OutdoorHub Editor: Keenan Crow 11.20.20
A female hunter from Duncan, South Carolina filmed a startling encounter she had with a mountain lion recently while hunting with her dad in Colorado. The young hunter was able to capture the terrifying standoff with the mountain lion on her phone.
The young woman – who has only been identified as McKenzie – was on a hunt with her dad traversing separate sections of the woods near Gunnison, Colorado when she suddenly found herself face-to-face with a “majestic mountain lion” that was standing right in front of her.
She said when she first noticed the animal it was probably standing about 16 yards away from her.
“It was close enough I could see its eyes were blue-green and it was just staring at me,” McKenzie recalled. “It was not scared. It was not startled. Unlike me. I was very surprised to see this animal standing here.”
Video of the intense faceoff shows the large cat briefly run away when McKenzie starts yelling and waving her arms, but then it turns around in the shadows and starts walking right towards her. She lets out a few more desperate roars, and shouts at the animal to leave, but nothing works.
“Then everything started to happen in slow motion,” she explains in the video. “This was the moment when everything changed. I suddenly became more scared than I have ever been in my life because I thought this mountain lion was about to be on top of me and possibly killing me.”
You can even hear the lion hissing and growling at McKenzie in the video she recorded on her cell phone. At one point, the big cat put its ears back and started flicking its tail, which let McKenzie know a decision had to be made.
With no other options, and now in survivor mode, McKenzie raised her rifle and fired a single shot at the mountain lion – which was now perched up on a log within 10 yards of her. She said it jumped into the air and ran off through the woods.
You can hear McKenzie immediately after the lion runs off saying “Lord, thank you. Lord, thank you.”
McKenzie and her dad later reported the incident to state wildlife officials and showed them the video. The officers told her right out front that she did everything right and she was clearly acting in self-defense.
Officers later informed her that the shot wound up being fatal.
“I’m very sad about that,” she said. “I wanted it to keep living. That’s why I tried so hard to scare it away. I didn’t want to shoot it. I mean, it was the most beautiful creature I have ever seen up close like that.”
She said right from the moment she first walked up on the mountain lion, she began praying to God to keep her safe.
“I really do feel he was right there with me for the whole thing, kinda protecting me and getting me through it,” McKenzie added.