STEVENS COUNTY, Wash.— Houndsmen spent Friday trying to hunt down a cougar near Deer Lake that attacked a horse. The cougar was also spotted near a summer camp the week before.
The 14-day hunt began on Wednesday in the forest near Camp Gifford. Authorities notified the two houndsmen on Tuesday about the attack. By Wednesday morning, the men, six bloodhounds and 15-year-old Chaz Ridler were on the trail of the cougar.
MORE: Cougar attacks horse near Camp Gifford
Ridler’s family owned the horse that was attacked by the cougar. The horse was eventually put down because of its injuries.
“I just don't want it to kill anymore animals or get a child, you know,” said Ridler. “There's a camp right there full of children. Better a horse than a human, but it still sucks. It was my horse.”
Friday’s heat made it dangerous for the bloodhounds and the houndsmen. The heat also made their jobs harder.
“We picked up enough scent. I think with a little more moisture on the ground we would’ve had him caught. The dogs, without the moisture on the ground they can’t,” said Ridler.
The hunters have not seen the cat yet but they know the scent belongs to the one they are looking for.
“Cougs are territorial so it’s likely if it’s a tom, which it probably is looking at the horse, it’s probably the only cat in this area,” said Ridler.
Three days into the cougar hunt and still no sign of the big cat. The houndsmen still have 11 days to go.