Mountain Lions--Moving EAST!

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by FrankTheTank, Dec 16, 2004.

  1. FrankTheTank

    FrankTheTank Well-Known Member

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    Whats your view...I personally wouldn't mind knowing that I could have a chance at seeing one of these amazing creatures....

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6725977/

     
  2. Montana_Joe

    Montana_Joe Member

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    I've got a good dog that takes care of those critters for me. You can have them. They have become almost as bad as the black bears around here.
     

  3. Kshobbit

    Kshobbit Well-Known Member

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    Officially the state of Kansas states there are NO mountain lions in Kansas. this dispite sightings all over the state. I saw one and it was quite a shock. They are very elusive, stay way back in the "boonies". That's where I get to live too. It never crossed my mind to get scared about having them around.
    Oh I have LGD too
     
  4. cloverfarm

    cloverfarm Well-Known Member

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    Well! I could see where they could become real annoying, real fast. Speaking as one of those suspicious sturdy farm women in sensible shoes.

    Ann
     
  5. Pony

    Pony Well-Known Member Supporter

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    What bothers me is the attitude of the DNR -- they'd deny the presence of these cats if one jumped up and bit 'em in the butt! Even if it was still hanging there!!!

    Why do they do this? Does anyone know?
     
  6. ibcnya

    ibcnya Well-Known Member

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    Southeast Iowa here and one was caught on a deercam recently stalking a deer. If I see one and have rifle handy. I will post pics of it.
     
  7. mikell

    mikell Well-Known Member

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    MIchigan doesn't have any lions either just big cats?????? And a mountain lion is a ??????? Thats what the DNR says anyway.


    mikell
     
  8. DrippingSprings

    DrippingSprings In Remembrance

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    yeah they claim here in Bama that we have none of them ether. Even though several people in different counties have seen them. It always gets put off as a loose exotic pet. Same way with bears. We have black bears in extreme southern Bama but supposedly nowhere else. My family has some pics taken in the early seventies of three that frequented their apple trees. I once shot a deer that weighed about 100 pounds. Having had back surgery recently I got in my truck and called my cousin. He was ther ein about ten minutes. We went back and the deer was gone. We followed the drag marks all the way down to the creek where it went in the creek. Crek was about thirty yards across and about six or seven ft deep. I doubt a hunter would attempt that.

    It was on the local news here that a black bear turned up near Birmingham. They tranqed it and removed it to Smoky Mtns Park in Tn because the DNR guy said "there are no black bear in Alabama"
     
  9. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    Frank,
    Thanks for posting that article. It's very informative.

    Rich
     
  10. kosh

    kosh Well-Known Member

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    That type of article seems to be published more and more. It makes lots of sense.. think about the last few hundred years in the US. Humans turned much forest into farm land, viewed all predatory animals as pests to be exterminated. We wiped out wolves, bears, mountain lions and others from many areas of the country. Then we started "managing" the wild areas and the deer populations (basically inflating "game" animal populations for better hunting). Then many of the fields are going back to forest (if not to housing developments), and we started protecting the predator animals, realizing they play a vital role in the ecosystem. This has created the perfect environment for them and their populations continue to grow and their ranges expand.. Look at the coyotes. They took over where many large predators were. Moved into areas they never were in. It's exciting and scary at the same time to have the large predators moving back in. It's exciting to see them reclaiming their territory and hopefully bringing balance back to the ecosystems, but scary, because they are losing their fear of humans and presenting a threat to people. I'm not sure how i'd feel if i had a mountain lion wandering around my back yard looking for dinner.. I guess i'm glad i have a couple of large and protective dogs..

    Peace,
    jason
     
  11. jack_c-ville

    jack_c-ville Well-Known Member

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    I'm not too worried about it. From what I hear, the lions that are showing up in the East are almost always young males that got chased out of their usual habitat by older males. We're not talking about a breeding population moving in, what with the lack of females. Most any individual lion that you see in the East probably hasn't been around very long. They get hit by cars or shot for making trouble.

    So long as farmers are able to shoot predators who are killing livestock (which they generally are) I don't see this as much of anything to worry about. It is just one more way to scare city folk away from the country (always a good thing).

    -Jack
     
  12. Cygnet

    Cygnet Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My area has mountain lions and has since prehistoric times. No shortage of them.

    They get shot if they make trouble, but most people aren't even aware they're out there. I find scrapes and tracks every few months while hiking so I know they're around, but I've only actually seen them a few times. Because the bold ones get shot, the survivors are pretty timid and rarely bother livestock.

    *shrug* solution to mountain lions is to shoot the ones that make trouble (which happens, but isn't common), and ignore the rest of them as a non-issue. Lions are *great* for keeping the stray dog and deer population down ... I have a heck of a lot more trouble with dog packs than I do with the cats.

    Leva
     
  13. designer

    designer Well-Known Member

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    They are elusive and I think there are more then what is admitted. About 20 years ago my mom swore one crossed the road in front of her. There were deer carcases found on horse trails around that time. In Rockingham county, a northern center county in NC. We're pretty sure there are bobcats so why not cougars? A black bear was spotted of an interstate several years back. Nothing has ever bothered the cows and there are lots of deer so I wouldn't be out hunting them down. But I do try to pay attention. I think we can coexist.
     
