Hunting ambassador Jim Shockey and his cameraman were victims of a cougar attack on Vancouver Island.
In early June 2018, veteran hunter and hunting ambassador Jim Shockey and his cameraman Taylor Smith were hunting black bears on Canada’s famed Vancouver Island when an emaciated cougar jumped them.
Upon returning from their hunt, the two actually saw the big cat cross the trail in front of them.
“Taylor and I continued walking towards where the cougar crossed the logging road and as we passed the spot where it crossed, it attacked us from behind,” Shockey said. “It had obviously crouched down and hid in the thick undergrowth beside the road and waited for us.”
Only about two weeks before this incident, two friends were mountain biking north of Seattle in Washington State when a rogue cougar attacked them, leaving one serious injured and one dead. The big cat in Shockey’s case—also known as a mountain lion or puma—showed great signs of starvation and may have attacked out of shear hunger.
“I whirled and shot from the hip, disabling the big male cougar as it leapt at me,” Shockey added. “Taylor captured the attack on camera and you are looking at a video screen grab from an instant after I fired.”
Quick thinking by both men, along with great experience and a Nosler bullet, may have been all that prevented this from being another fatal cougar attack in the western part of North America this year.
The fully grown male cougar was said to be emaciated, weighing an estimated 100 pounds when it should’ve been closer to the normal 140.
Since the day humans created logging roads in this region, the wolf population has taken full advantage, creating a cause-and-effect relationship. Because of this, wolves have now taken so much game that other predators like the cougar are suffering.
Wildlife experts say carrying bear spray can be a proactive way for hikers and bikers to stay safe. But, when a cougar kills, it’s going to fight to the death. Shockey said it best when he wrote, “Sorry but the truth is, those cyclists did their best and deserve our respect, they fought for their lives…they just did not have a firearm to tip the scales in their favour as I did.”
The fact remains that you probably won’t have cell reception to call fish and wildlife officials for help.
It’s imperative that we as hunters stay up-to-date on wildlife management science.
When big cats go into predatory mode while there are too many predators and not enough food it, they start looking for alternatives.
“(Who) do you think they will look upon as dinner next?” Shockey asks.
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