It was bone-chillingly cold, so I went back in the house and waited. Not more than an hour or so, the trappers were back. They'd found the cat not more than about 75 yards from my llama. It had even recently eaten some, so it was very near. They were able to shoot it, and get it down without incident.
I wanted to know what its gender was. Male. Husband asked how it compared to other cougars. The trapper looked him straight in the eye, and said "It's the biggest one I've ever caught." He said it was well over 8 foot from nose to tail. 150 pounds* or so. In fact, the hunting was almost incidental, the way they talked, the hardest part was getting the cat into the truck. The picture below gives you an idea of how big the cat is, the branch is nearly 10 foot up, if I remember correctly.
I am saddened by the loss of life on both sides. I am, however, glad that I won't have to walk around with a pistol. I am not confident enough of my abilities to consider that a good option. Besides, we do have some neighbors close enough it could be dangerous, depending on which way I had to shoot. We have to fill out some paperwork, but pretty much, the deed is done, and hopefully Ding Dong will not have died in vain, she was the lure, that kept the cougar from killing others.
At least that's what I tell myself. I still miss her, though.
*(They put the cat on a scale at Fish & Wildlife, it was 188 pounds! I guess this is at the upper end of what a cougar weighs...)