Over the past 3 weeks, IDFG has received several reports of mountain lion sightings in McCall.
A message from Regan Berkley, IDFG Regional Wildlife Manager 1/11/18
Mountain lions occur throughout Idaho, but sightings are rare because the animals make their living by being secretive and cautious. It is likely that mountain lions move through McCall fairly often; however, these movements are typically at night and go unobserved.
Mountain lions may be drawn to McCall partly because of the large town deer herd. Deer are mountain lions’ primary prey species. Although McCall is not naturally winter range for deer, both landscaping plants and intentional deer feeding throughout town keep many deer in town through winter. IDFG strongly discourages feeding deer in town to avoid attracting predators, among other reasons.
Mountain lion attacks are even rarer than sightings, but keeping yourself informed and prepared is the best way to avoid a confrontation.
While there is no response to a mountain lion that can guarantee a person’s safety, Fish and Game offers the following suggestions if you encounter a mountain lion:
- Do not run. Stay calm and keep eye contact. Move slowly and try to back away. Running away may trigger the animal’s instinct to chase.
- Do what you can to appear large by raising and waving your arms or opening your jacket. Yell in a loud, firm voice.
- Never turn your back on a mountain lion. Always maintain eye contact and face the lion.
- When you walk or hike in lion country, travel in groups.
- Keep children close and in sight at all times. Pick small children up if a lion is near.
- Never approach a mountain lion. Give the lion a way out of a close situation.
- If a lion behaves aggressively, arm yourself with a large stick, rock, or other object and face the lion.
Pepper spray is very effective in deterring a mountain lion or other carnivores.
If you observe or encounter a mountain lion in town, immediately notify Fish and Game (208) 634-8137 or the local sheriff’s office.