Many of us will never experience getting close enough to a mountain lion to take a picture, let alone seeing one in the wild.

Mountain Lions are incredibly elusive animals and do their best to stay out of sight of humans. In fact, mountain lions are so elusive that the state of Montana has had an extremely difficult time getting an accurate population count.

According to, Montana is home to an estimated 4,000 - 4,500 mountain lions.

Reddit user u/pillageinyourvillage was skiing at Big Sky on Wednesday, January 27, and came within 50 yards of one of the elusive creatures. Here's the story that was shared on Reddit.

This was at 2:30pm between Soul Hole and Wild Bill in the trees, remarkably close to the Swifty lift line.

It was a quiet Wednesday and I had done this run a few times before without seeing anyone. I saw the kitty about 50 yards out - it let me take this picture and then sat down and stared at me. After a minute jn total awe, I realized that this is a pretty big deal predator and clacked my poles together. Kitty slinked off west-ish and I booked it down to ski patrol.

After telling the story (they said it was a bobcat) and then showing the picture (hahaha), about a half dozen snowmobiles took off and everyone was on a radio. By the time I got to the top of the lift again, they had closed down half the mountain.

An incredible, once in a million chance to see one of natures' most amazing creatures. I am so lucky to have seen it. I am also SO lucky it didn't want to ruin my day, lol.

What an incredible story, although it is a bit terrifying. Thankfully, he didn't encounter the mountain lion when it was in a bad mood.

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