Cougar shot and killed in Stevens County; residents say they see more cougars now than ever

STEVENS CO., Wash. — A cougar was shot and killed outside a woman’s home in Colville. Sheriff’s Deputies said the cougar was chasing the homeowner’s dog and wouldn’t leave. 

According to the Sheriff’s Office, it happened 20 minutes south of downtown Colville at the 900-block of Artman-Gibson Road. When Deputies arrived at the woman’s house, the cougar was still there. The Sheriff’s Office said they watched it for a while, decided it was a threat to the community and killed it. 

The Stevens County Sheriff said more cougars are being spotted around the area. In 2018, the Sheriff’s Office received 57 complaints of cougars. In 2019, the number of complaints almost doubled to 110 complaints of cougars in one year. That does not include any additional reports to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. 

For those who live nearby, they aren’t too surprised to hear those numbers. They said they see a lot of wildlife around the area, including cougars.

“The cougars aren’t usually aggressive, but when they hang around a house, like this one appears to have been staying on a porch, that makes you pretty concerned for your pets, and children, and grandchildren and everyone,” said Kevin Mahugh, a Stevens County resident who lives on the same street the cougar was lurking around.

Mahugh said he’s heard from neighbors and seen on game cams, cougars making their way into the neighborhood. 

“They usually come from down the river right below our property, and hang out down there, and then come out sometime at night,” Mahugh said.

4 News Now spoke with another man who lives in the Colville area, who said wildlife is common around his neck of the woods as well. 

“My cat did get eaten by one,” said resident Brennan Findley.

Both men, and others, tell 4 News Now the cougar population in Stevens County continues to grow. 

“My neighbor down the road just had a cougar chilling out there,” Findley said.

“Small livestock, goats, sheep, that type of thing gets killed. Pets disappear,” said Sheriff Brad Manke, Stevens County.

They said it’s just part of rural living.

“We all pretty much carry guns around here. So if we do see one, and it’s threatening us, then I imagine we’ll kill it,” Findley said.

This isn’t the first frightening cougar sighting in the Colville area. Colville Valley Junior Academy was placed under a lockdown last Tuesday, because someone spotted a cougar from the playground. 

The Sheriff’s advice if you see a cougar is to watch it. If you notice it getting close to your home, instead of passing through, call for help.