Alpine resident shoots and kills mountain lion |

Alpine resident shoots and kills mountain lion

by Kurt Hildebrand

An Alpine County resident killed a mountain lion on Friday that had been preying on dogs in the Woodfords area.

California Department of Fish & Game spokeswoman Janice Mackey confirmed that the resident had been issued a depredation permit after three dogs were killed in the area.

“The resident was scoping out where the remains of the last dog was found and ran into the mountain lion,” Mackey said. “He legally took the lion with a .270 rifle.”

The name of the resident was not released.

Mackey said the mountain lion turned out to be an old female with severely worn teeth.

“They are extremely powerful animals even in the last years of their lives,” she said. “When they can no longer hunt what they are supposed to in the wild, sometimes they’ll come down into more populated areas. Dogs are easier prey than what they’re supposed to be hunting.”

Mackey said there have been 17 mountain lion depredation permits issued for Alpine County between 1972-2009. By comparison, the Department of Fish & Game issued 99 permits in Mono County during the same period.

Alpine County authorities first reported that a mountain lion was preying on dogs on April 5.

Undersheriff Robert Levy reminded residents to be aware that they could come in contact with wildlife while out in the wilderness.

Mackey said typically mountain lions avoid human contact.

“They really are scaredy cats,” she said.

Mountain lions’ main food source are deer, which tend to attract them, Mackey said.

“When you see deer, you’re going to see mountain lions,” she said.

For more information about living in mountain lion country, go to

Living in Mountain Lion Country

• Don’t feed deer; it is illegal in California and it will attract mountain lions.

• Deer-proof your landscaping by avoiding plants that deer like to eat. For tips, request A Gardener’s Guide to Preventing Deer Damage from DFG offices.

• Trim brush to reduce hiding places for mountain lions.

• Don’t leave small children or pets outside unattended.

• Install motion-sensitive lighting around the house.

• Provide sturdy, covered shelters for sheep, goats, and other vulnerable animals.

• Don’t allow pets outside when mountain lions are most active – dawn, dusk, and at night.

• Bring pet food inside to avoid attracting raccoons, opossums and other potential mountain lion prey.