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Mountain Lion Range Quickly Expanding Eastward

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May 11, 2010

Mountain Lion Range Quickly Expanding Eastward

By Chad Love

From the story in the Greene County, Indiana Daily World:

Indiana State Department of Natural Resources wildlife specialists and State Conservation Officers continue to receive unconfirmed reports of a mountain lion roaming in a rural area of Greene County -- about five to six miles northeast of Bloomfield in Highland Township. "There have been at least three or four (reports) since Friday," said Mike Gregg, a conservation officer from the DNR Division of Law Enforcement, told the Greene County Daily World on Monday. A confirmed image of a mountain lion was caught on an infrared motion-activated camera during the early morning hours of May 1 in a wooded area not far from County Road 450E, according to Scott Johnson, DNR's non-game mammal biologist and member of the DNR Division of Fish and Wildlife's team that assists in reviewing reports having credible evidence.


The photo and a news report was issued by DNR on Friday. Johnson made the determination from photographs take in the area after a preliminary investigation found evidence consistent with mountain lion behavior, including an eviscerated deer carcass buried under a pile of leaves. Johnson says he also got a report of another sighting over the weekend, but has not had a chance to look into it. A couple of mushroom hunters walked up on the mountain lion devouring a deer carcass April 27 and later notified Greg Swanson, a conservation officer from the DNR Division of Law Enforcement, who then contact DNR officials. "They (the mushroom hunters) heard this squalling sound and it was a deer. When they went up to see what was going on, this mountain lion was on it," Gregg stated. "Mountain lions, whenever they kill something like a deer, they actually cover it with leaves and stuff. They call it a cache."

Reaction? Do you think mountain lions will continue to expand eastward or will they eventually run out of enough open country to thrive?

Comments (29)

Top Rated
All Comments
from MB915 wrote 3 years 49 weeks ago

I dont see the trend of them moving east stopping. There is more than enough remote woods for them to establish themselves. I would think that in the next five years, they will start to show up in the Smokey Mountains and the Appalachian Mountains. There is more than enough remote areas with enough food for them to live and thrive further east than their current range.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from scott powers wrote 3 years 49 weeks ago

i think that mountain lions will expand father eastword on till there is no more room to go. all wildlife is going to over populate soon if we dont do something about it.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from morganfish wrote 3 years 49 weeks ago

Mountain lions have an amazing ability to adapt to various types of wooded areas. They can battle heat and cold so I see them going all the way to the coast. With them being thinned out a little in the west I think that's all the motivation they would need to start moving east. And it's not like they really have any predators to control them, only us...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 3 years 49 weeks ago

I have seen several in North Eastern KS

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 3 years 49 weeks ago

Eastward? Perhaps this one was moving westward.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from stick500 wrote 3 years 49 weeks ago

a hunter shot one in Iowa this past fall

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Drew McClure wrote 3 years 49 weeks ago

Arkansas has them too and we don't want to have to deal with them and we have limited imaginations when it comes to predator management

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jbird wrote 3 years 49 weeks ago

A guy shot one about a mile from my house in Missouri last month. He called the Conservation Dept., thinking he'd done a public service. They came and charged him for unlawfully killing it. The cat had a radio transmitter, and the MDC had released it. I think it's pretty crazy to release these animals in a state and keep it a secret from it's citizens.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 3 years 49 weeks ago

there is plenty of room for them in the east.they must have gooten word about all the liberal politicians out there and figured they would be perfectly safe.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 3 years 49 weeks ago

Cool. They're in northeastern OH and have been for a while. A few, at least, so this isn't much of a surprise to me or the friend of a friend who got attacked and lived to tell the story of when he found a "kitten" on the side of a dirt road.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jakenbake wrote 3 years 49 weeks ago

I guess I never really understood why they didn't move East a while back? I know there are black bears over here, but there seems to be enough habitat for the big cats along the Appalachians...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from NyBigGameHunter wrote 3 years 49 weeks ago

there have actually been a few confirmed reports, and a couple trail cam pictures taken of the mountain lions here in NY. I actually know two sheriffs who have seen mountain lions while on patrol, and actually responded to calls for road kill mountain lion cubs before as well. If there are cubs, its just evidence they are breeding and increasing their population here in NY, as well as the rest of the North East. (there are theories that the DEC is actually releasing them in NY to help control the deer populations, but to date there is no hard evidence to support this)

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 3 years 49 weeks ago

Plenty of habitat in the Northeast, if they don't already exist in these areas. They are widely reported in Pa. and NY and i know of credible sightings, although scientifically unconfirmed.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from fliphuntr14 wrote 3 years 49 weeks ago

correct me if im wrong but the east was at one time there natural range. There just reclaiming it. Unlike wolves they have reintroduced themselves i guess eventually they could become a problem and like wolves the old ones become opportunist and pray on whatever they can get there hands on, this is usually a sign of overpopulation. The cats that are being seen now are nomadic from other stories i ve seen they're been sighted states apart in the same month.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from RJ Arena wrote 3 years 49 weeks ago

Coyotes came back to the east coast, so why not mountain lions?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Cgull wrote 3 years 49 weeks ago

Pumas will continue to reclaim eastern states. How many of these sightings are from released pets after they become to much to control?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bella wrote 3 years 49 weeks ago

Mountain Lions are already in Massachusetts, a cabdriver I know had one jump through his headlight beams in the Leominster State Forest and a Morel hunter (who occasionally brings me some) swears he saw one in the Quabbin watershed. My mother saw one in Vermont as well.
Them painters can't get too much further east without becoming marine mammals. There ain't many of 'em, but they are here all right. When one starts chewing up on my sheep 'n goats then I will worry about it, meanwhile I have a proper rifle now, in case of one visiting.
The "Eyeclops Night Vision Binocular" is a tough and ingenious childrens "toy" that works remarkably well for the 50 bucks it retails for. I have used NVG monoculars going for hundreds of dollars that weren't as clear and took odd batteries (the Eyeclops uses ordinary alkalines).
Them kitties are nocturnal, so the NV binocs will likely be useful if I have to defend the herd.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from scott powers wrote 3 years 49 weeks ago

we need to kill off more or they will try to over populate and eat small dogs and cat. or what ever they can find! so if we dont do anything soon it will be to late!!!!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ohiodeerhunter wrote 3 years 49 weeks ago

We have seen them in WVa. for the past few years,in the George Washington and Monongahela National Forests. Always in the "backcountry" areas.When I was a teenager,we saw one there,but never a lot of sign.
Then in the past few years,saw the animals,and a lot of tracks.
A few reports here in Ohio too.I think what is happening is it is young males moving first,when there are too many males in an area,then in a couple of years,the young females follow.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Louie wrote 3 years 49 weeks ago

I have heard of them here in East central IL, one confirmed reporting. Doesn't really bother me but we can legally shoot them if we do see one

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 3 years 49 weeks ago

Their range isn't expanding eastward unless they're somehow making it to Iceland. I remember seeing them in New Hampshire almost forty years ago. And I'm not the only one by half. And no, they weren't bobcats, dogs, large domestic kitties, escaped zoo animals, or really big tawney squirrels playing jokes on their neighbors.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from quinnm107 wrote 3 years 49 weeks ago

I used to live in Upstate NY and they have been in the Adirondacks [northern part of the Appellation Range] for years. Their original habitat used to be almost all of North America.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from whitetailfreek wrote 3 years 48 weeks ago

I have heard plenty of stories in PA as well from friends and from people coming through the shop I work at. Plenty of rumors that the insurance companies are in bed with the Game Commission and they are paying for people to stock the cougars in the state to control deer populations. I wouldn't doubt it, but I haven't heard of any hard evidence either.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from mountaindew732 wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

I live in PA and my neighbor has pictures of one in his backyard and I myself saw one in our field about two years ago.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from LJRguide wrote 3 years 45 weeks ago

Lots of reports of them here in PA, but nothing confirmed. There are so many people claiming to see them here you'd think there was one behind every tree. I'll believe it when I see it.

That being said, I don't doubt there are mountain lions here, or at least moving toward the east.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dwain wrote 2 years 36 weeks ago

There have been confirmed sightings close to the Platte river in south central Nebraska

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ronald C. Yochum wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

My father and I came across large cat tracks and a tail drag in about 18 in of snow in northern Pennsylvania, McKean County, Irons Hollow (at the top) during Doe season about 15 years ago. It's a pretty remote area and plenty vast enough to hide a few cats, plus lots of deer, rabbits, and other animals to feed it. I used to breed Siamese and have grown up with cats all my life so I am familiar with their prints....it definitely wasnt a dog track. Makes me nervous to take a nap during hunting.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from lionsandtigers wrote 2 years 10 weeks ago

The DEC is losing credibility. They denied cougar sightings in NY until they decided there was too much evidence and decided to use the CT mountain lion to do away with all the speculation. It is unclear how it showed up dead in the road but it is being used to shut people up-cause they are attributing all sighting to that one cougar which they conveniently showed has died somehow on the road. What is more believable-that there may be few lone mountain lions in NY or that dozens of people who have never seen a mirage and never hallucinated and who hold down important positions all of a sudden are plagued with some mysterious need to shout out "Mountain lion"? I'd put my money on the idea that, as the west is not like a zoo that encages all animals, it is probable that a few lone mountain lions have migrated to the east and are occasionally seen. See DEC, that wasn't so hard was it?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Kenneth Stanaford wrote 1 year 15 weeks ago

well it's 2013 now and I've seen two, a friend saw another, and another friend treed one while coon hunting. I've heard and been shown pictures of three more from people I consider honest, and that has all been in the past 5 years, and within 30 miles of here. I believe that they ave been here all along in very small number. A good friend and one of the people whom I spoke of earlier, told me that they cover allot of ground and stay on the move. He is a great hunter and spends his working hours as well as play out in the woods. Who knows where their from, but rest assured their already here in TN.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from MB915 wrote 3 years 49 weeks ago

I dont see the trend of them moving east stopping. There is more than enough remote woods for them to establish themselves. I would think that in the next five years, they will start to show up in the Smokey Mountains and the Appalachian Mountains. There is more than enough remote areas with enough food for them to live and thrive further east than their current range.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 3 years 49 weeks ago

there is plenty of room for them in the east.they must have gooten word about all the liberal politicians out there and figured they would be perfectly safe.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from jbird wrote 3 years 49 weeks ago

A guy shot one about a mile from my house in Missouri last month. He called the Conservation Dept., thinking he'd done a public service. They came and charged him for unlawfully killing it. The cat had a radio transmitter, and the MDC had released it. I think it's pretty crazy to release these animals in a state and keep it a secret from it's citizens.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from scott powers wrote 3 years 49 weeks ago

i think that mountain lions will expand father eastword on till there is no more room to go. all wildlife is going to over populate soon if we dont do something about it.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from NyBigGameHunter wrote 3 years 49 weeks ago

there have actually been a few confirmed reports, and a couple trail cam pictures taken of the mountain lions here in NY. I actually know two sheriffs who have seen mountain lions while on patrol, and actually responded to calls for road kill mountain lion cubs before as well. If there are cubs, its just evidence they are breeding and increasing their population here in NY, as well as the rest of the North East. (there are theories that the DEC is actually releasing them in NY to help control the deer populations, but to date there is no hard evidence to support this)

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bella wrote 3 years 49 weeks ago

Mountain Lions are already in Massachusetts, a cabdriver I know had one jump through his headlight beams in the Leominster State Forest and a Morel hunter (who occasionally brings me some) swears he saw one in the Quabbin watershed. My mother saw one in Vermont as well.
Them painters can't get too much further east without becoming marine mammals. There ain't many of 'em, but they are here all right. When one starts chewing up on my sheep 'n goats then I will worry about it, meanwhile I have a proper rifle now, in case of one visiting.
The "Eyeclops Night Vision Binocular" is a tough and ingenious childrens "toy" that works remarkably well for the 50 bucks it retails for. I have used NVG monoculars going for hundreds of dollars that weren't as clear and took odd batteries (the Eyeclops uses ordinary alkalines).
Them kitties are nocturnal, so the NV binocs will likely be useful if I have to defend the herd.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from morganfish wrote 3 years 49 weeks ago

Mountain lions have an amazing ability to adapt to various types of wooded areas. They can battle heat and cold so I see them going all the way to the coast. With them being thinned out a little in the west I think that's all the motivation they would need to start moving east. And it's not like they really have any predators to control them, only us...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 3 years 49 weeks ago

I have seen several in North Eastern KS

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from stick500 wrote 3 years 49 weeks ago

a hunter shot one in Iowa this past fall

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 3 years 49 weeks ago

Cool. They're in northeastern OH and have been for a while. A few, at least, so this isn't much of a surprise to me or the friend of a friend who got attacked and lived to tell the story of when he found a "kitten" on the side of a dirt road.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jakenbake wrote 3 years 49 weeks ago

I guess I never really understood why they didn't move East a while back? I know there are black bears over here, but there seems to be enough habitat for the big cats along the Appalachians...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 3 years 49 weeks ago

Plenty of habitat in the Northeast, if they don't already exist in these areas. They are widely reported in Pa. and NY and i know of credible sightings, although scientifically unconfirmed.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from fliphuntr14 wrote 3 years 49 weeks ago

correct me if im wrong but the east was at one time there natural range. There just reclaiming it. Unlike wolves they have reintroduced themselves i guess eventually they could become a problem and like wolves the old ones become opportunist and pray on whatever they can get there hands on, this is usually a sign of overpopulation. The cats that are being seen now are nomadic from other stories i ve seen they're been sighted states apart in the same month.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from RJ Arena wrote 3 years 49 weeks ago

