in 2004 I was walking down a trail. It was hunting season, so I had a rifle with me. The trail was on top of the ridge and than started to side hill the ridge, with a steep drop off, off of the side. Where the trail came back on top of the ridge, I had a weird feeling. I turned around and 20 paces( I paced it off afterwards) was a young mtn lion. Standing in the trail and looking at me. I put the cross hairs on the lions chest and didn't feel threatened. And I had a once in a lifetime sheep tag in my pocket, that I didn't want to lose for "poaching". I put the gun down and took a step towards the cat to see what would happen. the cat just turned around and walked away.
The next morning walking thru there in the dark was a little nerve wracking. Looking back I probably should have shot it, but I didn't feel in any danger.
What state were you in ?
They always come from behind... Surprised being a juvenile it didn't attack. Must not been hungry enough ! :)
Of course there is always the chance of a lion attack, but I think it is highly, highly unlikely. You are 100 times more likely to get in a serious car accident.
I have lived in cat country for many years. I game cam cougar all the time within 400 yards of the house. Two years ago, we had four in the area. We have even lost house cats to either bobcat or cougars. There are numerous homes in the valley that are in cat country and I have never heard of an incident. They do eat my big blacktails occasionally and I don't like that. If I ever see one when I have a rifle, I'll shoot it. I always have a cougar tag, and they are good for a year here in Oregon. With that said the only one I have ever seen was the one I shot using hounds back in the day when that was still legal here.
There are quite a few lions around our place here in SW Colo, but we rarely see them. A couple of years ago there was a doe deer in my apple orchard that had one of it's ears gone and was really opened up on one side (entrals protruding out). It was in pretty bad shape and I called our local Warden who came and put it down. We went to my house and had a cup of coffee and a great discussion about lions. He told me that in the winter oir early spring the mother kicks out the yearlings before new kittens are born. He said most of the yearlings are not very good hunters yet and he sees quite a few deer like the one he shot. He also said they are the ones (in our area) that are getting the livestock and pets. Also said even tho he had never seen it happen, they could try people too if they got hungry enough...same with old lions that had a hard time hunting.