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#43189 - 02/20/09 12:35 PM Big cat lecture
yorick Offline
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Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 1041
Loc: hamlet\'s hand
For anyone interested, I'll be giving a talk on mountain lions/panthers/cougars, their status in the East(sorry, they're not here), their critical role in ecosystems, and eastern recovery efforts, at the Nature Conservancy's Sam's Point visitor center this Sunday, 2.22 at 2 PM:

http://www.shawangunkjournal.com/2009/01/08/news/0901084.html

Hope to see you there.
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#43198 - 02/20/09 06:04 PM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: yorick]
phlan Offline

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hey guy! so I guess you didn't get my e-mail? about the sighting in Connecticut? that cat had one loooooooong tail!

would love to make it, but might not be able to... and I am planning on reading that book (where the wild things were...)
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#43202 - 02/20/09 06:40 PM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: phlan]
yorick Offline
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Posts: 1041
Loc: hamlet\'s hand
Don't remember seeing the note, but if I had a dime for every long-tailed cat report, well...Where the Wild Things Were is a must read for anyone into big predators and ecology:

http://www.thewildthings.net/

I'll be talking about how absent predators means arrested forest regeneration, invasive species, biodiversity loss, and the culprit from white-tail overbrowsing in the Gunks (the entire East, really).
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#43251 - 02/24/09 12:35 AM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: yorick]
talus Offline
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 Originally Posted By: yorick
(sorry, they're not here),


maybe if you don't know where to look
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#43252 - 02/24/09 12:57 AM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: talus]
Smike Offline
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I saw one a few months ago, it was at least 600 pounds..

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#43254 - 02/24/09 02:12 AM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: Smike]
talus Offline
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once again smike, zoo photography is NOT wildlife photography.
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#43265 - 02/24/09 03:02 PM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: talus]
yorick Offline
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Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 1041
Loc: hamlet\'s hand
 Originally Posted By: talus
 Originally Posted By: yorick
(sorry, they're not here),


maybe if you don't know where to look


As I said in the article, the ECF (and plenty of others) has been looking for and soliciting evidence from Nova Scotia to Georgia and west to the Mississippi for ten years without logging a single confirmed piece of evidence.

Meanwhile, incidental evidence - roadkills, trapping and hunting casualties, random trailcam pics - keep turning up in the Midwest where they were also hunted out a century ago:

http://www.easterncougarnet.org/bigpicture.html

Florida loses 10-15% of its panthers every year to roadkill. If they were here, why shouldn't the same incidental evidence be appearing throughout the East?
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#43276 - 02/24/09 05:12 PM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: talus]
Smike Offline
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 Quote:
once again smike, zoo photography is NOT wildlife photography.


Maybe Mt Lions only roam and climb on private property....

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#43277 - 02/24/09 05:42 PM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: Smike]
talus Offline
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Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 1259
well if it's near a road smike, then it's right up your alley cat
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#43278 - 02/24/09 05:50 PM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: talus]
pedestrian Offline
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Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 2244
Loc: a heavily fortified bunker!
There really are cougars in New England. I saw a bunch up at this bar in Killington.

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#43284 - 02/24/09 09:08 PM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: pedestrian]
d-elvis Offline
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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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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
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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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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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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
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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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#43313 - 02/25/09 08:49 PM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: yorick]
Smike Offline
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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
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 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
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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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#43334 - 02/26/09 02:12 PM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: yorick]
phlan Offline

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you don't hunt cougars, they hunt you.

I know one or two myself ... ;-)
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#43345 - 03/01/09 11:41 PM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: phlan]
yorick Offline
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Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 1041
Loc: hamlet\'s hand
 Originally Posted By: phlan
you don't hunt cougars, they hunt you.

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


Unlike Madonna or Cher, cougars actually don't hunt us. If they did, there would be hundreds of attacks every week, instead of the two that occur on average every year. Two, usually by juveniles out on their own for the first time. The survivors tend to make it onto Good Morning America, which doesn't help. Deer vehicle collisions, for a little perspective, kill 200, injure 20,000, and create over $1 billion in property damage annually. That's a real public safety issue, outnumbering all other wildlife threats combined.

When was the last time you saw someone injured in a deer collision interviewed by Matt Lauer?

