I've seen cougars three times when fishing in Ca. The first incident was a confrontation. I was hiking a creek and came upon an obvious mountain lion kill (small deer, head caved in, back torn out, stomach eaten and half covered in sticks and leaves). I though "Wow! I'd better be on the lookout for mountain lions!" Then, around the next bend, there it was! Placing ME between a mountain lion and it's recent kill. It squared up on me. I raised my arms and made noises but that only seemed to make the cat focus. So I took a chance and started stepping toward it. That made it turn and leave. Which is just what I did as soon as it was out of site. I have since looked into how to handle such things with the best possibility of survival. if you see a mountain lion DO NOT venture into the area where you saw it. If you have a confrontation, try to look as large as possible and make noise. It helps to pick up large sticks and rocks. Your ability to do this confuses the cat and makes it uncertain. If you are attacked, which would most likely happen unannounced WITHOUT having seen the cat, you are fucked. The cat is a big, powerful predator that has decided to eat you! It wants to do this with as little damage to itself as possible. This is the only information that gives you any chance of survival. Gouge it's eyes, claw at it's genitals, stick your hand up it's ass or anything else you can possibly do to convince it that you, as a meal, aren't worth the damage. If you have a gun or a knife, and you can keep your composure, you'll probably survive with a measured degree of disfigurement. ANY weapon you carry can help. The hardest part would be staying cool enough to use it with a cougar trying to hold you down and kick the flesh off your back with it's hind claws!!! I haven't been tested on that yet.