What to do if a cougar is stalking you
The "Survive" column in the new issue of Sierra deals with an uncommon but alarming backcountry situation: What do you do when you're being stalked by a mountain lion? In this case (spoiler alert!) lucky rafter Dan Miller is able to get the attention of a companion, who scares the predator off with an emergency air horn. Just as we were sending the issue off to the printer, however, came news of another technique: When Jason Hobbs of Leander, Texas, saw a lion dragging away his six-year-old son, River, while on a hike in Big Bend National Park, he plunged a pocketknife blade into the animal's chest until it released the boy and fled. Which only goes to confirm the advice given in "Survive" by Andrew Hughan, wildlife specialist with the California Department of Fish and Game: "If you are attacked," he advises, "fight back as hard as you can. Don't play dead--or you soon will be."
--Paul Rauber / Illustration by Koren Shadmi