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#43346 - 03/02/09 05:23 PM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: yorick]
pedestrian Offline
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Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 2244
Loc: a heavily fortified bunker!
Um, I totalled my Outback in a deer collision two weeks ago. I would prefer Matt Lauer interview the deer instead, ask it what the heck it was doing crossing the road. It wasn't talking much, though.

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#43355 - 03/03/09 05:16 PM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: pedestrian]
chip Offline
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All that deer trouble is exactly why we need more cougar. With all the land available to them, why hasn't there been a concerted effort to introduce a dozen or more of them in Maine/NH? I'm sure there would be some political fall-out, but since when does Fish and Game bow to the uneducated public?

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#43357 - 03/04/09 02:43 PM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: chip]
yorick Offline
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When it comes to reintroducing or recovering alpha predators, fish and game agencies are acutely sensitive to public opinion - at least, that's one of the arguments used to delay restorations. Florida panther reintroductions have been on the books - and they are mandated under the Endangered Species Act - for 18 years. But the USFWS has yet to put cats on the ground except for an experimental release in northern Florida, which was a success biologically, but failed because they neglected to get public support. The cats were recaptured.

And it's a little more complicated for the rest of the East. Only the panther and the eastern cougar are listed as endangered, but those taxonomies were done and based on research from the 1940s. In the late '90s, geneticists found that all the cougars in North America are actually one subspecies. Regional adaptations exist, but a panther is no different genetically than a cougar from the Northern Rockies. The USFWS is finally reviewing the status of the eastern cougar, and early word is that the subspecies will be de-listed because it technically never existed (meanwhile, because they have pumped so much money and publicity into recovering the Florida panther, including introducing Texas cats to augment the gene pool, the USFWS maintains, despite the science, that this remains a distinct subspecies). Word is that reintroductions will be recommended (South Dakota has said that any state who wants them can have their cougars) for eastern national parks, forests, and wildlife refuges, but given the delays for panther reintroductions, who knows when that will happen.

And no eastern state game agency is quite equipped to do it: no experience with big cats (a poorly conceived lynx reintroduction failed in the Daks), and no money. So it's up to the Feds. This, despite more than a decade of research showing that wolves and cougars - big predators in any ecosystem - regulate the system simply by being there. Prey species change their browsing behavior when they have to keep an eye out for predators. In Yellowstone, elk began to avoid browsing stream corridors, open meadows, and forest edges - places of ambush - when wolves were reintroduced. Aspen, willow, and wildflowers started recovering, and with them beaver, fish, frogs, birds, and butterflies. The same ecosystem recovery was documented in Yosemite and Zion overbrowsed by mule deer when cougars began to naturally recolonize the parks. Ecologists and conservation biologists have called this predator/prey dynamic the Ecology of Fear (again, all covered in Where the Wild Things Were).

It has profound implications for eastern forests, which are being critically kept from regenerating by white-tailed deer. Up and down the East Coast, forest understories are being eaten to the ground, where deer-resistant natives and invasives begin to take over and ground-nesting habitat is destroyed. Biodiversity is plummeting. It's been documented in the Gunks, and that's why they have just initiated a DEC-funded management program to reduce the deer population. The problem is, you need to get the census low enough so that deer register no impact (try to imagine that), where the ecosystem can naturally regenerate and sustain itself, although deer populations have long been managed and allowed to over-populate to satisfy hunters. And a decline in the number of hunters has contributed to sky-rocketing deer herds.

And another part of the problem is that hunting pressure only affects browsing behavior for one season each year, and for just half of each day. At night, deer return to browsing with less vigilance, where they can stop and eat wherever and whenever they please. With predators in the system, they become far more cautious 24/7, and stop behaving like cattle. Big predators are the most effective management tool for recovering degraded ecosystems, complementing hunting.

Which is a long way of saying that cougars aren't likely to reduce the deer herd enough to affect the rate of vehicle collisions (I've heard of one report citing the death-rate for collisions is equal to the number of deer taken each year by hunters: deer herds can re-double in two years under the right conditions), but they will arrest the epidemic of understory degradation.

So, bringing cougars back to federal eastern lands, and to big state preserves like the Dacks and the Catskills (about equal in size to what's left of Florida panther habitat), is an ecological imperative. California has 4,000 to 6,000 cougars, and is equivalent in area and human population to ME, NH, VT, NY, PA, and WV. We know they can and do live in close proximity, and with very little incident, to human activity.

