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  1. #61
    Registered User Egads's Avatar
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    Here's my mountain lion tracks pic taken in Waterton NP

    http://whiteblaze.net/forum/vbg/show...&cutoffdate=-1
    The trail was here before we arrived, and it will still be here when we are gone...enjoy it now, and preserve it for others that come after us

  2. #62
    Registered User Dances with Mice's Avatar
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    Default They're all over N.Georgia!

    And from about 40 miles away from the original report:

    Possible wild cat spotted
    Julie Arrington; Staff Writer
    Published: August 12, 2009
    Tina Walker was enjoying a quiet Sunday night with her husband when something strange walked through the couple's backyard. Walker, who lives in the Shannon Glen subdivision in northern Forsyth County, said she looked out her window again and saw what appeared to be a large wild cat scratching its ear.

    "I jumped up and I said, 'What the heck is that out there?' You could see its head. It was huge and it had pointed ears and it was tan color," she said.

    Walker said the animal jumped up when she opened the back door. The cat was slender and stood 2 to 3 feet tall from the ground to its back.

    "It had this huge, long tail," she said. "It looked at us and it ran back into the woods."

    She searched the Internet for photos of similar-looking animals. From what she found, the animal resembled a puma, mountain lion or cougar. She said her neighbors hadn't seen it.

    She contacted the Georgia Department of Natural Resources on Monday about the cat.

    Scott Frazier, a wildlife biologist with the DNR in Gainesville, said he plans to visit Walker's home to search for signs of the animal.

    He said he hasn't received any other recent reports from Forsyth County about a large cat, and the likelihood is slim that the animal is some sort of wild cat.

    "In this business, lots of people see things that they can't quite figure out what it is and a vast majority of times it turns out to be either something we can not explain or erroneous in some fashion," he said.

    "But we try not to discount them, particularly if we get multiple sightings from a geographic area."

    He said the only native cat with a significant population in the state is the bobcat.

    Still, sightings similar to Walker's have been frequent this summer in north Georgia, including Hall, Lumpkin, White and Barrow counties.

    The last confirmed mountain lion sighting in Georgia was in 1973. Hunting, urbanization and other factors may have contributed to the species' disappearance.

    North America's mountain lion population is mostly concentrated in the Western U.S., though Florida does have a small population of panthers.

    Frazier said anyone who sees an animal matching the description of Walker's should contact the DNR and, if possible, take a photo.

    Walker said the cat wasn't aggressive and didn't try to approach her or her husband. Apparently, other animals on her property have also noticed the animal.

    "I always had trouble with squirrels in my birdfeeder, but I noticed I didn't see any squirrels this weekend," she said.
    You never turned around to see the frowns
    On the jugglers and the clowns
    When they all did tricks for you.

  3. #63
    Registered User Ridgeline's Avatar
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    I live in Toccoa, GA and a few months ago there was a story in our local paper "The Toccoa Record" about a Stephens County resident seeing one on his property....that guy put out one of those motion cameras that hunters use and got a couple of pics of it and they put them in the paper......Also I read in the "Georgia Outdoor News" magazine last year that a guy killed a big one near Lagrange...At first they thought it might be one that was released or escaped from someones private zoo...but when the cat was inspected it had not be declawed and its footpads didn't show any signs of being kept in captivity.....regardless of what the DNR in GA says there are some big cats in GA.

  4. #64

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    Quote Originally Posted by CBSSTony View Post
    If they admit there are cougars or mountain lions around it will just mean more of some sort of regulations and restrictions.
    i asked this exact question of a PA DCNR official last year. She told me that the areas that the AT go through already contain a variety of rare, protected, and endangered species (including both plants and a variety of animals) and yet there are no all encompassing overbearing regulations. there are places where certain activities are restricted, but walking along a trail will not be one of them. I was happy to hear this.

  5. #65
    GoldenBear's Avatar
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    Question Who said so?

    > who said cougars were not in the appalachians?

    A group that would be ecstatic if such an event were actually to have happened.
    www.easterncougar.org/pages/beyondsightings.htm

    Check out some of their quotes:
    "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"

    At one point no more than about fifty cougars lived in the Everglades. This colony was so small that, without human intervention, it would have died out within a few decades.
    http://www.beachbrowser.com/Archives...da-Panther.htm
    http://www.innovations-report.com/ht...ort-48008.html
    Even though this colony was too small to survive for even twenty years, it left enough evidence for its presence to be un-mistakeable.

    Would anyone insist that there exists a larger colony (ie, it MUST be larger, or it would have died out by now) somewhere in the Appalachians that, amazingly, has failed to leave ONE SCINTILLA of evidence of its existence?

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoldenBear View Post
    > This colony was so small that, without human intervention, it would have died out within a few decades.
    I hope the couger can make a comeback in limited numbers but when States begin to make the neccessary rules to help you may need impact fee permits and have usage reduction limits. Just like a hunting permit.
    They already need that, hikers are hard on the land.
    Reservations for 2? We'll put you on the list.
    Careful what you wish for.

  7. #67

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    Quote Originally Posted by GoldenBear View Post
    > who said cougars were not in the appalachians?

    A group that would be ecstatic if such an event were actually to have happened.
    www.easterncougar.org/pages/beyondsightings.htm

    Check out some of their quotes:
    "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"

    At one point no more than about fifty cougars lived in the Everglades. This colony was so small that, without human intervention, it would have died out within a few decades.
    www.beachbrowser.com/Archives/Environment/July-2000/EVERGLADES-Florida-Panther.htm
    www.innovations-report.com/html/reports/environment_sciences/report-48008.html
    Even though this colony was too small to survive for even twenty years, it left enough evidence for its presence to be un-mistakeable.

    Would anyone insist that there exists a larger colony (ie, it MUST be larger, or it would have died out by now) somewhere in the Appalachians that, amazingly, has failed to leave ONE SCINTILLA of evidence of its existence?
    Then how do they (the "experts") explain this story http://easterncougar.org/CougarNews/?p=797?

    I'm not saying the east coast has an exploding population, I'm not even saying every east coast state has a population, but I'm starting to question a lot of "experts", many of whom earn their ph.d's behind a computer. Look in all directions from any trail or mountain top (well... except much of the central AT) and you see a vast expanse of land, who goes into that? NOT the ph.d's.

    We killed off the cougar back in the early 1900's, but did Canada? I don't know, but if they didn't why wouldn't it be easy for them to comeback into the states if there are cougars coming from Florida unnoticed by the "experts"?

    There's a lot more undeveloped land than some would lead you to believe and one can not get a sense of how much open land there is by just looking at a road map -- very misleading representaion of land use, because many symbols are not drawn to scale, they can't be because then you wouldn't be able to see them. Look at the thickness of roadways...very misleading. Even the dots of small towns are wrong.

  8. #68
    GoldenBear's Avatar
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    Exclamation How to explain this? It's so easy

    that even someone without a PhD could figure it out.

    > Then how do they (the "experts") explain this story

    A solitary wild cougar going hundreds of kilometers from normal breeding grounds without being detected? That is SO last year's news.

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/n...ugar-shot.html

    Literally.

    There's no question but that cougars can stealthily travel hundreds of kilometers -- that's been known for decades. But it's irrelevant. The question is whether a group large enough to survive and breed can do so for many decades without leaving ANY evidence of their presence. The Florida cougar colony was too small to survive, but so large that their existence was common knowledge. That it has happened in the East would be QUITE bizarre, as the Everglades is FAR less accessible and populated than the Appalachians.

    > who goes into that? NOT the ph.d's.

    If you had bothered to check, you would have found that two board members of the organization I quoted -- Marcella Kelly PhD and John Landre PhD -- have done extensive field research on large cats in the Americas.

    www.mjkelly.info/research.html
    http://www.oswego.edu/academics/coll...y/laundre.html

    I'm not certain where your disdain for people who do scientific research comes from. Jealousy, perhaps? But this hatred is not grounded in simple facts.

    > one can not get a sense of how much open land there is by just looking at a road map

    My guess is that neither of above PhD experts used road maps to determine the size of the available cat habitat in the East. If you have evidence that they did so in their scientific research, I (and their colleages) would be interested in seeing it. If you have no evidence to back up this irrelevent, spurious statement, you may want to move on to something else.

  9. #69

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    Quote Originally Posted by GoldenBear View Post
    that even someone without a PhD could figure it out.

    > Then how do they (the "experts") explain this story

    A solitary wild cougar going hundreds of kilometers from normal breeding grounds without being detected? That is SO last year's news.

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/n...ugar-shot.html

    Literally.

    There's no question but that cougars can stealthily travel hundreds of kilometers -- that's been known for decades. But it's irrelevant. The question is whether a group large enough to survive and breed can do so for many decades without leaving ANY evidence of their presence. The Florida cougar colony was too small to survive, but so large that their existence was common knowledge. That it has happened in the East would be QUITE bizarre, as the Everglades is FAR less accessible and populated than the Appalachians...
    True, I know they can travel hundreds of miles, but I'm not convinced that there are ZERO breeding populations along the east coast outside Florida, but I'm in no condition to argue, I agree I'm not an expert. I'm still kind of curious about the status of the lions in Canada when we exterminated them here in the early 1900's.

    I can not accept that of all the sightings are because of lone roaming lions. It would be easy to believe if you believe that all sightings are erroneous reports or reports of released/escaped pets, but I find that hard to believe.
    Quote Originally Posted by GoldenBear View Post
    ...
    If you had bothered to check, you would have found that two board members of the organization I quoted -- Marcella Kelly PhD and John Landre PhD -- have done extensive field research on large cats in the Americas.

    www.mjkelly.info/research.html
    www.oswego.edu/academics/colleges_and_departments/departments/biology/faculty/laundre.html

    I'm not certain where your disdain for people who do scientific research comes from. Jealousy, perhaps? But this hatred is not grounded in simple facts...
    I have no disdain for science or for the researchers. I'm sure those are fine people, but I see from the references that most of their work is not on the east coast.
    This is from Dr. Kelly's Research page:
    Because many of the species I study exist outside the United States, I have numerous international collaborations with particularly strong ties to the Institute of Zoology in London (ZSL) where I collaborate with Drs. Sarah Durant and Chris Carbone. We are developing protocols for country-wide carnivore surveys (including remote camera surveys) in Tanzania, East Africa as part of the mandate dictated by the Convention on Biodiversity. I was recently made a Research Associate at ZSL.

    I do NOT question their expertise.

  10. #70
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    Researchers with Ph. D.s routinely hire the best local guides/hunters/trackers to assist in their field studies. I would like to believe that there are cougars in the Northeast, but I haven't seen any evidence of a breeding population. That is not to say that it is impossible in the future, just that there is no evidence of it now. There are places where there is an ecological niche for large cats and probably they will eventually reach here.

    There are occasional mountain lions that wander rather far afield, such as the Florida cougar that was shot in Georgia. It takes more than one to establish a viable population.

  11. #71

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    I hear you Snowleopard and GoldenBear

    I probably overstated my position earlier and my apparent contempt for Ph. Dís is not there, probably a little frustration that boiled over from a book Iím reading now (completely different subject).

    Iím not totally convinced that there are ANY viable population(s) of cougar on the East Coast. However, Iím also NOT convinced that there are zero population(s). My jury is still out.

    I find it hard to believe that all sightings around Virginia and further north are either loan roamers, misidentified or escaped cougars. Do cougars roam this far from Florida?

    I just donít believe enough research has been conducted to come to the conclusion that there are no cougars out there, despite the camera-traps set up in various locations. However, thatís just a gut feeling and I didnít mean to sound like an ardent believer in cougars reclaiming the East Coast.

  12. #72

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    I remember reading the GA DNR biologists initially claimed that the cougar (from the breeding population in FL) that was killed by a hunter in GA had almost no "parasite load". They attributed this to the fact that it was obviously an escaped exotic "pet". Since DNA has proven this claim false, I haven't read of any new claims by the "experts", just silence on the subject. The fact that the lion had a low parasite load and was fully grown means that, biologically speaking, it was doing quite well. I think the hunter should have had to pay restoration costs to replace the lion. Though it is legal to shoot free-roaming exotic/non-native animals in GA (emus, elk, ostriches etc), this animal has been proven to be wild creature. Anyone too ignorant to know that there is no mountain lion season in GA shouldn't have hunting privileges.

  13. #73

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    What a jack _ss! That was like shooting Bigfoot! He should be held accountable for shooting it! We live in west TN and there were sightings of a black panther in our area a couple of years ago, which my husband saw thru his rifle scope while deer hunting. He was watching a deer thru the scope and when he brought the scope around he saw it trailing behind the deer. He also saw where something had "covered up" where he had field dressed a deer. Instead of the remains having been eaten, it had dirt and leaves scratched over it. A neighbor had told my husband of the sightings previously, and of course he was skeptical until he saw it himself. Also, our daughter had two golden retrievers. One disappeared and altho they searched and searched for it, they never found a trace of him, and the other had her eye slashed out by something. Her husband swears he saw the panther sitting on their carport one night.

  14. #74
    The perpetual thru-hiker!
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    We saw a mother mountain lion with two cubs walking up the street in our subdivision here in Greenville County in the mid-1970s. I saw them, the neighbors saw them, and the neighbor's big ol' dog saw them......but was very careful not to leave the yard to look any closer. There had been reports for weeks about a "big yellow dog" getting into trash cans in the neighborhood, then folks started getting a better look. The area was becoming quickly over-developed and a golf course was built to replace the swamp where the cats lived.....so they packed up and left.

  15. #75
    Registered User Bilge Rat's Avatar
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    Talking More info on the Canadian Cougar

    I think there IS a breeding population.................

  16. #76
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    Default Florida Panthers

    Several years ago a full grown male florida panther was killed crossing I-4 just 5 miles from downtown Tampa . This is 140 miles north of the everglades. Had he made it across the road he would have had a straight shot through various parks and national forests into South Georgia. What you are seeing is young male lions headed north of the glades to establish their own territories. If they stay in the glades they will be killed by the older males. Authorities in Florida have long known that lions range far north of their supposed territory. Sooner or later the young males ranging out of Florida will meet up with females coming in probably from the west or down the Appalachians from Canada, There is plenty of habitat in the east for them and the deer population is huge. That stupid hick in Georgia shot a federally protected species on federally owned land and should be prosecuted. Where on that neanderthals hunting license does it say Florida Panther.

  17. #77
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    cougar status! awesome!

  18. #78
    modern gypsy sloopjonboswell's Avatar
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    send em up to north georgia, we've got no problems with cougars up here above atlanta.
    hey hey, my my

  19. #79

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    I found this thread on a search. I was thinking of mountain lions when I saw the one about the sighting near Hogpen Gap and thought I'd look up some past discussions. Last October when we were in the Blood Mtn area, our guide who shuttled us was telling us of a number of credible sightings in that area. We are going back in a few weeks and maybe we'll get lucky...we'll be in the Hogpen gap area also.

    Years ago as a kid growing up in the mountains of PA (Allegheny area 1977), we heard the scream of what I believe was a mountain lion outside our farmhouse one summer night. Scared the crap out of us...and it even did the gutteral cough like you hear on African lion programs at the end of the scream...and no way was that a bobcat...the volume was beyond description. Have you ever had the hair stand up on your neck..literally? I did. The newspaper for our area reported screams in the night all over our area and there was speculation of "big foot." Personally I find the idea of a mountian lion much more credible than a mythical beast. That area was fairly remote and unpopulated with lots of deer and forest room.

    Also, if an area can support a good healthy population of black bears...and there is a enough wilderness to do so, why not cougars? There are so many deer for them to feed on that a lion could easily find food.

    There have been a number of credible sightings in VA to include one near the Dismal Swamp preserve in Chesapeake a few years ago...and some video if I'm not mistaken. Again, we have black bears, bobcats, and coyotes and an unbelievable deer population...why not big cats? The Preserve is HUGE too.

    I hope that moron who shot that cougar in GA at least got fined. What a jerk.

  20. #80
    Registered User WILLIAM HAYES's Avatar
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    Bulldawg funny you mentioned chattahoochee gap did a section hike thru there in 2007 spent the night there and got jolted out of a good nites sleep by snarls and growls not far from where we were. I know what a bobcat sounds like and it was not a bobcat and it was not a bear I told the guys with me I thought it was a panther.
    go dawgs
    Hillbilly UGA grad

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