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Question by BioGuy. Uploaded on September 22, 2009
i have heard and read many claims here in NJ though i'm skeptical, at least in my southern area. I do believe the many reports around camp, in north-central PA, as some of my campmates have seen them.
I seen one three days ago! Here in Montana there is no shortage of these critters.
Ga DNR had denied their existence here until they couldn't deny their existence(the recent hunter killing one and UGA dna testing it) here. I have personally had 2 sightings in places 50 miles from each other. There's no mistaking one of these for something else.
There has never been a sighting that has been varified or proven in my life time in my state of Maine. There are hundreds that claim to see a lion every year but none can produce tracks or any other evidence. Maine has a huge Bobcat population and every year hunters with very good hounds come to my state to hunt Bobcats. None of these hunters have ever treed a cougar or even cut a Cougar track let alone see such an animal. This is over the last 60 years that I've been interested in this animal. I believe that it's safe to say that there are none here.
sgaredneck: Lol...how quickly I am reminded of an episode of animal cops where a lady was terrified of an anole lizard and claimed it was an alligator. Also, each year, I hear the stories from conservation officers and biologist about how people go to the deer check station with critters that are obviously not deer, and in some cases are peoples pets (horses, mules, cows, etc.) People misidentify wildlife all the time, even when you think there is no way a certain creature can be mistaken for something else. Between that and lack of credible evidence and witnesses, no wonder it is difficult for wildlife agencies to believe reports.
Regardless, I am still interested to see how many people think or know they have mountain lions in their state. Two confirmed...Montana (where they already exist) and Georgia (probably came from the Florida population)
Liberty: Maine huh? There should be a population of Lynx up your way too. They're pretty big kitties :-)
The GA cat recently was DNA confirmed as part of the FL population.
As for what I saw, no it was not a housecat. The first person I went to was a wildlife biologist buddy of mine and he grilled me pretty hard on what I "thought" I saw.
Later on this person (who I would consider to be authoritatively in-the-know) told me that it was believed by some that the FL population must have expanded some into GA but he couldn't say why DNR didn't or wouldn't acknowledge their existence.
There are some attacks here in Southern California. One happened as a man began petting the cubs near a Shopping Center in Rancho Santa Margarita. No joke! The mother came in and wooped the guy!
We also have loads of "Cougars" driving nice cars too!
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this - you obviously have a take on it. Where are you from?
I think the cougar species you are referring to is more dangerous and higher-maintenance than the FL Everglades
One was treed by hounds and photograped in Northwest WI Cant remember when it was I know in the last year. There been quite a few sightings, tracks and so forth. One was sighted about 5 miles from where I grew up, know the guy and not the type to make it up. Cant wait to see one myself.
One was treed by hounds and photograph not to long ago in northwest WI. There have been alot of sightings and tracks. One was sighted about 5 miles from where I hunt. Know the guy and he has no reason to make up. Cant wait to see one for myself!!! So WI is in your count. If I can find the site I'll try to get on here.
sorry about the double
found a site www.weau.com/home/headlines/41196187.html
it was last march
They have been scientifically documented in New Brunswick and the Gaspe pennisula of lower Quebec, but Ive never seen anything but lynx and bobcats.
I could copy libertyfirst's post for Alabama---lots of "sightings" and some blurry and inconclusive trail cam pix but no proof that I know of. Personally, I have seen some suspicious tracks, but they were rain blurred, and have heard some screeches (not owls) that I couldn't put a name to, but have no real reason to believe that there are any in my neck of the woods.
I have seen two over the years, one in Va., one in WV. A bear hunter friend of mine in WV told me he found a 6 pt. buck 20' up in a big white oak and was "pretty sure he didn't jump up there". Like Mulder on the old X-Files, I believe.
Sorry, an afterthought, for more info on lions on the east coast,
check out http://www.easternpumaresearch.com/
They started a mountain lion season a few years back here in South Dakota and it continues based on yearly population checks. I'd say the population is about 95% in the Black Hills in the far Southwest corner of the state. They have been found pretty much all across the state.
They (DNR) used to deny their existance here in Michigan, but there have been too many sightings and car accidents to be released pets as they used to claim.
In Florida, we call them panthers, but it's the same cat.
I live and grew up in rural SC. We have heard many stories of big cats or long tailed cats over the years.
My mother claims to have seen one while working in the farm fields some 60 yrs ago. I myself have never seen one but with all the dense woods of the south, I would not doubt that they are around.
I'm from Orange County, but currently reside in the Valleys of the Inland Empire right by Lake Elsinore, CA. I like having the Cleveland National Forest as my back yard.
here in virginia about 3 years ago they released 2 mountain lions. 1 had 3 cubs the other had 5-6 they released them a half mile from where i hunt on a powerline but i have yet to see one i know the 2 adults had tracking collars on.
I should have added that one of those I saw was black. I guess I saw a black housecat - right?
Again, I'd love to hear your take - you have one I bet.