Convincing the USFWS, Congress, and the public of the necessity to bring cougars back East, under the same ESA mandates western bald eagles and peregrine falcons have been introduced, is the next big step.
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#43358 - 03/04/09 05:43 PM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: yorick]
empicard Offline
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Reintroduction of cougars.
Man, if I see a friggin cougar while trudging up the talus slope I'm gonna shit myself.

;\)
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#43359 - 03/04/09 06:47 PM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: empicard]
Dillbag Offline
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Registered: 05/02/06
Posts: 1130
Loc: "The Town"
Wish they would be reintroduced...

Saw a Cougar paw print in the mud while backpacking in Olympic Nat'l Parks Ho Rainforest...

A luckier hiker saw a cougar two days before lounging on a trail bridge.
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#43360 - 03/04/09 07:39 PM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: Dillbag]
chip Offline
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Yes, there is a very visceral response to seeing a cougar, especially up close. Last time for me was at night and crouched under a line of scrub about 30 feet away. Every hair stood on end. It isn't all that different though, from the response when I've almost stepped on snakes or had birds fly out of a crack into my face when climbing. the big difference is that the other incidents are over almost immediately and you know intellectually that the danger is over. Not so with a big cat. It was a long, long hike back to the car.
I can understand why locals would resist re-introduction attempts for wolves and cougar. Small kids would be a nice snack for an injured or sick cougar. It seems the work around Yellowstone has been successful for wolves, even though there continues to be some rancher resistence. Heck, we are talking livelihood in what is already a tenuous way of life for ranchers.
Yorick, I really appreciate your knowledge of this subject and willingness to explain this to us. I hope the involved areas can recieve enough education to overcome the objections. After all, they make a great rug!

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#43369 - 03/05/09 03:33 PM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: chip]
phlan Offline

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Loc: Gardiner, NY
I for one am heartily in agreement with bringing cougars back to our mountains.
Therefore I propose the following sensible and shortcut solution, cutting all the red tape.
Yorick, I volunteer my services and my pickup truck to the cause.
We drive to the Dakotas where they will happily give us a healthy young male and female, and we put them in the back and bounce our way all the way back to the Gunks. We'll have to carry a large supply of fresh red meat to keep their appetites satisfied. No problem, right?
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#43376 - 03/05/09 10:24 PM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: phlan]
yorick Offline
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Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 1041
Loc: hamlet\'s hand
Right, an unsanctioned release, no problem. And the ranger whose wedding I presided over gets to arrest me.

Not a chance.

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#43377 - 03/06/09 12:33 AM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: yorick]
phlan Offline

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oh, we just won't tell Rob, silly. he'll never know.
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#43378 - 03/06/09 01:19 AM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: phlan]
RangerRob Offline
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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
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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
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 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

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

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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
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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
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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

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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
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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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#43536 - 03/16/09 11:07 PM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: Mike Rawdon]
danskiz Offline
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Loc: Jamestown ny
Mike, that would be logical. But that's why I think it was a once in a lifetime sighting (for this area anyway). The point I was getting at was that you rarely see coyotes or bears here, even though there's a decent population of them, especially coyotes, they're everywhere here. They remain very elusive though. I always see tons of tracks, and hear them howling several times a year (super creepy by the way), but I've never seen one myself except for the one's my game camera has caught (and even those times, I baited them. Basically set my game camera over a gut pile, got some great pictures too!). So it wouldn't surprise me if there were next to no sightings of a cougar if the population is very small.

Yup, my camera goes with me everytime I go hunting now.

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#43545 - 03/17/09 02:45 AM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: danskiz]
RangerRob Offline
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I think the thing that has brought Yorick to his conclusions is that there is a complete lack of verifiable scientific findings to prove a sighting was indeed a cat. Many, many, many, many, many, many, many (am I making my point here?) people who I am sure truly honestly absolutely believe they saw a cougar have absolutely no hard physical evidence. No pictures of prints with something in the frame for scale, no kill, no roadkill, no scat, no pictures of the animals...nothing. Only the "I'm a lifelong woodsmen and I know my game and I swear to you it was a big cat". I'm sure they thought they saw it, but the evidence does not bear it out. I don't mean to diminish your story Danskiz....that sounds like a wild sight, and I have no doubt it actually happened. Unless you had physical evidence though, it sounds like a bobcat. Did you take pictures of the damage the animal left to the deer hide? Claw or teeth marks? Did you find any solid tracks? If you did find tracks, why didn't you run out to get a camera and come right back? I for one would happy as a pig in poop if verifiable evidence came in showing a resident NY population. It's just not the case.

