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#43378 - 03/06/09 01:19 AM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: phlan]
RangerRob Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/06/00
Posts: 3765
Loc: Ulster County, NY
Nope..I'm oblivious. Hey no worries, all I do is climb

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#43380 - 03/06/09 12:57 PM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: RangerRob]
yorick Offline
old hand

Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 1041
Loc: hamlet\'s hand
Here's what we really need to do, Phlan, drop a female into the national forest just east of Spooner, WI:

http://www.spooneradvocate.com/articles/2009/03/05/news/doc49afed2790c6c244567412.txt

Another likely, young male cougar has made it into Wisconsin, the second in two years (the first two confirmations in WI in a century). Last year's first showed up southeast of Madison, where DNR picked up a blood trail, which was found to contain North American DNA - so it wasn't a former captive. Two months later, the same cat was gunned down in north Chicago. More testing found it to be from South Dakota genetic stock. The cat may have traveled 800 miles (radio-collared juveniles have been found dispersing more than 600 miles).

These young toms need to get beyond their father's territory or they'll be killed, then beyond the next resident tom's for the same reason. So they keep going, until they are on the edge of the core breeding population, and now they are looking for females to breed with. Problem is, they don't know there aren't any females out there (females stick closer to their natal range), and they just keep moving. The mortality rate is extremely high for these young dispersers crossing this much country - roads, trappers, hunters, etc (two have been killed by trains). All of the cougars found crossing the Mississippi eastward so far have all been young toms, who don't stop until circumstances tend to finally get them.

This kind of dispersal pattern is clear evidence, where all of the bodies turning up in the central Mississippi basin are juvenile males, that breeding is yet to be taking place much east of the Dakotas.

At least this guy is in north Wisconsin, in line to make the UP of Michigan, and not Milwaukee or Chicago like last year's. Hopefully, they'll get him darted and collared. We could see a new dispersal record, but chances aren't good that he'll get much further.

Light a candle.

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#43381 - 03/06/09 03:26 PM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: RangerRob]
Smike Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/01/01
Posts: 3143
Loc: in your backyard
 Originally Posted By: RangerRob
Hey no worries, all I do is climb


Man I think I will believe I will run into cougars on the ridge before I believe that one...pwned

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#43411 - 03/10/09 09:00 PM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: Smike]
phlan Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/11/00
Posts: 2778
Loc: Gardiner, NY
There is a very pertinent article on the subject in the latest issue of "outdoor life." it's on page 32. titled "cougar alert." somewhat slanted to this magazine's audience perspective, but interesting nonetheless.
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#43425 - 03/11/09 11:59 PM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: phlan]
yorick Offline
old hand

Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 1041
Loc: hamlet\'s hand
Someone gave me a copy at the lecture.

What Kirsten found funny was how this mag targeting the most macho hunting profile was littered with ads for "performance" enhancing drugs and aids.
_________________________
Shongum ain\'t Indian,
it\'s Shawank-unk.

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#43460 - 03/13/09 03:30 PM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: yorick]
phlan Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/11/00
Posts: 2778
Loc: Gardiner, NY
yep I thought that was hilarious too. can't have a big enough gun for that big game!
and then there's:

"this is my rifle this is my gun, this one's for killin' this one's for fun!"
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#43506 - 03/14/09 09:51 PM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: phlan]
AOR Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 08/27/04
Posts: 392
 Originally Posted By: phlan
yep I thought that was hilarious too. can't have a big enough gun for that big game!
and then there's:

"this is my rifle this is my gun, this one's for killin' this one's for fun!"


Ahhh...the good old days, here (sound up!)

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#43516 - 03/16/09 04:18 AM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: AOR]
danskiz Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 12/07/01
Posts: 244
Loc: Jamestown ny
I live in south western ny, and know for a fact that there are big cats around this area, but I doubt very many. You always hear the crap about the dec introducing them, lots of conspiracy theories there, whatever. But, I have personally seen one at close range in this area. About 4 or 5 years ago I was bowhunting, and shot a buck about 30 yards out. I was too high, ended up a spine shot, so he dropped in his tracks, but still alive. I shot again, and missed (again too high), and than shot my 3rd and last arrow and hit him again. The third shot still wasn't great (it was my first buck with a bow, buck fever, if you hunt you'll understand), so I sat there waiting, and about 10 minutes later, a big cat worked it's way down the hill, and kind of stalked it's way down to the buck. I never once heard the thing, even though it was only 30 yards away, and it was pretty crunchy that day. It came up to the bucks head, real low to the ground, and the buck started thrashing like hell, than stopped for a second. As soon as he stopped thrashing the cat put it's head up against the buck and spun it about a quarter turn, which sent the buck thrashing again. It just kind of checked the buck out for a couple minutes and than walked off. I'd never have believed it if I didn't see it myself. After it walked off, I quickly got down out of the tree, went and retrieved one of the arrows, finished off the buck, and hauled ass to the truck to get my buddie that by then was waiting for me. We went back up and dragged the buck out without incident. I'm hear to tell you though, my heart was pounding in that tree, with no arrows left, and a big cat 30 yards away. Ever since then, I never go hunting without a camera. All the same, I figure that was a once in a lifetime sighting. I have also found perfect fresh tracks about 5 miles from where I got that buck (only once) that sure looked like cougar tracks to me and my hunting buddie, but we obviously doubted ourselves, so we called the dec. They came out to look at them, and although they would not come out and verify to us that they were, they just told us not to tell a lot of people so it didn't cause a scare (that was in a rural residential area, 100 feet behind my buddies house just inside the woods).

All that said, I really doubt there are many here. Otherwise more people would be seeing them, cars would be hitting them, ect. I imagine they are pretty elusive though. In all the years I have been hunting around here, I've never once seen a bear or coyote while hunting (although I have caught coyote's on my game camera, always see tons of coyote tracks, and ocasionally see bear tracks and a couple time have seen bear scat, and have found a couple trees over the years that a bear has torn up). Since bears and coyotes are all over the place here, and you rarely see them, I wouldn't think it would be impossible that if there is only a very small population of cats, that they would hardly ever be seen. But without a question, they are in this area.

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#43526 - 03/16/09 06:43 PM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: danskiz]
Mike Rawdon Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/29/99
Posts: 4276
Loc: Poughkeepsie
Just to play devil's advocate...

If you've never seen a bear or coyote, and there are lots of them. But you've seen a big cat... then it follows that there may be MORE big cats than bears and coyotes in your area.

Don't stop carrying that camera.

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#43533 - 03/16/09 10:39 PM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: Mike Rawdon]
chip Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2676
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
I must say that it is hard to know what to believe about the cougars that may or may not be around. I have a very rational, competant hunter friend who relates having one in his scope in the Catskills, calling a friend at the DEC and relating the view. After denying that it could be a cougar, he offerred to shoot it and bring it in for examination. at that point an apparent admission was made that it was released by the DEC and to please leave it alone, thank you very much. This is from one of the least spewing people I have met, but I still have problems believing that this conversation could take place 1)without the cat hearing it and getting scared off 2)in the Catskills that I seldom get much of a signal in. Then again, the snow dampens noise and I have had signals that were very strong at unexpected times, although not when I've locked my keys in the car ice climbing near Plattkill. Good times, eh?
Yorick has very sound discussion points but I still wouldn't doubt one should I see it somewhere in the northeast. I am sure that if I did I would be looking at one very lonely cat.

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