12-Yr-Old Receives Backlash After Posting This Photo Online

One dad is holding his little girl extra-tight tonight after a close call, but observers aren't too pleased with them.

They had an encounter with a mountain lion on a hunting trip. The two were not having the best of luck on the trip, and the dad went to scout another spot, leaving his daughter behind with their stuff.

That's when a mountain lion decided to turn the hunter into the hunted, but he was no match for the child hunter.

Joshua Caldwell and his 12-year-old daughter, Alyssa, were hunting bull elk in New Mexico near the Colorado border. The father and daughter team had made a makeshift hunting blind near a watering hole, but they weren't having much luck in that spot.

Mr. Caldwell went off to scout a meadow a few hundred yards away to see if any elk had come out to feed. He was halfway there when he realized he forgot the shooting sticks back in the blind with Alyssa.

“I decided to head back up to grab them and told Alyssa to sit tight,” Caldwell said to Lone Star Outdoor News. “About 30 to 45 seconds after I had started walking, I heard a shot.”

The dad thought his little girl might have bagged a nice, big elk. That's not what happened, though. Alyssa pointed to a big cat that she shot.

“I asked if she had shot a bull,” Caldwell recalls. “She told me she had shot a cat. He was only about five yards away from her. She thought quick. When I saw how close he was, I got emotional.”

The large mountain lion had been creeping up to Alyssa. It looked like he was close to pouncing, and the dad realized just what danger his daughter could have been in if she hadn't spotted the beast.

“I saw him first,” Alyssa said. “I didn’t hear him or see him until he was really close. I didn’t know exactly what it was but I knew it wasn’t a bobcat. I raised my gun when he crouched down.”

“I knew it was stalking me,” Alyssa continued.

“I had a feeling right before that something was watching me. After I shot, I kept the gun on it the whole time. Dad ran back and he thought I had shot an elk. I told him I had shot a cat and he got real emotional.”

Game wardens confiscated the dead cat, but not before allowing Alyssa to snap a few poses with her kill.

Lion hunting usually requires special permits, which Alyssa didn't have, but because the girl shot the beast in self-defense the family won't be charged with a violation.

The father and daughter team continued with their hunt, and two days later, Alyssa got her elk. She shot one at 375 yards.

“We took the cat in the lower bowl and the elk higher up the mountain,” Alyssa said. “It was a great hunt. We are getting elk European mounted and we have a lot of meat for the freezer.”

When Caldwell got home and related the experience, the whole family was shaken by Alyssa's close call. Thankfully, though, the young hunter didn't lose her head and thought fast.

Source: Iso News, SF Globe
Photos: Lone Star Outdoor News, The Truth About Guns, California DFW

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