heres a video link posted below,some guy shot in a rural area, https://globalnews.ca/video/4061685/video-shows-close-encounter-with-cougar its a damn good example of why you should carry a large bore handgun or shotgun, if your traveling on foot through areas where large carnivores/ predators are known to travel, this guy was very lucky that cat did not decide he was a great example of human lunch on the hoof, and theres plenty of previous examples of people that were mauled and killed by the cougars. now Id be the last guy to shoot a cougar if .... it just stayed there looking at me, and did not charge, but its a large predator with a well documented history of people attacks, and any sane person would carry a defensive weapon or at a minimum bear spray a good quality shotgun is far easier to make effective hits with, in most peoples hands than any handgun under stress, but obviously a hand guns far easier to transport especially concealed. https://www.animalplanet.com/tv-sho...-mountain-lion-ferociously-attacks-lone-hiker https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fatal_cougar_attacks_in_North_America http://tchester.org/sgm/lists/lion_attacks.html http://www.topangaonline.com/nature/lionatk.html the difference between being lunch or returning safely in many cases will be in your being observant of your surroundings, at all times and having an effective defense if attacked. predators can sense fear and vulnerability, and your attitude tends to be much more conducive of surviving if the tools for effective effective and lethal defense are both available and well practiced with. you may not need it 9 out of ten times but if you do you'll need it badly and if its not handy you'll most likely never need anything else ever again. in most peoples hands a shotgun is the best choice, but a handguns far easier to carry. most people have a spare tire and a cell phone , because having the ability to get help is a reasonable precaution.