RR

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#43550 - 03/17/09 08:54 AM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: RangerRob]
danskiz Offline
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Yup, can't disagree with you at all. I've heard ton's of stories myself, and am very skeptical of most. I don't know my cats, which is why I just said big cat with the one I saw. I don't know how big bobcats get, but the body without the tail was about the same length as the deer. It had a long tail, but what caught me odd was that it was much darker in color than the buck was. It never tore into the buck, just gave it a hell of a shove. It was early bow season, so no tracks there, too dry and too many leaves on the ground. On the other hand, the tracks that I found behind my buddies house I did take a picture of with a quarter in the picture for scale. If I remember right we measured it out at around 4 or 4.25 inches both ways. Those tracks I did say cougar, because based on any track identification books I've seen, the shape and pad marks were definatly a cat, but too big to be be a bobcat. That was probably 3 or 4 years ago, but I'll see if I can't find the pictures, just have to figure out where I filed them!

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#43555 - 03/17/09 10:19 AM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: danskiz]
yorick Offline
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danskiz,

Yeah, find those pics. 4 to 4.25" would be huge for a cougar track. They are typically an inch smaller. The entire print would fit inside the palm of your hand.
_________________________
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#43557 - 03/17/09 11:38 AM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: yorick]
chip Offline
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Yorick, it sounds like Cougar and Lynx tracks are similar in size, Is there a good way to tell them apart for us non-professionals?

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#43558 - 03/17/09 01:00 PM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: chip]
yorick Offline
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I'm no pro. Just got a lot of tutoring from pros.

Fur between the toes on lynx tracks can soften the toe and heel impressions, appearing almost like webbing:

http://home.mcn.net/~wtu/tracking.html

And closer to bobcat in size than cougar.
_________________________
Shongum ain\'t Indian,
it\'s Shawank-unk.

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#43570 - 03/17/09 05:00 PM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: yorick]
danskiz Offline
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Registered: 12/07/01
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So far it's not looking good. That was 2 computers ago! Since nobody was much interested in them at the time, I may have deleted them. I'll call my buddie tonight (it was at his house we found the tracks), I know we copied them onto his computer, and I really doubt he has got a new computer since than. I'll see if he still has them. Looking through my game cam pics, I did find some good coyote pictures though. One has 5 coyotes in one picture!

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#43589 - 03/18/09 03:49 AM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: danskiz]
tokyo bill Offline
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Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 793
Loc: Tokyo
Post the coyote pic! I live in a concrete wasteland and would love to see them.

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#43630 - 03/19/09 01:49 AM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: tokyo bill]
danskiz Offline
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Registered: 12/07/01
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Tokyo bill, would do, but how do you put get a picture on? I've never done it on this board, and can't see to figure out how...

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#43637 - 03/19/09 04:02 AM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: danskiz]
tokyo bill Offline
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Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 793
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Aghhh! I'm not much of a computer guy. What I remember doing the last time I tried it was to upload the pic someplace else (my homepage in my case). This gets you a url assigned to the pic, which you can find by right clicking on the pic wherever you uploaded it, hitting "properties" and copying the url. Then I pasted the URL to a post on this forum and bracketed it with [img] in front and [/img] behind (no spaces), and voila.

Let's see if that works with a pic from my red rocks TR (now under construction:



Post preview shows it working.

I think if you don't have anyplace else to upload your pics, you can do it on this site by going through the "Gallery" tab up at the top, but I haven't done this myself, so far as I can recall.

Good luck - I want to see that pic!!

Edited to add: I just visited Gallery" and it does look like you can upload there, although it required me to log in again ("log in" button at the top of the page) before offering me that option.


