In a strange turn of events, a group of coyote hunters stumbled upon a mountain lion in Missouri and shot it out of self defense.
The group was coyote hunting outside of La Plata, Missouri when a 130-pound lion appeared just 20 yards away. Startled by the cougar, one of the hunters shot it and one of his partners also shot as the animal ran off.
Mountain lions are uncommon in the state and attacks are almost unheard of there. It's illegal to kill mountain lions in Missouri unless they are eating livestock or threatening a human life and the Missouri Department of Conservation ruled that this shooting was indeed self defense. No charges are being pressed.
I was on my office phone last Thursday when I spotted the first of the smoke, drifting over town on the wings of a 40-mile-per-hour southeast wind.
Within minutes the smoke grew black and billowing, and I knew it was bad news. With winds like that, gusting to 60mph, no fire is intentional. I wouldn’t know for hours that the blaze hit very close to home—literally. It was my neighbor’s barn, torched when a power pole snapped in the stiff wind. The old barn was consumed in minutes. It was all volunteer firefighters could do to contain the blaze to the structure and prevent it from catching the dry prairie, including my fields and pasture.