I work in a barn because I like to be near horses. I have my own and love riding with a passion. I learned to ride on Mackinac Island when I was a child and my attachment to horses has never left me. Sometimes unexpected things happen at the barn. Animals get lose, strangers wander in, food is missing. I can’t imagine what else goes on when I am not there. Recently, we had some cougar sighting scares. These are dangerous animals. You don’t want them around your pets and never want to approach them. The owners of the barn are concerned and have checked their gun safe. Yes, there is a rifle inside. They check it for its working condition and whether or not it is loaded. The safe is in the barn so we are ready for a cougar invasion. I know how to shoot so I could be the one to save the animals from attack.
Guns should not be lying about so I was glad that the rifle was secure. The safe operates with a combination lock and I know the numbers. I could open the safe in a jiffy. I am responsible about weapons so I never take chances. I would prefer that the owner do the dirty deed of shooting the cougar should it invade our private space. Sometimes the sightings are far away but these animals are known to travel great distances and they are not afraid of people. They have even been seen in suburbs where kids play in the street. More than one local family has a gun safe like these.
If the cougar wanders at night, it is important to keep the barn door closed to deter entry. I certainly would not want to meet this creature of the wild face to face. I worry about the animals and would feel terrible if they were approached or attacked. They get very frightened and can’t eat for days after they see an alien in their midst. I would be destroyed if anything happened to my horse. All you can do, however, is secure your premises including your yard and keep a rifle on hand if you are really concerned. Listen to the sightings—it could be a cougar or a mountain lion—and create a plan. Don’t worry about deer. They are often spotted in the hills and sometimes they come down into residential areas adjacent to the mountains. They are not dangerous and you would feel bad if you made the mistake of hunting this delicate animal.
I don’t believe in hunting for its own sake but if you are threatened, you or your property, I can see that it is justified. This is a personal decision you must make. If you grow up with guns as I have, and you know how to use them, it may be an easier choice. The problem is that there are so many reported accidents. You need to teach your family about gun safety and the important role of a gun safe.