A teenager near Pringle, South Dakota set on stand in his backyard to cull a young mountain lion after it began to kill his family’s animals.
And you thought that a little kid’s playhouse was only good for playing in.
Enter one fearless teenager from the Mount Rushmore State who took it upon himself to try and stop one marauding young mountain lion from killing any more of his family’s prized goats.
Once Dalton Streff put his mind to it the 14-year-old, who had just finished taking the hunter’s safety course, was resolved to putting his mother’s goat farm back at ease after a series of animals had started to show up dead or had gone missing.
Dalton’s mother Lila Streff has been operating the Black Hills Goat Dairy for over 10 years without an incident, but in late September, 2017 all that changed. The single mother of six, two of which she home-schools at the farm, said, “It’s unnerving because I really have a smorgasbord of animals here. It’s like Golden Corral. If you don’t stop it, you’ll be at the mercy of the lions. I also have grandchildren out back occasionally, and I was worried.”
She also credits Isabella, one of four Great Pyrenees, as chasing the young lion away the first time. Streff said, “We’ve seen Isabella get in a fight with a lion before. She’s fearless, and she’s not afraid of them. But this is the first animal we’ve lost in 10 years.”
After Streff reported the incident to the state Game, Fish & Parks Department, she knew that it would be a waiting game, but her son Dalton was undeterred. It seems that sometime last year young Mr. Streff had won a beautiful, brand new 30.06 Remington in a local gun raffle.
With his trusty rifle in hand the intrepid young man headed out to the backyard and set up, in all places, inside the plastic Little Tykes Playhouse that the family had there for her grandkids.
His mother was a little skeptical, although quite proud. After all, this is South Dakota and a man has to take care of his family.
Lila said, “He decided he was going to go sit out there until 7, when he had to do milking chores. He said he’d go back out again at 5:30 in the morning if it hadn’t returned that night. But even though it was a possibility, none of us expected the cat to come back that evening.”
30-minutes later a rifle shot rang out and all that changed.
She ran outside only to see her son Dalton, with his arms raised, screaming “I got it!” Dalton then had an amazing story to tell saying, “I was just sitting there and all of sudden one of our cats was back there too, and the mountain lion jumped on it. It looked at me once. When I saw the mountain lion, I grabbed my gun quietly so I didn’t scare it off, quietly loaded one round, looked through the scope and shot it. When I shot it, it jumped about 20 feet and then did a face plant. I got it right through the heart.”
Lila Streff may be one part conservationist, but she is ten parts family matriarch and dairy farmer when she said that “I’m not one to hunt mountain lions, but when it’s coming after your livestock, you either hunt it or suffer the consequences.”
Congratulations to Dalton for the great shot and the nerves of steel! After all, when the family farm is on the line someone has to step up to the plate and young Mr. Streff was up to the task.
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