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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
reliable neighbors have reported two or three sightings of what we are fairly certain is an Eastern Cougar, the locals refer to it as a mountain lion...for sure not a bobcat, these folks have lived here all their lives and recognize how unusual this is...my concern is for my calves...are they at risk and if so is there anything we can do to make them less vulnerable?...all fences are woven, but I am quite certain that wouldn't stop a determined big cat....we have dogs, but indoor ones...we are surrounded by fairly remote wooded areas....there are plenty of deer, all sizes, and we are happy for the cat to take what it needs from that group....has anyone else had to deal with this and do you have any suggestions for beefing up security here? thanks...
 

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If you can put the calves up at night. Get a big dog. Wow I think its awesome we haven't had big cats around here for some time although there used to be lots of the when I was young they used to come up on our back porch and boy at the screams it would raise the hairs on the back of your head.
 

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I don't think it is awsome to lose livestock to cats. We lost at least two calves, one we never found and another that had bite marks up and down the spine. My husband and grandson found cat tracks along the creek not to far from the carcass. Any cougar or bobcat spotted on our property is dead as far as we are concerned. The trouble is you don't usually see them. We had to get all of our springer cows and heifers up close to the house until their calves were a couple of weeks old.
It will take more than one lgd to take on a cougar. You need a male and a female. Our great pry won't tolerate another female dog on her territory; but I doubt if she would come out good in a fight with a cougar.
My advise, for what it is worth is to keep you small livestock close to the house, preferably in the barn at night. You might even set traps around your property, if there are no neighbor dogs that will get caught in them.
 

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We had one up the hill behind the house we lived in last year. A neighbor spotted it and tracked it for awhile on a couple of occasions, but never caught up with it.

A friend spotted one crossing the road near here last week. As far as I know there's been no reports of livestock lost, but the deer population is falling off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I am sure they have come this way since the development not far from here has pushed them out..that area was quite remote and probably never farmed, just had a few folks in small houses ...now there are roads and retirees, and second homeowners...I'll leave my opinion of all that out.....so with the demise of big cotton and corn here , the trees grew back, the deer population has been unbelievable and it stands to reason that the predators will follow...our little barn is sort of an open plan since our weather here is not normally very cold for very long....however, the small pasture immediately behind our house will be saved for calving in the fall this year, and until the babies get bigger they can hang out where we can see them. there are loads of turkey and deer for the big cats to eat, and we are planning to clear the area out back for more pasture so hopefully that will discourage hunting right here...I think it is great to see wild animals and very cool that they have made a come back....I just don't want them to come back here...if we were to get a couple of LSG dogs, how would we manage the other yard animals? would the guard dogs just live at the barn and in the fields? we are going to get a donkey soon, but I don't think they would take on a big cat...maybe a stray dog or so....I wonder if a motion detector light would discourage sniffing around the barn? thanks again for suggestions
 

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Rattlin Rock Ranch
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Cougars like to hunt and stalk their prey from tall grass, and brush. Also from tree limbs and other things they can get up on. If you can put your calves in an area that is open would help. As well as lights and a radio. A donkey could be prey to a cougar and not offer much protection. LGD's are kept in the pasture with the animals they are to protect. Most LGD's do fine with all animals as long as they know what belongs there and are introduced to any new animals brought on the place.
 

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gwithrow said:
...I think it is great to see wild animals and very cool that they have made a come back....I just don't want them to come back here..
Well that seems to be the thinking of most people. I do not care what happens just do not let in happen in my backyard.

Our problem around here is deer. The area still has large tracts of woods that are posted. Then you mix in the 150 house subdivision every mile or so and it concentrates the deer to much.
A vegetable garden around here with out a 8' fence to protect it is a waste of time unless you were growing it as a deer food plot in the first place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
good idea about the radio, that is an easy thing to add to our night routine...and we had already planned to clear more of our land since we need it for pasture..sounds like that will make our fields less attractive to these critters...there is still a lot of wooded acreage for the deer and their 'followers'...but we will keep our calving cows closer to home, I know there are coyotes and foxes, all interested in our poultry...the old timers here are thrilled to see the wildlife, since they never saw even deer when all the land was cultivated....but we have to protect our investments...the neighbors now have cameras ready and if anyone does get a pic I will post it...gwithrow
 