Edited by tokyo bill (03/19/09 04:14 AM)

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#43777 - 03/25/09 05:11 AM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: tokyo bill]
danskiz Offline
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Registered: 12/07/01
Posts: 244
Loc: Jamestown ny
I gave up on trying the gallery here. I don't know if it's because I've never uploaded a pic here, but it don't show those options, and when I try to log in again, it rejects my login info. Who knows. I talked to my buddie, and he does still have those print pics, I just have to stop over to his house and copy them. I havn't had time to do that yet, been to busy getting ready for my upcoming Red Rocks trip. If I don't make it over there before I leave, I'll get them after I get back on the 5th. Yorick, if you pm me an email, I'll shoot them off to you when I get them.

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#43913 - 04/03/09 02:11 AM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: danskiz]
empicard Offline
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#43916 - 04/03/09 01:04 PM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: empicard]
chip Offline
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I'm envisioning another "Jackass" episode with some moron running through Tallman St. Park at night with lots of raw meat wrapped around him to draw the cat out.

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#43917 - 04/03/09 03:16 PM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: empicard]
oenophore Offline
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From the Wikipedia article on the black panther:

Black cougars have been reported in Kentucky and in the Carolinas. There have also been reports of glossy black cougars from Kansas, Texas and eastern Nebraska. These have come to be known as the North American black panther. Sightings are currently attributed to errors in species identification by non-experts, and by the memetic exaggeration of size.
Black panthers in the American Southeast feature prominently in Choctaw folklore where, along with the owl, they are often thought to symbolize Death.
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#43923 - 04/03/09 05:57 PM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: oenophore]
chip Offline
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"they are often thought to symbolize Death."

No kiddin'! Whoever is staring one in the face is unlikely to escape the chop without a good firearm and a little room to raise it up to at least hip level.

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#43926 - 04/04/09 01:37 AM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: chip]
phlan Offline

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Loc: Gardiner, NY
no, the cat is unlucky. western modern symbolism.

the OWL is true DEATH and came to me in a dream last week. very scary if it appears in a dream.

knew it intuitively in the dream. sat bolt upright from a deep REM sleep a moment thereafter.

experience in jungian dream analysis along with putting on the
right classical music probably saved my life. with my psychological profile.

wrote everything down and analyzed it. not my death, but
a person I love.

life and death. we are all going to die.
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#43928 - 04/04/09 02:41 AM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: phlan]
Mike Rawdon Offline

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Maybe you should lay off the absynthe for a while, huh?

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#43935 - 04/06/09 07:18 PM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: Mike Rawdon]
pedestrian Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 2244
Loc: a heavily fortified bunker!
That's really a hoot.

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#44163 - 04/14/09 02:41 AM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: pedestrian]
Jgreene Offline
member

Registered: 07/17/08
Posts: 171
Anyone else been seeing a lot of fisher around?

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#44173 - 04/14/09 03:47 PM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: Jgreene]
chip Offline
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Not spendin as much time in the wild as I used to, so no. I've seen tracks a number of times but never seen Fisher. Any tips on how?

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#44191 - 04/15/09 04:22 AM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: chip]
Jgreene Offline
member

Registered: 07/17/08
Posts: 171
They usually come out around dusk but I have also seen them during the day in forested areas. They hang out around talus fields and predate on porcupines among other things. You have to sit pretty silent for a while as they are pretty timid.

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#48746 - 10/16/09 11:50 PM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: Jgreene]
yorick Offline
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Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 1041
Loc: hamlet\'s hand
Next round:

http://easterncougar.org/CougarNews/?p=1001

http://easterncougar.org/CougarNews/?p=1008

The Roundtable interview should be a hoot. George Carlin's brother and the Mad magazine editor or publisher, I forget which, are frequently part of the scandalous crew.
_________________________
Shongum ain\'t Indian,
it\'s Shawank-unk.

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#48806 - 10/19/09 04:33 PM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: yorick]
Smike Offline
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Another else notice the coyotes taking resident on top of the trapps this past weekend?

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#49732 - 11/23/09 10:15 PM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: yorick]
talus Offline
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Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 1259
Chris this is from Port Murry, NJ

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#49736 - 11/24/09 01:26 AM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: talus]
Mike Rawdon Offline

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Registered: 11/29/99
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Loc: Poughkeepsie
I'm sure the state is warming up their "It's not a mtn lion, it's a large dog, if it IS a ML then it's an escaped one from captivity" lie.

