Mathews Inc.
Turkey Hunter attacked by Cougar
Contributors to this thread:
Ace 07-Apr-20
Ace 07-Apr-20
Medicinemann 07-Apr-20
RK 07-Apr-20
Beav 07-Apr-20
Huntcell 07-Apr-20
JL 07-Apr-20
bigswivle 07-Apr-20
Dale06 07-Apr-20
SteveB 07-Apr-20
Glunt@work 08-Apr-20
ashash 08-Apr-20
Cornpone 08-Apr-20
midwest 08-Apr-20
olebuck 08-Apr-20
Mule Power 08-Apr-20
lewis 08-Apr-20
Lv2hnt 08-Apr-20
TD 08-Apr-20
Dyjack 08-Apr-20
bigswivle 08-Apr-20
LINK 08-Apr-20
midwest 08-Apr-20
From: Ace

Ace's embedded Photo
Ace's embedded Photo
Hunter Jason Cook was stalking turkeys in Florida when he was attacked by a very rare predator, a panther. Cook wasn’t hunting by himself, he was with a friend who helped him get to a hospital after the mauling.

Luckily, Cook only suffered slashes across his face and head. Cook and his friend were hunting opposite sides of a leased property.

The panther attacked Cook a few minutes after the friends split up. Cook had been making hen calls but did not hear any toms gobbling.

“About 10 minutes later I decided to make three loud calls,” Cook said, according to Outdoor Life. “I made the first two, and just as I went to make the third, I was blind-sided. It felt like someone had hit me across the face with a baseball bat.”

With blood in his eyes, Cook was barely able to see the panther at all. He immediately called to his friend following the attack.

“I called him after the panther clawed me,” he said. “He was joking and said: ‘I thought you were going to give it another 15 minutes. It’s only been 13.’ But when I got back to the truck, his mouth dropped wide open. He couldn’t believe what had happened to me.”

Shortly after a game warden approached the two.

“A panther attacked me,” said Cook. “He (the warden) turned ghost white, and started scrambling for bandages to get me patched up.”

The two didn’t have any luck with turkeys, either. Local hunters spotted a panther in the area before the attack and some said that’s why the turkeys were laying low.

“If you talk to enough farmers and landowners down here, they are seeing more panthers,” Cook said. “But this was (one of) the first attacks in state history. I am surprised Florida Fish and Wildlife hasn’t said anything about the incident yet, because there has been a lot of discussion about it, especially on social media.”

Wildlife department officials took tissue and hair samples from Cook’s injuries in an attempt to confirm that it was in fact a panther.

There is one other recorded case of a panther attack in Florida, from 2014, although the Florida Wildlife Commission was unable to confirm it. Former chairman of the board for the Florida Sportsmen’s Conservation Association Byron Maharrey reported a panther attack where he suffered bite and claw marks on his arm and side.

“Immediately after learning of the incident, FWC officers visited the individual and took his statement; however, it was not feasible to confirm the details due to the lapse of time from when the event occurred to when the report was made to the FWC,” said the department.

Panthers are typically reclusive and are very rare in Florida. An estimated 240 panthers inhabit the whole state, and they are considered endangered.

Despite the attack, Maharrey believes panther should remain protected in Florida, with a caveat.

“I do recognize that they’re endangered, and I absolutely want to see them protected,” he said in 2014. “Unless another one attacks me–then I’m going to eat it for breakfast.”

From: Ace

Ace's Link

From: Medicinemann
Luckily, it missed his eye....

From: RK
He actually got out pretty light.

Wonder if rabies shots are in order now

From: Beav
Wow! Lucky that is all that happened.

From: Huntcell
Hmmmm......””””blind-sided. It felt like someone had hit me across the face with a baseball bat.”

With blood in his eyes, Cook was barely able to see the panther at all.”””””

Most likely a blond phased raccoon! Puma makes better press.

From: JL
I didn't see what county that was in....

From: bigswivle

See if this works. This is what our wonderful game and fish has done to us

From: Dale06
Hope he heals up completely.

From: SteveB
Surprised by this. I’ve seen a few in florida over the years but they are much smaller than their western cousins.

From: Glunt@work
We've had two attacks in my county here in CO recently. One juvenile cat last Feb and one with rabies a few weeks ago.

From: ashash
Oh wow. He got away very lucky. There's a lot of mountain lions where I live and this scares me.

From: Cornpone
He was lucky he didn't lose an eye. Obviously the panther thought it was going to have a turkey for breakfast. A friend got bitten on the hand by a fox several years ago under the same circumstances.

From: midwest
I was attacked by a cougar many years ago but all the scratches were on my back. ;-)

Sorry, got tired of waiting for the cougar jokes.

From: olebuck
i had a young bob cat jump on me this year - was about the size of a house cat. put three scratches on my face and 5 small scratches on the back of my shoulder. Luckily it was a young - small one... nothing like what this poor guy got.

From: Mule Power
Midwest are you scarred for life.... mentally?

From: lewis
I know of 3 that came in to my turkey call over the years on our old lease in s.w.Fl.Had a bunch of bobcats come in plus a bear on the dead run.Our lease backed up to the 250,000 acre panther preserve.Always interesting.Stay safe Lewis

From: Lv2hnt
One spring morning a couple decades ago I had a hen turkey deke set up on the bank of a small ice-skimmed dirt tank here in the mountains of Arizona. Had been yelping off and on for about an hour with no results. Got up to get my deke and startled a mature lion stalking in about 60 yards away ...

From: TD
Panther King.......

From: Dyjack
Was gonna pass on buying the lion tag early this year, but this thread as me rethinking that.

From: bigswivle
Mountain lions, pythons, Yankees and Covid19, please stay out of this state!!!!! :)

From: LINK
I know a couple of people that have been pounced on by bobcats as they were working a slate or box call. Cats hit their hands and then just took off. Could be incentive to not use a mouth call.

From: midwest
MP....yes, but it was worth it!

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