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#43284 - 02/24/09 09:08 PM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: pedestrian]
d-elvis Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/26/00
Posts: 3650
Loc: Central PA
Love huntn' Cougars
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#43299 - 02/25/09 04:01 PM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: d-elvis]
chip Offline
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Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2677
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
Yorick, I'm sure you know what you are talkin' about, but what about this guy/gal here in Delaware? I haven't seen it in a couple years now, but even the newspaper had pictures. It is hard to miss those prints in the fresh snow. Made Lynx prints look small in comparison, and I watched the Lynx and family making those so there is no mistaking the two.

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#43300 - 02/25/09 04:17 PM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: chip]
yorick Offline
old hand

Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 1041
Loc: hamlet\'s hand
Chip,

The problem with the Delaware evidence is that the state wildlife department has never submitted it for peer-review. I am not aware of any newspaper photo documentation there. CN used to have Delaware on its confirmation map, until it (including purported video) went so long without review. But why so long without any more evidence? These aren't ghosts - they leave lots of sign.
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#43304 - 02/25/09 07:11 PM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: yorick]
chip Offline
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Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2677
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
No idea why they wouldn't want this reviewed. As I've said, I've seen it myself twice, once from about 30 feet a couple years ago. I've seen footprints at least 4 other times and a deer carcass half buried in frozen leaves and dirt. It started picking off Canada Geese soon after arriving and that also left lots of feathers but not much else. A local county police officer and friend tracked it for 6 months using night goggles and saw it only a few times, never getting off a tranquilizer shot but often finding evidence of where he had been getting watched by the cat instead. Strange that no one would submit this, but the naturalists in the state parks will not take any info about it from locals either.

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#43306 - 02/25/09 07:51 PM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: chip]
Mike Rawdon Offline

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Registered: 11/29/99
Posts: 4276
Loc: Poughkeepsie
Sounds like the officials don't want there to be a confirmed big cat. Too much paperwork and beauracracy to deal with then. ESA, EIS, unit managment plan revisions etc. Not exactly the most exciting part of a land manager's life.

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#43311 - 02/25/09 08:10 PM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: Mike Rawdon]
yorick Offline
old hand

Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 1041
Loc: hamlet\'s hand
Since it is pretty much understood that there is no remnant native population north of Florida, no one is going to do a recovery plan for former captives (when DNA evidence is turning up, it is often Latin American; cats bred for the exotic pet trade). Half the genetic evidence in eastern Canada is Latin, and cougars weren't native to New Brunswick or northern Maine; unlike now, there were no deer, and there is no cougar bounty record there from the 19th century.

What is odd is that Delaware has recognized the cats on their state websites.
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Shongum ain\'t Indian,
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#43313 - 02/25/09 08:49 PM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: yorick]
Smike Offline
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Registered: 05/01/01
Posts: 3143
Loc: in your backyard
If the state wanted to end this once and for all, they just need to do this:

Make it open season on Mt, Lions (year round) sell permits and let the public go out and do its dirty work of finding cats. After the 1st three confirmed kills close the season and start the rest of the bureaucratic work to study them. My guess...you will never get 3 confirmed kills in NY. But at least the state doesn't waste the money.

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#43317 - 02/25/09 09:28 PM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: Smike]
chip Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2677
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
 Originally Posted By: Smike
If the state wanted to end this once and for all, they just need to do this:

Make it open season on Mt, Lions (year round) sell permits and let the public go out and do its dirty work of finding cats. After the 1st three confirmed kills close the season and start the rest of the bureaucratic work to study them. My guess...you will never get 3 confirmed kills in NY. But at least the state doesn't waste the money.


Smike, where is your patriotic spirit? We are all supposed to throw money around now to "stimulate" the economy, just like congress is already doing with our taxes. It does the soul well to know that it is only a matter of a short time until we get to contribute 60-70% of our income to continue this great work.

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#43332 - 02/26/09 01:30 PM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: Smike]
yorick Offline
old hand

Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 1041
Loc: hamlet\'s hand
 Originally Posted By: Smike
If the state wanted to end this once and for all, they just need to do this:

Make it open season on Mt, Lions (year round) sell permits and let the public go out and do its dirty work of finding cats. After the 1st three confirmed kills close the season and start the rest of the bureaucratic work to study them. My guess...you will never get 3 confirmed kills in NY. But at least the state doesn't waste the money.


Part of my point about incidental evidence is that suggestions like this one are indirectly occurring all the time. There are millions of hunters out there in the Northeast each season after the first snowfall, and thousands of trappers/houndsmen, not to mention untold other recreationists (cross-country skiers, snowshoers, snowmobilers). In my lecture, I include pics from two of our directors spending a week in the Front Range of Montana cutting the tracks of four different cats, following thousands of prints (10,000 to 20,000 left each day by a single cougar) straight to fresh kills and plenty of scat. Yet, it's been more than eight years since anyone has found sign in the Northeast (in Maine), with no roadkills. 300,000 wildlife cams are sold each year, but there are only two such random pics from private cams east of the Mississippi River, both in Minnesota. Why do wild cats wander into Minneapolis, Kansas City, and Chicago, but not Montreal, or Lake Placid, or Pittsburgh?

Then there are the sanctioned surveys. Wolf advocates in Maine trained to find both wolf and cougar sign are out there every winter. The DEC and NY State Museum, with researchers from Cornell, SUNY ESF, and U of Missouri completed an ADK carnivore study in '06 using cams and track traps at 54 locations. They collected and analyzed over 350 scats. The Smithsonian is running the second year of a similar study along the AT in MD and Virginia. The ECF has run surveys in PA, WV, KY, and TN. I've done two small ones at High Point SP (while another one was being done at Stokes SF) and at Minnewaska.

Researchers and amateurs who want to can't find any cougar evidence.
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Shongum ain\'t Indian,
it\'s Shawank-unk.

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#43334 - 02/26/09 02:12 PM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: yorick]
phlan Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/11/00
Posts: 2778
Loc: Gardiner, NY
you don't hunt cougars, they hunt you.

I know one or two myself ... ;-)
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