11-Year-Old Girl Shoots Cougar That Was Stalking Her Big Brother

cougarDon't mess with this little lady. Eleven-year-old Shelby White shot a cougar after noticing it was following her 13-year-old brother home. This is actually the fourth cougar shot on the White's property in rural Washington State in the past few weeks, so cougar sightings are not unusual. Shelby has been hunting for a couple of years and has already bagged a couple of deer. So she's already learning how to feed -- and protect -- her family. She just saved her brother's life.

This story is totally reminding me of the movie Winter's Bone -- Shelby's like a younger version of Jennifer Lawrence's character. Only she's not living as an orphan, thank goodness.

Shelby's dad, Thomas, says she "wasn't scared a bit" when she shot the cougar. In fact, he was the one who handed her the rifle and said, "Shelby, grab that gun and go shoot that cougar." That's a lot of trust in his daughter's skills! But White was also following the law. His daughter is the only one in the family licensed to shoot cougars.

This story makes me a little sad, though. The cougar Shelby shot was about 4 years old and weighed 50 pounds, half what it should weigh. The poor thing was clearly starving to death. The reason the cougar was in town, stalking the family, might be because it can't find enough prey further in the wilderness. Wildlife officials have seen increasing numbers of cougars in populated areas lately, so something must be going on.

How old do you think kids should be before they learn to shoot and hunt?


Image via Mike Fisher/Flickr

animals, guns


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SoJaided SoJaided

I feel so bad for these animals who are either pushed out of their homes or their homes are so lacking in prey that they desperately start looking in populated areas and this is what happens :-(

the4m... the4mutts

My children are 10, 7, 6, & 4. All of them have had rifle and handgun training.

The 4 yr old is on the BB gun right now, until he learns to stop swinging it around after each shot. My 7yr old girl is a GREAT shot! My 10 yr old is the safest, but not a very good shot yet. The 6 yr old did very well with the .25 handgun.

It's always good to hear when kids have learned safety and respect for the tools they use.

I do have to agree with SoJaided though. It's sad that these animals are losing so much prey, that they're coming down to "human territory" and losing their lives because of it.

lulou lulou

Hopefully they are not out of tags then, since if the cougars are going hungry, and cougars eat deer, and their family is also hunting deer, they should maybe reconsider that. 

John Alastair

Funny title. Not so funny story.

Happy... Happydad73

I thought guns were evil. They are only good for killing innocent people who accidently broke into the house that they thought was theirs. They are never used to protect people. How does something like this happen?!? Go figure.

nonmember avatar Liliana

@SoJaided I agree. It's very sad.

Gert-jan Lint

the good part is that americans also like to shoot each other dead

nonmember avatar lilah

Maybe if you didn't wipe out the cougar's food supply with needless deer hunting they wouldn't try to eat your family. Just a thought.

socal... socalmommy13

You better believe if i was living in a rural area id have an arsenal because of this reason.

the4m... the4mutts

"Needless deer hunting"??

Do you not know how much meat a deer could provide for a family? Hunting is much better for nature than massive cow ranches. If everyone hunted, and only hunted what they needed, nature's balance would be more equal.

It's excessive building of homes and commercial buildings that is the major cause of lost habitat and natural food sources. Not the amount of hunting that most people do.

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