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  #61  
Old 27 July 2011, 10:00
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...That means that the animal traveled more than 1,500 miles to Connecticut..."
I heard the story yesterday and that is quite a journey...
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  #62  
Old 27 July 2011, 10:12
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Pretty freaking unbelievable, story was on Drudge yesterday.
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  #63  
Old 27 July 2011, 12:16
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Originally Posted by Soot View Post
Couple buddies and I were camping up in the Poconos in the Lake Wallenpaupack area last summer and took a walk through the woods at night to get to a little pond we fish and we got stakled by a cat. Had to be a cat because nothing else could have kept its head that still moving in the terrain we were in (seemed like the eyes were on a wire just floating along).

It was maybe 75 meters off through the woods up and a small rocky ridge and never came any closer. We were only able to catch the eyes in the beam of a flashlight.

Whatver it was it was big judging by the distance between its eyes, and it never took it's eyes off of us as it paralleled our route.

We all had pretty much agreed at the time that it was probably a big curious bobcat but now I wonder.
It was Bigfoot man!
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  #64  
Old 27 July 2011, 13:16
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In cat country mountain bikers = Meals on Wheels.

A couple years back CA DFG released a night vision video of 2 large cougars that were wrecking havoc on the dog population around Monrovia CA. These two cougars were hunting like velociraptors, one cat walked the backyard fence line for a diversion as a 90 lb. lab on the porch watched it. The 2nd cat came in from the backside of the porch and chomped that lab right behind the head. The cat then easily bounded over the 5 foot chain link fence with the lab in it's mouth. Some biologists speculate the big cats are learning to live in close with man like the coyotes have done.

Bad motorscooters. I pucker up bad when walking in bowhunting in the dark and hear the deer or hogs getting harassed by a predator that I can't see. A bowhunting buddy got stalked by a young cat at Fort Hunter Liggett a couple years back. He bumped into the cat on a trail at about 80 yards and the juvenile approached him even as he waved his bow over his head. At 50 yards Pete put his back up to an large oak tree and got ready to launch an arrow when his glasses fogged up he said. It was near dark and the cat jumped into some brush and circled Pete who couldn't get a clear shot. Finally Pete walked out backwards with his bow drawn to where I was, when he came over the hill with the bow up it took me a minute to figure out what the hell he was doing.

Caught this large male sneaking down a trail on my game cam near La Verne CA. I had just walked that trail following some deer trying to get a shot at them. He had the same idea I guess. I hear they like the fat guys, more marbled meat.

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  #65  
Old 27 July 2011, 14:13
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We live on 155 wooded acres in northern WI and are accustomed to lots of deer, too many coyotes, and numbers of black bear. WI DNR, despite numerous credible reports, denied for years that any cougars were returning until hair samples, tracks, scat, and photos became undeniable. We have had credible sightings in our township.
DNR also downplayed reports of increasing wolf packs until recently. Happened to look out the window at just the right time three years ago and saw two wolves cross a corner of my field app. 200 yds away into the woods on our south boundary. About a minute later three coyotes burst out of those woods on a dead run, came straight across the field and through the back yard without slowing. Confronted the local DNR guys a few weeks later and one finally admitted they had ID'd at least four specific individual wolves staking out a territory including our property. I find tracks and scat routinely.
Used to let our golden retriever run the whole property, now we keep him on a leash or tied to the back porch under supervision. I never go in the woods without a shotgun now, even when woodcutting.
  #66  
Old 27 July 2011, 15:00
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If I recall correctly, Lewis and Clark who were seasoned outdoors men had never seen a coyote until they headed up the Missouri River. They only moved eastward after their main threat the wolf had been wiped out. Wolves and coyotes compete for larger game so the wolves got rid of them. The new coyote population turned on the Fox because they both competed for small game. With the wolves returning they're once again getting rid of the coyote. That should lead to an increase in the Fox population.

