Caught on camera: B.C. man's tense standoff with 'huge' cougar
Published Monday, March 5, 2018 11:17AM PST
Last Updated Monday, March 5, 2018 7:29PM PST
A B.C. outdoorsman who came face-to-face with a cougar last week on Vancouver Island is sharing video of the tense standoff online.
Adam Bartsch was setting up trail cameras in the wilderness north of Campbell River when he realized he was being stalked by what he estimates was a roughly 140-lb. cat.
While many people would be too frightened to move, Bartsch, who is an avid hunter and wildlife watcher, pulled out his camera to capture the incredible encounter.
"There is a monster, monster tom at 20 metres looking at me," he says in the video. "And no, I don't have a gun. I have nothing. And he is huge."
While Bartsch only posted about five minutes of the standoff to YouTube, the cougar stared intently at him for over an hour before finally turning around and heading deeper into the woods.
The outdoorsman's wife, Chantelle Bartsch, told CTV News her husband has a lot of experience dealing with wildlife, which helped him to remain calm.
He was only really concerned when he suspected there might be a second cougar teaming up on him.
"The cougar was showing signs of possibly being with another cougar – he was constantly looking to the side," she said. "It ended up just being one very large tom."
Off camera, Bartsch managed to scare the cat away three times by throwing rocks and sticks, but it kept coming back – so he kept the camera rolling.
His wife, who is a hunting instructor and also teaches cougar and bear safety courses, said it appears the cat was more curious than hungry.
"It was [Adam's] luck for the day that the cat was only out for some stardom, and wasn't out for his lunch," she said.
The YouTube video, which has been viewed more than 75,000 times, has generated a lot of positive feedback, but some have questioned Bartsch's response to a potentially dangerous situation. His wife told CTV News she admittedly would not encourage her students to spend any more time than necessary in a wildcat's presence, but said her husband knew what he was doing.
"I've known him for over 18 years and we've been hunting together for that long," she said. "Both of us absolutely love wildlife, we respect wildlife."