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  1. #1
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead! mountain lion sightings

    From time to time, i read posts about seeing a mountain Lion. I am challenging all those that actually saw one to step forward with more detail on what they saw. I will be honest, I dont like biking alone, or in a remote area due to fear of them. I know the chances are remote, and I know that they dont consider me prey, however the fear is there. A couple weeks ago, there was a sighting in Sullivan Canyon in Santa Monica Mtns. WHo saw the lion? Please come forward with more description(not the friend that post it, but the actual person who saw it) as I still think it was a bobcat or other animal. Its so rare to see one, that i doubt those that did. If anyone has actually saw one, and not 3rd party sightings, please step forward so we can discuss this in more detail. At the end of the day, I want to make sure that the sighting was genuine. Mtn Lions are very smart, if they are spotted, its because they want you to see them, or they are just comfortable around humans, which bothers me.

    I know for a fact, that I have been watched by them from a distance. That is unavoidable, however, seeing them is different. They are very good at cloaking. Thanks for bringing this to the table, as I want this to be clear to those that dont like to bike and hike afraid.

    I am sure you ask, who gives a crap, they are there, nothing you can do about it, like dying, and this proves no point. I would feel very comfortable if I could prove that some of these sightings, like the one a couple a weeks ago was not a mtn lion, especially P1.

    Its funny, I bike with my knife at the ready, knowing it will serve no purpose if I am under attack as I will probably be surprised from behind, and most likely get knocked out. I still do carry it anyway. Does anyone have any other ideas to prevent attacks or have at the ready to defend yourself?

    I do agree with one submission, if we do get attacked in the rare circumstance, it would be by an adolescent lion, which I hope is fairly young and can be stopped.

    Later. Off to the canyon for a spin in peace and happiness. On a funny note, one day, I was coming down the canyon and almost got hit by a giant deer. That would hurt, it was huge. The sad thing is when there are deer, there are lions!

    -call me a wimp, I dont care.

  2. #2
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    I have been biking in these parts, San Gabriels and Verdugos primarily, for a number of years. I have seen bobcats, deer, snakes, rabbits, lizzards, hawks, and various other critters. I have never seen a mountain lion. I have, however, seen direct evidence of mountain lions. I regularly see kitty tracks in the San Gabs that are much too large to be bobcats. I've also seen large pieces of deer carcas, such as lower hind legs, that could only be remnants of a cougar chow fest. So they are out there for sure, though well hidden.

  3. #3
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    There was a documented mountain lion attack where a couple used a ball point pen to fight off a mountain lion....they actually stabbed it in the eye.....they both survived.....I think carrying a knife at least you gives you a fighting chance.......

    I always wanted to carry one but the knife rules in California are complicated...... county parks, state parks, national forrests, they all have diffrent rules I think......

  4. #4
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    Mountain Lion Sighting

    Several years ago, I was fortunate to see a mountain lion in Marshall Canyon. If you are familiar with the area, I was near the Equestrian Staging Area. This is a large flat area qa couple of miles from the trailhead When you reach the end of the flat, you typically take a hard right to continue on towards the upper reaches of the trail..
    This is where the encounter occurred, we had several seconds to size each other up. The two guys I was riding with came around the corner and caught a glimpse of the cat (I would estimate to be at least 8-9 ft long head to tail)as he jumped to a concrete scrabble pile some 15 feet below the trail.

    We continued our ride that day warning hikers and riders that there was a mountain lion in the area.

    I feel very lucky to have seen such a awesome looking animal.
    I have seen bobcats...I know the difference.

    As a side note, I have also seen 2 black bear at different times near Potato Mountain, which is also in the area.

  5. #5
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    I've seen two lions so far this year. One on a ride and one sneaking through my yard. Both were medium size and alot smaller than the cats I've seen when I lived in Oregon's Coast Range. I've lost count of the bobcats I've seen because they're so common. Same with coyotes. Other animals I've seen are wild pigs, tons of small deer, and earlier this week, the biggest black bear I've seen out of a cage. I'm in the San Bernardino Mtns and ride alone, and the only animals I'm worried about are the neighborhood dogs who's owners let them run loose in the forest and roam the neighborhoods off leash. They rush me so often that I'm an expert at kicking them in the chops. I bounce rocks off their heads too.
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  6. #6
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    Why on earth do you not believe the people on this board who say they've seen a mountain lion? I've seen two dead ones, does that count? Both fresh road kill, one near my home in Simi and another on 101's Cuesta Grade in SLO. Beautiful animals.

    Please give mtb'ers and other avid nature lovers some credit for knowing the difference between mountain lions and bobcats. We do NOT confuse the two. Both species are reclusive by nature, but I think we (humans) have helped select mountain lions to be particularly reclusive. Mountain lions that get noticed get shot!

    Watch the Interview of the NorCal couple (Jim & Nell Hamm) who fought off a mountain lion in Prairie Creek Redwoods S.P. My boyfiend and I mtb'd the Ossagon Loop at Prairie Creek two months before the Hamm's ordeal. We got separated & rode out ALONE IN THE DARK WITHOUT LIGHTS due to various blunders of our own and an unplanned detour around some aggressive Roosevelt Elk. I've never seen (or rather, not seen) a darker place than Prairie Creek Redwoods at night, with the possible exception of a cave. And I was sick with a high fever, which probably put me at greater than normal risk for predation. We did every possible dumb thing except hang raw porterhouse steaks from our camelbaks, but we did not get attacked. The Hamms were not so lucky.

    If I had it to do all over again, I'd rather repeat that wonderful ride in the dark (minus the flu) than walk alone through Central Park at night. Seriously.
    Never give up, never surrender.

  7. #7
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    mnt lion

    I have no doubt there are some that know the difference. There are many others, like folklore, confuse them with bobcats or other large animals that they see quickly. The usual sightings are at dusk which further inhibit a quality sighting. I am talking specifically about Sullivan Canyon in SM mnts, where it is likened to the 405 freeway. It has a lot of humans on the trail, including myself, so I doubt the lion was hanging around there in plain sight as the viewer posted. Also, the viewer never saw it, but a friend did and they reported it. I just want more specific details so I can be a little more at piece with this local area. I have no doubt the folks that saw the tracks or carcas, was the real deal. I cant get the image of that guy getting eaten a few years ago in Orange County. I think he was leaning over fixing a chain when a lion with rabbies or something attacked him. That was rare,

    I love biking and wont stop because of this fear. I just want to deal with it and overcome it. They travel 150 miles a day, which is impressive. I am thinking of putting eyes in the back of my helmut to prevent a surprise attack. I understand they are more prevalent in remote areas, especially in San Gabs and even Point Magu, where people told me about sightings.

    Can anyone verify that story?

  8. #8
    allride
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    I've seen well over fifty bobcats in the San Bernardino Mountains. I've also been lucky enough to see one mountain lion. Riding through miller canyon near Silverwood Lake, I startled one taking a drink of water from the lake. It ran up over the trail till it was around 100 yards uphill from me... then turned around and stared. Scary! Eventually it ran off but needless to say I was watching my back for the remainder of the ride. However... Even knowing that Mountain Lions are around, I think Rattlesnakes pose a far more realistic threat to the rider. Keep your eyes and ears wide open!

  9. #9
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    There are about a half a dozen mountain lions in the SM's, most of them tagged. I believe the sightings in Sullivan to be genuine(as documented on bike sites AND hike sites). It makes perfect sense that there have been sightings in the eastern SM's recently, since their main habitat, above Pepperdine, recently burned. This event would scare most of their food eastward.

    I have a few friends that live in the Westridge/Mandeville area, and they have had MANY lion sightings over the years. A flurry of them about 5 years ago. The deer like to eat grass and flowers in peoples yards and use human habitat as cover from the lions. I try to remain aware of how many deer I see on a particular ride, since where there are deer, there are lions. You may have noticed the increase in deer in Sulli canyon, again likely due to the fires.

    The best thing you can do to avoid an attack is not ride alone, and not ride at dawn or dusk. Another trick is to glue some stuffed animal eyes on the back of your helmet, since they rely on stealth to attack. A bear bell is another popular choice.

    I agree with you, it is NOT good that this lion has allowed himself to be seen more than once. I've heard P1 is one big dude.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlin1011
    Can anyone verify that story?
    This thread not only verifies, but has photographic evidence...

    Mountain Lion in Sycamore

    Pretty funny actully, the lion is trying to hide from the biker by hiding only his head! Haha, kinda like a 3 year old would do.

    If you want to continue to scare yourself, just do a search for "mountain lion" in this socal board.
    Last edited by Dusty Bottoms; 11-23-2007 at 07:04 PM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElyWoody
    I've seen well over fifty bobcats in the San Bernardino Mountains. I've also been lucky enough to see one mountain lion. Riding through miller canyon near Silverwood Lake, I startled one taking a drink of water from the lake. It ran up over the trail till it was around 100 yards uphill from me... then turned around and stared. Scary! Eventually it ran off but needless to say I was watching my back for the remainder of the ride. However... Even knowing that Mountain Lions are around, I think Rattlesnakes pose a far more realistic threat to the rider. Keep your eyes and ears wide open!
    I live right above upper Miller Canyon. Here's a link to a sighting in my neighborhood yesterday. Probably the one that cruised through my yard.


    http://www.rimoftheworld.net/columns.../mountain_lion
    Ripping trails and tipping ales

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlin1011
    I know for a fact, that I have been watched by them from a distance.
    Can you prove this claim?

    Look what I found in Cheeseboro.
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  13. #13
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    Ignorance is Bliss

    I read a number of threads re: mtn lions on mtbr including a frightening tale by BobL here. It spooked me from continuing to do solo night rides in remote canyons. Fortunately I have a couple of friends that join me on most night rides, so not only are things safer but it's much more fun riding with friends.

    Anyway, I wish I had never read these threads. I ran into a guy on a popular trail in San Diego who has been riding solo at night for 10+ years and he's never seen a lion. I asked him if he's heard about the recent cat sightings on the trail we were riding and he said no. I almost felt bad for scaring the guy, but I wanted to give him the heads up.

