A Sardis, Alabama woman, Michelle Russel, was attacked by a rabid bobcat in her front yard on 13 July, 2015. Her friend, Register, had a .22 rifle in the house, but the cartridges were in a tool shop. From greenvilleadvocate.com:
“I kept yelling, ‘There’s a bobcat out here.’ He immediately got his gun and ran to his tool shop to get bullets,” she said.
Register got the rifle loaded, but not before the cat attacked Michelle:
“The cat just full-force jumped in the air and bit my arm. If I had been facing him, he would’ve probably got my neck and my face,” she said. “I had no idea what to do.”The delay of having to retrieve cartridges from a different location made a significant difference in this case. If the cartridges had been handy, been kept in a loaded magazine, or in the rifle, the response time would have been greatly reduced, and the bobcat would likely have been shot *before* it attacked Michelle.
Russell twisted and turned, but could not shake off the bobcat.
Register witnessed the attack, but could not get a clean shot. He swung at the cat with the stock of the rifle.
Register managed to knock the cat off Russell, releasing her arm from the locked jaw. But, the cat landed on its hind legs and jumped right back onto Russell. She turned away from the lunging cat and raised her arms to protect herself.
Register continued to use the rifle as a club until he knocked the 30 lb bobcat off of Michelle. Register hit the cat with the stock, but it is better to use the barrel if you must swing a rifle like a club. The barrel delivers a more concentrated blow, is less likely to damage the rifle, and you do not end up pointing the muzzle in your direction. In this case, the rifle was loaded!
Once Register knocked the cat off the second time, he shot the cat four or five times, until the rifle jammed. Considering the abuse that the rifle had just been given, a jam is not too surprising. The rifle's stock was cracked from the blows.
After the rifle jammed, he used it like a baseball bat a few more times, then ran to his car to retrieve a pistol.
“After being shot at least four or five times with a .22, the cat was just sitting there licking his leg when Brandon returned. He shot him and that was it,” Register said.It is hard to argue with success. Register Brandon got the bobcat off of his friend Michelle, and was able to kill it.
But holding a loaded rifle by the barrel and using is as a club is a dangerous practice.
In some cases, defenders have pressed the muzzle of the rifle against the attacking animal to reduce the chances of hitting the person being attacked.
©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch