A Rossland, B.C., father recounted in a blog posting Friday his five-year-old son's harrowing encounter with a cougar while the family hiked in Washington State.

Mark Impey, his wife Dawn, and their two children, Isabelle and Simon, were about two hours into their hike along the Abercrombie Mountain Trail in the Colville National Forest.

Impey was hiking about 50 metres ahead with his daughter when he heard screams.

He turned around and assumed that his wife and son had stepped in a wasp nest.

But a cougar had pounced on Simon and was dragging him off the trail by the head.

"Dawn started screaming and was bashing the thing repeatedly with her water bottle," he wrote.

The cougar let go and then disappeared into the bush.

Simon's face was covered in blood. They wrapped a shirt around his head and hiked "full speed" back to the car. It took just over an hour.

"I carried Simon. He did not cry or complain once," Impey wrote. "He has been amazingly brave."

They then drove to a hospital in Trail, B.C., where Simon was treated and released.

Impey said the family has been traumatized by the experience. "We seem fine until we talk about it. We breakdown when we do."

Reached by phone late Friday, Impey said his son was running around the house and doing fine -- just a bit embarrassed about all the hair that had to be cut off his head.

Officials with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife said Thursday that they were searching for the cougar. If it is found it will be killed, officials said.