April 23, 2014
A Smith Valley man shot and killed a 125-pound mountain lion that charged him and his son while hunting turkeys at the Mason Valley Wildlife Refuge.
Tom Bird says the six-foot, eight-inch long cat got within about
eight feet of him and his son, Ryan, before he shot it with his
Bird has both a license and tag for hunting mountain lions. But
he told the Mason Valley News it was the first one he had seen in
his nearly 30 years hunting various game at the refuge.
The attack occurred March 26th several hours after the pair had
set up a blind and put out decoys at the refuge near Yerington.
Bird says he and his son were starting to doze off when the
mountain lion raced out from behind them and proceeded to attack
Bird fired a round from his 12-gauge shotgun, which he believes
might have spooked or disoriented the cat, and then it turned
toward the two hunters and began to charge.
By the time Bird was able to fire a second, fatal shot, the cat
was only eight feet away. The pattern of the shotgun shot was less
than a silver dollar in size, confirming it had to be at nearly