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Posted: 3/19/2002 8:17:17 PM EDT
Need help choosing a 5.56 round for killing a Cougar I’m not a hunter and I’d really rather not kill a Cougar but he’s stalking my dogs, and is becoming increasingly dangerous to myself and my parents. They (my parents) have a home on a heavily wooded parcel of land at the base of the rocky mountains. The cougar is only seen at night when we’re letting our dogs out for their last walk, and then only when our spotlight hits it. Over the last few weeks he has become increasingly courageous and will casually saunter off when he’s caught in the light (he used to run.) We’ve called Fish and Wildlife who have said that they won’t move it. Instead they have instructed us to deal with it as we have too (reminding us, with a wink and a nudge, that it would be illegal to kill a cougar not posing an immediate threat.) My question is: What is the best 5.56 mm round to use (1 in 12, or 1 in 7 twist. I have both) to destroy a cougar? I have other guns but only feel confidant using these ones in such a low light situation. Also, are there any other options besides killing it?
Link Posted: 3/19/2002 8:31:18 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/19/2002 8:33:16 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/19/2002 8:34:59 PM EDT by BusMaster007]
Using the dogs for bait... If the dogs aren't gun-shy, the cougar will come around. Maybe leave the lights on for a few nights in a row and take the dogs out at the same time each night. After a few nights, the cougar will show up, brazenly ready for the kill, only it'll be the cougar getting killed as you snipe him. I think the Speer TNT 50-gr. oughtta do it. Double tap him! ( ...the above scenario is purely hypothetical in nature and is in no way suggestive of a possible real life situation... ) [rolleyes]
Link Posted: 3/19/2002 8:42:55 PM EDT
Well If you do NOT WANT to shoot it you could try an animal trap of some kind. I don't know much about cougars and whether they would rather scrounge for food (and therefore enter some trap you laid and baited) or whether they have to kill their food and have it fresh. I am *officialy* against shooting it. [;)] With that crap out of the way, I think it would be easy to claim that it was an immediate threat. I mean if it is close enough for you to see, it is an immediate threat to me! [;D]
Link Posted: 3/19/2002 8:48:54 PM EDT
First of all, I'd do exactly as Fish and Wildlife folks tell you. That being said, 5.56 is the WRONG cartridge for messing with a cougar. Having taken cats in other parts of the world my advice is .300WinMag with 180gr Trophy Bonded Bear Claws or better. Cats are soft-skinned but you want to anchor them with the first shot. A wounded cat is a real danger to every person and child as well as pets and livestock. A perfectly placed 5.56 has the potential to do the job. But you say you're not an experienced hunter and bullet placement means everything especially when you're using a marginal cartridge. If the job were left to me I'd use more gun.
Link Posted: 3/19/2002 8:53:46 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Arock: First of all, I'd do exactly as Fish and Wildlife folks tell you. That being said, 5.56 is the WRONG cartridge for messing with a cougar. Having taken cats in other parts of the world my advice is .300WinMag with 180gr Trophy Bonded Bear Claws or better. Cats are soft-skinned but you want to anchor them with the first shot. A wounded cat is a real danger to every person and child as well as pets and livestock. A perfectly placed 5.56 has the potential to do the job. But you say you're not an experienced hunter and bullet placement means everything especially when you're using a marginal cartridge. If the job were left to me I'd use more gun.
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I'm not an experienced hunter and what you've said confirms it for me; 5.56 is too small.
Link Posted: 3/20/2002 6:37:19 AM EDT
Any cougar that has come down from higher elevations this time of year is old and lame or sick and diseased. It can no longer make it in the wild. Hence, that is why it is close to the house and hunting the dogs. It is definitely an immediate threat. Take it out of the gene pool. Use the heaviest cartridge you have. Bait it with some meat hanging from a tree. Practice the shot first so you have your distance down. Bury it and shut up.
Link Posted: 3/20/2002 7:08:47 AM EDT
Originally Posted By kikomax: Any cougar that has come down from higher elevations this time of year is old and lame or sick and diseased. It can no longer make it in the wild. Hence, that is why it is close to the house and hunting the dogs. It is definitely an immediate threat. Take it out of the gene pool. Use the heaviest cartridge you have. Bait it with some meat hanging from a tree. Practice the shot first so you have your distance down. Bury it and shut up.
