CORBETT, OR — A man in Corbett, Oregon was surprised to find not one, but two cougars right in front him early on the morning of July 31, KGW 8 reports.
What’s worse, the cougars weren’t afraid of him, and there were children nearby and very potentially in danger.
He knew he had to act, even if he didn’t want to.
As KGW 8 reports:
David Callister told KGW he was walking from a home on Larch Mountain Road to a trailer where he stays when he almost stepped on the tail of what turned out to be a cougar under his pickup truck. Callister yelled at the cougar and was given a loud hiss in return. It was not spooked, which surprised and alarmed him.
“It was staring me down,” he said.
He knew two girls were sleeping in the house and felt the need to be proactive and secure the property. Other children lived in the neighborhood, as well and pets and farm animals, he said. He got a rifle and came back out. There were two cougars and “one was starting to tear into the chicken coop,” he said. So after warning shots, he shot and killed both.
“Being that brazen, I made the decision that they had to be shot,” Callister said. “We have kids in the house, the neighbor across the street has kids and so on, so at that point it was a major hazard.”
The carcasses were taken to an office of the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife. Staff will conduct a biological assessment in hopes of learning more about the cougar population in the area. They said the pair of cougars are likely siblings and are both under the age of two. The young age of the cougars could explain their behavior.
It was also noted that no charges will be filed, as it is almost painfully obvious that Callister did everything he could to bring a more peaceful end to this dangerous situation.
In principle, it’s probably best to not fire warning shots with animals, just the same as with a human threat.
Just like a human threat, you’re keeping your eyes right on your animal threat — or at least you should be. That means either your warning shot is going to be so close to the animals it’s going to endanger them anyway or you’re not going to be giving 100% of your attention to where you are shooting.
As Callister said, there are kids in his neighborhood. It’s just best to keep it safe, even though I can absolutely understand his hope in not having to kill such fantastic creatures.
When push comes to shove, folks, make sure you and your community are safe. Warning shots often run counter to that objective.
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