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  1. #1
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    I saw a biiiiiig kitty in the McDowells evening of 2-17!

    Right at the top of the Dixie Mine hill. Sorry, I did not get a picture. We surprised each other, and I elected to grab my pepper spray canister instead of my camera (I hang my head in shame). I was stopped, very close (maybe <75 ft) and kept a grip on my bike with one hand and the canister with the other. It looked like a very large male mountain lion. We had a short staring contest, but all he could see was my headlamp. He ducked down in the ground cover and I lost track of him, so I decided to go bomber down the hill rather than wait around to see where he surfaced.

    I named him Leon.

    Don't panic, just be aware and alert.

    gerG
    Last edited by g3rG; 02-18-2012 at 12:31 PM.
    ...uphill uphill uphill DOWNHILL! uphill uphill uphill uphill DOWNHILL! uphill ...

  2. #2
    parenting for gnarness
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    kewl! glad it was no harm to either of you.
    kewl!

  3. #3
    FKA Malibu412
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    Man it gets dark early in AZ this time of year!
    Everything that kills me, makes me feel alive

  4. #4
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    Hmmm.. there was a bunch of guys with cages in their trucks at the bottom of dixie mine and prospector this morning. I wonder if the two are related.

  5. #5
    YT
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    Yes their are mountain lions in there them hills. There was a Den in the old Dixie Mine (if their still using it) that a mother had her cubs in last summer. I have seen several while riding late afternoon in the mcdowells, just glad they always seem more scared of me than i am of them.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by seandm View Post
    Hmmm.. there was a bunch of guys with cages in their trucks at the bottom of dixie mine and prospector this morning. I wonder if the two are related.
    Oh no! Run Leon, run!

    Born Free......
    ...uphill uphill uphill DOWNHILL! uphill uphill uphill uphill DOWNHILL! uphill ...

  7. #7
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    The cages seemed rather small to be catching a big kitty, but my first thought was they were trying to trap either a bobcat or Mtn lion cubs. They were definitely trying to trap something as they had maps they were looking at before they headed out.

  8. #8
    dirt visionary
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    scary...I was on the trail of a baby and mother bear today..I elected to turn my as around as I didn't have a gun or bear spray and if they are waking already ,they are hungry ..
    Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of
    arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body.

  9. #9
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    I had a mountain lion flank me abit at Scarface Mountain awhile back , I finally got a look at her as she was purched up on a ledge as I climed up and she scared the poop right out of me , .....I always carry no matter what Im doing but she could have killed and eaten me long before I could have done anything about it ,.........I turned around and hammered down as fast as I could ( I know she could have had me if she wanted me , I guess I just got lucky ) So yes there are biiiig Cats all over AZ , despite what G&F say ,

  10. #10
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    Right at the top of the Dixie Mine hill
    Great! I had just about forgotten about the thread with the pictures of the mountain lions. I convinced myself there weren't any mountain lions in MMRP because I never see any deer there.

    There was a Den in the old Dixie Mine
    Great! I pushed my bike up that overgrown trail to the mine thinking it was the Prospector trail. It felt a little creepy in there, and I was glad to hightail it back to the road.

  11. #11
    dirt visionary
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelstr View Post
    I had a mountain lion flank me abit at Scarface Mountain awhile back , I finally got a look at her as she was purched up on a ledge as I climed up and she scared the poop right out of me , .....I always carry no matter what Im doing but she could have killed and eaten me long before I could have done anything about it ,.........I turned around and hammered down as fast as I could ( I know she could have had me if she wanted me , I guess I just got lucky ) So yes there are biiiig Cats all over AZ , despite what G&F say ,
    Sounds like the only viable protection is to wear animal mace cans around the neck .hoping it would puncture a can and run j/k on a serious note mountain lions have been on my mind since last seasons run in on pinal with one and knowing there really won't ever be time to react.
    Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of
    arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body.

  12. #12
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    and knowing there really won't ever be time to react.
    Yeah, if they are hunting you they will jump down on your from some rocks above the trail, and then it's lights out. Although, in CA there were two girls that were attacked by a mountain lion (while mtb'ing?), and it clamped one girl's head in its jaws and started dragging her into the brush. The other girl grabbed her friends foot and got in a tug of war with the mountain line. Eventually, the mountain lion let go, and if I remember correctly, the girl whose head was in the mountain lion's mouth survived without serious injuries.

  13. #13
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    Theres a ton of deer in the mcdowells. Ive seen as many as 8 at one time. Theres definitley big cats out there as well. The cougars at the bar barcelona were a bigger threat.

  14. #14
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    One of the main food sources for mountain lions are Javelina. Plenty of those out in the McDowells for sure. Never seen a cat out there myself and I dont carry a gun or pepper spray while I'm riding. Chances are slim to none for an actual confrontation.