  14. Cygnet

    Cygnet Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The thing with mountain lions is they're not just elusive, they're danged invisible.

    I have hiked, lived, and backpacked in very remote areas. My dad has a cabin in an area of Arizona with just about the highest concentration of mountain lions in the lower 48. In my life, I've seen them *four* times -- seen plenty of sign, but only fourlions.

    Once when I was about five or six, I saw one beside the road in AZ's Oak Creek Canyon. (Probably near West Fork, for the Zonies out there.) It was crouched down in some weeds.

    Once while hiking in a rainstorm, I jumped a lion that was on a ledge in the same overhang I was heading for, for shelter. It was a good bit more startled than I was -- I saw it first, before it saw me, and whistled at it and it bolted at warp nine for the next county.

    Once while riding my horse, saw the butt end of what was probably a lion diving into a mesquite bosque, also at warp nine.

    And finally, in the backyard of my dad's cabin, I was outside, working around some fairly large trees, for about half an hour. My dad fired up a chain saw and a juvenile lion -- still with spots, less than half full sized -- came leaping out of the tree and ran about 100 yards, stopped, and stared at us, then ran off farther. I never knew the cub was in the tree until it got so scared it bolted. Wasn't big enough to be a threat to a person, though mom might have been. (I never saw the mom.)

    Leva


     
  15. Jan Doling

    Jan Doling Well-Known Member

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    Could they mate with Fla panthers or would that be too much of a species difference?
     
  16. jack_c-ville

    jack_c-ville Well-Known Member

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    Heck yeah, they can interbreed. Most people would not be able to tell the difference between them without getting closer than one really wants to. Florida panthers are actually just a subspecies of American cougar. Interbreeding following habitat disruption has been a problem and there are very few FL panthers left that are full-blooded.

    Even lions and tigers can successfully interbreed, producing either lygers or tigons, depending which parent is which species.

    By the way, radio tracking collars on cougars have shown that very often mountain lions will spend all day hiding less than 20 feet from heavily used hiking trails and inhabited places. These same cats have been been followed for years and nobody sees them (except the scientists tracking them), nobody gets hurt by them and nobody ever noticed that this very large predator was right there beside them all along. The vast majority seem to know better than to mess with any human being.

    -Jack
     
  17. ratherbefishin

    ratherbefishin Well-Known Member

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    I live on Vancouver Island, off the coast of British Columbia and we have the higest density of cats in NorthAmerica- and also the highest incidence of cougar attacks-but the facts still are that by far most people -even hunters-will never see one in their life time, unless they are hunting for them with dogs.Mind you, the hair does stand up on yopur neck when you backtrack in the snow, and find cat prints where they've been following you!Farmore people have been seen by cats than cats by people.Common sense is the best protection, we keep small kids and annimals away from brushy areas when a cat is in the area.They are typically after deer
     
  18. FrankTheTank

    FrankTheTank Well-Known Member

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    Great stories...thanks for sharing...

    I'll add that here in Southwest WI i've only heard of one story (paper) about some people that saw one south of town in a wildlife refuge. With Wisconsins huge deer population (so they say!) and dense woods, I wouldn't doubt a sizeable cat population. I've never seen one, but I hope i get the chance sooner or later.

    I watched a show once on cats on PBS and the photographer was filming a family of cats. It was awesome because one of the cats started stalking him on film. When i got close he sprayed it with bear pepper spray and that cat took off, as was said, warp 9! They also had a portion about British Columbia and there problems with cats.

    Bears are much more common sighting. It was just a year or more ago that a bear was coming into a feeder in Southeast MN...they never did find it! They've also been spotted here in Southern WI.

    I'm more scared of my morning commute then a cat.
     
  19. barbarake

    barbarake Well-Known Member

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    I always have to laugh when I read reports that there are no cougars in <whatever> state. They say that about New York. But I grew up in Upstate New York (southwest of Albany) and I know there were cougars there because a hunter shot one back in 1973.

    My father had a butcher store with a big (15' x 30') walk-in cooler. The hunter brought the body to my father and had him store it in the cooler for a couple of days. Dad swore us all to secrecy - evidently he could have gotten into big trouble having this wild animal's body in the same cooler with beef quarters or something like that. I do remember that a bunch of people came to see it.

    I was approx. 5'6" at the time. The body was hanging by it's hind legs, front paws almost touching the ground and it was taller than I am. I don't know what happened to it but I know that I used to have a picture of me standing next to it. It was definitely a mountain lion.
     
  20. Clara Bell

    Clara Bell Well-Known Member

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    They're here in western Amherst VA, I would say pretty much east. Neighbor up the hill saw one with her DH when he was still living before 2000 , traveling through their back yard. And this woman knows cats.
    She had one between the house and the garage when she was going out to run some errands last year. Her little kitty in the house was growling something different and she went to the window to see what little kitty was growling at.
    There was a very large cat outside the window, squatting.
    They are up here and they are smart. They don't want anything to do with humans. They keep to themselves. There's plenty of land, and respect for them up here(and disbelief that they are up here).
    Much like the Timber Rattler, leave me alone and I'll leave you alone.
    I can deal with that.
    Leave them alone. Let them find their place in all this progress.