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Most lawyers do not spend a lot of time camping in the wilderness, and probably very few have ever come face-to-face with a cougar. But confronted with that situation, any good lawyer would know in a flash that it is essential to escape without getting eaten. Risk management and goal assessment are among the profession’s most indispensable skills. And while there are precious few certainties in either life or law, I think I can say with absolute confidence that nobody ever wants to be devoured by a big cat.

Of course, the scenario seems a bit far-fetched, and you are probably already asking yourself a few preliminary questions: Do cougars really eat people? And if so, who and how often, and what can be done about it? Fortunately, the answers to these and other pressing wildlife concerns are neatly captured in an engaging little book called “Don’t Get Eaten: The Dangers of Animals That Charge or Attack” (Mountaineers Books, 2003). In 93 pithy pages, naturalist and avid outdoorsman Dave Smith explains how to avoid being clawed, chomped or trampled by bears, buffalo, cougars, coyotes, javalinas, moose and wolves.

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