  15. #15
    dirt visionary
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    Quote Originally Posted by AzSuperman View Post
    Chances are slim to none for an actual confrontation.
    chances go up the more one invades leons habitat ..A person that rides once or twice a week is that "slim chance" IMO...the guy who rides it 5-7days a week has a much higher chance.

    example how many of these animals have you seen in the pinal mountains?Bears,javalina,fox,turkey,coatimundi,whi te tail , mule deer,bobcats,frogs,skinks,rattle snakes,alberts squirrel ,spotted owl and cows. These are all animals I have seen or run into in the pinal mountains more than once ,except the turkeys. Why have I run into so many types of critters?because I love them trails and probably ride up there more than anyone and solo alot. Jus saying
    Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of
    arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body.

  16. #16
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    I am actually an avid hunter and go out looking for alot of those animals listed. I've seen just about every animal AZ has to offer at one time or another. Just saying Mountain Bikers are not the only ones that run into these animals. And when you do most of the time they want to get out of there more than you do. Mountain lion attacks are very rare. They are pretty awesome to see in the wild and very intimidating. I worry the most about rattlesnakes, I hate those damn things.

  17. #17
    Shift less, Pedal more.
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    Damn.....I was gonna go for a night ride tonight alone...but now I'll pass.

    I've ridden plenty of times at night, alone, in Flagstaff and Sedona. I've seen plenty of skunks, deer, elk, fox, great horned owls, porcupine, coyotes, and a bobcat. I've seen other glowing eyes of creatures, but never was able to make them out. I also ride with music, so I don't hear the creatures moving around me.

    I always figures my lumens would be enough to frighten anything that would want to eat me. I've had 5 huge elk, about 15 feet from me, just staring in awe.

    One time in Sedona, I was riding around 10:30 at night, alone again. I stopped at Chicken Point, turned off my music to enjoy the stars, and something BIG moved away from me about 10 feet away, I couldn't see what it was but by the sound it made, I knew it was big. That was the last time I night rode alone in Sedona.

    I'll still ride alone in Flagstaff though. Not Phoenix anymore.

    Happy to hear Leon just wanted to say Hi.
    I'd rather be hated for what I am, than loved for what I'm not......Dolemite.

  18. #18
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    So are mountain lions something we should be concerned about? If so what should we do? Carry pepper spray? I go out riding alone at night. I've been surrounded by coyotes ...never saw a mountain lion though.

  19. #19
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    [QUOTE=AzSuperman;9018242]One of the main food sources for mountain lions are Javelina.

    Yikes....

  20. #20
    SamuraiBunnyGuy
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    rule of thumb is always ride with someone fatter than you

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding View Post
    Yeah, if they are hunting you they will jump down on your from some rocks above the trail, and then it's lights out. Although, in CA there were two girls that were attacked by a mountain lion (while mtb'ing?), and it clamped one girl's head in its jaws and started dragging her into the brush. The other girl grabbed her friends foot and got in a tug of war with the mountain line. Eventually, the mountain lion let go, and if I remember correctly, the girl whose head was in the mountain lion's mouth survived without serious injuries.
    Her name is Anne Hjelle. She was attacked after the same mountain lion killed another MTBr (Mark Reynolds) trying to fix his chain.....along the same trail.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by clockwork View Post
    Sounds like the only viable protection is to wear animal mace cans around the neck .hoping it would puncture a can and run j/k on a serious note mountain lions have been on my mind since last seasons run in on pinal with one and knowing there really won't ever be time to react.
    You are so correct, there is nothing a guy could do if that Cat is hunting him and wants him, those Cats are so quiet, fast, strong and brutal .

    Its amazing how beautiful they are tho

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelstr View Post
    You are so correct, there is nothing a guy could do if that Cat is hunting him and wants him, those Cats are so quiet, fast, strong and brutal .

    Its amazing how beautiful they are tho
    All true. They are also incredibly good at hiding. However they have one disadvantage at night. They have huge eyes with incredibly reflective retinas. Even a small helmet light will out them at night. The times that I have found them was by simple sweeping the terrain with the light. The light also seems to confuse them, likely because they can't see anything while staring at it. They know something is there (meals on wheels) but their vision is just wiped out.

    gerG
    ...uphill uphill uphill DOWNHILL! uphill uphill uphill uphill DOWNHILL! uphill ...

  24. #24
    No Clue Crew
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    Quote Originally Posted by Birdss View Post
    I've seen plenty of skunks, deer, elk, fox, great horned owls, porcupine, coyotes, and a bobcat. I've seen other glowing eyes of creatures, but never was able to make them out. I also ride with music, so I don't hear the creatures moving around me.

    One time in Sedona, I was riding around 10:30 at night, alone again. I stopped at Chicken Point, turned off my music to enjoy the stars, and something BIG moved away from me about 10 feet away, I couldn't see what it was but by the sound it made, I knew it was big. That was the last time I night rode alone in Sedona.
    Make sure you keep the music blaring so that when you do get eaten you have no chance to know it's coming

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by g3rG View Post
    All true. They are also incredibly good at hiding. However they have one disadvantage at night. They have huge eyes with incredibly reflective retinas. Even a small helmet light will out them at night. The times that I have found them was by simple sweeping the terrain with the light. The light also seems to confuse them, likely because they can't see anything while staring at it. They know something is there (meals on wheels) but their vision is just wiped out.

    gerG
    That is very good to know , The old light will work as a cover

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