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Former Admin
09-29-2002, 21:06
There have been reports of mountain lions making a comeback along the trail. For many years these animals have been thought of all but extinct along the Appalachian Trail corridor. Anyone know anything about this or have any comments or experiences.

EarlyRiser
09-29-2002, 22:04
yeah one walked about seven feet by my head while i was sleeping in july. atleast i think it was, or it was a very large bobcat but i think it mighta been a mountain lion. it was pretty scary.

Jumpstart
09-30-2002, 13:22
We think we heard one, (but really, might be a bobcat, who knows?) At Quarry Gap Shelter in PA, at 3:00 in the morning. Scared the daylights out of me.

highway
09-30-2002, 15:15
I guess if I had to choose, I'd much prefer a black bear encounter than one with a cougar; they really hunt for a living!

Kerosene
09-30-2002, 17:42
I just read an on-line article about cougars supposedly in the Connecticut/Massachusetts area: Mountain Lions in Connecticut? (http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=5519304&BRD=1655&PAG=461&dept_id=13091&rfi=6)

Singletrack
10-09-2002, 15:57
The hair on my head stood straight up when I ran upon 2 Black Panthers just before Carter Gap Shelter, hiking South in 2000. Their growling scared the $%#& out of me. Both ran off to the right of me, and I ran down the Trail, the other way. Later talked to a Forest Ranger friend in the Nantahalas, and he said they have quiet a few sightings. And are fairly common for the locals. They were the largest cats I have ever seen in person. So if you plan to stay around Carter Gap Shelter, sleep easy, you will probably have more problems with mice than Panthers.

steve
10-12-2002, 19:03
I took note of the black panther sightings near Carter Gap shelter since I was just in the area on a section hike. By the way as most know, there is no American species of a panther that is black. The only such species is the black leopard in Africa (and Asia?). Could these have escaped from captivity?

Singletrack
10-13-2002, 09:54
Steve, that was the question, I had for my Forest Ranger friend. He insisted he knows someone that a black panther visits their backyard occassionally.

funkyfreddy
01-31-2004, 13:47
I also heard this from someone who worked for the Smithsonion, that there were black panther sightings in Pa. and W. Virginia. There are black panthers in Central and South America. I believe they are black Jaguars. By the way, there are mountain lion threads on quite a few outdoor bulletin boards. Maybe I'll come back and post the links. If you're interested in mountain lions a good book to read is "The Beast In The Garden" by David Baron.

cabalot
02-01-2004, 01:35
I just read an on-line article about cougars supposedly in the Connecticut/Massachusetts area: Mountain Lions in Connecticut? (http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=5519304&BRD=1655&PAG=461&dept_id=13091&rfi=6)

i lived in CT from 94-03. my supervisor lived in washington,CT, very rural area in north west CT. he saw big cats in his back yard, not sure if cougar or mountain lion but definately a big wild cat.

black bears are shy scavengers, foragers. big wild cats look for prey. they hunt and are territorial. i dont think a camper cooking dinner has to worry but someone moving thru a cats habitat could be a target. in CA mountain bikers have recently been attacked. i think it was because the cats saw a fast moving target and attact by instinct. and they are used to people.

from what i have seen on discovery channel, animals that hunt do not like the taste of human flesh because of our diets, but attack because of they are territorial and instinctively take advantage of any chance of a meal.

Youngblood
02-01-2004, 08:59
from what i have seen on discovery channel, animals that hunt do not like the taste of human flesh because of our diets, but attack because of they are territorial and instinctively take advantage of any chance of a meal.

Just a simple question... how do they know what human flesh taste like?

Youngblood

mdionne
02-01-2004, 09:30
i've spotted several black panthers since the sixties. and it's never about hunting. it's about the white man did this and black power that. it's good to see they are congregating at carvers gap to put some unity back into their community ;)

tarbubble
02-01-2004, 13:00
from what i have seen on discovery channel, animals that hunt do not like the taste of human flesh because of our diets, but attack because of they are territorial and instinctively take advantage of any chance of a meal.
doesn't stop them out here in CA. we just had a mountain biker killed & partially eaten in Orange County, and i just read about a body found near the Mount Laguna section of the PCT that had been partially eaten by a cougar (no word yet on cause of death).

so if you see a cougar stalking you, don't count on it thinking "nah, humans taste bad." of course, you'll probably never see it... (insert evil laugh)

smokymtnsteve
02-01-2004, 13:06
black panthers are usually seen near big foot.

cabalot
02-01-2004, 13:31
Just a simple question... how do they know what human flesh taste like?

Youngblood

mostly instinct, i suppose smell to.

smokymtnsteve
02-01-2004, 18:04
Just a simple question... how do they know what human flesh taste like?

Youngblood

from the big cat neighborhood pot-lucks????

you always have to watch what you eat at those get-togethers.

Uncle Wayne
02-06-2004, 07:44
Our shuttle guy last October, Eric, of "A Walk In The Woods" told us some tourist had videoed a panther / mountain lion in a remote area of the Smoky Mtn. park a year or so ago. The story goes that a copy of the video was given to the NPS but they wouldn't admit there were mountain lions in the park and according to them, they couldn't make a positive ID of the animal in the video. After a month or so of being ignored he carried his video to a local TV station and they aired the story and video. With public pressure, Eric said the NPS finally admitted there could be big cats in the park. He said the NPS has set up several "scratch posts" in the backcountry to get a hair sample or claw pattern. No update had been released by the NPS as of last October.
Have any of you that live in the area heard of this before?

Jaybird
02-06-2004, 08:56
There have been reports of mountain lions making a comeback along the trail.............


from: www.museum.nhm.uga.edu/gawildlife

The Mountain Lion was once found throughout the United States in varied habitats from swamps to prairies, and mountains of the eastern and western states. Now it is restricted to wilderness areas of the American West and a remnant population in southern Florida. It is possible that the Mountain Lion may occur in wilderness areas of the Blue Ridge mountains (Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee & Virginia) and within the Okefenokee Swamp.



there's MUCHO wildlife out there! dont bother them...& 99% of the time...they won't bother you! ;)



see ya'll UP the trail!

tlbj6142
02-06-2004, 10:20
What what their numbers are like in Canada? For some reason I thought I read an article (in Outside?) a year ago that that talked about thier increasing numbers in Canada. And how they were slowly moving back into the eastern US. I believe Michigan was mentioned by name in the article.

Courgars (et al) are very reclusive anaimals. No one even knows how many there maybe out West. I've seen up to 64K. That's a lot of cats that no one ever sees. Some of them have to be working their way east in search of more space.

Besides, the deer population is insane in the East. You can almost hand feed them just about anywhere you go. So it seems like there is plenty of food for them.

jojo0425
02-06-2004, 10:42
A Florida panther attacked a day hiker last year. There was an article in the Florida Trail Association newsletter. The hiker got away, just scared and a ripped daypack, so hopefully if you leave them alone, they (the wild creatures in the woods) will leave you alone.
Of course if it gets too scary, you could always just lay on the sandy beaches of Florida, no panthers or bears, just big fat ugly tourists :p

Bankrobber
02-06-2004, 15:26
I saw a large animal with a long tail on the AT in central Virginia in the summer of '02. I don't want to say exactly where. If it was not a mountain lion, I don't know what it was.

Dan Morris
02-06-2004, 15:39
I know it would be unlikely to encounter a lion or panther but would a heavily condensed can of bear spray do the trick if attacked? Older versions of bear spray were proven ineffective against Grizzly's in Alaska but the new stuff is supposed to make them jump and run like hell.

tlbj6142
02-06-2004, 16:04
It is my understanding (if I remember correctly the info the previously mentioned Outsite article) that it is not affective. But I doubt there have been many tests as you don't typically see a lion before it attacks you. I do know that you are suppose to fight like hell if attacked (unlike with Grizzlies). As most attacks on humans are by younger males. With them you have a chance to scare them off. If it is a full grown male, you'll be dead before you know what hit you.

I think I found the article here (http://outside.away.com/outside/features/200305/200305_stalker_1.html).

tlbj6142
02-06-2004, 16:09
Here is the Michigan quote I remembered...

"And in Michigan, where the state had long denied the eastern cougar's return, DNA testing on scat has confirmed the presence of a breeding population of 50 to 80 lions in the Upper and Lower peninsulas."

sleepy
02-11-2004, 03:10
Here is the Michigan quote I remembered...

"And in Michigan, where the state had long denied the eastern cougar's return, DNA testing on scat has confirmed the presence of a breeding population of 50 to 80 lions in the Upper and Lower peninsulas."

I know that they have been in northern Minnesota for years now. Even as far south as Iowa, the state DNS has confirmed sightings. I recall a farmer even shot one awhile back.

hacksaw
02-12-2004, 13:22
I know that they have been in northern Minnesota for years now. Even as far south as Iowa, the state DNS has confirmed sightings. I recall a farmer even shot one awhile back.

Reference my post in the "G.A.Weather now" thread:
I am a native of North Georgia with many many days and nights in the CNF. About 25 years ago I first heard the blood chilling screams in the night and for the next fifteen or twenty years I heard them many times in the night and occasionally even in the late morning, usually within a five or ten mile radius of where I first heard them. Finally, after much scouting and tracking but not really expecting it, I saw a mother and two cubs working over a recent kill before they saw, heard or smelled me(I had been in the woods about a week but only recently came into their territory). I was able to observe their feeding and the cubs' frolics for about twenty minutes before mom's ears twitched and her head moved almost imperceptibly as her eyes moved directly to where I was hiding. A low gurgling growl and slight hiss and POOF they were gone as though they disappeared.

Over the next five or ten years I have caught a few brief flashes and one really scary stalking incident in which I was the stalkee! Nothing came of it because as soon as I realized that I was being stalked I got the hell out of Dodge, very noisily, I might add!

So, from personal encounter over more than a quarter of a century, I can say that Yes, Virginia there ARE mountain lions in Georgia. Probably always have been, hopefully always will be. And on that note, Hell no, I won't tell you what area I'm speaking of, except that it is within the boundaries of the CNF....maybe........;).

Get in the woods, be stealthy in your habits, and who knows, you might get lucky.....or you might get eaten! It's their back yard you're playing in, after all.

Hacksaw

tlbj6142
02-12-2004, 14:34
I wonder when hunting them was outlawed in the southern states? I remember reading in a GSMNP history book about two workers that saw a big cat running down a deer in the late 70's.

Since bears seem to have had no problem "coming back" and there are way too many deer in the woods these days, I see no reason why big cats are not in the more remote areas of the Appalchain mountains. And, unlike the west, the population density hasn't pushed right up against their borders.

Don
02-12-2004, 15:45
see the paper on Field Evidence of Eastern Cougar
sitings by teh Eastern Cougar Foundation

http://www.easterncougar.org/

Moon Monster
02-12-2004, 16:11
Historical reports of balck panther sightings exist from the Dismal Swamp area of NE North Carolina. It is my understanding that the NFL's Carolina Panthers are named in part from the supposed Panthers in NE NC rather than anything in the mountains. The new Charlotte Bobcats (NBA), however, are named after the owner's name: Bob.

hacksaw
02-14-2004, 19:34
see the paper on Field Evidence of Eastern Cougar
sitings by teh Eastern Cougar Foundation

http://www.easterncougar.org/


Don, thanks for the link! That's a great site for a group that does good work!

azchipka
02-14-2004, 20:10
For those of you worried about defending your self against a cougar stop thinking about it between 1751 and 2001 there was only one thast right one confirmed cougar attack in the area. For more information on this click here (http://www.easterncouger.org)

sleepy
02-15-2004, 01:59
I understand that mountain lion attacks on people in the East have not occured in years. I think what concerns people is that until recently, that was also true in places like California. Given the fact that lions are increasingly present in the East, many are worried that in 10 or 15 years that will change.

"For example, in California, there were two fatal attacks in 1890 and 1909, and then no further attacks for 77 years, until 1986. From 1986 through 1995, ten verified attacks occurred, an average rate of one per year. That average rate has continued through 1999. Attacks are now numerous enough that there is a support group for attack victims, called California Lion Awareness (CLAW; Outside, 10/95). Since 1970 there has been an average of 14 cougar attacks per year on people in the entire U.S."

http://tchester.org/sgm/lists/lion_attacks.html

For example, this lion was five blocks south of the Mall of America in Bloomington, MN, a city of 80,000 people, seven miles from downtown Minneapolis. Prior to being killed it had been seen sitting in people's back yards.

06/02/2002
St. Paul Pioneer Press (MN)
(c) Copyright 2002, St Paul Pioneer Press. All Rights Reserved.

"Bloomington police shot and killed a 100-pound mountain lion Thursday evening after walkers on a popular trail came face-to-face with the snarling animal.

Police were called at about 8:30 p.m. to the area near 112th and Queen Avenue near Nine Mile Creek, where officers saw the cougar lying in underbrush just off the trail, said Jim Ryan, a patrol commander for the Bloomington Police.

"They threw some sticks and things at it," Ryan said, trying to scare it off, "but it still doesn't take off."

The cat's standoffish attitude in a populated area prompted the officers to shoot it, Ryan said. They shot from about 30 yards away using a .223-caliber rifle. "

http://www.easterncougarnet.org/minnesota6-2-02.htm

highway
02-15-2004, 09:19
I understand that mountain lion attacks on people in the East have not occured in years. I think what concerns people is that until recently, that was also true in places like California. Given the fact that lions are increasingly present in the East, many are worried that in 10 or 15 years that will change.

When cougars were hunted, man was on top of the food chain and cougars were afraid, avoiding all contact with us. Then cougar hunting was stopped and in most of the west, their numbers grew, they became less afraid of us and found themselves once more on top of the food chain, pushing us down a notch (or two) on it. So, while once we were their killers, we are now becoming their food.

We have a simple choice. We either start hunting them again, on a small, managed scale, or learn to live with a certain amount of our "acceptable" losses to them.

Either way, one is still much more likely to be struck by lightning than attacked by one, even in the west. And, their existence does lend a little more excitement to the trip, doesn't it?

copythat
09-09-2004, 00:06
I just read an on-line article about cougars supposedly in the Connecticut/Massachusetts area: Mountain Lions in Connecticut? (http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=5519304&BRD=1655&PAG=461&dept_id=13091&rfi=6)

i say never say never and so does paul rego (quoted in the article), whom i know personally. (btw, he is an exceptionally talented artist, painting fish swimming in their fave environments. i've also seen him call a great horned owl in from a distance to right across the other side of a pond. cool, huh?) he's also very savvy when it comes to cool mammals and if he says he ain't seen a big cat i believe it's cause it ain't been there, but i'm willing to be proved wrong, honest i am.

another btw ... i lived in washington, ct, not far from victoria cherniske's horse farm, and had the pleasure of chatting with some old-timers and with the woman who now serves as game warden in the area. they all said they never saw truly big cats there but the ridges about the shepaug river were TEEMING with bobcat. the o-t (old-timers) said people used to hike up into the hills and come back with one over each shoulder. they were hunted ALMOST to ... well, what do you call it when something's not there any more but it still exists someplace else? not extinction, but ... well, chased away. they were chased away. the game warden said they're back now, though not in the number of those days years ago when nobody was careless enough to leave kitties or kiddies outside by themselves.

another another btw ... we had lots of cool birds and deer and lost tourists and stuff and ONE day we had a MOOSE through the yard there in washington. the game warden confirmed it (tracks and nibbling pattern WAY up in the trees) and i thought that was cool for washington ct but far as hard as i hiked onto the ridges and as hard as i peered into the rural dark there in the town named after our first president, i never did see a cat larger than the one my roomate let out to roam.

Miss Janet
09-09-2004, 09:08
My Grandmother lives near Big Bald on the top of Spivey Mountain. Not so many years ago she told about these big cats screaming around a dead farm animal for several days. She has always said that the one she saw was black.

When I was a little girl I remember being woke up by a women screaming in the middle of the night. We were camping above Spivey Gap at an area called the Flat Top. My mother told me that is was a "painter cat" and not a woman that I had heard...

Just a few weeks ago a section hiker was picking blackberries on Big Bald and found an interesting foot print. He photographed it with his Bic lighter for scale... the print was larger than the lighter. It was a great quality digital pic and eveyone agreed it was a big cat print. He showed it to a couple of forest service people he saw on the trail and they asked for a copy of the pic and detailed directions to the site. They told him they planned to do a plaster mold before it got washed away.

sherrill
09-09-2004, 09:30
I'm just waiting for Bear Scared to start posting as Cougar Scared. :)

Fiddleback
09-09-2004, 11:20
I don't remember the specifics or have a reference, but I've read articles this year that talk/speculate about cougars moving eastward from the west just as coyotes did the past 40 years.

White tail deer are a favorite prey of cougars and we all know about the booming population of deer...suppose that's one of the causal links?

FB

Tractor
09-09-2004, 19:51
Interesting theory. There were no fire ants, coyotes, armadillos and very few deer here (south mid Tennessee) when I was a kid. Have all of these now and deer seem to out number people in some areas at times....

1) I saw (twice) a very,very, large cat about 10 years ago, here. I suspect either it was passing through or was an escaped pet??? that was "not offically reported"??? It was black by the way. Was never seen in daytime. Hasn't been seen in about 10 years by anyone that I know of.

2) A brother-in-law, near Tuscaloosa Alabama, has a job that takes him into undeveloped areas in the region and he (as well as coworkers) see the "big" cats every year....occasionally/rarely black one(s). They know what a bobcat is, and sounds like, and they know these are not them.

3) Ferrel (spelling?) cats can be huge compared to most domestic cats but retain the long tail and can seem out of place and be mistaken for cougars/mountain lions by some I am sure, but, what we've seen a bit south & east of the Smokies are surely not these.

I wouldn't worry about a bad encounter, east of the Mississippi, as long as there remains a steady supply of small game.

Singletrack
09-09-2004, 21:52
Hey Tractor, I saw two black panthers in the Nantahala's. You and I are not the only ones. I talked with two ladies in Virginia that saw, what they called a Mountain Lion at Petites Gap. The old timers in the Stecoah's see them frequently. Black Panthers.

TedB
09-09-2004, 22:57
I was fortunate enough to see one out here (where the redwoods grow). It wasn't the best sighting in the world, maybe 100-150 feet away, slowly walking away, and not looking at me. I suspect it was aware of me. I had seen its tracks and scat within a mile of there, so I wasn't entirely surprised to see it. At the time, I was waiting at an inconspicuous spot, waiting for a group of deer that were slowly working their way uphill towards me. Unfortunately I got impatient and convinced the deer weren't coming, I got up to leave. That alarmed the deer who were actually quite close, and they took off. While I was angry at myself for scaring the deer away, I saw the cougar walking away too. It would have been so amazing to watch a cougar take down a deer.

TakeABreak
09-10-2004, 01:02
Panthers, are in the Appalachian mountain range!

My dad, is original from western West Virginia, an area south of near East Lynn Lake, while visiting there as kid in the 70's, I heard one, one night. I looked at my uncle and he told what it was, a panther. They have sound that will send terror through your body if you have never heard it before.

The only way I know to describe it, is that it sounds like a woman waling (spelling ?). What that means, it is as if she is screaming bloody murder, while she is being murdered. I studied the tracks, and I have seen tracks at locations on the A.T. that are those of a panther.

Although they were thought to have been killed off by stupid and ignorant people of 1800's and early 1900's, they never got them all. Which I am glad of.

While volunteering at the ATC, in July of 2000, I brought this question up about verification on panthers. Although it has never been thoroughly researched, I was told that every year they get reports from thru-hikers, ridge runners, park rangers and others about seeing tracks they believe are panther tracks from the descriptions. Catching a glimpse of crossing the trail in the distance or hearing one late at night.

They are out there, maybe by providing them a corridor in which to migrate (the trail) we can eventually get their population back up a reasonable one, so they will not be endangered anymore.

highway
09-17-2004, 09:34
"Black" panthers in the Appalachians? I suppose nothing is technically impossible but "black" panthers living in the Appalachians probably borders dangerously close to it. Even the few remaining Florida panthers around the Everglades are not even black and one would have a far better chance of winning lotto than getting a glimpse of one. Remember that a fleeting glimpse of many moving animals, even lighter-colored ones, would appear dark (black?) in the shadows or twilight. Anyway, most of us are notoriously poor observers. Just ask any cop who has gathered witness' statements to a traffic accident. Far too often all of us see more of what we want to see, rather than what we really do see.

Cougars in the Appalachians? I'd give that just a maybe, as much as I would love to believe it were true. I suspect that many of those sightings would turn out to be of those cursed unleashed dogs on the trail. Now there are a bunch of those in the Appalachians! :D

Happy
09-27-2004, 09:06
GIZMO, the LNT AT starter, saw a black panther in GA this past February and our fellow member Hacksaw has tracked them for over 5 years in GA and has seen several.

Singletrack
09-27-2004, 13:34
I think those of us that live everyday in this area are more aware of sightings of the Black Panther. I have talked to too many old timers, particularly in the Stecoahs, that have been seeing them for years. Not only sightings, but tracks, fur and droppings. Maybe they escaped from a zoo. I have no idea where they came from.

highway
09-27-2004, 14:18
Similar to Bigfoot in the west, it’s amazing how the “black” panther myth persists in the east.

Whether known as panther, cougar, puma, catamount, mountain lion or whatever, they are all the same animal and as adults are generally a tawny, tan color and not black. The chances of anyone spotting a black one are about the same as spotting an albino one-almost non-existent.

To make that likelihood even harder, Florida is the only east coast location with a known population of that species and its numbers are less than 50, I believe. While it is not impossible for these cats to be in the Appalachians, more proof is going to be required to establish that fact other than the report of an occasional sighting of one to be completely conclusive. And even then, it want be "black" in color. At best what was seen was a tan cat in low light conditions and thought black. More likely seen, though, were fleeting glimpses of either bobcat or dog sightings which were quickly mistaken for “black” panthers.

Here are three sites with good information about these cats, one of which distinguishes between a dog and this cat’s prints, in case you are “lucky” enough to spot one and able to confirm it:

http://www.hdw-inc.com/flapantherinterview.htm
http://www.patc.net/resources/florafauna/cougar.html
http://ds.dial.pipex.com/agarman/bco/fact2.htm

While the intentions were good, the sightings probably weren’t what the sighters wanted them to be-“black” panthers. Hopefully, though, they were, in fact, "panthers". Now that would be nice. :cool:

Ramble~On
11-09-2004, 06:05
Thought I'd share this one.

A coworker was recently talking about how her dog had gotten into a scrap with a something. I figured another dog..perhaps a bear.
She claimed a cougar. She also claims that they see cougar from time to time in her area. She lives in Balsam which is about 35 miles SE of Newfound Gap.
I have no reason to doubt her. I love these mountains around here which is why I live here. I hike a lot. I have never seen a cougar here.
Maybe someday.

MedicineMan
11-09-2004, 06:44
Kea and Kakapoo, two brothers from New Zealand thru-hiked this year and in their journal one brother reported seeing a catamount crossing the trail just a few feet in front of him.
We staid with these gentlemen at Thunder Hill Shelter, have been in contact with them since there hike, and would not doubt anything that either reported.

Wyoming
11-09-2004, 09:27
Those of you who live in the No. Va region may remember newspaper reports from about 7 years ago of numerous sightings of a mountain lion in Loudoun county along areas near the AT. My son and several of his friends observed the big cat (estimated at about 100-120 lbs) while bow hunting over about a 2 year period. My wife had it come out of the creek bed near our house when walking our dog at about the same time. Numerous others spotted the animal as well. On local saw the cat take down a full size deer. It was seen occassionaly for about 3 years. I believe one of the neighbors finally shot it as it has not been seen for a long time.

Before anyone has a heart attack about that a couple of notes. 1. it was not a native animal but had been released after being kept as a pet by one of the locals (I got this from the Game Warden - he was pretty certain who the person was); 2. the cat was NOT afraid of people as it should have been - wild cats do not come near people on purpose as this cat often did. 3. after it came out of the trees and followed to young girls walking down one of the private roads on their way to the bus stop many of the fathers in the area were talking about shooting it before someones kid got killed.

FOr those of you who are not sure about the bob cat or mountain lion difference: a bob cat is full size at about 25-30 lbs. It also has a call that sounds like a womand being murdered with a knife (raises the hair on your neck when you are sleeping in a tenta at night ::)); a mountian lion which is full sized is at least as big as a very large dog and can be as large as 150 lbs. They also have a very distinctive long rope like tail. Also the coloring of the two animals is very diffferent with the big cat being a sort of tawney brown most of the time, while a bob cat has a sort of motteled camoflage pattern.

Wyo

sierraDoug
11-09-2004, 19:22
Out here in coastal California the park authorities have recently taken to recommending any backpacker out alone hiking in the dark should wear a hard shell helmet (not a bike helmet). Mountain lions hunt at night, stalk their prey, and pounce on unaware victims from behind. They kill by crushing the skull in their powerful jaws. The helmet gives you a chance to fight them off. So, hike in groups, or in broad daylight, walk backwards, or get a head protector!

grrickar
11-09-2004, 19:38
I heard a large 'sounding' wildcat scream one night last month when I was staying at Cosby Knob Shelter. Whatever it was, it made the hair stand up on the back of my neck. I will never forget the sound. I found a wav file of a cougar scream and it sounded very similar.

Ridge
11-21-2004, 00:13
Most likely it was not a Black Panther. But, it could have been a black hog aka: bore hog. I've witnessed just such an incident when a bore was thought to be a bear, by my fellow hikers. A previous post was correct in stating that a stray dog could also have been mistaken for a big cat.

R Guyer
08-31-2005, 10:33
Should these large cats be released into our own backyards ??? Sep, 2003 hunting from a 19 ft. high tree stand one evening and looking out over a 200 yrd, pasture, I witnessed a large tan object with a redish back troting out of the woods and into a small patch of trees, then over the hill and out of sight..... all happening in the time it took you to read this. I was'nt real sure what I had just saw but i knew it was'nt no damn deer!!! I had to play it back in my memory, and dusk was setting in so i tried to make a possitive identification in my mind by the was it was trotting and the length of it's tail..... there was no dout in my mind, it was a mountain lion !!! this was the first time I ever saw a large cat, and did not know they where in this area i had just moved into... I heard in the 1960's there were not many deer in south carolina so the state released a large number of these herbivors into our backyards. now at the turn of the century the deer population is so strong the state has a new problem !!! so there answer to cut back on the deer was to release several of these carnivors into our backyards !!! ??? I think these large cats should have been left where they were, and left alone! and just up'ed the number of deer taken by hunters..... I've seen this moutain lion three times now in three years. 3 months after the first sighting i witnessed the cat at approximatly 8:30am as i was driving. about 50 ft. in front of my truck the cat ran across our street, the road is about 20 to 24 ft. wide. that cat was running so fast all four paws only hit the pavment "ONE TIME" !!! and it was gone..... I'm tellin you right now , if that thing were to attack you, you'ld be knocked to the ground and a 500 lb bite to the neck / throat to snap your neck, or over the face covering nose and mouth, and never knowing what the hell just hit you !!! after the second sighting i decided to buy a taurus 454... I honestly feel these large cats have the right to hunt where they now have been placed by our state, but when it comes down to my life or our childrens lives being placed in danger, """I'm takin the big cat out with as many rounds as it takes to stop it""" !!! I'm telling all of you that hike, camp, or walking your own property to beware and fight this thing with everything you got inside of you, and you have a good chance to live..... walk with a good hard stick, something easy for you to swing and heavy enough to hurt when hit with... if you do not have anything to use for a weapon use your fingers or thumbs to gouge the eyes, a cat hates to be hurt and will not risk injury for a meal or for the next hunt..... hunting season winter 2004/2005, same tree stand, same wood line, same cat.... only now he's bigger... what will the state do for us next ? sorry for any typo's..... Attn; Fish and wildlife services South Carolina. To whom it may concern, my dog has been missing for 6 months..... R.Guyer1

R Guyer
08-31-2005, 15:12
to whom it may concern, if i were you i'd get on the internet and read everything you can on mountain lions, cougers, pumas, panthers..... i wont walk alone any more in the day light without my gun at my side now knowing what i have seen ! the states and wildlife commitions have released a number of mountain lions to cut down on the deer population. i advise you to please carry a gun or some other weapon to assure your safty. one night when you have nothing to do go online and type in mountian lion or cougar attacks in north carolina and then you'll have a different approch to your safty here in the states..... these cats are showing up everywhere!!! RG

dougmeredith
08-31-2005, 15:27
the states and wildlife commitions have released a number of mountain lions to cut down on the deer population.
Source?

Doug

tlbj6142
08-31-2005, 15:31
I was thinking the same thing. Unless they did it in secret, it didn't happen. Heck folks bitch about releasing wolves in ME. Just imagine what sort of uproar (pun intended) would occur if they were to release courgars.

Besides, they seem to be making a very quite come back all on their own.


R Guyer == Bear Scared?:D

Fiddleback
08-31-2005, 19:52
This from the South Carolina Wildlife Federation web site:

"Today there are no wild reproducing populations of cougars in South Carolina. However, an individual animal is occasionally observed, or killed, as a result of someone releasing a "pet" cougar that got to be too much for them to handle. While there is some doubt the cougar still exists south of the Canadian Maritime provinces, significant sightings occur in Tennessee and North and South Carolina. Greenville and Pickens Counties are among the several counties where sightings have been reported in South Carolina. "

This from the web site of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers:

"It has recently been reported from north Georgia and North Carolina with sightings on the increase where a small population may exist. The increase may be due to an increase in deer populations and to more field observers with the initiative to report."

Consider...here in MT and many other western states there is a large population of mountain lions (a somewhat larger cat than the eastern and Florida species). There's also a large population of hikers, backpackers, and other outdoor recreationists. There are tragic incidents, just as there are with grizzlys, but given the numbers, they are very rare (in MT, more rare than grizzly encounters). The cats do seem to have an affinity for small prey and there's been lots of reports of joggers being attacked in other states...children and 'running prey' seem to be more at risk than others. One thing's for sure...if a cat has hunted you and has sprung...only Rambo is going to get a good shot off. Sidearms and rifles are probably more effective against a mountain lion than a grizzly but the cat is harder to hit. While some carry a weapon into the wilderness I have yet to see anyone here carry. And all my (limited) backpacking in MT has been in mountain lion and grizzly territory.

FB

fiddlehead
08-31-2005, 21:41
They tend to attack small children or small people who are moving fast. (they don't like things moving fast in their area) They don't attack backpackers much because the pack on back is something that confuses them. They're more apt to go for small, women joggers. If attacked, fight back. they don't want to get hurt. If you see one, you are lucky. If they decide to attack you, chances are you'll never see them until it's too late.
I've seen two of them in the wild. One in southern ca and one in northern ca. It made the hair on my arms stand up and i felt scared. (more so than i ever remember being) The one that i got close to (12' away) was stalking a dog that was running around below it (we were both on top of a 15' cliff) It was huge. the size of a man at least. Anyway, after the nerves wore off, i consider myself lucky to have witnessed this happening. I think i scared it off.

Frolicking Dinosaurs
08-31-2005, 22:58
I saw an animal that looked very much like a mountain lion back in 1974 while hiking in the wild area of the GSMNP north of the Twenty Mile Ranger Station. I had heard the sound like a woman screaming several times the night before. I was walking over a small hill early in the day and the animal was on the next rise - maybe 75 to 80 feet away. It was a light brown with a long tail and was stretching like cats do. It was a big cat of some sort and far too large and the wrong color to be a bob cat.

hacksaw
09-02-2005, 23:18
Cougars don't stalk humans as a rule. In fact I have never had it proven to me that EASTERN mountain lions have ever been known to stalk a human, even a little bit!Cougars don't even care to hang around where human scent is present, as far as 30 years of occasional tracking experience has shown me.

That being said, I must say that in the past month I have seen a juvenile cougar within the ring of mountains here in North Georgia that make up the border of the development where I live. I have never known of such activity in such close proximity to man, but since this place is a game sanctuary and we have an overabundance of the long legged white tailed wood rats commonly referred to as deer, and since this season has produced an incredible number of fawns, hey, what's a young Cougar to do? Recently weaned, looking to establish his territory, runs up on this place with a 24/7 smorgasbord of fresh meat....looks like home to him!

These encounters were dead of the night run ins while driveing home.

I suspect that the full grown adult that I saw just outside the property about a year ago may well have been the producer of this (or perhaps these) young cat(s). I expect that evidence of its presence will soon be found, I just hope that the carcass of the cougar isn't the evidence found.

The more we encroach the more sightings occur. They are here, they have always been here, and with any kind of luck at all they'll be here for years to come.

You seen any sign, Copperhead? What about you, Goon? Anything on that side of the mountain?

Hacksaw

Crazy Larry #1
09-03-2005, 06:17
yeah one walked about seven feet by my head while i was sleeping in july. atleast i think it was, or it was a very large bobcat but i think it mighta been a mountain lion. it was pretty scary.
mountain lions are predators and we humans are prey. they are stealth fighters as well and they know their place around people along with bobcats as well......what i'm saying here is that no wild cat walked by your head within seven feet while you were asleep.....how would you know anyway, you were asleep, right?

all in your dreams buddy.....................

Kerosene
09-03-2005, 09:52
I've posted before that I saw something just south of Harpers Ferry in October 2002 that was definitely feline and certainly not a bobcat or a lynx (or an overgrown house cat!).

I was about 5 miles south of town at the end of a 55-mile section hike from Front Royal on a warm, clear day around noon. I came around a corner and over a slight rise and saw this animal about 40 yards in front of my on the trail. Without thinking I clapped my hands to scare it off (I should have just stopped and observed for awhile). The cat looked at me and high-tailed it into the woods with a grace and a long tail that could only be feline. It was colored a light brown, darker on top, and was the height of a large dog but not as heavily built as dogs that large. Hard to believe that it was a cougar in that area at that time of day, but nothing to this day nothing else seems to fit the evidence. As I passed by I realized that I might now be being stalked and kept an eye out for the next few miles.

Happy Feet
09-03-2005, 11:30
Hatman and I saw a mountain lion while driving VERY SLOWLY on the boundary of the Big Frog Wilderness Area along the TN/GA border (we were creeping along, looking for rocks). A large tan cougar lept from the upper side of the road all the way across to the other side, never touching the road on either side, right across the hood of our truck. His span was longer than our Ford Ranger's width. We both looked at each other, not believing what we saw. We believed it to be a once in a lifetime spectacle, feeling very blessed to have witnessed such a sight. We must have spooked him - but were suprised that he didn't run the other way. We mentioned it to a friend, an old timer from the area who grew up in these mountains. He said he knows there are big cats around here, but the "officials" won't ever admit it for some reason.

It used to be unusual to have a bear sighting in the Big Frog, but now it is unusual to go out and NOT see a bear (or bears).

halibut15
09-06-2005, 09:07
Not to get entirely off the topic, Happy Feet, but I've heard several people say that the bear issue up around the Ocoee and Big Frog is getting pretty big. Is it really getting that crowded up there with bears?

MOWGLI
09-06-2005, 09:32
Not to get entirely off the topic, Happy Feet, but I've heard several people say that the bear issue up around the Ocoee and Big Frog is getting pretty big. Is it really getting that crowded up there with bears?


Don't worry. T-DOT has a plan to fix that. It's a 20-mile extension of US 64 through the Ocoee Gorge at a cost of $1.5 billion. It carves right through the middle of critical bear habitat. The road kill should take care of a good number of bears.

To learn more;

http://www.tdot.state.tn.us/information-office/hotprojects/deis/default.htm

MOWGLI
09-06-2005, 09:53
Anybody else see this photo in the Gallery? It was just posted this week.

http://www.whiteblaze.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/8427/sort/1/cat/last7/page/1

tlbj6142
09-06-2005, 12:35
Anybody else see this photo in the Gallery? It was just posted this week.
http://www.whiteblaze.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/8427/sort/1/cat/last7/page/1Was that in a shelter? What is the wooden structure the cat is walking on, or in? I have a hard time believe a wild cat would walk into a shelter.

Stale Cracker
09-06-2005, 12:57
Check out the photos on this website under wildlife/other by greymane. Don't know how he got these shots, he must be crazy but I am glad he did.

jimmyjob
09-06-2005, 13:08
Anybody else see this photo in the Gallery? It was just posted this week.

http://www.whiteblaze.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/8427/sort/1/cat/last7/page/1
okay now i'm nervous....what do you do if you come across one...kiss your ass goodbye..???? do what you would with a bear.....????? any info would be nice.....though i'm sure my chances of seeing one are very slim...

trippclark
09-06-2005, 13:09
Was that in a shelter? What is the wooden structure the cat is walking on, or in? I have a hard time believe a wild cat would walk into a shelter.

Caption on the pictures says, "Picture of a mountain lion at a cabin in Hornell, NY" Not a shelter.

halibut15
09-06-2005, 15:31
Don't worry. T-DOT has a plan to fix that. It's a 20-mile extension of US 64 through the Ocoee Gorge at a cost of $1.5 billion. It carves right through the middle of critical bear habitat. The road kill should take care of a good number of bears.

To learn more;

http://www.tdot.state.tn.us/information-office/hotprojects/deis/default.htm
Wow Mowgli, that sucks. It sounds a lot like the I-3 proposition that we're having a time with here in North GA. It'll do the same for AT hikers that the US 64 plan will do for bears...turn them into roadkill. I-3 will supposedly pass over Unicoi Gap...oh joy.

MOWGLI
09-06-2005, 15:35
Wow Mowgli, that sucks. It sounds a lot like the I-3 proposition that we're having a time with here in North GA. It'll do the same for AT hikers that the US 64 plan will do for bears...turn them into roadkill. I-3 will supposedly pass over Unicoi Gap...oh joy.

Here's info on the proposed I-3, which would be a new interstate from Savannah, GA to Knoxville, TN. ATC and GATC have both signed on to the Stop I-3 Coalition.

http://www.stopi-3.org/

godsbluehills
09-06-2005, 16:54
There's also a petition on the Chattooga Conservancy's website for veterans against Interstate 3. It calls for congress to spend the billions of dollars to properly equip our dying troops... not for an environmentally and economically destructive and unneccessary interstate. Please encourage any active or retired military personnel to sign.
http://www.chattoogariver.org/index.php?req=veterans

http://www.chattoogariver.org/index.php?req=i3

Ratbert
09-06-2005, 19:56
I definitely want Greymane to tell us the story behind those photos! They are awesome ... I can't get over those freakin' teeth!

saimyoji
09-06-2005, 22:00
Read this thread.

http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=9159

Scroll down to find the discussion of mt lions.

gumball
09-07-2005, 05:19
Those pictures have been circulating the internet for several months now--I received them a few months ago from some hiker friends, and at that time they were supposedly taken off someone's back porch in NC, I think.

MOWGLI
09-07-2005, 06:48
Those pictures have been circulating the internet for several months now--I received them a few months ago from some hiker friends, and at that time they were supposedly taken off someone's back porch in NC, I think.

Not only were they claimed to have come from Hornell, NY - but also Maine. Here's an article from a Maine newspaper explaining the hoax;

Experts say cougar photos a hoax

By Marci Hait
mhait@seacoastonline.com


YORK - According to Maine state biologists and an organization which tracks mountain lion spottings around the country, the "infamous deck photos" of a cougar prowling around a residential neighborhood are a hoax.
They are real photographs, said Cougar Network Co-founder Mark Dowling, but they were taken no where near southern Maine.

"The photos are authentic, but the incident occurred in Lander, Wyoming, not Maine," said Dowling. "Nothing happened during the visit and the cougar left on its own."

Local Animal Control Officer Tom Porter said he learned the circulating pictures were fraudulent when he was contacted by Eliot/Kittery Animal Control Officer Bob Gagne late last week. When the photos began to travel via e-mail, at least one claim said they were taken on Beech Road in Eliot.

"Apparently he talked to the state biologist ... There were a few chuckles about it but that’s about it," he said.

State biologist Phil Bozenhard, who is stationed out of Gray, could not be reached for comment as of press time.

However, Dowling said Bozenhard was probably aware the photographs were not taken in this area because a number of such hoaxes occur each year.

"The Cougar Network has been sent these photos well over a dozen times, along with claims they were taken in various eastern states like New York and Maine," he said.

Dowling said in addition to the three images of a mountain lion peeping through a glass door and creeping around someone’s deck, there are also other fictitious photos popping up around the country.

"One is a trail photo of a California cougar stalking a black-tailed deer, the other is a photo of a man holding an enormous cougar shot in Washington state," said Dowling, adding that there are also three hoax videos circulating in Michigan. "Their stories have resulted in ‘cougar paranoia’ among citizens and resulted in the lock-down of several schools in the Detroit area."

Dowling said his group, which is "a nonprofit research organization dedicated to relationships and the role of cougars in ecosystems," with a special focus on expanding populations, does not believe there is a "remnant population" of cougars in Maine.

If there were cougars that were reproducing and thriving in the wild in this area, it is "inevitable and unavoidable" that residents would find their carcasses owing to incidental snaring, car and motorcycle accidents and starvation.

"The cats documented there (in Maine) are almost certainly of captive origin, as thousands of these animals are in private hands throughout North America," said Dowling. "Anywhere these animals live in proximity to humans, cougar carcasses are recovered on a regular basis."

To learn about the Cougar Network and view its research, visit www.cougarnet.org.

Ratbert
09-07-2005, 07:45
Greymane, Gumball, Saimyoji, Mowgli16:
Thanks for the 411 on the cougar photos. Wyoming or not, it seems like it would have to be an escaped "pet" for it to wander around on someone's porch like that. Looked wonderfully healthy, not emaciated or anything like that.

I've been lucky enough to see two cougars in the wild. Once while driving south through Paradise Valley in Montana (around Pray, I think) I saw one whip across the road in front of me at night. My headlights just caught it and mostly I remember that long tail disappearing into the dark. It was one of those instances where you shake your head and say, "Did I just see what I thought I saw?"

The second was alongside the Middle Fork of the Salmon in Idaho's Frank Church / River of No Return Wilderness. It was mid-day while on a commercial rafting trip and the lion was on the bank, maybe 15 or 20 yards away. He froze until we were past, as though he was shocked at finding himself caught out in the open like that. We camped at Sheep Creek that night and not too far from camp, found the haunch of a deer, or an elk, that was half covered up with leaves and dirt. Felt spooky camping close to a kill like that, but the guides just shrugged it off. Had I been backpacking alone, no way would I have stayed there!

I'd always heard that if you see a cougar in the wild, rest assured that not only has he probably seen you as well, but has mentally added you to the menu!

Valmet
10-16-2005, 17:10
I don't have any desire to see one. Sorry that is one animal I don't want to come across. After you see one don't believe he ran off. Probably waiting and sizing you up for dinner. Every try and get a mad house cat off you, can't imagine a mountain lion clinging to you.

Almost There
10-16-2005, 19:14
That is why most wilderness survival trainers will tell you hiking out west or in Alaska you should carry some sort of protection on you...a long knife, etc. I don't advocate it in the east, but when hiking out west it might be the difference between being wounded or being dinner!

Smile
10-17-2005, 10:26
This past weekend I hiked Tray Mtn to Dicks Creek Gap for a little gear shakedown hike....at Tray Mtn. Shelter about 10 mintues after true 'dark' before the moon rose I was walking on the trail between the shelter and the signs where the blue blazes start and heard the strangest cat like sound I have ever heard in my life, best way to decsribe it was sound going from a low note on a sliding scale to a higher note about two octaves up - and very feline like. I never even considered there could be anything out there, I turned tail and decided to head back to the shelter at a steady pace, it did it again and was at the same distance/direction away as the first time ( I was about 75 feet or so down the trail from the first spot I heard it.)

I asked my hiking companions if they heard it and they said no..... a few minutes later we all heard it again, not far from the shelter, in the same direction I heard it the first time. Any ideas of what this could have been? Wish I could make a similar sound and put an Mp3 on here, not sure how to do that but might find an answer from someone.

I've hiked WV-PA and CT-MA as far as the AT goes and done some trails in in N. AZ where there are cats, and I've never heard anything like this.

Pedestrian
10-17-2005, 12:35
I moved to the North Georgia Mountains about 6 years ago. From the 1st day my new neighbors warned my family and me of mountain lions. At first I discounted these stories and felt that this crazy old lady was just trying to scare my kids.
Jump forward to last year.
My wife now works at the local newspaper. She had a local farmer come in with photos of a calf kill he clamed was done by a mointain lion. He said he walked up on the cat as it was feeding on the kill. This man has tons of credabilty because he not only is a farmer but a wildlife biologist as well. He documented everything including a casting of a print left by the cat and gave it over to the Georgia DNR. Later the DNR came out and conducted thier own investigation and concluded that it was indeed a Mountain Lion but this did not prove existance of a population of cats in Georgia. Their explanation is that it is probably someones exotic pet that got out. The farmer checked with everyone who lives in the area and of course no one has or had a mointain lion pet.
(Opion Alert)
Game managers don't want to admit to a population shift until it is substanble because admiting it brings attention to it. Attention causes fear, curiosity, etc...
(Opion Alert End)
One thing that is FACT. There is at least one mointain lion in the North Georgia Mountains.

Gray Blazer
10-17-2005, 12:44
I saw a Black Panther in the woods near Wacahoota, Fl. My wife saw it at the same time. Forest Rangers around these parts tell me I'm crazy, but, a lot of regular folks I have talked to have spotted them, also. I've never seen one on the AT. Just bears.

LuTotten
02-08-2006, 22:15
There are a few mountain lions in North Georgia, Btw Black Panthers were native to Florida and parts of south Georgia.

freefall
02-08-2006, 22:42
I was camping in Big Meadows campground the summer of `99 and went for a sunrise walk through the meadow. Saw a deer with the flesh missing from one whole side(still alive). I was talking later that day with a park ranger and described it to her. She then told me that they had scattered mountain lion reports in and near the park but nothing confirmed. I sent her copies of the pictures when I returned home but then lost track of /contact with her.
She had said that there had been prints found and scat along the park boundry, near Old Rag I believe.

The Desperado
02-08-2006, 23:07
In the last few years their have been scattered reports of mt. lions on or near the trail in N/W N.J.. Recently a natural science teacher and a car full of guests saw one cross the road at culvers gap in NJ too, they were quite startled by it and according to them got a pretty good look. Their have been a few reliable reports of sightings over the years.

Kerosene
02-09-2006, 17:22
I was camping in Big Meadows campground the summer of `99 and went for a sunrise walk through the meadow. Saw a deer with the flesh missing from one whole side(still alive). I was talking later that day with a park ranger and described it to her. She then told me that they had scattered mountain lion reports in and near the park but nothing confirmed. I sent her copies of the pictures when I returned home but then lost track of /contact with her.
She had said that there had been prints found and scat along the park boundry, near Old Rag I believe.I'm quite confident that I came across one just south of Harpers Ferry in October 2001.

BigE
02-09-2006, 17:36
I have seen what I'm sure were fresh tracks up on Flattop Mtn. this past summer. One of my neighbors that lives up there said that he has seen one crossing the road early one morning as well. I think they are there.

=e=

Shutterbug
02-09-2006, 23:54
There have been reports of mountain lions making a comeback along the trail. For many years these animals have been thought of all but extinct along the Appalachian Trail corridor. Anyone know anything about this or have any comments or experiences.

I have not seen a cougar near the AT, but have seen one in Arizona and one in Colorado. The one I saw in Arizona was in rugged mountains south of Tucson. I was flying an Air Force Helicopter at hovered over it for several minutes until it ran into its den.

The second was in Roxborough State Park south of Denver. It is near the start of the Colorado Trail. As we were passing alongside of a large boulder, I saw movement out of the corner of my eye. I stopped to look. Then I saw the movement again. It was the tip of a tail of a bit cat. Then the Cougar stood up. It was a full grown mountain lion. My wife and I backed away and the mountain lion got up and moved away from us. As we continued the hike, we saw the mountain lion several times. It seemed to be watching us from the high points, but never moved toward us. A few weeks later, a hiker attempted to walk his dog through the same area. The mountain lion attacked the dog. The man was injured trying to save the dog.

SnackMan
02-10-2006, 00:25
Cats must be my animal, spied a panther, bob cat, and either another bobcat or a cougar by the end of the trail.

chknfngrs
02-10-2006, 00:44
Was in WV on part of the Tuscarora Trail and came upon one on the trail. It was raining and I'm sure the thing was distracted (were it a dry day he would have heard us from a mile away) as it was we were 75 yards from the thing. It finally heard us and BOUNDED away down the trail at an alarming rate until out of sight.

khaynie
02-10-2006, 01:12
We met a SOBO thru-hiker (Trek - not the one in the video) in the shelter just N of Marion, VA and he claimed a mountain lion stalked him for a few miles somewhere in PA. He said that was the most frightened he'd ever been. Last year thru-hike was his 4th one in a row.

Some of you may know him - he usually started hiking around 3:30 a.m. and didn't stop until 7 or 8 p.m. His register entries were alway's "Trek passing thru." Oh well, he said he's doing another one this year. Maybe some of you 06 Nobo's will see him. If you do, ask him about his mountain lion run-in. It's a good story.

4whim
02-10-2006, 22:04
I have no doubt I was seeing Cat prints in Shenandoah last April, not bear, not wolf/coyote,,,cat prints. more worried bout them than bears .

MOWGLI
02-10-2006, 22:35
I was camping in Big Meadows campground the summer of `99 and went for a sunrise walk through the meadow. Saw a deer with the flesh missing from one whole side(still alive). I was talking later that day with a park ranger and described it to her. She then told me that they had scattered mountain lion reports in and near the park but nothing confirmed. I sent her copies of the pictures when I returned home but then lost track of /contact with her.
She had said that there had been prints found and scat along the park boundry, near Old Rag I believe.

When I left Waynesboro to head into SNP, a local stopped me and told me with GREAT BIG WIDE EYES that there were Mountain Lions in the hillls. He was dead serious. I walked on. Heard a Bobcat scream at a shelter just south of Front Royal, but saw no cougars.

I had dinner last night with a volunteer from GSMNP. He swears he saw Lion tracks in the park, and that a Ranger admitted to him that they are in the park. Man, I'd love to see one. But until I do, I'll remain skeptical. It's my nature.

freefall
02-10-2006, 22:49
I had dinner last night with a volunteer from GSMNP. He swears he saw Lion tracks in the park, and that a Ranger admitted to him that they are in the park. Man, I'd love to see one. But until I do, I'll remain skeptical. It's my nature.

I would love to see one in the wild as well, and hope that they have indeed started returning. Now if we could successfully get the wolf reintroduced....

irritable_badger
02-10-2006, 23:48
I saw a mountain lion (Cougar) on the border of the Citico Creek and Joyce Kilmer wilderness areas (TN/NC) in 2002. It was at the bottom of a rocky hill standing there looking at me. By the time I got my camera out it had moved into the brush, away from me, but I do have a slide where you can see it's face (if you look close).

Bankrobber
02-11-2006, 02:40
I saw a mountain lion eat a howler monkey in Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica. It was 20 yards from where I camped. I have pictures if anyone is interested.

BillW
02-14-2006, 17:27
Howdy,

The naturalist at Promise Land State Park in PA admitted to me that there were Mountain Lions in the area. She didn't know whether they were released or part of a viable population.

My favorite story is one told to me by the mother of one of my sons friends. She saw a cougar in her backyard (Montrose, PA) and called the game warden. He looked at the footprints and said they looked like cougar prints. Then with a straight face he said, The official policy of the State of Pennsylvania is that there are no mountain lions. However, if you shoot one it's a $500 fine.

Peace,

Bill

Almost There
02-14-2006, 19:20
These are the perfect reason why not to hike with headphones on. For the most part they'll leave us alone, but if one decides to stalk a lone person...you won't know it till it pounces on you. I was just thinking of a story of a lone hiker in Alaska who was killed by one. From the scene it looked to the rangers like she didn't know it was there till it pounced on her from behind, she struggled but it knocked her off balance and she went down...it was all over from there! Probably nothing to worry about...but all the same I like to be aware of my surroundings.

blindeye
02-14-2006, 22:13
the story goes that back in the1940's there was one of those enclosed hunting places in northern new hampshire or vermont. they had cougars (catamounts) boars. wolves etc. there was a big thunder storm lots of wind and so forth. well you guessed it fence blew down all the animals escaped. i have never seen any BUT i have met people who claim to have seen cougars and boars.

about ten years ago i was in the adirondacks and i swear i heard a wolf, just figured i'd share the story

timhines
02-15-2006, 11:08
Everyone should be careful what you wish for, you just might see a hungry one on the trail!

I've never seen a cougar, but once we had to kill a bobcat that was terrorizing our farm. Those things blend in to their surroundings like nothing else.

RockyTrail
02-15-2006, 11:20
These are the perfect reason why not to hike with headphones on. For the most part they'll leave us alone, but if one decides to stalk a lone person...you won't know it till it pounces on you. I was just thinking of a story of a lone hiker in Alaska who was killed by one. From the scene it looked to the rangers like she didn't know it was there till it pounced on her from behind, she struggled but it knocked her off balance and she went down...it was all over from there! Probably nothing to worry about...but all the same I like to be aware of my surroundings.

Cats are quiet and sneaky for sure... I was reading a account of one of the California mountain bike attacks a few months ago, and supposedly a biker had one chase him as he was rolling down a macadam (asphalt and rock) road. He heard a clickety sound, thought it was his chain dragging but was actually the cat's nails/claws hitting the pavement as it sprinted. The biker actually got away (or more likely the cat broke it off). Sorry I don't have the reference...but the point is, like flying bullets it's the one you never hear that will get you!

longshank
02-15-2006, 13:05
About a year back I read an article in harper's magazine about the resurgence of the eastern cougar pop. and how local and state government refused to acknowledge their presence. The funny thing was that there had been government effort to reintroduce the animal in the area. The sources for this information were workers who had participated in the effort. Apparently they feared that the human pop. were better off not knowing for the might fear the reintroduction.

hacksaw
02-15-2006, 14:42
There is a Cougar family within the confines of the CNF in North Georgia. I have had off and on run ins with their screams, scat, prints, and once even got to witness a mother/cub feeding...for about 30 seconds! There is some evidence of the offspring branching out, most likely in search of a territory to stake out. No one in an official capacity will admit to the existance of the Eastern Mountain Lion in Georgia, but that don't mean they ain't here!

From personal experience and in-depth research, there is no evidence to support an Eastern Cougar stalking man (Please note the qualifier: EASTERN Mountain Lion/Cougar). They just don't do it. If they catch your scent, you never know it because they will vacate the area, right now and reeeeel quick.

With the current level of deforestation and development in this area it is within reason to think that there soon will be human/big cat encounters that result in injury or death but it will be due to an injured, starving or cornered animal and not a casual encounter in the woods or on a trail.

Cougars are very powerful and quite secretive top predators who hunt for a living. Don't mess with him(as if you'd get the chance) and he won't mess with you.

If you want to worry about what critter might cause you harm in the woods, worry about wild hogs. They WILL attack you and they can do you much harm. They are plentiful in the woods and they are agressive and they ALL got an attitude! Best defense is a large calibre hand gun or rifle.

highway
09-01-2006, 15:25
Cougars were never completely killed off in Florida as was the case in most of the SE yet there has never been a documented case of a cougar (panther) attacking a human in our fair and mostly flat state. And, I am at least 90% certain I saw one here once, too, very late in the evening, but neither it nor any others are really black in color, unless, of course one includes that 60's era political group:D

Pacific Tortuga
09-01-2006, 16:33
Cougars were never completely killed off in Florida as was the case in most of the SE yet there has never been a documented case of a cougar (panther) attacking a human in our fair and mostly flat state. And, I am at least 90% certain I saw one here once, too, very late in the evening, but neither it nor any others are really black in color, unless, of course one includes that 60's era political group:D

The Florida Panther is smaller than most mountain lions in the US but thats not saying much when you are face to face with one. Mosquitos kill more people in a year and that is more than the cats EVER will. I think the AT corridor is perfect for the animals to migrate north and survive, there is something cool about hiking and feeling your not the top preditor on the trail :eek: makes for a greater awareness of your surroundings.

SawnieRobertson
09-02-2006, 10:50
Wolves, yes! Mountain lions, NO! There is a definite difference in their preferred menus.--Kinnickinic

oldmanwinter
09-10-2006, 01:23
Not sure if the "Black" panther debate ever got solved, but just to add some info; There are 11 sub-species of Puma in North America ranging in color from "dark grey, slate grey, yellow, and reddish brown". There is another 8 sub-species of Puma (not associated with Leopards) existing in South America.
Also, looking at a small map I found...it looks like the greatest concentration of Pumas on the east coast is in NH. Maybe also parts of Vermont and Maine.

oldmanwinter
09-10-2006, 01:27
Also, someone mentioned earlier that the only black cat was some leopard in Africa and Asia. WAY OFF. There are two species of black cat in South America. There are black versions of both the Leopard and Jaguar in South America.

HIKER7s
09-25-2006, 09:53
Contrary to many reports or agency claims that they arent where we know they are, its a little unsettling. Much Of my in state hiking these days center around introducing newbies to our world. Many of these people are children. Other than normal readiness issues you have to be on top of with an acceptable level of skill or experience to deal with you have the tangibles. Bears n Snakes are dealt with a certian way. These cats though are the one thing that you cant get that comfy feeling about. Granted in large parties of 8-15, especially ones that ramble, you likely not to even see a toad let along any of the large critters.

These cats are exclusively predatory and apparently will stalk humans and, as shown attack humans in the predator mode much much more than the rare story of a black bear switching into that unusual type of behavior .

So you go and hope your number inst next on one of these rare cat to human ambushes.

Gray Blazer
09-25-2006, 10:44
There is a big black panther living near Wacahoota, FL. I've seen it and other locals have seen it.

highway
09-25-2006, 10:59
Also, someone mentioned earlier that the only black cat was some leopard in Africa and Asia. WAY OFF. There are two species of black cat in South America. There are black versions of both the Leopard and Jaguar in South America.

What was mentioned above concerned dark variant of the cougar discussed its existance in our portion of this hemisphere. Any black one in our hemisphere is nothing but an most likely non-existant, extremely rare at best, melanistic, aberrant quirk of nature as much of one as an albino version would be. They come in a few brownish, greyish, tawnyish colors (not black) and became so rare along the US eastern seaboard because when their primary food source, the white tailed deer, was hunted to being almost completely eradicated by ourselves, the cougar populations met their demise along a similar fashion.

But the deer are coming back now in greater numbers than they ever existed. And it would appear that the few remaining cougars, too, from deep within their tiny enclaves hidden in a few of our larger, less-accessible forests, are beginning to spread outward, feasting upon the more abundant white tailed deer. It was once thought that Florida had the larger remaining population of them in the East, but even it was always so small that they were still in danger of slipping into extinction by inbreeding, because the remaining available gene pool of their subspecies (in the east) was so miniscule. And their numbers kept declining. It was sad news here when one was reported being killed by a car, trying to cross some highway, and many of them regrettably died here each year in such a fashion.

To this day I am 90% sure that I once caught a brief glimpse of one in a large wooded area behind my house. It was near the end of a rifle range I had constructed, it was late inthe evening and it just gracefull appeared, looked briefly at me from about 100 yard line, and then turned and stepped quickly across, fading into the shadows. I can still see that long tail it seemed to have, locked permanently in my memory of that brief encounter, and I sincerely hope it was not just wishful thinking on my part. It seemed to be at least twice the size of its more prevalent cousin, the bobcat. The following day I called the Florida fish and game folks and they sent someone out to look at a few of the paw prints I preserved. They couldnt (or wouldnt) tell me what it was. This happened about 1985 or 1986 or so.

it is nice to see them expand their range, back into areas where they once were.

highway
09-25-2006, 11:15
There is a big black panther living near Wacahoota, FL. I've seen it and other locals have seen it.
One only gets a very quick glimpse of one, if one is extremely lucky, and it is usually under a low-light condition, like early morning or late afternoon, where it is caught slipping along partially hidden in shadow. That is why so many of the few viewers consider them black. They are not. In that flash of a quick, partially hidden view we so seldom get of them, they just appear darker than they really are. I dont doubt you saw one. I just doubt the color you say it is

StarLyte
09-25-2006, 11:21
One only gets a very quick glimpse of one, if one is extremely lucky, and it is usually under a low-light condition, like early morning or late afternoon, where it is caught slipping along partially hidden in shadow. That is why so many of the few viewers consider them black. They are not. In that flash of a quick, partially hidden view we so seldom get of them, they just appear darker than they really are. I dont doubt you saw one. I just doubt the color you say it is

I feel that it would be such a privilege to see one of these beautiful creatures.

MOWGLI
09-25-2006, 11:28
Wolves, yes! Mountain lions, NO! There is a definite difference in their preferred menus.--Kinnickinic

Yes, Wolves eat white blaze purists while Mountain Lions prefer blue blazers. :rolleyes:

Gray Blazer
09-25-2006, 11:40
One only gets a very quick glimpse of one, if one is extremely lucky, and it is usually under a low-light condition, like early morning or late afternoon, where it is caught slipping along partially hidden in shadow. That is why so many of the few viewers consider them black. They are not. In that flash of a quick, partially hidden view we so seldom get of them, they just appear darker than they really are. I dont doubt you saw one. I just doubt the color you say it is
Caught it in my headlights no more than 40 ft in front of me as I came around that hard curve on 320 at the Marion/Alchua Co line. Black as night. Around 2:00 in the AM. Local rangers have told me I'm out of my mind. Many locals have seen it and know where it lives.

SawnieRobertson
09-25-2006, 13:38
Yes, Wolves eat white blaze purists while Mountain Lions prefer blue blazers. :rolleyes:

Wolves don't eat purists! That's silly. They just scare purists. They just become legendary among those frightened by the outdoors, especially at night. Their howl is the most awesome of sounds, but, like thunder, it won't hurt you.

OTOH, mountain lions will attack you from behind, break your neck, and eat your face, their favorite delicacy.

Ohhhh, okay. I just lived in The West too many years to realize that those in the East are really just beautiful, overgrown, elusive pussy cats.--Kinnickinic

HIKER7s
09-25-2006, 14:15
Ohhhh, okay. I just lived in The West too many years to realize that those in the East are really just beautiful, overgrown, elusive pussy cats.--Kinnickinic


Must of been misguided a bit somewhere's. .....



Although uncommon, mountain lion
attacks on humans occasionally occur.
Fifty-three unprovoked mountain
attacks on humans were documented
in the US and Canada from 1890 to
1990. Nine attacks resulted in 10
human deaths. Most victims (64%)
were children who were either alone
or in groups of other children. Attacks
on humans have increased markedly
in the last two decades

Ramble~On
09-26-2006, 04:34
:eek: Suddenly I am reminded of a certain video of a bear swinging in a hammock in someones backyard................no sign of the hammock owner and the bear looked really plump in the mid section as if it had just had a major munch out session......and then.........it slept for a while not unlike the sleep that comes after a great big meal...........

What if Mountain Lions discover that hammocks are like big burritos....and after a meal they're really comfortable to sleep in........

Lions, Tigers and Bears...............Oh My.

Newb
09-26-2006, 08:08
My wife and I saw a dead cougar on I-95 in northern North Carolina a couple of years ago. Very sad to see it dead.

Ramble~On
09-26-2006, 18:11
I had heard stories of them being in WNC from a lot of people who I would never doubt...but I had never seen one....I had hiked with a friend in snow one year and saw fresh tracks...I am not an expert tracker but these tracks weren't bobcat...anyway.......no sighting...
I remained a skeptic until the night I saw one with my own eyes.
Still...one sighting in all these years....all the time I've spent solo hiking....quietly I might add....but then again I haven't had hundreds of bear sightings either....only a few and the bear population around here is pretty healthy...so, as I thought more about it....It is rare to see larger animals as it is....bear, coyote, bobcat, deer for that matter in WNC....so the more rare the animal.......you'd have to figure the more rare the sightings.

I've had many backpacking trips through areas that I know are thick with boar, bear and coyote without ever seeing or hearing one...that doesn't mean that they aren't there. Last night I was driving out of Cataloochee Valley and a bull elk "bugled" right next to my truck....it was standing 10 feet from the truck inside the treeline.....if it wouldn't have made a sound I would have passed right by and never known it was there....
That's a pretty big animal to pass by without knowing its there....
Cougar.......are elusive and smart..It doesn't surprise me that sightings are rare...

Spock
09-26-2006, 18:21
I used to have a little panther who visited my front porch when I lived in the East Texas woods. He would have armadillos on the half shell and leave the remains under leaves in my flower beds. Like lots of animals in deep woods, he was a darker brown with dusky grey back - unlike the tawny color you usually see. Coyotes in New England are darker than Texas coyotes, as are the deer. Perhaps that's what people are calling "black panthers."

Jack Tarlin
09-26-2006, 18:24
Good thread.

Interesting article here:

http://www.patc.net/resources/florafauna/cougar.html

I have friends who live in rural Vermont who are absolutely convinced that the Eastern cougar is back (and by this I do NOT mean pets released into the wild) tho local fish and game people seem reluctant to agree with them.

Spock
09-26-2006, 19:04
Jack and other skeptics,
There are always lots of animal sitings before the 'authorities' acknowledge the presense of an animal in an area. I've see that with wild hogs, cougars, black bear and other critters. I have often thought they knew better but didn't want the local yahoos out trying to kill whatever it was.

As to panthers/cougars/pumas, I have spent untold hours/days trying to get a look at one cat whose sign I have found repeatedly and know for absolutely rock solid sure is in a particular area. Panthers are sly, slick and shy. The only way you get to see one is if he makes a mistake or is very young. It's the young males in new territory who account for the attacks on humans. Like all young males of whatever species, they're dumb and impulsive.

Jack Tarlin
09-26-2006, 19:09
Spock:

Please re-read my last post. Nowhere in it do I say that I myself am skeptical of this; WHAT I SAID was that I have friends that are convinced that the cougar is back in Vermont, tho state officials are reluctant to acknowledge or admit this.

Personally, I agree with my friends, many of whom have lived in Vermont for decades, are very steady people, and have no reason to exaggerate or embellish their stories and first-hand experience with that they firmly believe is the Eastern Cougar.

trailale
09-26-2006, 19:59
Maybe the black panthers people claim to see are black due to genetics. I've seen black squirrels which if I'm not mistaken are the offspring of an albino with a regular gray. Or maybe it was two albinos. More likely, those making the claim don't realize that black isn't the usual color of panthers or cougers. What somewhat intrigues me is that there is a campground in the Everglades called "panther campground" and the old sign had a depiction of a black panther.

Spock
09-26-2006, 22:39
Jack,
I was agreeing with you, not commenting on your skepticism, just on that of the authorities. I get what you mean. I really think the authorities like to keep it quiet. I know too many good wildlife folks among their ranks to believe they can't figure out when a cat or some other rare critter is in the area. This is a big deal in Texas. Spot a cat and every inbred Saxon mother's son will be out in the woods with a shotgun or worse trying to kill it. Better to keep it quiet. There's probably a memo somewhere.

Ramble~On
09-27-2006, 01:35
I used to live in California....and I've been everywhere Man....opps (Couldn't resist some Johnny Cash) California has a healthy population of Cougar...
Florida...has them but I do not know anything about the numbers in Florida..
In all my time in NC...I have seen one....I had been a skeptic...but I am no longer....I saw that one on the road...not while in the woods.
Where there is one.....I hope their are many, many more.

HIKER7s
09-27-2006, 07:25
I HAVE SEEN 12-Twelve of them together in Pa.

They were all on the same shelf in a stuffed animal store in of all places Lancaster.

HOWEVER

I do believe they are also back in Pa. for real (havent seen any o those though)

MOWGLI
09-27-2006, 07:31
Funny thing. Someone recently said they saw a Mountain Lion near where I live. Photos were taken (by the police) and it proved to be a Bobcat. STILL, even there photos indicate otherwise and TWRA (TEnn Wildlife Resources Agency) confirms it's a bobcat - some folks insist its a Mountain Lion. This is not an isolated occurrence.

That's not to say that they don't exist in the east. Their population is much greater in people's minds however.

See attached.

Gray Blazer
09-27-2006, 07:39
Maybe the black panthers people claim to see are black due to genetics. I've seen black squirrels which if I'm not mistaken are the offspring of an albino with a regular gray. Or maybe it was two albinos. More likely, those making the claim don't realize that black isn't the usual color of panthers or cougers. What somewhat intrigues me is that there is a campground in the Everglades called "panther campground" and the old sign had a depiction of a black panther.
You reminded me, Newberry High School is very close to Wacahoota where I and many locals have seen the black panther and their mascot is the panther and they have it painted black. Several years ago I was questioning my young students about panther sitings and at least 3 had seen a black panther come up in their backyard while they were playing. Someone told me that this particular cat could be an escaped circus animal.

hopefulhiker
09-27-2006, 19:37
My uncle used to raise mountain lions in my grandmother's barn.. He later donated all of them to Grandfather Mountain..

Pacific Tortuga
09-27-2006, 20:33
My uncle used to raise mountain lions in my grandmother's barn.. He later donated all of them to Grandfather Mountain..

:-? HMMMMMM, human raised, top of the food chain cats

released into the wild. Adults shouldn't worry but keep an eye on the kids

:mad: sure hope your joking. :confused:

hopefulhiker
09-27-2006, 21:45
No I am serious, This was true about forty to twenty years ago... I used to go up and vist his cats. He had them declawed and defanged...He fed them fresh chickens

Ramble~On
09-28-2006, 04:53
Funny thing. Someone recently said they saw a Mountain Lion near where I live. Photos were taken (by the police) and it proved to be a Bobcat. STILL, even there photos indicate otherwise and TWRA (TEnn Wildlife Resources Agency) confirms it's a bobcat - some folks insist its a Mountain Lion. This is not an isolated occurrence.

That's not to say that they don't exist in the east. Their population is much greater in people's minds however.

See attached.

Common mistake...and bobcat are pretty common...
The tail is a dead giveaway....Cougar have very obvious tails.

atraildreamer
10-08-2006, 00:50
My answer to the mountain cats...it's a Liger (Lion-tiger hybrid). :eek:
Should help to keep the shelter mice population down! :p

PictureGirlTN
11-04-2006, 22:19
Has anyone seen an Eastern Cougar in Tennessee (in the past couple of months)? Or has anyone heard any reports lately! I have read anything and everything on the web...but still no luck.

Tractor
11-04-2006, 22:30
PictureGirl. I haven't seen or heard anything in about 4 years. Brother-in-law saw a couple in AL a couple of years back. My last first hand was more than 11 years ago here.

PictureGirlTN
11-04-2006, 22:39
Thanks Tractor....This is my next mission! I am a photographer and have photographed anything and everything in the GSMNP. I have been all over the park in the past 6 months but still can't get any info from the park rangers. (they say "NO, cougars have been in the park sense the mid 70's") If you ask me I think they are hiding something :)!

freefall
11-04-2006, 23:01
Thanks Tractor....This is my next mission! I am a photographer and have photographed anything and everything in the GSMNP. I have been all over the park in the past 6 months but still can't get any info from the park rangers. (they say "NO, cougars have been in the park sense the mid 70's") If you ask me I think they are hiding something :)!

They have to look at it a couple of ways. On one hand, it's great that wildlife is making a comeback. On the other hand, a predatory animal might make some people stay home. I know they've made their way back to Shenandoah, seen it (deer attacked) first hand. The ranger I went out with never got back to me about the pics I took. Guess her supervisor had other things for her to do than chase down a good cougar sign sighting.

If they've made it back to Shenandoah, they have cetainly made it to the Smokeys. They probably never left. Just a drop in the numbers and now they are making a comeback.

aficion
11-04-2006, 23:08
Saw one at dawn in North Carolina in the"Pink Beds/Cradle of Forestry" area about one and a half miles East of the Davidson River. I was walking along a ridgetop trail and stopped at an outcroppping with a view below me. Their was some loud leaf rustling, I believe from deer which were thick in the area, and as I stood quietly looking, about thirty yards below me a huge tan colored cat came stretching and yawning out onto a ledge where he sat down by a tree looking down to see what was rustling through the leaves. This was in 1973 and I am absolutely certain that this was no bob-cat or wildcat. It was way too big, had shorter fur, and had a long tail. It was the most impressive thing I've ever seen in the woods and I have seen a lot. I got a good long look at it before it spotted me and disappeared literally in the blink of an eye. They are still here and will hopefully make a comeback.

longshank
11-05-2006, 09:20
No I am serious, This was true about forty to twenty years ago... I used to go up and vist his cats. He had them declawed and defanged...He fed them fresh chickens
He had them declawed and defanged, then released them into the mountains?! That's really stupid. Those are the lions that will end up clipping off little kids because they can't hunt.

Jim Adams
11-06-2006, 04:52
saw a mountain lion on the trail in front of me in the Shenandoahs just before Waynesboro on my 1990 thru hike. reported it in town and no one would believe me until another hiker came into town a few hours later with a picture of it.
geek

Zeth01
11-14-2006, 02:54
I know this is nowhere near the trail but I saw a mountian lion Minocqua, Wisconsin and have seen MANY in Washington.

Brrrb Oregon
12-07-2006, 13:52
mostly instinct, i suppose smell to.

I have heard that there are people from cultures that don't eat a lot of meat that can't stand to be in an American concert hall or theatre. They aren't used to the strong BO.

hoffhiker
08-11-2013, 19:05
In 1998 I was camping at spence field. At almost dusk one crossed the far end of the clearing. It was black. I grew up in western north Carolina and allways have known of the lions in the woods.

MuddyWaters
08-11-2013, 19:50
In 1998 I was camping at spence field. At almost dusk one crossed the far end of the clearing. It was black. I grew up in western north Carolina and allways have known of the lions in the woods.




There has never been a confirmed black mountain lion.

Other species, such as leopards, can be black. Mexico has them however, and it is possible they may infiltrate the southern US/TX border and be mistaken for mountain lions. Most reports of black cats are believed to be mistaken identity because of this.

johnnybgood
08-11-2013, 20:06
saw a mountain lion on the trail in front of me in the Shenandoahs just before Waynesboro on my 1990 thru hike. reported it in town and no one would believe me until another hiker came into town a few hours later with a picture of it.
geek

Same year I also saw one in Shenandoah Nat'l Park. My wife confirms it was August 1990.

Pedaling Fool
10-06-2013, 11:40
There has never been a confirmed black mountain lion.

Other species, such as leopards, can be black. Mexico has them however, and it is possible they may infiltrate the southern US/TX border and be mistaken for mountain lions. Most reports of black cats are believed to be mistaken identity because of this.That's true, both leopards and jaguars can be black, but leopards are not native to north america; jaguars, on the other hand, are native to north america and are making a comeback in the U.S., but that's not to say all the "black panther" (Melanistic jaguars) are jaguars, especially since this comeback is all happening from Mexico.

Wise Old Owl
10-06-2013, 12:00
Tis an old thread... seriously the Eastern Cougar is extinct.. The one in Delaware/Chester county white clay hasn't been seen in years.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Fish_and_Wildlife_Service) reviewed all available research and other information, and concluded in 2011 that the eastern cougar subspecies has been extinct since the 1930s, and recommended that it be removed from its list of endangered species (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Fish_and_Wildlife_Service_list_of_en dangered_species).[1] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_cougar#cite_note-usfaws11-1) The agency used the 1946 taxonomy of S.P. Young and E.A. Goldman in defining the eastern cougar subspecies. While noting that some taxonomists in recent years have classified all North American cougars within a single subspecies, the agency's 2011 report said "a full taxonomic analysis is necessary to conclude that a revision to the Young and Goldman (1946) taxonomy is warranted."[5] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_cougar#cite_note-r1-5)
The agency acknowledged the occasional presence of cougars in eastern North America, but believes these are of wanderers from western breeding ranges or escaped captives. Its review expressed skepticism that breeding populations exist north of Florida, noting, among other things, the lack of consistent road kill evidence comparable to known cougar ranges. However, the presence of cougars in the wild — whatever their taxonomy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxonomy_%28biology%29) or origin — in eastern North America, continues to be controversial
Eastern U.S. reported sightings, many of which reviewed in the recent federal report,[16] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_cougar#cite_note-cnn11-16)


http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2011/03/02/eastern-cougar-declared-extinct-confirming-decades-of-suspicion/

Pedaling Fool
10-06-2013, 16:17
Tis an old thread... seriously the Eastern Cougar is extinct.. The one in Delaware/Chester county white clay hasn't been seen in years.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Fish_and_Wildlife_Service) reviewed all available research and other information, and concluded in 2011 that the eastern cougar subspecies has been extinct since the 1930s, and recommended that it be removed from its list of endangered species (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Fish_and_Wildlife_Service_list_of_en dangered_species).[1] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_cougar#cite_note-usfaws11-1) The agency used the 1946 taxonomy of S.P. Young and E.A. Goldman in defining the eastern cougar subspecies. While noting that some taxonomists in recent years have classified all North American cougars within a single subspecies, the agency's 2011 report said "a full taxonomic analysis is necessary to conclude that a revision to the Young and Goldman (1946) taxonomy is warranted."[5] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_cougar#cite_note-r1-5)
The agency acknowledged the occasional presence of cougars in eastern North America, but believes these are of wanderers from western breeding ranges or escaped captives. Its review expressed skepticism that breeding populations exist north of Florida, noting, among other things, the lack of consistent road kill evidence comparable to known cougar ranges. However, the presence of cougars in the wild — whatever their taxonomy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxonomy_%28biology%29) or origin — in eastern North America, continues to be controversial
Eastern U.S. reported sightings, many of which reviewed in the recent federal report,[16] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_cougar#cite_note-cnn11-16)


http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2011/03/02/eastern-cougar-declared-extinct-confirming-decades-of-suspicion/I'm not saying there are breeding populations on the east coast, but you can not ignore the sightings, not just in the Appalachians, but in many other states where they're suppose to be extinct, as well as eastern locations in Canada. Sure, some are misidentifications and some maybe escaped pets, but it does not make sense to attribute all the sightings in this vast area to those explanations, especially since it has been confirmed that their numbers are on the increase.


Then there are other factors to consider, such as we are not even sure if there was ever a distinct eastern species, if so, how far did they go? Where is the dividing line between the eastern sub-species and the western sub-species? http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/03/science/earth/03cougar.html?_r=0

Excerpt:

"Scientists are moving toward the conclusion that the Eastern cougar was erroneously classified as a separate subspecies in the first place. As a result of a genetic study conducted in 2000, most biologists now believe there is no real difference between the Western and Eastern branches of the cougar family."


Even if it were a distinct sub-species, that doesn't seem to matter, because it's obvious that something is coming back, so to keep denying sightings is just putting off an inevitable. Would be nice if the govt were a little more proactive here, but figure the odds.


Fact is we just don't know with any real precision where they are established and where they are roaming, my bet is that they are established much further east than officially recognized and they are on their way back here; that is why the govt should be more proactive and stop making fun of people (in a very condescending manner) that report sightings. There's a reason they call them Ghost Cats; and not only are they stealthy and hard enough to find in the day, they do most of their hunting at night.

Do you really have that much faith in people telling you where they are established?

Remember this story: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2011/01/20/133088733/new-giant-species-of-crayfish-found-in-tennessee-creek

Excerpt:

"A new species of giant crayfish [has] literally crawled out from under a rock in Tennessee, proving that large new species of animals can be found in highly populated and well-explored places," Reuters reports (http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE70J0GP20110120).

Researchers Christopher Taylor and Guenter Schuster reveal the discovery in the latest issue (http://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.2988/10-15.1) of the Proceeding of the Biological Society of Washington (it costs $10 to buy the article). The Barbicambarus simmonsi is about 5 inches long — double the length of most crayfish in the region.."






BTW WOO, congrats on the new owl species found in Oman; I know you're excited over that

http://www.timesofoman.com/News/Article-23627.aspx



:D

Likeapuma
10-06-2013, 16:49
Even though this thread is old..

A fellow member of a Rod & Gun club captured clear images of a cougar last year, on a motion sensor trail camera.

He took the pictures, along with a few of deer/other animals, for size comparison, to the CT DEEP & they basically told him "that's impossible, stop photoshopping".

I've heard rumor that state agencies are hesitant to admit the presence of the animal because they would have to stop development of land to provide a protected area for them to repopulate.

imscotty
10-06-2013, 17:00
WOO,

The number of credible sightings of mountain lions in the East from experienced outdoorsmen is overwhelming. There are cougars in the east. Some of these sightings are undoubtedly escaped pets, but as the DNA of the cougar that was killed in Connecticut in 2011 demonstrated, some are definitely migrating here from western populations.

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/01/21/10195024-cougars-extinct-in-east-no-way-say-those-who-claim-sightings?lite

Pedaling Fool, you are dead on about the condescending response from government officials towards all these sightings. I really have to wonder what their agenda is in denying the evidence.

I am old enough to recall that thirty years ago wildlife officials were also denying that there were any coyote in New England. We all know how that turned out.

wren again
01-06-2014, 21:44
Locals said they were seeing a mountain lion in the area, and were proved to be correct.http://www.nbc15.com/home/headlines/13993357.html?device=tablet

Duramax22
01-06-2014, 21:56
theyll deny they exist till one bites them in the ass

aficion
01-06-2014, 21:56
Tis an old thread... seriously the Eastern Cougar is extinct.. The one in Delaware/Chester county white clay hasn't been seen in years.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Fish_and_Wildlife_Service) reviewed all available research and other information, and concluded in 2011 that the eastern cougar subspecies has been extinct since the 1930s, and recommended that it be removed from its list of endangered species (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Fish_and_Wildlife_Service_list_of_en dangered_species).[1] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_cougar#cite_note-usfaws11-1) The agency used the 1946 taxonomy of S.P. Young and E.A. Goldman in defining the eastern cougar subspecies. While noting that some taxonomists in recent years have classified all North American cougars within a single subspecies, the agency's 2011 report said "a full taxonomic analysis is necessary to conclude that a revision to the Young and Goldman (1946) taxonomy is warranted."[5] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_cougar#cite_note-r1-5)
The agency acknowledged the occasional presence of cougars in eastern North America, but believes these are of wanderers from western breeding ranges or escaped captives. Its review expressed skepticism that breeding populations exist north of Florida, noting, among other things, the lack of consistent road kill evidence comparable to known cougar ranges. However, the presence of cougars in the wild — whatever their taxonomy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxonomy_%28biology%29) or origin — in eastern North America, continues to be controversial
Eastern U.S. reported sightings, many of which reviewed in the recent federal report,[16] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_cougar#cite_note-cnn11-16)


http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2011/03/02/eastern-cougar-declared-extinct-confirming-decades-of-suspicion/

Old threads attract old fools. I have seen two Eastern Cougars in their native habitat. One in the Pink Beds region of The Cradle of Forestry in NC in 1973. The other was in the neighborhood of Tar Jacket Ridge which the AT traverses just north of Hwy 60 in VA in 2009. Clear sightings at close range in both instances. They are still here.
I also saw 30 Wild Turkeys today in a field beside I-81. They were practically extinct when I grew up.

Snowy owls are making a timely appearance in Florida.

Maybe Al Gore should make an appearance in Antarctica to free the frozen research vessels out to document global warming, got stuck in the ice......HMMMM.

Second Hand
01-06-2014, 22:21
I was backpacking in VT in November and shared a shelter w/ a guy who said he saw one in Shenandoah. He was on a day hike, they saw it and happened to run into a ranger a quarter mile down the trail. The ranger said he must have seen a large Bobcat or dog, as they were talking the Mountain Lion skirted by them about 30 feet off the trail and the Ranger went into a frenzy trying to get a picture.

My aunt is an assistant dean for UConn's school of agriculture. She leads a board that works w/ the U.S. fish and wildlife administration to confirm the existence of Mountain Lions in New England. There are huge cost to the State and Federal government if Mountains lions can be confirmed. To begin with, they need to add them to the endangered species lists and start taking measures to protect them. For this reason a lot of people feel that the government has looked the other way when handed concrete evidence of Mountain Lions.

zelph
01-10-2014, 18:19
There have been reports of mountain lions making a comeback along the trail. For many years these animals have been thought of all but extinct along the Appalachian Trail corridor. Anyone know anything about this or have any comments or experiences.

I came across this today while searching for something else:

http://www.angelfire.com/co/KlueLass/lions/attacks2.htm


This page covers 10 years of confirmed cougar attacks from researcher Paul Beier's last study date of December, 1990, beginning in January, 1991, and continuing trough December 2000 . Hunter incidents, attacks on animals, non-injury encounters, and accounts not confirmed to be cougar attacks have been moved to this separate Other Incidents Page.

78owl
01-10-2014, 19:45
They are alive and doing well. Just not as sociable as black bears. Like any other predator, they follow and stay where there is food. A friend of mine has several pictures of one in the WNC area.

canoe
01-10-2014, 21:19
where I live in N Eastern NC 30 yrs ago there were very few deer. Now they are everywhere. They must breed like rabbits. 25 yrs ago there were no coyotes. Now they are everywhere. 20 yrs ago absolutely no turkey now I see some in the fields almost everyday. Now in this region there have been cougar sighting. I have not seen one but my neighbor said he saw one in my back yard. (A large field next to a swamp) Eastern/Western or someones pet I dont know. But there have been too many sighting in the region them not to be here

MDSection12
01-10-2014, 21:27
This is a topic I have a great deal of interest in, and very little firsthand knowledge. I can agree with posters above talking about species making comebacks or new appearances even. My dad grew up in my area and said turkeys were non-existent... Now they're everywhere. Coyotes have shown up recently and though I haven't seen them I have heard them and seen their kills... Definitely new for this area.

As for the cougar, I've heard of possible sightings that turned out to be large bobcats, so I imagine that has to be a certain percentage of the reports... But I'm not positive it could be the whole story.

Anyone ever heard of government agencies releasing cougar? It sounds extremely far fetched to me, but I've heard some mountain men in my area claim that happened here years ago to cull the deer populations.

Second Hand
01-10-2014, 21:56
I relate it the Wolves coming back to Yellowstones. Framers and Hunters wiped out the Mountain Lions around the turn of the century. As deer, turkeys and other prey make a comeback, so will the predators.

I haven't heard of Government agencies releasing Mountain Lions. The East is a pretty congested place and I imagine releasing Mountain Lions would put a scare into the public, weather it's warranted or not.

SawnieRobertson
01-10-2014, 22:35
I came across this today while searching for something else:

http://www.angelfire.com/co/KlueLass/lions/attacks2.htm

Thank you, Zelph. I am hanging onto the link.

Those who read the reports may go to the link within the link to read about the attacks that did not end in injury for the victim. One story is the one of Moses Street of Estes Park. The attack began about seven hours before it ended. Moses is an old friend. I have listened intently to the many details of what happened numerous times. It is an incredible tale. There are many details, but the one that impresses me most about the character of those predators is that in all those hours, that lion never made a sound. It was not located that year, but the next a little boy was killed by a lion in that area (on the Western Slope, not near Estes). It was killed, but even the details of that ranger's shooting it are amazing to me.








s

SawnieRobertson
01-12-2014, 18:20
VIRGINIA COUGAR INVESTIGATION- Dr. Donald W, Linzey, Department of Biology at Wytheville Community College asks us to contact him immediately if we see a cougar or is tracks. His office is 276-223-4824; his home, 540-951-9717. He is also available at wclinzd@wcc.vccs.edu. This Fall I attended a lecture he gave on all of the mountain lion questions which you have asked.

4eyedbuzzard
01-12-2014, 19:01
I've never seen a cougar in the east - saw and heard plenty in Utah when I lived there. One inhabited the field behind where I worked. You could here it "purr" at night - two octaves lower than a kitty cat. A little unsettling when going back to your car in the dark. I've seen bobcats, and some good size ones in the east. That said, I saw a wolf in northern NH in my back yard/property in the late 1990's. Many said I was mistaken, that they didn't exist in NH, but I know the difference between a coyote and a coydog and a wolf and . . . The Canadian government re-introduced wolves back into Quebec several years before that and the wolves just didn't see fit to check in at customs and immigration when they migrate. Now it's pretty accepted that we have a small breeding population in northern NH. I'd venture that there is a definite possibility cougars could migrate back into the Appalachians. Like the quote from the movie Jurassic Park, "life finds a way."

Siarl
01-12-2014, 20:36
Growing up in the Virginia Appalachians I never feared anything while my brothers and I hiked around the countryside. Now that I have lived in California and now in the Big Bend Area of Texas I can tell you that, although cats are my favorite breed of animal, I always tell the tourists that arrive and wish to spot a mountain lion, I always tell them that if you see a mountain lion, you're too close. There have always been rumours of black panther sightings in New England but never anything that could be substantiated. I always carry a big walking stick while hiking. If you are walking along the trail, you will never know if they follow you. If you do encounter one, do not run. If they attack, then you need to fight for your life.

DonMecca
01-15-2014, 00:08
i live in Delaware the least mountainous state in the appalachian region and we even have cougar sightings almost every spring , they always run away.. no attacks as of yet, humans are probably pritty scary looking to animals especially with all our funny colored "furr" (clothing)

gypsy97
01-20-2014, 19:02
This morning I walked a few miles along the American River Parkway, in a highly populated eastern suburb of Sacramento. I was surprised to see signs posted warning of mountain lions in the area. There are a lot of deer living in the buffer zone between the river and nearby housing, with plenty of foliage and places to stay out of sight.

Son Driven
01-20-2014, 20:21
The general public is not suppose to know.

Siarl
01-21-2014, 03:30
A couple of years ago inside Big Bend National Park two parents and their young child were walking back to their hotel room on the concrete path from the Gift Shop and Restaurant. A mountain lion ran in front of the mother, who was holding hands with the child, grabbed the child by the head with it's teeth and yanked. The mother, stunned, kept hold of her child and would not let go. The cougar continued to yank until the mother could not hold on any longer and with one powerful yank the mountain lion carried off her child a short distance away. The father, pulled out a knife, ran over to the cougar, stabbed it a couple of times and the mountain lion let the child go and fled off into the wilderness. The young boy was treated for superficial wounds with just a few stitches and released the same day with a future story he'll remember for the rest of his life.

Park Rangers searched for two weeks for the lion and found an emaciated lion with what appeared to be wounds but they could not absolutely identify the wounds in regards to the father's knife. They euthanized the mountain lion.

The same day that the mountain lion attacked the child, earlier in the day, there had been a mountain lion that attacked a hiker with a backpack near the same area. However, the mountain lion was only able to grab the pack and the hiker was able to chase off the lion.

Pedaling Fool
01-21-2014, 09:46
This morning I walked a few miles along the American River Parkway, in a highly populated eastern suburb of Sacramento. I was surprised to see signs posted warning of mountain lions in the area. There are a lot of deer living in the buffer zone between the river and nearby housing, with plenty of foliage and places to stay out of sight.
Numerous places in Cali are having issues http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Dogs-Thwart-Mountain-Lion-Attack-Burbank-238683241.html

SawnieRobertson
01-21-2014, 14:50
Terlingua. Well, I was about to ask for the reference, but this was in your back yard. I like wolves, polar bears, rats, mice, etc., but deliver me from the likes of mountain lions. When I watch a domestic cat as it prepares to pounce on a rodent in the grass, the whole scene changes to mountain lion v human prey to me.

Game Warden
01-25-2014, 20:46
As a professional investigator of cougar sightings along the AT in Pennsylvania, I can tell you with complete truth that the number of mountain lion fatalities and mountain lion attacks have not increased at all over the years. Also, the worldwide population of black panthers has remained steady.

Marta
01-26-2014, 02:20
There's been a mountain lion hanging around my house lately. I haven't seen the creature itself yet, just prints in the snow. Maybe some day...

rocketsocks
01-26-2014, 06:54
As a professional investigator of cougar sightings along the AT in Pennsylvania, I can tell you with complete truth that the number of mountain lion fatalities and mountain lion attacks have not increased at all over the years. Also, the worldwide population of black panthers has remained steady.

...and as a professional "keep my butt alive" I can honestly say..."what da mean haven't increased" they happen? :eek: what kinda numbers we talkin here Warden? Had no idea, and I don't play well with big kitties.

HikerMom58
01-26-2014, 07:35
...and as a professional "keep my butt alive" I can honestly say..."what da mean haven't increased" they happen? :eek: what kinda numbers we talkin here Warden? Had no idea, and I don't play well with big kitties.

I'm with Swanie & you socks... When we went out West, they had signs warning hikers about the threat of mountain lions... how can this be a good thing?

rocketsocks
01-26-2014, 08:10
I'm with Swanie & you socks... When we went out West, they had signs warning hikers about the threat of mountain lions... how can this be a good thing?I think i'd rather rassle a bar, then tangle with a tom cat.

rocketsocks
01-26-2014, 08:11
on second thought...neither ends well...for me.

HeartFire
01-26-2014, 09:10
I saw 2 cougars in Colorado this summer when hiking the Colorado Trail. It was awesome seeing them.-

Siarl
01-27-2014, 00:34
I'm with Swanie & you socks... When we went out West, they had signs warning hikers about the threat of mountain lions... how can this be a good thing?

It probably doesn't sound like such a good thing. But the warning is for everyone but from experience at observing those who arrive at the entrances to National Parks, the warning is for those who arrive thinking this is just an extension of their safety net they brought with them from home, the city, the suburbs, etc.,

I spoke with a visitor that had just checked into her room. She asked me some questions about the National Park and what she might expect to find inside the park. I informed the guest of the different wildlife she might encounter. She asked me again about what kind of dangerous wildlife she might encounter. I told her again that she might encounter mountain lions, black bears, snakes etc, inside the boundaries of the park.

She then corrected me and stated that she was actually asking me about what kind of wildlife she might encounter between her motel room door and her car parked right outside. I think I was too stunned to speak for a few seconds and then regained my composure and informed her that the animals, the desert etc, do not necessarily obey human declared boundaries and that she probably would not but may encounter the same wildlife such as tarantulas, scorpions etc. Ma'am, when you're outside, there are no guarantees.

These are the types of individuals the warnings are addressed to. They are addressed to everyone however, they are there for the safety of humans as much as they are there for the safety of the wildlife. It's their world too.

martinb
01-29-2014, 10:47
New here but not to backcountry. I have definitely seen cougar tracks in GSMNP, on a muddy trail, heading up to CS54.. At first I thought I was seeing things but, having seen cougar tracks in Olympic NP, I knew these were the real deal. So, I have been looking up a lot more when hiking in WNC.

Gus9890
02-06-2014, 16:32
I've seen them here in Florida and I see them a lot up home in Northwest AP. They tend to not bother people on the East Coast because they're not harassed as much as those on the West Coast (from people encroaching on their territory).

Gus9890
02-06-2014, 16:32
Correction: PA

bamboo bob
02-06-2014, 16:43
I saw a cougar on the PCT. On the trail, actually a side trail going down to Idylwill. Here in Vermont they are called catamounts. Peaple report sightings all the time. I have seen bobcats that are pretty big though. One was the size of a Labrador retriever and actually bigger than the lion I saw in California. So it's not proven that there are resident catamounts in Vermont but it sure seems possible to me.

aficion
02-06-2014, 17:57
I saw a cougar on the PCT. On the trail, actually a side trail going down to Idylwill. Here in Vermont they are called catamounts. Peaple report sightings all the time. I have seen bobcats that are pretty big though. One was the size of a Labrador retriever and actually bigger than the lion I saw in California. So it's not proven that there are resident catamounts in Vermont but it sure seems possible to me.

Been known as Painters hereabouts for some time. Seen 2 quite clearly, and what appeared to be tracks of others. Believe they are still around.

Abatis1948
02-06-2014, 18:51
I've seen them here in Florida and I see them a lot up home in Northwest AP. They tend to not bother people on the East Coast because they're not harassed as much as those on the West Coast (from people encroaching on their territory). I have had the wonderful experience of see three of these wonderfulanimals in the wild. In my families backyard (Wadley, Georgia) in 1956, justnorth of Fort Stewart, Georgia, in 1992, and my last was on the FacevilleHighway between Bainbridge, Georgia, and Chattahoochee, Florida, in 1994. We also have bears here in Florida. Have not seen one in my twenty years of living here.

Gus9890
02-07-2014, 15:06
I used to see them all the time when I worked Security on Amelia Island (at FL/GA border). Some of the ones I worked with saw deer and bear, other than cougars only thing I ever saw was snakes, coons, armadillos, osprey, and various other birds.

hoppy from GA
02-07-2014, 15:37
My grandfather, who passed away at 98 last year, told me that he heard a few scream at night when he was a young man growing up and roaming the woods in N. GA, so that had to be in the 1930's.

Gus9890
02-07-2014, 23:46
We rarely see or hear anything of them on the east coast because they're a lot more elusive than their western cousins and you really don't have the encroachment onto their territory as you have out west. They completed research about 6-7 years ago and found that the Eastern Cougar never went extinct, it's just really elusive and stays away from humans as much as possible. I know in PA the Cougar population is healthy, along with other animals due to the reintroduction of a lot of wildlife that was once native to PA.

canoe
02-08-2014, 01:00
We rarely see or hear anything of them on the east coast because they're a lot more elusive than their western cousins and you really don't have the encroachment onto their territory as you have out west. They completed research about 6-7 years ago and found that the Eastern Cougar never went extinct, it's just really elusive and stays away from humans as much as possible. I know in PA the Cougar population is healthy, along with other animals due to the reintroduction of a lot of wildlife that was once native to PA. What study are you quoting about PA????

Gus9890
02-08-2014, 01:54
I don't remember who did the study now, the only things I remember about it is that they studied what I mentioned, one of the places where they were at was the Allegheny National Forest in Northwestern PA where I'm from, and that they also went to NY and other places in New England.

Pedaling Fool
02-08-2014, 09:03
I've never heard of this study; as far as I know the Cougar population on the east coast is still officially considered extinct, which was officially declared in March 2011. >>> See Here: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/03/science/earth/03cougar.html?_r=0

One interesting part of this is that some speculate that there was never a distinct eastern cougar subspecies.


Excerpt from the above link:


"Seven decades after the last reported sighting of the Eastern cougar, the federal Fish and Wildlife Service (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/f/fish_and_wildlife_service/index.html?inline=nyt-org) declared it extinct Wednesday and recommended that it be removed from the nation’s endangered species list.

There’s one wrinkle, though: it may not be extinct, exactly.

Scientists are moving toward the conclusion that the Eastern cougar was erroneously classified as a separate subspecies in the first place. As a result of a genetic study conducted in 2000, most biologists now believe there is no real difference between the Western and Eastern branches of the cougar family."

GoldenBear
02-08-2014, 16:10
Nobody would be more deliriously happy to have a breeding colony of cougars in the northeast part of U.S. than this group:
http://www.cougarnet.org/index.html
They WANT to find cougars. They actually LOOK for cougars. They CONFIRM cougar sightings.
But they still conclude it hasn't happened yet.

Here is their map of where cougars have actually been CONFIRMED
http://www.cougarnet.org/totalus.html

Note that they include Connecticut, where a Florida cougar was found to have wandered up to. This is NOT a breeding colony in New England, however; that would REQUIRE (note the words) a MINIMUM (note the words again) of fifty cougars.

Note also that they do not record one single confirmed sighting in Pennsylvania. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Nitchs. Niente. Ne rien. ничто.
Here's a report on the entire Middle Atlantic Region:
http://www.cougarnet.org/middleatlantic.html

Remember that a group of fewer than thirty cougars in Florida regularly left (relatively) easy to find evidence of their presence. Unless and until someone can explain how a colony of larger size has escaped all detection for about 80 years, then I will refuse to accept that it has happened. I just don't buy the argument, "You can't prove that cougars AREN'T there, thus they MUST be there."

It IS true that a group of people, with a clear political agenda of creating mistrust of the federal government, have stated for decades that federal wildlife officials released cougars into the wild into order to make it harder for hunters to find deer. However, I also don't buy the argument, "The fact that no evidence exists to support my paranoia is PROOF of a coverup!"

As the above cougar network intelligently points out:
In West Virginia, hunting with dogs is very popular ... every year thousands of hunters using hounds are out in hunting season pursuing bobcats, black bears and other wildlife. This means you would expect these hunters would regularly tree cougars if they were present, but this has not occurred.

Nothing would make me happier than to know that a true breeding colony of cougars is back in the Northeast. I hope to live to see it happen, as it is clear that cougars are moving east from the Rockies. But, as of now, I remain unconvinced that it has happened.

http://www.easterncougar.org/pages/beyondsightings.htm
Are cougars now recovering in the East?
Not yet. Despite more sophisticated technology for finding cougars, and with more people looking than ever before, less evidence has appeared in the last decade than in the 1990s
...
Sanctioned studies since the late 1990s by the ECF, research universities, and state and federal wildlife agencies in NY, NJ, PA, MD, VA, WV, and KY have failed to find evidence of cougars
...
Where cougars are well established, any knowledgeable individual can find evidence in a few days. Yet, our own field searches, sometimes within hours or a day of a sighting, have failed to produce evidence

Gus9890
02-09-2014, 01:56
The Fish and Wildlife Service always has also tried saying that they didn't swap out PA Turkey for Montana Coyote, which they did. We've had Cougars up home for decades, you can find them pretty easily in and around the Allegheny National Forest (McKean, Forest, Warren, Elk Counties). The Fish and Wildlife Service didn't reintroduce them but they have reintroduced Elk (not counting the controlled herds), Coyote, Bobcat, American Marten, Fisher, American Mink, Appalachian Cottontail, Snowshoe Hare, Stoat, Least Weasel, and Northern Flying Squirrel all within the last 12-13 years. Word got out that they wanted to reintroduce the Grey Wolf 4 years ago but that didn't go over to well.

Draggin
02-09-2014, 08:55
I spotted a cougar in 2009 just south of the cobbles on the A.T. in Cheshire, MA. Every time I tell people this they think I'm nuts but I know what I saw.

Game Warden
02-20-2014, 19:41
Speaking only for my small part of Pennsylvania along the AT, there is no PHYSICAL EVIDENCE of cougars here. Yes, I know one was found in Connecticut recently, and other eastern locales, but I have investigated numerous "sightings" of cougars and never found PHYSICAL EVIDENCE to corroborate the "sighting." Although a couple "sightings" were clearly hoaxes, I don't doubt the belief or honesty of most of the people who report a cougar--just that the PHYSICAL EVIDENCE is lacking, despite a forensic approach to the scene.

Gus9890
02-26-2014, 00:30
I've never heard of any down in your neck of the woods (I got family and lived in York for a bit), they're mostly in the forests of Northwest PA. Take a trip up there sometime, easiest way to see them is in the fall while spotting deer in the fields.

FishyOne
02-28-2014, 23:53
If you don't have a picture, you have nothing!

Sarcasm the elf
03-01-2014, 01:20
If you don't have a picture, you have nothing!


The one that was struck and killed twenty minutes from my house was good enough evidence for me.

Another Kevin
03-01-2014, 12:12
Cougar can travel a long way - many hundreds of miles, and misplaced ones do turn up in the Northeast fairly often. I think that a sustainable breeding population would be more apparent than it is.

My uncle sighted one in Sullivan County, NY in the 1970s. He told the authorities about it. While he didn't have photos of the creature, he got good pictures and plaster casts of the tracks, and photographed the scat, both with rulers in the camera's field of view. He was informed that what he'd seen was an unusually large lynx (Lynx canadensis), notable in itself because around his place, you typically would only see bobcat (Lynx rufus). But he didn't believe the identification for a moment because he'd seen the long tail held high - which completely rules out either species of Lynx.

A couple of weeks later, he saw a squib in a newspaper about a cougar's having been trapped in Greene County, some distance to the north. The bedraggled creature had been tagged, and was traced back to a wild animal park/zoo in the Poconos. My uncle's place was nearly on a beeline between where the cougar had escaped and where it was finally found, and is quite close to Minisink Ford, one of a handful of places where a cat could have crossed the Delaware River without walking the streets of a town. So he was quite convinced, to his dying day, that he'd spotted Puma concolor. It wasn't a native cougar, but a cougar it was!

Several people that I trust to be astute observers have spotted Puma concolor in the Catskills. But the sightings don't happen often enough, nor are the effects (predation, tracks, scat) seen often enough that I can believe there's a population there sustaining itself. I get pretty far into the hills there. I identify tracks from coyote, bear, bobcat, the occasional lynx (we're outside the normal range but it's known they visit regularly), marten, mink, and so on quite regularly. Never spotted any evidence of Puma. If there were a few dozen pairs back there, all the people who go snowshoeing off trail would surely see more tracks in the snow than they do.

I entirely believe that we get visited regularly by vagrant Puma concolor. I'm still skeptical that we have a native population. I would surely love to be proven wrong!

Wise Old Owl
03-01-2014, 12:35
I've seen them here in Florida and I see them a lot up home in Northwest AP. They tend to not bother people on the East Coast because they're not harassed as much as those on the West Coast (from people encroaching on their territory).

Any chance you have seen or heard one in the last ten years? in PA

WingedMonkey
03-01-2014, 20:06
A year ago, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission invited the public to submit reports of any sightings or signs of the elusive Florida panther to a new website the agency had created.

The very first one that popped in turned out to be … a monkey. Specifically, a rhesus macaque roaming the woods near Silver Springs.
Panther biologists looked at the photo, looked at each other and said, "Oh, yeah, this is off to a great start," recalled biologist Dave Onorato.

http://www.tampabay.com/news/environment/wildlife/reported-florida-panther-sightings-include-bobcats-dogs-a-monkey-8212-and/2136613

rocketsocks
03-02-2014, 08:22
http://www.tampabay.com/news/environment/wildlife/reported-florida-panther-sightings-include-bobcats-dogs-a-monkey-8212-and/2136613


Macaques as big as a Mountain Lion, Seriously.

WingedMonkey
03-02-2014, 09:25
Macaques as big as a Mountain Lion, Seriously.



Still, the public sometimes has trouble distinguishing a panther from the pack of wildlife found across the state. Bobcats, foxes, coyotes, dogs, house cats and even a monkey were among the species mistakenly reported.

"I had a biology professor from a community college who said he saw one at Sebastian Inlet," Land told the Tampa Bay Times. After state biologists studied his photo, Land told him, "Dude, that is a black house cat."


http://www.ibtimes.com/hundreds-florida-panther-sightings-reported-endangered-species-mistaken-monkey-black-house-cat-photo

jeffmeh
03-02-2014, 17:22
http://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/blog/2014/02/28/mountain-lion-winchester-sighting/

FishyOne
03-02-2014, 17:44
People see what they want to see or think they saw some think but.... , I think Game Warden nailed it, physical evidence, the case in CT they have a dead mountain loin, that's easy.

bamboo bob
03-02-2014, 18:03
http://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/blog/2014/02/28/mountain-lion-winchester-sighting/

I grew up a mile from Dunster Lane. Hard to imagine.

jeffmeh
03-02-2014, 18:32
I grew up a mile from Dunster Lane. Hard to imagine.

The print in the snow looks pretty authentic to me, but I am no expert. Personally, I'm convinced that we have them around here (I'm in North Andover). I am not so convinced that we have a breeding population, rather some lone animals passing through, but there is still enough forest up here that a small breeding population could be possible.

The notion that someone could mistake a fisher for a cougar is preposterous. I have spotted fishers multiple times, even one in my back yard that we watched climb a tree and take a squirrel from its nest. The action in the nest reminded me of one of those old cartoon scenes, with fur flying. Quite an interesting experience viewed from one's kitchen window.

bamboo bob
03-02-2014, 18:35
I never understood how anyone can get a cougar mixed up with a bobcat. I've seen a cougar on the PCT. There was no mistaken that. But bobcats get much bigger than people think. You would think people would get good pictures no though.

Sarcasm the elf
03-02-2014, 19:39
I never understood how anyone can get a cougar mixed up with a bobcat. I've seen a cougar on the PCT. There was no mistaken that. But bobcats get much bigger than people think. You would think people would get good pictures no though.

You might have already seen this, but if you want to have some fun, check out this old thread where someone posted clear photos of a bobcat that were taken in Connecticut and then read the amount of debate there was as to whether it was a bobcat or a mountain lion.

http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?76756-Spotted-a-BOBCAT-(w-pics)

WingedMonkey
03-02-2014, 20:24
The print in the snow looks pretty authentic to me, but I am no expert.

The photo in the story is not from the reported sighting, it is borrowed from another site to show what a print looks like. Poor reporting

bamboo bob
03-02-2014, 20:37
That was a bobcat Elf. lol

Another Kevin
03-03-2014, 09:33
I think some of the huge bobcat that have been spotted in the Taconics might be Lynx canadensis × rufus, a lynx-bobcat hybrid. Lynx seem to be spotted farther south every year. They're another species that seems to be recolonizing partly by interbreeding, much like Canis lupus × latrans. (The red wolf appears to be an emergent species from coyote-wolf hybridization, and a lot of Eastern coyotes have at least some wolf DNA.)

Pedaling Fool
03-04-2014, 09:36
I think some of the huge bobcat that have been spotted in the Taconics might be Lynx canadensis × rufus, a lynx-bobcat hybrid. Lynx seem to be spotted farther south every year. They're another species that seems to be recolonizing partly by interbreeding, much like Canis lupus × latrans. (The red wolf appears to be an emergent species from coyote-wolf hybridization, and a lot of Eastern coyotes have at least some wolf DNA.)
That's interesting, is there something you can link that talks about this or is it just based on anecdotes/perception?

sfdoc
03-04-2014, 10:17
PBS just ran a program titled "Meet the Coywolf." $20. on the PBS website, or perhaps you can get it "on demand." The Red Wolf is not a wolf/coyote hybrid but a species all it's own. They have been reintroduced into NC. Unfortunately, since it is smaller than the Grey Wolf, it's being mistaken for a coyote and being killed.

Another Kevin
03-04-2014, 10:33
That's interesting, is there something you can link that talks about this or is it just based on anecdotes/perception?

No time to go chasing the citations right now. Ping me if I don't get back to you. Was it Canis or Lynx that interested you the most?

Pedaling Fool
03-04-2014, 11:04
No time to go chasing the citations right now.I hear ya, getting ready to leave myself.


Was it Canis or Lynx that interested you the most?I was specifically interested in the Canadian lynx expanding it's range south. I don't know much about this cat, but I've read that they use to commonly be seen in Pennsylvania, but then again other things I've read contradict this.

I was also curious if these sightings were common in that mild winter of 2012? From what I've seen they really love the snow and have the paws to deal with it.

Gus9890
03-04-2014, 13:48
@Wise Old Owl, yes I have seen them in the last 10 yrs. I go up home every summer and for deer season every year.

@Pedaling Fool, I've seen Canadian Lynx in Northwest, PA, but not too often. They seem to stay deep in the woods but the Bobcats are seen both in the woods and once in a while around town.

Another Kevin
03-05-2014, 20:37
@Pedaling Fool:

Found that paper on introgression of lynx into the bobcat population by hybridization (and consequent dilution of the lynx population):http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs_other/rmrs_2008_homyack_j001.pdf
IUCN discussion of the range of Lynx canadensis: http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/12518/0
Intriguing attempt to do Lotka-Volterra-style modeling of the failed reintroduction attempts (in hopes of guiding future ones): http://dennismurray.ca/pdf/LynxModel04.pdf (http://dennismurray.ca/pdf/LynxModel04.pdf)

Pedaling Fool
03-06-2014, 09:06
@Pedaling Fool:

Found that paper on introgression of lynx into the bobcat population by hybridization (and consequent dilution of the lynx population):http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs_other/rmrs_2008_homyack_j001.pdf
IUCN discussion of the range of Lynx canadensis: http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/12518/0
Intriguing attempt to do Lotka-Volterra-style modeling of the failed reintroduction attempts (in hopes of guiding future ones): http://dennismurray.ca/pdf/LynxModel04.pdf (http://dennismurray.ca/pdf/LynxModel04.pdf)


Outstanding, thanks! And the article on lynx-bobcat hybridization is bonus!

Odd Man Out
03-06-2014, 10:45
PBS just ran a program titled "Meet the Coywolf." $20. on the PBS website, or perhaps you can get it "on demand." The Red Wolf is not a wolf/coyote hybrid but a species all it's own. They have been reintroduced into NC. Unfortunately, since it is smaller than the Grey Wolf, it's being mistaken for a coyote and being killed.

I saw that show. They said that the Coywolf is a hybrid of the Coyote and the Eastern Wolf and seems to have arisen when the Coyote population spread east and encountered the last remnants of the Eastern Wolf population in Algonquin Provincial Park Ontario. They said in the west, coyotes and wolves don't hybridize. It was only when they encountered the Eastern Wolves that the Coywolf hybrids appeared. I had not heard of the Eastern Wolves before. It seems that some consider them a separate species with the "Eastern Wolf" being the northeast/Canadian version and the "Red Wolf" being the SE version. Not sure if the NE and SE version are considered separate species. It seems they could genetically distinguish 100% wolf, 100% coyote, and the hybrids.

turtle fast
03-06-2014, 12:03
In 1998 caught wind of one in a fight with some prey after I broke camp one early morning while I was solo hiking the North Country Trail in the Trapp Hills near Octanogan in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and the noise of the fight was INTENSE with a throaty growls that sent shivers down your spine. Two days later I got a lift by a local who hunts there and said its common knowledge by the locals there are cougars in the UP.
In 2008, I ran into a visibly nervous hiker who had hiked the AT to the Priest Shelter in VA and a cougar ran past him a few yards away chasing something and it scared the s@$t out of him, he stuck to us like glue for the next 10 miles or so.

gduff
04-01-2014, 17:45
Mountain lions are thought to be extinct here in Vermont. This was taken last month near our home. (North of Burlington)https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/t1.0-9/1891067_10202630260975132_338439630_n.jpg

likeahike
04-01-2014, 18:42
nice pic of someone's kitty

canoe
04-01-2014, 18:48
nice pic of someone's kitty Thats what I thought too. Tail is too short and body is to squat

canoe
04-01-2014, 18:49
Really looks like a bobcat/ linx with a photo shopped tail

canoe
04-01-2014, 18:51
Looks like it has pointed ears too

FishyOne
04-01-2014, 21:29
April fools

gduff
04-02-2014, 07:08
It occurred to me after that I picked a poor date to post this. Not an April fools thing. It left some scat which is being tested. My sister in law took the photos. It was a large cat, perhaps the tree branches give it a little scale. To be honest I would be very skeptical as well. Have never been on this side of a sighting so have a new perspective on why people don't report these things. Open to suggestions as to what it is, but is frustrating when people think it is fake. Do understand it though.

Pedaling Fool
04-02-2014, 08:14
Tail is too short and body is to squat


Looks like it has pointed ears too
I had the same impressions. It just doesn't look like a mountain lion. Sure does look fat as opposed to well-defined muscular system.

vamelungeon
04-02-2014, 16:58
I think what appears to be a long tail isn't, it's a shadow or something in the background. I think you can actually see a short tail pretty clearly, so I'm betting it's a bobcat.

johnnybgood
04-02-2014, 18:10
It's difficult to gauge the overall length in contrast to the camera's setting but this cat looks short .
Cougars have a longer and more sleek body frame.

Very cool picture for sure.

Sarcasm the elf
04-02-2014, 19:45
That is clearly a photo of a black bear.

turtle fast
04-02-2014, 23:43
...or a moose?

FishyOne
04-04-2014, 23:25
please...............................
coon cat

canoe
04-05-2014, 08:48
please...............................
coon cat

please what?..............

Sarcasm the elf
04-05-2014, 09:10
please what?..............

Clearly he was asking for one...

Wise Old Owl
04-05-2014, 09:10
Well all we can do is compare it to other pictures of ML did she take pics of the tracks?

http://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSKrdBjoMAAdtRDh5NarFYBg1gXcMQrH AYHWUYb2xhueNcPRG3lZAhttps://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSKrdBjoMAAdtRDh5NarFYBg1gXcMQrH AYHWUYb2xhueNcPRG3lZA

Pedaling Fool
09-08-2014, 09:33
Keep them little tasty tenderloins close to you :) http://news.yahoo.com/mountain-lion-attack-leaves-six-old-california-boy-045723762.html

Excerpt:

"The attack occurred at about 1 p.m. local time in an open-space preserve adjacent to the historic Picchetti Ranch Winery just west of the town of Cupertino, said Lieutenant Patrick Foy of the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The victim's parents reported that the child was walking about 10 feet ahead of the rest of the group - two adult couples each hiking with their three small children - when "the mountain lion came out of nowhere" and grabbed the boy.

The lion, also known as a cougar, broke off its attack and vanished back into the woods when the two men in the group lunged at the cat shouting to scare it away, Foy told Reuters."

Gambit McCrae
09-08-2014, 10:43
I believe I saw one this year between Hot Springs and Erwin, Only saw the ridge of its back as it snuck over the ridge line about 40 feet away.

sfdoc
09-08-2014, 11:14
About 10 years ago, an individual I know who lived in Cuba, NY, said that he'd heard from several sources (hunters, forest rangers, etc) that a few mountain lions had been reintroduced into the Allegheny National Forest, western, NY, northern,PA. He also said that he'd heard a large cat's screams one night.
I guess it's possible. Plenty of deer for food.

Seatbelt
09-08-2014, 13:46
We saw one going up Big Cedar just north of Woody Gap over Memorial Day weekend. No pics Didn't realize it was so rare to see one.

Showtime
09-09-2014, 11:52
I'm sure they are around... they are down in south Texas, where I'm from.

lemon b
09-10-2014, 17:16
The Pro's at Fish and Game say there are no Mountain Lions on the AT. I believe them. There have been a few let loose by people who were foolish enough to keep them as a pet. If one were around someone would have ended up as prey or been shot by a hunter. I know there are some pretty good sized bobcats in this area. Saw one near North Wilcox Shelter couple years back and a huge one on the Westfield-Russel Line in Ma. this year. I mean huge as in the 50-60 lb range but the tail was the real giveaway. Stopped and looked at me with zero trace of fear in his eyes.

Sarcasm the elf
09-10-2014, 19:39
A few years back a mountain lion was hit by a car and killed a few miles from my house in Connecticut. CT DEP went to great lengths to assure us that it was just visiting and didn't really live there :rolleyes:

rocketsocks
09-10-2014, 21:20
I saw this cougar hangin' around outside a bar once, she scared me so bad, I got the hell outta there.

rocketsocks
09-10-2014, 21:22
I saw this cougar hangin' around outside a bar once, she scared me so bad, I got the hell outta there.it was very confusing, she was wearin' leopard spots.

lemon b
09-10-2014, 21:35
Elf where did they say The Mountain Lion came from? In Mass. they found scat in the Quabbin Area and traced it to a released pet Mountain Lion.

HeartFire
09-10-2014, 21:43
The Pro's at Fish and Game say there are no Mountain Lions on the AT. I believe them. ....

The AT is a pretty long place for such a statement. We have them around Asheville - that's fairly close to the AT.

HeartFire
09-10-2014, 21:47
http://www.mercurynews.com/san-mateo-county-times/ci_26508876/mountain-lion-that-attacked-boy-cupertino-found-killed

They found the lion - " the cat displayed unusually aggressive behavior while treed, crouching and fixating on a wildlife officer" - well imagine that!

Wise Old Owl
09-10-2014, 22:12
Heartfire, there are differences in both size and genetics. There is the Florida Panther, the western cougar, and the eastern cougar is now extinct - deep in this thread I left a copy of that report. The last shot cougar near the trail was a Florida panther and the hunter paid dearly for it. I don't think this has been updated since 2000

http://www.easterncougar.org/pages/6thworkshop.htm