head that weights 3 times, or more, than your do. I want to see your reaction!!! Will you “hug” it and call it cute!!!!

sugarmags
sugarmags
5 years ago
Reply to  Noname

I want to see Alice with a head 3 times her body weight too…well, not really, but that would look funny.

Keli Hendnricks
Keli Hendnricks
5 years ago
Reply to  Noname

Mountain lions do not weigh 3 times more than a man. Most are around 110 pounds – 150 ism pretty big lion.

Elmer Fudd
Elmer Fudd
5 years ago

Which of God’s fearsome creations was Great White Hunter hunting anyway?

Bunny rabbits?

Elmer Fudd
Elmer Fudd
5 years ago
Reply to  Elmer Fudd

Sorry, story says the GWH was after coyotes; my bad.

Still, what kind of a person gets off on killing coyotes for pleasure?

T-Bone
T-Bone
5 years ago
Reply to  Elmer Fudd

Wabbits. Bunny wabbits.

Alice Chan
Alice Chan
5 years ago

Guy hunts coyotes by pretending to be a distressed rabbit. Mountain lion is naturally drawn to the sound of a distressed rabbit. If this hunter hadn’t been trying to lure in *his* prey, he would not have become prey for the mountain lion, who was just doing what they naturally… Read more »

Noname
Noname
5 years ago
Reply to  Alice Chan

Alice- I ask you, we’re do you buy your meat from? The meat you feed your family every night?

Tom
Tom
5 years ago

Well, Mr. Great White Hunter now knows the rabbit call works.

Mono Person
Mono Person
5 years ago
Reply to  Tom

That is true…

BobK
BobK
5 years ago

Need to kill a lot more than just 1

Matthew Duncan
Matthew Duncan
5 years ago
Reply to  BobK

Have you always been so afraid of wildlife?

Mono Person
Mono Person
5 years ago

Unless you have come face to face with a mountain lion, I don’t think you can judge. I have. 5 feet between myself and the cat, and he was ready to pounce. I didn’t have anything to defend myself and the snow was deep. Thank goodness I have Rhodesian Ridgebacks… Read more »

Rex Strong
Rex Strong
5 years ago

I call bulls*** trying to justify killing the lion

Patricia
Patricia
5 years ago
Reply to  Rex Strong

Bull* hit cause it wasn’t you being attacked by a lion! What would you do Mr know it all Rex strong???? Pee in your pants n let the lion go I’m sure!!! Or maybe die to safe the lion! Good for you!!

Steven Most
Steven Most
5 years ago
Reply to  Rex Strong

The lion was running away having realized the hunter was not an injured rabbit. I see no cause for killing a retreating lion. Shame on this idiot for killing coyotes. More wildlife and fewer hunters would serve the land better. I once encountered a lion when I was a 15… Read more »

Noname
Noname
5 years ago
Reply to  Steven Most

Well Steven, the lion wasn’t attaching you when you were 15. The story changes a little when you are fighting for your life! When you “watch” a mountain lion vs “fight” a mountain, your thought process will be different I’m sure!

Matthew Duncan
Matthew Duncan
5 years ago
Reply to  Noname

Where is it stated that the hunter was fighting for his life?

Low Inyo
Low Inyo
5 years ago

WOW !!!!…I had a Mountain Lion hanging around my Swauger Creek Campground north of Bridgeport back in March 2000 when I was relocating to Lone Pine,two early mornings in a row…..one of those mornings around 4 A.M. when my dog insisted in going to the bathroom…that morning heard the growl…..a… Read more »