After a kill the mountain lion may begin to eat immediately or may spend time preparing the carcass. The mountain lion may return to finish off his meal in which case he will cover the remains with snow, grass, sand or leaves or whatever is available. We are told that the mountain has a habit of covering remains with leaves and debris. This has led to a number of stories by hunters who have bedded down for the night wrapped in a blanket to wake up to find that they have been covered with a pile of leaves.
When they wake up they often find the mountain lion approaching with her young ready to have breakfast whereupon the hunter shoots the mountain lion which personally I find very sad but I’m sure other people will have different opinions.
The reason for covering the kill is to prevent it being eaten by scavengers. Mountain lion kills are often scavenged by other mammals including coyotes, bobcats, foxes, wolves, pigs and bears. Studies tell us that bobcats and coyotes scavenging mountain lion caches are sometimes killed by the mountain lion.
Another study tells us that in Idaho 79 of 100 mountain lion kills were scavenged by coyotes and groups of coyotes. In another study it was found that coyotes harassed mountain lions at kills forcing the animal to abandon his carcass. It’s tough for a mountain lion to hang onto his/her prey.
P.S. Mountain lion sometimes pluck hair and quills from mammalian prey. They usually pluck birds before eating them. Mountain lions feed in a crouched position with the head on one side. They slice of large chunks of flesh with their carnassial teeth. These are the shearing teeth (in place of our molars) at the middle to rear of the animal’s jaw. Typically they will eat between 2.2 to 3.6 kg of flesh in one sitting. This is a large meal for a mountain lion.