ROUND LAKE -- Many people have heard about catching a tiger by the tail, but not many get to experience catching a cougar in their headlights.

Bruce Ihnen got one of the biggest surprises of his life Sunday night when he was finishing up chores at his brother's Round Lake Township farm around 6:30 p.m.

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"I came out and saw a cougar come out of the grove and run into the ditch," Ihnen said. "Then it went into the culvert."

Ihnen had his vehicle lights trained on the spot where the cougar had entered the culvert. He called a neighbor and the two of them chased the big cat out of hiding.

"Then Daniel (Hamman) shot him," Ihnen said.

Ihnen said he has never seen a cougar in the area before, nor had Hamman.

"It was kind of a freak deal," he admitted.

His brother-in-law put the cat in a cooler, and the following day the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources was contacted.

"In checking around, it was recommended we call the DNR," Ihnen said. "They came out Monday morning and took him. They have him now."

Even thought the cougar was heading away from Ihnen when he spotted it, he said the encounter was still a little too close for comfort for him.

"It was just a weird thing that I caught him in my headlights," he said.