There have been numerous mountain lion sightings recently in Missouri. Most are short encounters where the cats flee back into the woods as soon as they're seen. One elk hunter recently learned the hard way that he had become the hunted - stalked by a fierce mountain lion.

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In Missouri, there was a mountain lion sighting on a trail cam about a month ago in Boone County near Columbia. More recently a cougar was hit by a vehicle near Franklin, Missouri before it disappeared in the woods. There was even a big cat that traveled from Nebraska to Illinois.

This encounter is entirely different. It's video shared recently by an elk hunter who realized he had a mountain lion bearing down on him. Ears laid low, this cat was readying an attack. Only the hunter's Glock which he used to fire warning shots likely saved his life.

NOTE: no mountain lions or hunters are harmed in this video.

The US Forest Service shares tips on how to handle situations like this if you happen to encounter a mountain lion in the backcountry. Backing away slowly and not appearing like prey are vital. They also say that what this hunter did was appropriate. If you know you're about to be attacked by the animal's disposition, fight back.

This hunter did the honorable thing by not killing the animal and scaring it away with warning shots. It could have ended much worse for both the elk hunter and/or the mountain lion.

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