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We have mountain lions that use our old railroad grade, not 50 yards from the house, to travel up and down the county (there's tracking that shows they travel along the ridges that run from south of Eureka up to the national parks). There was national news just last January about the retired couple who were attacked just 40 miles north of us, while hiking, by a juvenile cougar. However, I welcome the mountain lions around here as long as they help control the absolutely out-of-control deer but steer clear of livestock...that being said, we keep our animals near the house at night, and never walk at dusk or dawn alone on the "backtrack". I don't let my daughter walk to the neighbor's house alone in the morning. Just common sense precautions. The "state's kitty" as a retired state trapper friend of mine used to call them, are pretty darned reclusive for the most part. We've had far more trouble with those darned smart bears that get a taste of goat or lamb and then maraud. Last Fall we had HORRIBLE neighborhood stories of bear coming right up to the barns to kill dorper sheep, goats, etc. State trappers killed four bears in a 5 mile radius of us, after they'd killed livestock. There were sooo many bears in our little valley, going for apples and the water in the creek, and then deciding that staying for a bit of meat was ok, too. Two weeks ago, my brother who has 20 acres up on timber land, had a young bear tear his chicken tractor apart to get his pullets, at 4 in the afternoon, not running when they banged pots and pans at it! I think this is going to be another bad bear year. I just heard that this year we don't have to get a trapper to come down. We will be able to shoot any bear that comes onto property and poses a threat to livestock. I think the state spent so much money last year on our valley alone, they are allowing us to "help out".
 

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Yes -- we have cougars here in SC Kentucky too! Friend of mine has a picture taken with one of those game cameras. I have not heard of any problems with them--- yet.
 

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I have two female Pyrs and a ChowChowX that patrol the place 24-7. There are also many other dogs in our neighborhood of five occupied 8-acre lots, all hilly-woodsy-hayfields with a deep canyon down the middle where the mama black bear lives; many of the lots are not built on. We have all the 4-leggeds mentioned already, and badgers. Our vege garden is fenced off, but only from the dogs, so they won't trample it, tho' initially it was against the deer. These dogs don't let ANYTHING onto our land.

Personally, I've not seen bear in probably 4 years, and the only cougar a neighbor and I saw -- two different occurences -- was in '01 about two weeks apart, when the guys all got together and chased it down the canyon to the Clearwater River. We have heard others in our precinct tell of cougar sightings since then.

We also had the INTRODUCTION of the locally-despised Canadian Grey Wolves in 1995, and they have prospered so well that government agencies are having to get rid of some of them, for ravaging our livestock populations.
[Canadians were more than glad to be rid of some of theirs.] I haven't seen or heard any, though people living less than two miles from here have reported sightings.

In this area, the deer had a disease in '03 that bloated them up [can't remember the name of it] and killed a good many of them, but this year we're finally seeing those numbers come back up.

We have plenty of turkeys, rabbits, and other small game that the cougars can take. We never hear of cougars raiding livestock. Coyotes we hear almost every night, less than half a mile away.

My younger Pyr is barking at who-knows-what right now...probably coyotes.
 

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Funny, according to the DEC here, there aren't any! I find that funny, considering there have been many who have reported sightings of mountain lions. One X-Mas tree farmer had a close encounter with one, was in the area of his trees, and it passes feet from him.


The DEC wont admit there are any here, same with wolves. Personally I have seen some BIG dogs, that aren't domestic. They certainly aren't coyotes.



Jeff
 

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JeffNY said:
Funny, according to the DEC here, there aren't any! I find that funny, considering there have been many who have reported sightings of mountain lions. One X-Mas tree farmer had a close encounter with one, was in the area of his trees, and it passes feet from him.


The DEC wont admit there are any here, same with wolves. Personally I have seen some BIG dogs, that aren't domestic. They certainly aren't coyotes.



Jeff
I live in MN where the DNR actually admits the existence of wolves. Even here it takes them 20 years to admit when they have expanded into new territory.
 

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Here is the DNR process of dealing with predators expanding into their bailiwick.

Stage 1. ;There are no cougers in this area. Those critters you keep seeing are just big yaller dogs. (This period runs from 10 to 40 years.)

Stage 2. ; They ARE cougers, but these are pets breed by unlicensed breeders getting turned lose by the owners after they grow up. (5-10 years)

Stage 3. ; They ARE wild cougers here, but they are just visitors passing through from out of state. (5 years)

Stage 4. ; The marvelous DNR has successfully reintroduced cougers (NO HUNTING!!!!)
 

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tinknal said:
Stage 1. ;There are no cougers in this area. Those critters you keep seeing are just big yaller dogs. (This period runs from 10 to 40 years.)
Since there are obviously no cougars in the area, I suppose they would have no objections to my shooting that big yaller dog that's out harrassing the livestock? :shrug:
 

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JeffNY said:
Funny, according to the DEC here, there aren't any! I find that funny, considering there have been many who have reported sightings of mountain lions. One X-Mas tree farmer had a close encounter with one, was in the area of his trees, and it passes feet from him.


The DEC wont admit there are any here, same with wolves. Personally I have seen some BIG dogs, that aren't domestic. They certainly aren't coyotes.



Jeff
Heck, there have been a few sitings of mountain lions here in CT - two people I know to be knowledgable and trustworthy have seen them on the backroads at night. But officially, they are not here!
 

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we've had a couple of sightings in south Louisiana. But as has already been mentioned, the Wildlife and Fisheries vehemently deny there are any cougars in the area. Anyone know their habits? Do they travel long distances, stay in one area or move around, when do they have their young,how do they raise them? One old timer by us says he has seen one every year about this time but then doesn't see it at other times of the year-just curious.
 
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