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Mountain Lion and Deer

It was with great satisfaction that I watched a mountain lion lope up the slope on Alpine Road recently, an area infested with road rats (deer), a serious hazard this time of year (the rut). I was even more pleased to note the complete absence of the usual deer, so accustomed to humans that shouting at them will barely make them flick their ears. I hope that cat sticks around and sets up shop nearby, and has a double litter of killer kittens.

It has been ~15 years since I last saw a mountain lion on a bike ride. This one was a medium sized juvenile, not a full-grown adult, but of course considerably larger than a bobcat.

I consider it a treat to see a mountain lion, with such a delightful grace to their movements; this one moved effortlessly up a very steep slope once I moved into view, so I was able to observe it for only 10 seconds or so.

I never report the sighting because the local school officials go bananas if one is spotted within a mile of a school, locking down the hapless students (“no one can blame me”, Shrug). As if the cat will head on over and grab one of 200 noisy kids for lunch.

James T writes:

You are so right about the lion vs deer.

In 2005 I was knock off my bike by a deer – major concussion – two weeks in the hospital – broken wrist – broken ribs – smashed thumb - "v" shaped cut on my chin (a cool scar caused, no doubt, by a hoof).

I appreciate bicycle helmets (by the way).

What this place needs is a major increase in big cats. I saw one on Page Mill road about 12 years ago, and in 2003 I saw a gorgeous, big 'un in Fort Hunter Liggett – amazing creature.

I grew up in Tanzania (Dar es Salaam, East Africa) and am somewhat familiar with big cats and am very, very fond of big predators – keeping the giant rats (deer) at bay.

Great website – keep 'em coming!

PS: You really did enjoy the 3600 lumen Betty except for the mounting system. Hopefully I'll have one shortly.

DIGLLOYD: deer making the road their daily hangout is dangerous. Last year at dusk I narrowly missed a hormone-impaired buck while descending at about 35 mph. The experience of James T makes me feel lucky.

Wild animals that are unwild because the balance of nature is out of whack (predator and prey) are not admirable, but disturbing in a way. Shoot 30% of them each year, and skin 'em for the homeless shelters.

Adding to my dislike for the Big Rats eating everything in my backyard, even the poisonous plants. My figs, my persimmons, the flowers, etc. It’s not deer per se but 5X more deer than would naturally be there.

It is not clear to me why with all the deer there are not more mountain lions around enjoying an easy dinner as these deer are as dumb as they come (I used to bowhunt as a teenager back in my youth and those deer were wily and hyper vigilant).

Yes, the Lupine Betty R has a fantastic light output, and I will probably get a 2nd one, but I remain pretty grumpy about the mountaining limitations.


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