Teen shoots threatening mountain lion while deer hunting

A 17-year-old boy was deer hunting with his family on private property along the Sioux River near Akron, Iowa, when he heard rustling in the bushes.

Jake Altena decided to investigate and discovered an uprooted tree. A moment later, a mountain lion emerged from under the fallen timber and threatened him, according to the Sioux City Journal and Des Moines Register.

“I was about 15 feet away and a mountain lion poked his head out and it was looking at me dead in the eyes,” Altena told the Journal. “I immediately pulled my gun on him. I was pretty scared at the moment. When I had him in my sights, he kind of made a quick jump at me and I instantly pulled the trigger.

“That was one hell of an adrenaline rush.”

The fatal shot hit the mountain lion in the shoulder. It was the sixth mountain lion killed in Iowa, according to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

“I tell you something cool the DNR told me; he said that the mountain lion is one of two female mountain lions to be shot in Iowa in the last 100 years,” Altena told the Journal. “Only two of them and mine was one of the two.”

The Altena family had immediately alerted the DNR to ask what to do next. A representative met up with them and took the carcass with the intention of conducting tests but that never happened so it was returned to the family.

“I’m going to take it home and have it mounted,” Altena told the Journal.

Since mountain lions aren’t protected in Iowa, it was legal to shoot it. And if it weren’t legal, officials likely would have ruled it self-defense.

Not surprisingly, the story created an uproar on the Sioux City Journal’s Facebook page with a mixture of those who say the boy should have just scared the mountain lion away and those who defended the boy’s actions.

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