@sgaredneck and mopedfredd
It was sunny and nearly 90 here in Washington State yesterday. On my way home I spotted a nice cougar in a BMW with the top down. Lot's of that species on Seattle's Eastside! Pullman, WA also proliferates the stae with a new crop of Coug's every year from WSU! LOL
There has been official sighting and photos here in WI.
There have been 3 shot or traped this year in my county and the our neighbor county here in Texas. I've seen 2, never got a shot at either of them.
Ive seen a few here in CA
for a while a friend of mine and her neighbors had to keep an eye on their dogs and small children of a problem cat in their area. we definatly have them in idaho
Michigan - yep, though they still haven't shown them to be naturally reproducing. Noticed that cougars are on our DNR's list of protected wildlife.
We just had one treed and killed on the edge of town...has become more of an occurance lately...less hound hunters due to Wolves killing dogs...so less cats are being taken, now they too are coming to town in greater #'s........Kamiah, Idaho.....
i have a cousin that has pictures on a cat in NC it is a pretty big cat.
Of a cat
Did you hear from a biologist that VA reintroduced moutains lions in va, or was this throgh the grapevine.
It is my understanding that VA has not recently released mountain lions in VA. While there are sightings every year, there has been no evidence other tthan sightings to prove they exist in VA.
Ok...so here's my take. I have worked in NY and PA as a biologist and there is definitely no lack of stories from people in either state about mountain lion sightings. Could some of them be credible? Maybe.
The exotic pet trade is something wildlife agencies try to manage, but there are always some illegal transactions which are rarely accounted for. Such transactions may result in species being released, relocated, and reintroduced into areas where they are not commonly found. For example, a month ago I saw 3 peacocks roaming free on the side of the road in PA (I had another biologist with me who witnessed and confirmed my sighting). When I worked in NY a tiger escaped from a small zoo...luckily they found it, darted it, and returned it, but what if they didn't?
I do not think there is a breeding population of mountain lions in either state, but there may be some rogue individuals out there that account for some of the sightings in the northeastern states. Often agencies do not flat out deny claims of uncommon wildlife being present. The typical safe response is, "There is not enough credible evidence to support the claim that mountain lions reside in this state."
I am certain they are here in Arizona, two years ago I picked up a fresh road-killed female and turned it over to AZGFD. I was so intrigued with it that I approached within 50 yards before I started lobbing rocks at it to make sure of it's demise.The officer cautioned me that it was not legal for me to do so since I had not hit it myself, but he thanked me for providing a possible decoy for their anti-poacher stakeouts...*grin*
Bioguy- Maine is starting to get Lynx now. The first that I have record of is about seven years ago(verified sighting)and then again about 2 years ago one was run over in my county and the warden service determined that is was in deed a lynx. Good to have them here but they are certainly not cougars.
mb915 i have heard that they released the mountian lions from framers in the area i never brought it up to them they all asked if i have heard about and told me to watch out because they know i hunt the area.when i was about 10 years old they released 18 black bears in berlin county and it was never mentioned but i seen that with my own two eyes i only seen them release 5-6 but the guys out there said they were releasing 18 all together
farmers not framers sorry
I hear there are a few in Northern Kansas, although I have not seen them, one was reported to have been hit by a truck in I 70 near the CO Border.
I know for a fact that in PA there is. I live here and every so often there is another sighter not alot but some.
weve got some in ct dep wont admit it though apparently they brought in some to control deer populations but those couple met up and now we have a bunch
I saw the same one twice in Ohio. No doubt an escaped pet.
i know they are in the adirondacks of ny while i dont have a picture of a cat, i do have pictures of their tracks .
They are here in small numbers in MN. There were a bunch of sightings and photos taken of one in a S.W. suburb of Minneapolis a few years back. In northern MN they're seen now and a again with pics taken as proof.
In West Central WI there were a lot of sightings of probably the same cat last year.
Wow...this question certainly attracted more attention than I thought it would. Thanks for all of the comments!
Sorting through all of these, I see pretty much what I expected for stories across the US. Confirmed stories in the west and in the southeast where populations are known to exist, and by this I mean road kills, treed animals, animals killed by hunters, trapped animals, etc. Fewer confirmed animals as you move east of the Mississippi, and lots of claims, but no tangible evidence other than, "I know what I saw," and "I heard from so and so," as you reach the east coast states.
The claims of introductions I do not tend to believe unless the people can name the biologists who were leading the reintroduction. Believe me, if mountain lions are introduced anywhere, the biologists leading that project are going to be very well known. Anybody heard of David Meche? I bet if you live in a state where wolves were reintroduced the name sounds familiar.
Cooner: I would love to see those pictures...I hope you put a common size object in the picture to use for scale. Without a reference scale, the pictures would pretty much be useless. When were the pictures taken? My father has also claimed to have seen really large cat tracks in the woods behind our house, but that was about 10 years ago. He believes there is a mountain lion up there...I'm a little more skeptical.
