11 Year old girl shoots cougar stalking her 13 year old brother
In rural Wisp, Washington, sometimes you have to go the extra mile for family. When 13 year old Tanner White found himself walking to the basement door of the home last week, he had some company in the form of a 50-pound adult cougar that was shadowing him. It's a good thing that his 11 year old girl not only already had a cougar tag, but she put it to good use.
Twisp, Washington, in quiet Okanogan County, is one of those areas that you go to get away from it all. Located near the Canadian border, its remoteness is sought after by hunters and hikers. Located on the Methow River at its confluence with the Twisp River, the town is home to a large population of game.
Sometimes too large.
(11-year old Shelby White has taken three deer in the past three years in upstate Washington. Her marksmanship paid off this past week.)
Shelby White, 11, spotted a cougar following her older brother, who was but feet away from the family's home. Quickly calling her dad Tom in to the room, he handed young Shelby a rifle and she promptly put the animal down.
'He said, "Shelby, grab that gun and go shoot that cat,"' White said, adding that the 11-year-old 'wasn't scared a bit' as she pulled the trigger.
'She was excited to get to do that,' Mr. White recalled.
Luckily for the older brother, the boy didn't realize he was in danger until the cougar lurking nearby was dead at the hands of his sister.
Shelby, in a house full of hunters, was the only one with a legal cougar tag, required by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. And she put it to good use.
The cougar was the fourth bagged on the White property this winter, which has been as especially hard one for both man and beast. Two of the previous animals were killed in the past month, one just off of the rural home's driveway. Both of Shelby's brothers, 13 year old Tanner, and 9 year old Cody, have taken cougar already.
(Although just 50 pounds, the cougar had a decent set of chompers that could ruin anyone's day)
The Whites explained that, until recently, local residents were able to
keep the cougar population in check by hunting the predators with dogs,
but two years ago, the local Legislature outlawed the practice.
(The White family has suffered predation of their livestock from cougar in recent months)
"This cougar was very, very skinny," Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife officer Cal Treser told The Wenatchee World . "She was about 4 years old and should have weighed about 100 pounds, but she was only 40 or 50 pounds," he said.
"It was starving to death."
This winter 10 cougars have been killed in the Methow Valley, five by state wildlife officials after the cats attacked livestock or pets, and five by hunters, according to Tressar.