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Yea. Thats kind of the same thing Fish and Wildlife said about why hes comming down. They also said some shit like: "if we remove it another one will just take its place." There have always been a lot of cougars in that area but they stay away, or run like hell when they see us. Something has to be wrong with this cougar. On the plus side, we haven’t seen his furry ass in a week now. Maybe he’s given up. I went looking for tracks in the fresh snow and couldn’t find any. I used to find lots. Maybe someone else shot him.
Link Posted: 3/20/2002 7:09:05 AM EDT
[sniper][peep][rolleyes]
Link Posted: 3/20/2002 8:38:07 AM EDT
I"d use a 30 cal rifle, borrow one from a friend if you don't own one.
Link Posted: 3/20/2002 9:12:49 AM EDT
Got a 12 gauge with slugs? Kharn
Link Posted: 3/20/2002 12:50:41 PM EDT
If you have to use a .223, I’d suggest one of the heavier JSP rounds such as the 75gr Hornady TAP or the 64gr Winchester Supreme Power-Point Plus 64gr (or even the regular 64gr Power-Point). Either one of these controlled expansion bullets will have the necessary penetration to use against a mountain lion sized animal. Just make sure you shoot accurately and put it down quickly as it will be very dangerous when wounded.
Link Posted: 3/20/2002 1:02:28 PM EDT
originally posted by the beekeeper [b]Um, we cannot give advice on how to commit an illegal act, especially to a newbie. Please see the Conduct Code tacked at the top of this forum. [b/] surely a citizen of the usa can give advice on killing a d@mn canukian cougar without fear of reprisal. big round heart lung placement would seem prudent[sniper]
Link Posted: 3/20/2002 1:07:06 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/20/2002 1:17:48 PM EDT by Unrepentant_Sinner]
Originally Posted By Arock: First of all, I'd do exactly as Fish and Wildlife folks tell you. That being said, 5.56 is the WRONG cartridge for messing with a cougar. Having taken cats in other parts of the world my advice is .300WinMag with 180gr Trophy Bonded Bear Claws or better. Cats are soft-skinned but you want to anchor them with the first shot. A wounded cat is a real danger to every person and child as well as pets and livestock. A perfectly placed 5.56 has the potential to do the job. But you say you're not an experienced hunter and bullet placement means everything especially when you're using a marginal cartridge. If the job were left to me I'd use more gun.
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I completely agree, I have taken ALOT of cougers-mountain lions, they are alot tougher than you would think. I have never felt the need to shoot a magnum at them, but a solid anchoring cartridge is definately a must. More gun is better than less in this case. I personally wouldn't feel comfortable using a .223 unless it was at moderately close range using a deep penetrating, high expansion round--I don't know what that would be in a .223 And I would have someone (a good shot) backing me up with a 12ga stoked with all the OOB it can hold. My favorite weapon for kittens is a M1a, scoped out and only used at moderate ranges. On a side note, your local veterinarian or some ranchers should have a dart gun or two...loaded with 2cc of Rompun or Sucostrin, your kitty should fall nicely to sleep in seconds. Then you can dispatch it as need be or whatever. I have "relocated" several cats with this methiod. edited cause I can't spell
Link Posted: 3/20/2002 1:12:16 PM EDT
I have to agree with the .30 caliber suggestion or a 12 guage with 00 buck shot. Heart lung shot will do it and put it down fast and humanely. If it comes to that.
