A lot of people on this island rarely think of how we share it with some amazing wildlife including a number of "alpha" predators. Their ranks include everything from golden eagles to wolves and bears to the greatest concentration of cougars on the planet.
I've had a backwoods run in with a cougar. Fortunately the big cat wasn't hungry or, if it was, didn't find the look of me very appetizing. One hot summer evening I was awakened from a sound sleep by the very loud purring of a creature outside my open bedroom window. Of course, it was a cougar, the biggest cat that purrs (and, hands down the loudest).
In recent conversations with people living out of town, I've heard three mention an unusual number of sightings of cougars on our backroads. Like the bears and wolves they're coming out of the forests and they're hungry.
Still, especially for drylanders, it makes for some good story telling.
Fortunately for that fellow he encountered a pretty small cat. It'd be a lot harder to punch out a big one.
And they can be bold as brass, even when you're out trying to get a salmon for dinner.