Mountain lions are typically known to be a pretty reclusive animal. If you want to encounter one, you’ll usually have to look far and wide for a glimpse. But there are the rare occasions when one comes looking for trouble. Such was the case for Utah bowhunter, Cody Hardman, this past weekend while hunting. Hardman was just getting started on his elk hunt at 6:40 a.m. when he heard a growl.
His first thought was that it was a grouse. But when he heard the distinct roar of a lion, there was no mistaking what he had walked into.
“It was right there, 10 feet away,” Hardman said. “He was hunkered down and ready to pounce. His eyes were pinned on me, boy, they were looking right into my eyes.”
Hardman had just enough time to let an arrow fly in self defense, but he missed. The lion lunged at the hunter, knocking him to the ground. The lion repeated the charges and attacks three or four times before he finally left.
Amazingly enough, other than a few cuts, scratches, and a puncture in his leg, there was no significant physical damage to Hardman.
Hardman climbed a tree to avoid further encounters from the lion and called the local authorities for help.
Phil Douglas with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources said Hardman acted correctly by fighting back.
“Make yourself look large, fight back and cover your head and neck,” Douglas advised.
The wildlife resources team and the Summit County Sheriff’s office continued to search for the lion later that afternoon in hopes of capturing and euthanizing the animal following its attack of a human, but had yet to have any such luck.
Hardman says that from now on he’ll likely carry a pistol with him on his hunts since his one arrow at a pouncing lion didn’t prove to be too effective.
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