Link Posted: 3/20/2002 1:55:25 PM EDT
Cougars are very tough beasts. If you must shoot it I vote for something bigger, not less than a 308 Win. You might try scaring it off by teaching it that people = really loud noises. OTOH if it is getting as bold as you suggest, it may be on the road to becoming dangerous to all humans. In Californistan we had only one cougar attack on a human in over 50 years until pretty recently. Now we've had one fatality and several injuries in 10 years. Use your best judgement and good luck. [50]
Link Posted: 3/20/2002 2:10:29 PM EDT
Originally Posted By California_Kid: Cougars are very tough beasts. If you must shoot it I vote for something bigger, not less than a 308 Win. You might try scaring it off by teaching it that people = really loud noises. OTOH if it is getting as bold as you suggest, it may be on the road to becoming dangerous to all humans. In Californistan we had only one cougar attack on a human in over 50 years until pretty recently. Now we've had one fatality and several injuries in 10 years. Use your best judgement and good luck. [50]
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We’re starting to have a lot more problems with them in my area than we used to. A lot of X-country skiers, riders, hikers now carry a 12ga with them. I never go into the bush without something for protection. Last year a cougar, very near our area, stalked a skier for 5Km before it killed her and dragged her into the bushes. It wasn’t until later that another skier saw the cougar "eating something in the bushes" that is was reported. The Cougar was later tracked and killed. We’ve all seen many articles about the lack of predator control in our area. The general consensus is that predators aren’t afraid of people anymore. In nearby Banff they’ve chased people into their homes. We probably have about two predator fatalities a year, and numerous attacks. We can’t hunt predators in my province but in neighboring BC they can, needless to say they’ve had less problems.
Link Posted: 3/20/2002 2:24:04 PM EDT
Funny how both four and two legged predators become bolder the minute they are protected..
Link Posted: 3/20/2002 4:29:58 PM EDT
If you must kill the cat, wouldn't suggest using 5.56. Suggest something like a .308 or .30-06... maybe even 7mm Mag or 300 WIN MAG. A magnum may be seem like overkill, but you're not wanting to save meat... you want to kill it and kill it fast. If you do use 5.56, don't just shoot once and hope it will eventually drop. Shoot it until it falls. Again, this isn't a deer or a trophy animal. You do not want to wound the animal, as that makes it much more dangerous and unpredictable. It's also the humane thing to do.
Link Posted: 3/20/2002 6:25:09 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/20/2002 6:29:06 PM EDT by imposter]
I concur that .223 is not a great choice. That might be OK if you were hunting them with dogs and could shoot them in a tree at short range, but you will not have that luxury. They can soak up a surprising amount of lead. A 308/30-06 will kill anything in short order. You would hate to wound a cat, and let it get away and endanger others. If you really have no alternative to .223, I think the Partition, Bear Claw or similar controlled expansion bullets would be your best choice. Don't go with anything too frangible. Make sure the range is less than 100 yards, and you would most likely do OK.
Link Posted: 3/20/2002 6:38:56 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/20/2002 7:00:14 PM EDT
I had a very similar situation here in North East Texas a few years back. The local game warden wouldn't help at all, either. I tried to trap the cat first, but I was too dumb then to understand that a cat is a predator and NOT a scavenger, hence live bait must be used. I don't recommend trapping one. Your fist attempt to destroy a cat will be scary to say the least, especially if he is accustomed to humans already. I finally waited up one night with a friend who wanted to see a cat (people swear up and down that cougars don't live in this area). I had a 30-30 and my friend had a 12 gauge, thank god or I might not be replying to this. Anyway, we saw the cat slinking along the fence into one of our pecan orchards (there are always a TON of deer in these orchards) at about 10pm he was just well lit enough to see him, but I couldn't see my sights. I tried to posistion myself for a shot, and thankfully told my buddy to back me up. I wound up getting closer to the cat and whatever it was preying on than I needed to. About the time I was getting REALLY nervous and scared, a fawn jumped up practically under me (about 10 ft, I guess). The cat pounced and I shot, but missed and lost my ability to see for a few seconds. Then my buddy took it down with a shot from the 12 gauge. This happened damn quick, as the cat had managed to damn near tear the fawn in half after I shot. How I managed to get that close, I have no idea, I know the cat saw me the entire time. I have never gotten that close to one since (nor wanted to). Use a 12 gauge and arm a friend with one, too. I would have another friend spotlight the cat, but its been my experience they won't stay still. Hope this helps. Jarhead94
Link Posted: 3/20/2002 7:19:38 PM EDT
A wounded cat running on adrenalin is a fearsome beast. One friend hunting in Zimbabwe a couple years ago got too close to a lion before he shot. That cat absorbed four .375 H&H Magnum and two .458 WinMag before they got it stopped. It happened REAL fast and the cat finally ended its charge less than ten yards from my friend. It you calculate the energy that cat absorbed it's amazing. Another friend had his wife and children in the safari car when he shot a leopard. The shot was not telling and the leopard made its charge INTO the safari car. My friend got to the car door same time as the cat and had the courage to engage the cat. It chewed him up good but he saved his family before the PH got a shot into the cat. What I'm saying is don't take unnecessary chances around dangerous animals. Don't follow them up until you give them fifteen-thirty minutes to bleed out and use enough gun.
