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Thread: Meow! Cougar!

  1. #1
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    Default Meow! Cougar!

    Saw my first mountain lion EVER the other day in northern Cali! Got to within 80 ft. It turned towards me and growled. OK it was more like a yawn. It was still sooo cool!

    I wonder if the mountain lion I saw escaped from Connecticut ?

  2. #2
    Wanna-be hiker trash
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    Lucky!!!Never seen one even though I own a house less than a mile away fromGreenwich!
    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

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    You're very lucky. Most people never get to see one in the wild.

  4. #4
    Registered User Yukon's Avatar
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    Saw one about 5 years ago. Definitely the coolest sighting so far in my life

  5. #5
    Hike smarter, not harder.
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    I saw one in central New Mexico, but it was more of a blur across the road, and us wondering what the thing was that moved like a big cat and had a thick, long tail.
    Con men understand that their job is not to use facts to convince skeptics but to use words to help the gullible to believe what they want to believe - Thomas Sowell

  6. #6

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    No one disputes cougar sightings when in their habitat. However, if you'll said you saw a cougar somewhere in the east (except Florida) you'd be challenged, at best they'd say it was an escaped/released captive lion. So that presents an interesting question: How many (i.e. what percentage) cougar sightings in their range are misidentifed sightings?

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    I don't have an answer for your question JG, but I clearly saw on a dirt road one real live whole cougar including its head, teeth, ears, blacktipped white ringed tail, clawed paws, etc. It turned, stared right at me, and did a little low grumble/growl and headed off into the manzanita bushes. I got a full unobstructed side, face, and rear view shots. Unfortunately, it saw me around the time I saw it, so I couldn't get a pic before it headed of into the brush.

  8. #8

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    I'm not questioning anyone's identification here. I just find it a little curious when someone sights something that's not suppose to be there, automatically it's a misidentified sighting, but when something is sighted in a known area it's automatically believed. "Automatically", being the operative word.

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    JG, free up some space in your private message file. Twice I wanted to send you PMs!

  10. #10
    Registered User Yukon's Avatar
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    Yep, they say there aren't any in my area but I can identify it pretty easily. It was a beautiful mountain lion, really bummed I didn't have my camera.


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    Quote Originally Posted by john gault View Post
    No one disputes cougar sightings when in their habitat. However, if you'll said you saw a cougar somewhere in the east (except Florida) you'd be challenged, at best they'd say it was an escaped/released captive lion. So that presents an interesting question: How many (i.e. what percentage) cougar sightings in their range are misidentifed sightings?
    And I saw alligators in the sewers of New York.

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  12. #12
    LT '79; AT '73-'14 in sections; Donating Member Kerosene's Avatar
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    I guess I fall into the ranks of "misidentified sitings": On a short section hike from Front Royal to Harpers Ferry in October 2001 on a lovely Autumn day about 5 miles south of Harpers Ferry I walked around a corner and over a little rise to see an animal about 40 yards away in the middle of the Trail. For some reason I instinctively clapped my hands to alert it to my presence, at which point it turned to look at me and loped away to the right into thickening underbrush. Only then did I realize that something was different: long, long tail; tan colored with a lighter fawn color around the belly; very feline movements; about the height of a medium-large dog. So, certainly not a bobcat, lynx, Great Dane, or anything else I could think of. Perhaps an escaped pet as it didn't seem large enough to be a full-sized cougar.

    Soon after I passed that point in the trail I started looking around hoping that it wasn't stalking me!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerosene View Post
    I guess I fall into the ranks of "misidentified sitings": On a short section hike from Front Royal to Harpers Ferry in October 2001 on a lovely Autumn day about 5 miles south of Harpers Ferry I walked around a corner and over a little rise to see an animal about 40 yards away in the middle of the Trail. For some reason I instinctively clapped my hands to alert it to my presence, at which point it turned to look at me and loped away to the right into thickening underbrush. Only then did I realize that something was different: long, long tail; tan colored with a lighter fawn color around the belly; very feline movements; about the height of a medium-large dog. So, certainly not a bobcat, lynx, Great Dane, or anything else I could think of. Perhaps an escaped pet as it didn't seem large enough to be a full-sized cougar.
    I guess mine also falls into that category of " misidentified sightings" : A long tan cat about 2 feet tall bounded across the Skyline Drive in the spring of 1990 as I was driving nobo a few miles from the parks northern terminus . It was so swift and agile I had only mere seconds to view it .
    Having seen a Bobcat in the wild , albeit briefly , I know the difference in stature and length.
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  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by john gault View Post
    No one disputes cougar sightings when in their habitat. However, if you'll said you saw a cougar somewhere in the east (except Florida) you'd be challenged, at best they'd say it was an escaped/released captive lion. So that presents an interesting question: How many (i.e. what percentage) cougar sightings in their range are misidentifed sightings?
    I would guess that 60% of the people see what they want to see.

    I happened to be around when someone thought they saw a large black panther. I quickly turned and took a picture of a fairly small black cat.

    This isn't to say that there are not big cats in the east. I have seen a game camera photo that may be a big cat where there are no big cats. There were the Jaguar game camera shots in southern CA. and I am sure there are other shots that I don't know about.

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    I would guess that 60% of the people see what they want to see.

    Ok, I'm seeing stacks of $100 bills waiting outside my tent!

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    I would guess that 60% of the people see what they want to see.

    Ok, I'm seeing stacks of $100 bills waiting outside my tent!
    The problem is, when you reach for them, they are not there.

  17. #17

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    I just read today that the Canadian government has officially confirmed cougars in the NE part of Canada--Ottawa area, I believe. Obviously not the AT, but they are in the Eastern part of North America at least.

  18. #18

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    I've seen one here in SC. My wife and I were driving the backroads up the western side of the state on the way to Franklin, NC when I saw what I first thought was a large dog. It was about dusk and was standing between the road and the edge of the treeline. As we got closer I noticed it had a unusally long thick tail for a dog. As it turned to run back into the treeline, I saw it's face. Before I could ever say anything my wife said, was that a cat?

  19. #19

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    The closest I've come to a cougar were cougar tracks this spring in the Olympic National Park. Don't know how I would feel about sighting one. Scared? Excited?

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