Calling it an “amazing, cool, exhilarating and rare experience,” Calgarian Cody Moore got up close and personal with a group of cougars while out hiking in the foothills recently.

As he crossed a ridge line south of Longview on Aug. 31 while scouting hunting locations for the fall, he spotted four brown shapes moving through the grass below him.

“It took my brain a second to realize that the brown bodies were not deer,” he said.

“But then (I) quickly crouched and watched them for a few seconds as I pulled out the camera. It was a super cool and invigorating experience and it’s why I love hunting and the outdoors.”

And it didn’t take long for the animals to notice him, too.

“The cat in the back winds me first followed by the other three cats,” he said.

“Then the one in the rear must have seen my camera above the grass line or my head, and he took off away from me, this caused the other three to panic scatter and one happens to choose my direction.”

Moore stood up to scare the big cat away, which worked.

“He just looks at me for a couple seconds and decides to bolt,” he wrote.

“Stay safe out there people and you never know what you’ll come across or will come across you out in the bush,” he said.