If you’ve ever seen the old movie Big Cat, with that sinister mountain lion killing half the characters in the movie, searching out a mountain lion this week may not be your idea of a good time.
Then again, real-life mountain lions aren’t likely to hurt you. And seeing one might earn you bragging rights, getting you a spot in the unofficial Mountain Lions Club.
According to the Chron, the coming weeks will be a great opportunity to spot them for two reasons: the lions are out hunting fawns, and better weather (especially this year) means more people will venture into the parks. That doesn’t increase your chances, necessarily, but it increases the chances that someone will spot a big cat.
Tom and Barb Goldman, who were hiking the Yolanda Trail near Marin, chanced upon a fresh deer kill. The same day, Tom said, they sighted a cat:
“I could see a mountain lion on the open hillside far below.”
Your best chances for spotting a mountain lion will come hiking game trails. Keep an eye out for scat, tracks, or even deer legs — all are signs that one may be nearby.
Unlike in Big Cat, you can’t bring a rifle out there to protect you. So if you see a big cat, just be sure you don’t piss it off, and you’ll be in for a fantastic — albeit momentary— encounter with nature.