By News-Register staff • 

Cougar sighting reported at Miller Woods

A cougar sighting was reported about 11 a.m. Tuesday northwest of McMinnville at the Miller Woods Conservatory Area, according to the Oregon State Police.

Krista Gentry of Lafayette told a trooper she was walking on a trail with several children when a cougar jumped across the trail in front of them.

The cougar then circled around them and began to follow the group, she said. At one point the cougar was within 10 feet of the group.

Gentry sprayed it with pepper spray. The cougar ran off and has not been seen again.

The conservatory was shut down and other citizens were informed of the situation and instructed to leave. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife was contacted and the local houndsman/trapper responded in an effort to locate the cougar. That did not occur and the park reopened Wednesday.

If you encounter a cougar, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife offers the following recommendations:

* Cougars often will retreat if given the opportunity. Leave the animal a way to escape.

* Stay calm and stand your ground.

* Maintain direct eye contact.

* Pick up children, but do so without bending down or turning your back on the cougar.

* Back away slowly.

* Do not run. Running triggers a chase response in cougars, which could lead to an attack.

* Raise your voice and speak firmly.

* If the cougar seems aggressive, raise your arms to make yourself look larger and clap your hands.

* If in the very unusual event that a cougar attacks you, fight back with rocks, sticks, bear or pepper spray, tools or any items available.




Mac Native 66

Miller Woods. Where is this place and how far is it from McMinnville? Why is the reader to ASSuME we know where this place is? In the 52 years of living in Yamhill County (NOT Yamhill Valley) this is the first time of my hearing about Miller Woods.

Paul Daquilante

Mac Native 66 . . .

Does this help?

12 min (5.8 mi) via NW Baker Creek Rd and NW Orchard View Rd

Head east on NE 3rd St toward NE Baker St/Pacific Hwy W
187 ft

Turn left at the 1st cross street onto NE Baker St/Pacific Hwy W
0.7 mi

Turn left onto NE Baker St
0.3 mi

Turn left onto NW Baker Creek Rd
2.8 mi

Continue straight onto NW Orchard View Rd
0.2 mi
Turn right to stay on NW Orchard View Rd
0.8 mi

Turn right to stay on NW Orchard View Rd
1.0 mi

Miller Woods Conservation Area, 15580 NW Orchard View Rd, McMinnville, OR 97128


I agree with Mac Native. Too often news stories assume readers know the names for remote locations. New people arrive in the area all the time and are not as familiar with the area as reporters. And sending readers to web locations to get information a story should have in it is an invitation to stop reading the newspaper. That snark is not serving your readers.


I think it's a lot to expect from a reporter to anticipate and describe every detail of a story that someone might not hunch is that the reporters "assumption" (that most local readers are familiar with Miller Woods) is accurate.


I don't think the assumption is that you know where everything is, it's that if you can read this and comment online, you're capable of looking it up. Mr. Daquilante used a specialized hiking site, but I got the same results by Googling "Miller Woods 97128". It's even faster and more efficient than logging on here to complain about the reporter not doing it for you, and you can use it to find all kinds of information. (Including how to Google more effectively.)


Just a FYI...Miller Woods was donated to the Yamhill Soil and Water Conservation District in 2004 by Frieda Miller. She wanted it to remain wooded and used as an education tool for future generations. It has been developed into just that. It is a beautiful place to go walk in the woods and enjoy nature. If you have any interest at all in knowing more about it, contact the YSWCD. They have an Annual Banquet every year in the Fall where they present recognition and awards to local Farmers, Educators and Innovators that emulate their goals to protect our earth. Maybe check it out???


A newspaper shouldn't send you on a chase to find out exactly where a dangerous animal was seen. Simply saying "about 4 miles northwest of McMinnville" would have been sufficient.


You need to read more. It's no secret. They hold posted events all the time. It's on Orchard View Road, about four miles from Draper's farm.

Oregon Geek

As a neighbor I know we have a bobcat in the area, I wonder if that is what was sighted instead? It might be mistaken for a cougar.


Boy I don’t know.... cougars look quite a bit different....generally bigger, longer tail....


No mistake. There is a video floating around of a cougar chomping on a sheep on property adjacent to Miller Wood---also on Tuesday.

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