Link Posted: 3/20/2002 7:22:26 PM EDT
Break it's front shoulders with about anything from 270 on up and he won't go another foot.
Link Posted: 3/20/2002 8:13:42 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Arock: A wounded cat running on adrenalin is a fearsome beast. One friend hunting in Zimbabwe a couple years ago got too close to a lion before he shot. That cat absorbed four .375 H&H Magnum and two .458 WinMag before they got it stopped. It happened REAL fast and the cat finally ended its charge less than ten yards from my friend. It you calculate the energy that cat absorbed it's amazing. Another friend had his wife and children in the safari car when he shot a leopard. The shot was not telling and the leopard made its charge INTO the safari car. My friend got to the car door same time as the cat and had the courage to engage the cat. It chewed him up good but he saved his family before the PH got a shot into the cat. What I'm saying is don't take unnecessary chances around dangerous animals. Don't follow them up until you give them fifteen-thirty minutes to bleed out and use enough gun.
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JarHead94 and yourself have convinced me to carry my 12ga pump and leave the ARs at home. I'd use my 8mm FN49 but I'm not trained very well to use it in the dark (I'm assuming.) I've shot ARs for years and carried one in the army. But alas, hopefully most of this is academic as another night passes without my seeing the cougar. I’m going to keep my eyes open though. After this discusion I'll never be cought by a cougar, in the dark, with just a flashlight.
Link Posted: 3/20/2002 8:29:45 PM EDT
Originally Posted By thebeekeeper1:
Originally Posted By gregrph: originally posted by the beekeeper [b]Um, we cannot give advice on how to commit an illegal act, especially to a newbie. Please see the Conduct Code tacked at the top of this forum. [b/] surely a citizen of the usa can give advice on killing a d@mn canukian cougar without fear of reprisal. big round heart lung placement would seem prudent[sniper]
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Actually, no. The reprisals come in the form of this type of thread being used as "evidence" that the "gun people" are "evil." "See how they discuss, and even gloat, over killing protected species." CC seems now to be a straight up individual, but when a newbie starts his time here with a request for info on how to commit an illegal act (by his own admission!) it is a red flag to be wary of. Does it seem a little odd that a shooter would need information on how to kill something? It does to me. Perhaps not in this case, but often such requests are dangerous to this site.
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No offence, we gun people have to be more than careful about what we say, but I never meant to imply that I would commit an illegal act. Quite the contrary. Fish and Wildlife all but came out and said: "if its hanging out, its dangerous.- SHOOT IT!" The officer I spoke to was cautious not to encourage the slaughter of an innocent animal but at the same time empowered me to deal with it as I would need to. Speaking to your suspicions about; "seems a little odd that a shooter would need information on how to kill something." Aren’t you buying in to the exact stereotypes we’ve been given by Gun Control Inc? - That all "shooters" are killers of some kind. I’ve had limited training to kill bipeds (to protect my country) not cougars. I understand your prudence though. Just thought I'd clear it up.
Link Posted: 3/20/2002 8:51:35 PM EDT
As far as I know, killing a predatory animal in Texas is legal if your or your property is endangered by the animal. I am not a legal expert, but I don't think a taxidermist will mount protected animals (the one in my previous post is mounted in a very menacing "pose" and right inside my buddy's front hallway. It scares the living bejesus out of unsuspecting visitors). Good luck with the cat, my night prowlers around here now have evolved in to the two legged, methanphetamine type. Jarhead94
Link Posted: 3/20/2002 9:02:01 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/20/2002 9:14:27 PM EDT
Just sit on your roof with a .50 cal with a night vision scope.... Enough gun, risk minimized.[:D]
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