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#49738 - 11/24/09 03:12 AM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: Mike Rawdon]
chip Offline
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Registered: 10/06/01
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Yeah, lots of dogs can drag a large buck around by picking the head and shoulders off the ground and walking straight ahead. I miss our ML, the Canada geese and deer populations are rising again.

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#49751 - 11/24/09 04:21 PM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: talus]
yorick Offline
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Registered: 11/15/02
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Loc: hamlet\'s hand
Originally Posted By: talus
Chris this is from Port Murry, NJ



I lived in Port Murry when I was three.

Been making the rounds for a few months. First report to ECF came from Alabama.

It's from south Texas.
_________________________
Shongum ain\'t Indian,
it\'s Shawank-unk.

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#49754 - 11/24/09 05:16 PM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: yorick]
talus Offline
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Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 1259
cell phone pic from port murry, nj
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#49755 - 11/24/09 05:18 PM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: yorick]
yorick Offline
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Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 1041
Loc: hamlet\'s hand
This is the most recent, easternmost confirmed random cam pic of a cougar yet to appear, from the eastern UP of Michigan,

http://easterncougar.org/CougarNews/?p=1085

Another eight hundred miles to go before they hit Port Murry.
_________________________
Shongum ain\'t Indian,
it\'s Shawank-unk.

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#49757 - 11/24/09 05:27 PM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: talus]
yorick Offline
old hand

Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 1041
Loc: hamlet\'s hand
Originally Posted By: talus
well a guy from port murry took the above photo in NJ so you're wrong.


Check the sequence at the bottom of the article, and the comments about where else it has been hoaxed:

http://www.buckmanager.com/2009/05/21/mountain-lion-really-killed-this-whitetail/
_________________________
Shongum ain\'t Indian,
it\'s Shawank-unk.

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#49760 - 11/24/09 06:19 PM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: yorick]
talus Offline
veteran

Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 1259
Port murry is the new southern Texas
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#49767 - 11/24/09 09:20 PM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: talus]
chip Offline
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Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2677
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I was impressed that someone had big brass ones to get a phone picture of a cougar. At my last encounter I was afraid to breath and could only think about getting out of there alive. An automatic, remote camera takes a bit of the fear out of it. Cheater!

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#49780 - 11/25/09 02:14 PM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: chip]
Smike Offline
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Registered: 05/01/01
Posts: 3143
Loc: in your backyard
Cell phone pic my ass, unless someone was able to mount a decent size flash to the phone.

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#49884 - 12/01/09 03:01 AM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: Smike]
RangerRob Offline
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Registered: 06/06/00
Posts: 3765
Loc: Ulster County, NY
Those new Iphones have everything eh?

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#50282 - 01/20/10 01:47 AM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: yorick]
tradgunkie Offline
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Registered: 09/10/03
Posts: 38
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#50283 - 01/20/10 11:24 AM Re: Big cat lecture [Re: tradgunkie]
yorick Offline
old hand

Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 1041
Loc: hamlet\'s hand
http://easterncougar.org/CougarNews/?p=1392

Mr. Williams first sent them to me in early December from Tuscon IDd from west of Denver. Then they did, as they do, their thing, sprouting in reports from all over. The Montague/Wantage north Jersey hoax is getting a lot of mileage.

The location has yet to be ground-truthed, but the trees and truck license plate suggest Colorado.
_________________________
Shongum ain\'t Indian,
it\'s Shawank-unk.

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#50766 - 03/12/10 09:37 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
Stuff like this doesn't help Johnnie Q. Public's opinion of big "carneevors":

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A teacher jogging along a rural Alaskan road was killed in an animal attack and authorities say wolves are the chief suspects.

The body of Candice Berner, 32, was found Monday off the road a mile outside the village of Chignik Bay on the Alaska Peninsula, which is about 474 miles southwest of Anchorage.

Authorities said the body had been dragged off the road to the village's lagoon and was surrounded by wolf tracks.

In an autopsy report Thursday, the Alaska State Medical Examiner listed "multiple injuries due to animal mauling" as the cause of death for Berner, a special education teacher originally from Slippery Rock, Pa., who began working in Alaska in August.

The autopsy could not say which animals, said Col. Audie Holloway, head of the Alaska State Troopers, but wolves are the chief suspect.

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