A rare mountain lion encounter near Mulligan Park in Sublette County has left a Pinedale man shaken but unhurt.

John Stach wounded a bull elk on Oct. 31, according to a state Game and Fish Department newsletter.As he tracked the elk, he noticed another set of tracks in the snow but did not worry about them, thinking they were left by a bear that was scared off by his movement.

He began to field dress the elk and looked up to notice a mountain lion staring at him from about 10 feet away.

"When (Pinedale game warden) Duke Early and I went back to the area, you could see where the mountain lion had been stalking me for about 35 yards," he said. "He never made a sound, and when I did see him, he was staring me right in the eyeballs. I guess he was bound and determined he was going to keep his elk."

Stach stood up and fired a warning shot with his rifle, but the lion began approaching him. He fired another shot, which missed the lion but hit a tree. Fragments from the shattered bullet fatally wounded the lion, Early said.

Early said no charges were filed against Stach.

"He did the reasonable thing," Early said. "It's an extremely unusual story in this part of the country, but it may be due to an expanding lion population."

The carcass of the 180-pound male lion will be mounted and displayed at the Museum of Mountain Man in Pinedale, Early said.