Hiker killed by cougar in Oregon’s Mt. Hood National Forest

Almost 30,000 acres and 14 hiking trails, mostly south of Zigzag and Government Camp in the Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness area of Oregon’s Mount Hood National Forest, have been closed after a cougar was blamed for killing a hiker last week, as reported by Woodall’s Camground Management.

Officials began hunting Thursday morning, September 13th, using mule teams and four trained dogs, for the cougar believed to have killed 55-year-old Diana Bober, whose body was discovered along the Hunchback Trail on Monday.

No recent cougar sign such as tracks, scat, or scratches was detected in the area, officials with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said in a news release.

Searchers also saw very few signs of cougar’s prey, like deer.

“It’s very important that we started our search at the site where Diana was found,” said Brian Wolfer, ODFW watershed manager who is leading the capture effort. “The cougar wasn’t there. Tomorrow we will expand our search into a new area.”

“This does have every indication that this is the first fatal attack of a human by a cougar in Oregon,” said Brian Wolfer, watershed manager with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The closure will remain in place for 30 days but could be rescinded early or extended depending on circumstances of the hunt. Read more, including tips to stay safe if you encounter a cougar and view a map of the closed area, at Statesman Journal.

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5 Thoughts to “Hiker killed by cougar in Oregon’s Mt. Hood National Forest”

  1. Michael McCracken

    People who are hiking in wilderness areas without a form of protection are leaving themselves vulnerable to attacks from wildlife. Regardless of how safe you believe a trail to be, you are in a habitat for wild animals. Be smart carry some form of protection.

  2. Sharon Baron

    One time at BWCA camping for a week I remember portaging my canoe on my shoulders from one island to another. As I was walking down the path I smelled a stuffy urine smell from left. I was a bit concerned and thought about how I would cover myself with the canoe if I was attacked by whatever it was. The smell went away as I continued to walk and it appeared again further down the dirt lane. Eventually I re-enterd the water and paddled to my destination.
    After my camping trip I visited the Wolf Exhibit in Ely and questioned a ranger about what it could have been. He told me it was probably a mountain lion watching me. I guess I should consider my self lucky without a mishap, but I have learned that whenever in the wild I will always have ready one of those mace sprays hooked on my waist for any emergency.

  3. Tommy B

    Meet my new friend,Samuel Colt.
    Or get to know Mr . Smith and mr. Wesson

  4. Tommy Molnar

    I think hiking by yourself is a bad idea, especially in areas like this. But, that just may be me. I can appreciate those who want to experience solitude all by themselves.

    1. suzanne

      Here in WA, 2 on bicycles were attacked. They stopped and used their bikes as a shield to scare it off. When they thought he was gone, they continued. However, the cougar came back and killed one cyclist.

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