Monday, August 07, 2006

Rude Awakening

I woke up at 3 am this morning to a sound I had not heard so close to home. A sort of gurgleing sound out the back deck. Grabbing my maglight and the .38, I stepped out onto the deck and creeped over to the rail. Before I could click on the flashlight, this "critter" not 30 feet away, let out a blood-curdling scream. No, I didn't shoot my foot.

I got the flashlight turned on just in time to see its tail and ass going over the hill and down to the lower property. Instead of firing off a warning round that would have certainly woke up the neighborhood, I just screamed back at that lion that sounded like a cross between a grizzly and a bull elephant. And then I did it again, louder. Every hair on this fellers body was on edge.

Now this cats been around for the better part of a month and my good friend and neighbor Matt has heard it several times and couldn't understand why I hadn't. I sleep pretty sound and my bedroom's farthest away from the back property, but this time it was different.

I am a hunter, and they used to say "seeing a mountain lion in the wild was a once in a lifetime experience". But there's been a moratorium on killing these critters in California for over 30 years. Dave, (a fish and game employee) told me that the population has grown to almost un-manageable conditions.

To clarify, I did not intend on shooting this cat, (especially with a .38), unless it was coming at me. The .44 or the Weatherby would be a more appropriate weapon. But if my "roar" didn't move this critter to other grounds, something will have to be done sooner or later.

This was close enough for my body.

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