You're out for a relaxing hike when you sense something is wrong and then you hear something. You look up and learn you're being stalked by a mountain lion in a tree. What would you do? A hiker recently really had to make this urgent decision and lived to tell about it.

Here's the backstory of what happened when Tiffany Foster realized she was being watched by a big cat:

Foster said she heard a herd of deer stampeding from a nearby canyon shortly before 4 pm but thought nothing of it. Around five minutes later, Foster turned around and saw a “huge” mountain lion sitting in a tree around 10 feet from where she stood.

Video shows Foster shout, hiss, and throw rocks at the mountain lion, which seems unfazed by her presence. During the encounter, Foster contacts her husband via a Garmin Reach, a two-way satellite messenger, and retreats back to her tent.

She handles this encounter better than I likely would have.

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The National Park Service recommends you do not hike alone if you know you're in mountain lion country. If you are and you see deer, there is likely a mountain lion nearby just like Tiffany did. She did a great job of following the NPS guidelines and appearing as intimidating as she could. Running is a definite no-no as that makes you appear as prey.

There are studies that show it's likely mountain lions are more afraid of humans than we are of them. They will often flee to avoid contact if they know people are nearby, but that's not the case when they have prey like deer nearby. Getting a big cat off of a food source isn't likely to occur.

A lot of these big cats are being spotted now with the increase of home security cameras like this family had recently.

If you know mountain lions are present in your area, assume you're being watched so you're mentally prepared to deal with a showdown if it happens like it did to Tiffany Foster.

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