As for big cats in the ADKs, there WAS an attempted reintroduction of lynx to the Adirondacks in the 1990's. It was a total flop! Many of the cats ended up road kill, and others moved way out of the area...one was recaptured in Massachusettes! Anyhow, by the end of the reintroduction, not all of the cats were accounted for, but they were assumed to be dead. What I am getting at here is there is a slim possibility that some of them survived, which may account for accounts of large cat tracks found in the ADKs.
What about WI? Where the cat was photograph by Wisconsin DNR. Nope, no cats in WI, yeah right!! What about the wolves in WI? Nope your figures are right, only 300 some wovles in WI. How you explain that 11 dogs were killed by wolves before the kill season ever started. Nope we don't listen to the hunters or loggers who are out there more, we get paid and know what we are doing!!! Swallow your pride and admit you could be wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!! LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE THAT ARE OUT THERE!!!!!!!!!!!
I just talking about bear hounds 11 in a 4 week period, not talking sheeps or cattle!!!!!!! Nope we bio guys know what we are doing. yeah right, just like how the goverment running this country to the ground, don't care as least we get a pay check. Every year when the hunters have to pay more it goes into your pocket for working less!!!!
Don't tell me thats not true, swallow your pride and admit you have a gravy job for the goverment!!
Regarding introduction, the rumor mill many years ago was that WV had introduced them to control the deer herd. I asked the local conservation officer if it was true. He asked me if I had heard anything thru the media, which I had not. He said that there was both a state and a federal statue in place that before a government entity can release a large predator into a populated area, the public has to be notified. In thinking about it later tho, he did NOT clarify what constitutes a populated area. Are we talking about NY, LA, or our little rural mountain communities? He neatly sidestepped my question and never answered me then, did he? In later years, I have asked local DNR staff the same question and never get a straight answer. I personally think they have been introduced in small increments and DNR does not want the populace to get in an uproar about it. If we don't have any, why are they in the WV game laws as fully protected? We don't have alligators either, but they aren't in the game laws.
I've heard people say they saw mountainlions up here but I'll have to see it to belive it!
seymour missouri...saw one getting after someones chickens where i deer hunt.cut a fresh track after a snow storm and the other night mi neighbor saw one cross the road....and saw 1 while walking
saw a huge one last night in central California
We have 'em in Pa. But those stubborn Game Wardens refuse to believe it...
They're here in Oklahoma. Personnaly, I have sighted one from a distance of about 30 yards and have found tracks on two different occasions. My dad encountered a large male while bowhunting on Ft. Sill, and at least three more members of my family have had sightings. I've heard "reports" that ODWC has released a few to help control deer populations, but haven't been able to confirm said "reports".
I know they are here in Michigan. I have seen 3 and the DNR finally admitted their presence. I don't know for sure if they are down state but they are in the U.P.
STATE OF IOWA...Yep there here!!!!!! We had one shot on 12-14-09 as everyone has probably heard. I've had reports submitted that report females with their kits and horses with claw marks on their back (these have not yet been confirmed).
I got tired of being told that I saw a BIG house cat or dog on our farm. I've now started a website to provide information, discussion and to start tracking sightings here in the Heartland. If we do find a sighting pattern exists we would then like to do a transect to look for evidence and to place trail camera's to prove their presence. We can be located at:
www.facebook.com group: Heartland Cougar Watch Society
or e-mail: email@example.com
south east tennessee some farmers say they have found tracks and one said he heard it i dont know if it is true i sure would like to see some proof.
there are a lot of mountain lions in my state. I live in california and there have been some attacks to joggers in the past years.
Bioguy. There was a gentleman in Massena, NY who got his picture on the front page of the local paper with some plaster casts of footprints and several eyewitness sightings recently. Supposedly of a pair of cougars. Lot's of people claim to have seen then, including a few of my employees and neighbors. There was also supposedly a horse attacked in Fine, NY last fall. If I'm not mistaken, didn't they actually get DNA from the deer kill in Essex County a number of years ago? It seems to be a story that carries a lot of interest in the 'Dacks.
What I don't understand is why all the locals here believe the DEC has secretly planted them. Check out easterncougar.org if you haven't already. Great post.
I saw for the first time in my 20+ years in the woods a mountain lion in the lower finger lakes region of New York. It was around 80 - 100 pounds and at a distance of 40yrds. Never thought i would see one here.
A fair number of mountain lions have been sighted in Missouri according to the Jefferson City conservation officials. I have never seen one personally in our state. I do not care to see one unless it is at the zoo behind bars!
I know for a fact there are at least two in Carrollton,Ga. Not only have we heard the blood curdling screeches of the mating pair, but we had the chance to see one of them in our back yard. Of course the DNR tried to tell me that it was a bobcat. NO WAY! Bobcats don't get that big and don't have that long tail. I took pictures of footprints when it snowed. They told me to try and find a cache or put up a trail cam. No. 1, who can afford a trail cam, and No.2, just my luck I would find the cache and then the mountain lion around my neck. As long as they stay in the woods we are fine.
I know for a fact Idaho has them i took a very nice tom this fall
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