Coyotes came back to the east coast, so why not mountain lions?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Cgull wrote 3 years 49 weeks ago

Pumas will continue to reclaim eastern states. How many of these sightings are from released pets after they become to much to control?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ohiodeerhunter wrote 3 years 49 weeks ago

We have seen them in WVa. for the past few years,in the George Washington and Monongahela National Forests. Always in the "backcountry" areas.When I was a teenager,we saw one there,but never a lot of sign.
Then in the past few years,saw the animals,and a lot of tracks.
A few reports here in Ohio too.I think what is happening is it is young males moving first,when there are too many males in an area,then in a couple of years,the young females follow.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 3 years 49 weeks ago

Their range isn't expanding eastward unless they're somehow making it to Iceland. I remember seeing them in New Hampshire almost forty years ago. And I'm not the only one by half. And no, they weren't bobcats, dogs, large domestic kitties, escaped zoo animals, or really big tawney squirrels playing jokes on their neighbors.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from quinnm107 wrote 3 years 49 weeks ago

I used to live in Upstate NY and they have been in the Adirondacks [northern part of the Appellation Range] for years. Their original habitat used to be almost all of North America.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from mountaindew732 wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

I live in PA and my neighbor has pictures of one in his backyard and I myself saw one in our field about two years ago.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from LJRguide wrote 3 years 45 weeks ago

Lots of reports of them here in PA, but nothing confirmed. There are so many people claiming to see them here you'd think there was one behind every tree. I'll believe it when I see it.

That being said, I don't doubt there are mountain lions here, or at least moving toward the east.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 3 years 49 weeks ago

Eastward? Perhaps this one was moving westward.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Drew McClure wrote 3 years 49 weeks ago

Arkansas has them too and we don't want to have to deal with them and we have limited imaginations when it comes to predator management

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from scott powers wrote 3 years 49 weeks ago

we need to kill off more or they will try to over populate and eat small dogs and cat. or what ever they can find! so if we dont do anything soon it will be to late!!!!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Louie wrote 3 years 49 weeks ago

I have heard of them here in East central IL, one confirmed reporting. Doesn't really bother me but we can legally shoot them if we do see one

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from whitetailfreek wrote 3 years 48 weeks ago

I have heard plenty of stories in PA as well from friends and from people coming through the shop I work at. Plenty of rumors that the insurance companies are in bed with the Game Commission and they are paying for people to stock the cougars in the state to control deer populations. I wouldn't doubt it, but I haven't heard of any hard evidence either.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dwain wrote 2 years 36 weeks ago

There have been confirmed sightings close to the Platte river in south central Nebraska

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ronald C. Yochum wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

My father and I came across large cat tracks and a tail drag in about 18 in of snow in northern Pennsylvania, McKean County, Irons Hollow (at the top) during Doe season about 15 years ago. It's a pretty remote area and plenty vast enough to hide a few cats, plus lots of deer, rabbits, and other animals to feed it. I used to breed Siamese and have grown up with cats all my life so I am familiar with their prints....it definitely wasnt a dog track. Makes me nervous to take a nap during hunting.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from lionsandtigers wrote 2 years 10 weeks ago

The DEC is losing credibility. They denied cougar sightings in NY until they decided there was too much evidence and decided to use the CT mountain lion to do away with all the speculation. It is unclear how it showed up dead in the road but it is being used to shut people up-cause they are attributing all sighting to that one cougar which they conveniently showed has died somehow on the road. What is more believable-that there may be few lone mountain lions in NY or that dozens of people who have never seen a mirage and never hallucinated and who hold down important positions all of a sudden are plagued with some mysterious need to shout out "Mountain lion"? I'd put my money on the idea that, as the west is not like a zoo that encages all animals, it is probable that a few lone mountain lions have migrated to the east and are occasionally seen. See DEC, that wasn't so hard was it?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Kenneth Stanaford wrote 1 year 15 weeks ago

well it's 2013 now and I've seen two, a friend saw another, and another friend treed one while coon hunting. I've heard and been shown pictures of three more from people I consider honest, and that has all been in the past 5 years, and within 30 miles of here. I believe that they ave been here all along in very small number. A good friend and one of the people whom I spoke of earlier, told me that they cover allot of ground and stay on the move. He is a great hunter and spends his working hours as well as play out in the woods. Who knows where their from, but rest assured their already here in TN.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment