Dead animals along the creek

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Kygardengal, Jan 1, 2006.

  1. Kygardengal

    Kygardengal Well-Known Member

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    Over the past 10 or 12 weeks we have found the remains of 3 animals all about 3-4 weeks apart all within a 50 ft. space. They are all along the creek. The first was a small calf, then a medium sized black dog, then a small deer. They were all partially eaten. I am wondering if the predator would be
    a large cat. There were big cat tracks found there last year. What would be your guess? The head is pretty much in tact, it is mostly the body that is eaten. Would a large cat eat a medium sized dog?
     
  2. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    possible could be coyotes.
     

  3. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I would doubt coyotes, just because of the dog, since most coyotes are intimidated by dogs, unless coyotes run in packs in your area.
     
  4. kesoaps

    kesoaps Well-Known Member

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    Yep, a cat will eat a dog. They're supposed to be afraid, but not always, especially if it's hungry.
     
  5. Cygnet

    Cygnet Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Mountain lions will kill large dogs; I've found the remains of a good-sized pit bull type dog in a lion scrape.

    If you have a lion, however, the evidence is usually pretty clear.

    Lions will cover the kill in surrounding vegetation that they scrape over it -- think of a house cat covering his scat in the litter box. They do the same thing to a kill. If the kill had a bunch of dirt and vegetation kicked over it, it's likely a cat.

    They'll also drag the remains of the kill into heavy vegetation before covering it.

    Coyotes just scatter everything everywhere, as do dogs.

    If you've got a cat, you'll also find scratched-up trees with shredded bark -- note that bears will also do this, but cats have much sharper claws and tend to do less damage to the tree overall. Bears are looking for grubs; lions are just sharpening their claws, but they tend to have favorite trees to do so on and the evidence is obvious after awhile.

    And lions will spray on things to mark their territory and it smells almost EXACTLY like house cat pee, only there's a lot more of it and the point of impact is higher. If you find a fence post reeking of cat pee 2 and 1/2 feet up, either the neighbors have a kitty with REALLY long legs, or you've got a mountain lion.

    MOST back country areas in the US have lions, I suspect. They are so very hard to see that most people remain unaware of them. It's easier to look for the evidence than it is to look for the cat itself. I've walked within about fifteen feet of a lion on two of the four occasions I've seen one in the wild before I saw it -- one time I saw a tail tip move, the second time the lion (a cub, really) flushed out of a tree AFTER I had been clearing brush around the tree for quite awhile. I never knew it was there until my father fired up a chain saw and it took off.

    If this is a cat, I would be moderately concerned because it's killed a dog. They can and do kill dogs, however, the warier ones are afraid of dogs and will flee when a dog barks. It's the bold ones that kill dogs, and the bold ones are also the ones that take livestock.

    (I've had a lion in my area for at least five years. Never had so much as a chicken touched. Keeps the stray dog population down, too.)

    Leva
     
  6. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Just thought of something else. A canine will track and run down prey. A cat will set up and wait. Since the critters were found along a creek, a place where many animals will congregate, I,'m thinking cat. Is there by chance a large overhanging limb over a trail in this area?
     
  7. Kygardengal

    Kygardengal Well-Known Member

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    Last year we were notified by wild life and fisheries to be on the lookout for a large cat. They said possibly a mountain lion. This was over a year ago. Their is a line of large trees along our creek. There is also a deer path that runs through some very tall grass. Back in October, the bottoms down by the creek was cut for hay. That is when I first found the small calf. (Not mine)
    Later my neighbor's black dog went missing. I guess I found him. They weren't covered by dirt or anything and the bodies are mostly in tact.Just eaten in the middle. I figured coyotes would have scattered like dogs do.
    Do I have something to fear here? Do they attack humans? The area is very secluded.
     
  8. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    i would be wary. i know very little of wild animals that can eat me, but what everyone else says makes sense. it does sound like a cat. i bet there is an ambush location like a large limb nearby.

    i hate to see any animal like this eliminated. i suppose this one could pose a threat. i would carry mace at the very least. i have no idea for sure if that would work, but i bet it would.

    what troubles me is that game officials cautioned you. they are normally tight lipped about stuff unless it really poses a threat.
     
  9. silverbackMP

    silverbackMP Well-Known Member

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    A pack of coyotes will kill a solitary dog in a heart beat. Some coyotes that live near urbanized areas actually specialize in it. In fact, my dog almost became such a victim as we were jogging along a nature trail insided of the city limits of Manhattan, KS. My dog, a larger boston terrier (he resembles the larger and more primitative Olde Boston Bull Dogges), was trotting below me along a levee. One coyote came out of the woods and lured my dog into chasing him. A second coyote came out of the woods and was chasing my dog! My dog never even realized it. All three ran into the woods. Of course I chased after them. After about 200-300 yds I found my dog being circled by three coyotes who were getting ready for "the kill." I kicked one really hard in the chest from a dead run and they all took off (the look on the face of the one that I kicked was priceless). From their actions, I doubt that this was the first time that they had pulled this sort of trick. They will do the same thing in my rural areas if they have an opportunity. More than one ranging farm dog has met his demise to coyotes.
     
  10. Fire-Man

    Fire-Man Well-Known Member Supporter

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    ALLIGATOR/Crockidile--Maybe!!
     
  11. silverbackMP

    silverbackMP Well-Known Member

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    That being said. This situation does sound like a cat to me. I've never experience coyotes dragging carcasses to one central location. A cat will. Several acquaintances in Mid-Missouri have told me about seeing a cat drag a deer carcass up a tree (different locations). Or as others have said that could be his ambush location.

    Does anybody remember the countryside story a year or two ago entitle "Nightmare in Arksansas." It was about an alleged cat attack that killed a woman.
     
  12. thedonkeyman

    thedonkeyman Well-Known Member

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    Arm your self and talk to all your neighbors. Have them check for SIGN and tracks. If it is a Cat it will be back. If you take care of the problem,tell no one. Keep safe. A Donkey or mule will tell you when it is near. Been there done that. Happy trails....get a GOOD CAT,DOG.
     
  13. Kygardengal

    Kygardengal Well-Known Member

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    Thanks all. The area in question has vegetation that got up to 8-10 ft this summer. The last two carcasses are less than 10 ft apart and are still there. You can tell that the dog is older and the small deer is fresher. We rarely go down there. Most of the really tall stuff is low because of the season. I was walking the deer path each time I have found these. When the hay was cut there was a carcas in the middle of the field. I had thought that it was the mower now I must wonder. When we bought the property there was an abundance of turkey. Now come to think of it, I haven't seen any this year at all. I am very sure it isn't a gator. I don't think we have gators in Kentucky. Because of the drought, the creek has been real low. We are short 10.5 inches of rain for the year. My pond is dry. What is scaring me is the fact that this thing could have been lurking just over my head each time I walked the area. :eek:
     
  14. Snowdancer

    Snowdancer Well-Known Member

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    kygardengal, we had a mtn lion/cougar on our 40 in Summer Shade(Metcalfe Co.) as well as bobcats! The mtn lion didn't seem to be too aggressive-stayed out in the back 20 most of the time although he did occasionally lay up in the big maple tree near the house. Beautiful yellow eyes when you shined a maglight at him!
    The bobcats on the other hand would come up to the house and around the coops & barns. The one we took out was approx 55# and the only reason was because the bugger came onto my wrap around porch while chasing the chickens. They were so brave that I quit leaving my windows open at night-a screen just wasn't enough protection against a big cat IMO. ;)

    Just be aware and I'd suggest being armed on your walks out in the secluded areas just as a precaution.
     
  15. ladycat

    ladycat Chicken Mafioso Staff Member

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    One trick coyotes will use: a female coyote in heat will lure male dogs back to the pack.

    Low down and dirty!
     
  16. crystalniche

    crystalniche Well-Known Member

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    We saw a very large bob cat running across the road a couple of weeks ago. We got a real good look at it because it stopped in the field beside the road to see what had nearly hit him. We were out delivering the mail so were going slow otherwise we would have hit it. This was in a neighborhood with people and dogs outside doing things. All the dogs in that area are either in a pen, tied up or are inside an invisible fence so they weren't chasing him. Good thing as he was bigger than most of the dogs around there! I would say that he was at least 50 pounds. Do Bobcats cross with Cougars? If so then he was a cross just by looking at him. People around here have had Lions as pets and they would get away at times. The owners would call the school and warn them to keep the kids inside as the Lion didn't like kids~~~or did he like them too much?
     
  17. Pops2

    Pops2 Well-Known Member

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    just a few things in general.
    Mt lions don't attack from trees. they stalk from the ground. keep an eye on every patch of brush big enough to hide a cocker spaniel.
    ALL cats are light for their size. a 35-40# bobcat will look as big as a 60# dog. bobs will not breed to Mt lion (they eat bobs) but they will hybridize w/ lynx. the exotic pet market is over bred on a species of afro-asian desert lynx (caracal) that is tawny like a Mt lion & larger than a bob but has the ear tuft & stub tail. if a person didn't know they might think the cat was a hybrid.
     
  18. longshadowfarms

    longshadowfarms Well-Known Member

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    You said Fish and Wildlife warned you last year about a cat. Why not call them and have them come take a look at the bodies?
     
  19. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

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    as usual, my vote is that it is a human predator. finding 3 bodies in a creek is inconsistent with wild animal behavior. no wild animal kills 3 large animals, partially eats them, then kills something else, all in the same place. you probably have a neighbor up stream who is disposing of dead animals by tossing them in the creek. out of sight, out of mind.
     
  20. Don Armstrong

    Don Armstrong In Remembrance

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    I don't know cougars, of course - don't have them here. Well, except for possible escapes and releases of pets and mascots. Have I mentioned in the last day that I hate feral killers? I thought so. However, I do remember reading that male cougars circulate through a fairly large territory on a regular basis - usually about monthly, so that could well fit the pattern of kills you're seeing. Females do the same thing, I remember, but in a smaller territory.