    Ps. I haven't seen a lion yet...just bobcats.

  14. #14
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    I figure westridge and sullivan canyon has so much traffic, its not riding alone. I wont ride alone outside of that area. I dont know anyone that rides as slow as I do. I hate holding people up. My friend that I ride with has to wait for me on every switchback. Anyway, I hope p1 is nowhere near Sullivan!!!

  15. #15
    Takw/agranofsalt
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vader
    the only animals I'm worried about are the neighborhood dogs who's owners let them run loose in the forest and roam the neighborhoods off leash. They rush me so often that I'm an expert at kicking them in the chops. I bounce rocks off their heads too.
    I second that

  16. #16
    Takw/agranofsalt
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlin1011
    I do agree with one submission, if we do get attacked in the rare circumstance, it would be by an adolescent lion, which I hope is fairly young and can be stopped.
    How do you know that? And why would an adolescent be any easier to defend against than an adult?

  17. #17
    Takw/agranofsalt
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    Quote Originally Posted by mealsonwheels

    Ps. I haven't seen a lion yet...just bobcats.
    I've never seen any mt lions in person but several bobcats on a number of occasions. The only time I've truly been worried about a lion was this spring when a buddy and I were riding at the top of the mountain and we encountered a group of hikers that said they had seen a mountain lion. We shrugged it off but by the time we had ridden down the canyon to a spot directly below where the hikers had said they'd seen the lion we both got an eerie feeling that we were being watched. There was a section of the trail where we didn't see any deer or hear any birds...very quite... and had the distinct feeling that there was something there that we couldn't see but could see us, Very creepy and I didn't feel better until we got the heck out of there.

    I don't know if it was a lion or not but I'm positive they are in the area. A couple of years ago one was captured right in someone's front yard in Palo Alto only a few miles away so I know they must be in the hills.

  18. #18
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    I saw one across from Hidden Ranch in Blackstar Canyonr running down the mountain 2 years ago in August.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by osmarandsara
    There was a documented mountain lion attack where a couple used a ball point pen to fight off a mountain lion....they actually stabbed it in the eye.....they both survived.....I think carrying a knife at least you gives you a fighting chance.......

    I always wanted to carry one but the knife rules in California are complicated...... county parks, state parks, national forrests, they all have diffrent rules I think......



    Wow, so California doesn't even trust it's own citizens to carry knives into the backcountry, thats really sad.

  20. #20
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    Here's looking at you, kid.
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  21. #21
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    1. An adolescent is smaller than a full adult,
    2. I believe the documented attacks were by adolescents and not full adults.

    The bottom line is I would not want either fight. If you were to ask me if I had a choice between P-1 and a smaller adolescent, I would obviously choose the younger smaller lion. That was my only point. If p-1 wants to kill you, your ball point pen or your 5 inch knife will be useless. The adult lions skills are much more superior to that of a younger one.

    Believe me, if I am attacked, and I am not knocked out, my survival instinct will kick in and if I can reach my knife, I can assure you that f___cker will be stabbed!!!!

  22. #22
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    well with the fires sadly probably a few less lions now. that always pisses me off but then I remember the rest of california has thousands of them, so we could always import a few from the santa cruz mountains.

    I never apologize. I'm sorry, but that's just the way I am.

  23. #23
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    sorry about that..;-) not sure what happened. Bobcats do not have tails. This guy did not make this up, I assure you!!!! --- as far as the challenge, should I call him and tell him to join MTBR and defend his sighting? I don't think so. -- again, if you doubt it, please call the authorities and you can find information online about lions in our area.

    I realize it's strange to have one sitting in the trail, which is exactly why I posted the information. Some are more computer savy than others. But if you like, I will ask him to join MTBR and fill you in with more details.
    If I were he, I would not bother.

  24. #24
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    It was a mt lion - bobcats have no tails ...

    I posted the original message here and thought I was being nice.

    My friend of 10 years saw it and he has been riding the Santa Monica mountains for over 15 years. He knows the difference between a bobcat with no tail and a mt lion with about four feet of tail.

    He called me right away because he knows I ride Sullivan canyon alone all the time. He is not a member here on mtbr so I thought I would pass it along...not to scare anybody, just to keep us on the look out, I guess. He agreed we should notifiy people but he was not sure how.

    I will ask him to get a user name and give a bit by bit detail of seeing the huge lion sitting right in the trail --- the lion heard him coming..he stopped and the lion ran off. Maybe the lion is looking for water?

    Nevertheless, if there is somebody who wants to call him personally, please email me personally and I would be happy to set it up.

    There is not even a ranger I would trust that has more knowledge of what a mountain lion looks like than the person who told me about this.

    Not to mention the tone in his voice as he called me as soon as he got to his car! Again, I didn't mean to scare anyone...as for me? I am trying harder now to find someone with whom to ride, thought not always possible, of couse.

    thanks,

  25. #25
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    Here is my story from a while back:

    My Mtn Lion Encounter - 1/18/06

    Nearly two years later, I'm not comfortable riding at night alone anymore. I probably will never get over that. Actually, I don't want to get over it.

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