Michigan recently saw a Wolverine return although it died from natural causes. If Mountain Lions also begin to return that shouldn't be a surprise. A few hundred years ago the pioneers cut down just about all the trees and tilled even the most marginal land. Uncontrolled hunting decimated the deer herds as well. In recent decades marginal farm land has been abandoned and has gone from being overgrown back to forest land. There is rich habitat for deer and reduced hunting so now there is a surplus population. That provides lots of opportunity for a Mountain Lion population to grow.

As a personal example, the area I'm from in NE Ohio was heavily settled in the early 1800's. When I grew up there were no deer, no turkeys, no fox, etc. Now my sister reports there are turkey flocks roaming the property, fox are raiding her chickens, deer are taking bites out of the apples on the trees, and last summer a black bear was making nightly raids and trying to break into the fenced enclosure where her chickens and pygmy goats live. My sister who never fired a gun in her life has armed herself with my old 12 gauge shotgun and has been engaging the enemy. It's hard for me to believe the change that has taken place since I was a kid.
  #67  
Old 27 July 2011, 15:10
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I grew up in a suburb of Milwaukee, WI. My parents have a little over an acre with apple trees in the backyard. Growing up I never saw a deer and at the end of every summer had to pick up apples that fell on the ground. Now my parents don't have to worry about it because the deer eat all the apples. The biggest buck I have ever seen was in my parents backyard last summer, his rack was huge. My mom also saw a coyote when she was walking the dog in a park near their home.
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  #68  
Old 27 July 2011, 16:53
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I think it's pretty cool, and environmentally sound, that these animals are returning. They SHOULD be protected except in cases where its obvious they are rabid, or hunting only people. The loss of apex predators over the years has screwed up the natural order and put more species at risk due to a host of related problems. There was something on NOVA about this recently that showed even plant life in ecosystems with healthy populations of top level predators faring much better. Just like the show "10000 years after humans" on Discovery, the world is better off "wild" if you ask me.

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  #69  
Old 27 July 2011, 17:57
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Spectr,

How big do you figure that cat is?

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  #70  
Old 28 July 2011, 04:54
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Quote:
How big do you figure that cat is?
I never got a good look at him, that pic is smeared from the rain that night. From what a buddy said who saw him up close while horseback riding he was about 140 lbs. Male toms can get pretty big, I have a buddy here who is a biologist who darts the wayward cats for DFG and he's shot them from 80 lbs up to 175 lbs. I've seen pics of legit 200 lbs cats.

This same biologist has tracking collars on 10 cats in the Los Angeles area. The shocking part of the GPS plots on the cats is they roam all the way to the beach through heavily populated areas and NONE of them are being spotted by the locals. The cats know how to move and stay out of sight.

Staying on the predator theme, another buddy just neck snared a 40lb coyote in Laguna Beach for the city. Yote was eating the horse pellets around the stables and wasn't fat, just huge he said. Biggest coyote he's taken he said in years of trapping them here in CA. He's the trapper to the stars, does a lot work for a lot of Hollywood types. Dude has some great stories.

Video of a big cat in action taking a mule deer down. http://youtu.be/1CLqJCGNCjo

Here's one grocery shopping. http://youtu.be/MUPqkc8Jjk4. Their leaping ability, especially with large supper in their mouth, is impressive
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Last edited by spectr17; 28 July 2011 at 05:00.
  #71  
Old 28 July 2011, 07:07
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Originally Posted by spectr17 View Post

This same biologist has tracking collars on 10 cats in the Los Angeles area. The shocking part of the GPS plots on the cats is they roam all the way to the beach through heavily populated areas and NONE of them are being spotted by the locals. The cats know how to move and stay out of sight.
That's crazy....talk about a stealth predator. I'm assuming they come down looking for an easy meal (pets).

Is there a way (pattern) to tell if a deer has been eaten by a mountain lion vs a wolf or pack of coyotes? Reason being, in the past we've come across some good sized deer 'limbs' left around our property. I would think that in order to gnaw off a hind leg and carry it would require a decent sized animal.
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  #72  
Old 28 July 2011, 13:53
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Originally Posted by spectr17 View Post
Video of a big cat in action taking a mule deer down. http://youtu.be/1CLqJCGNCjo
I feel like that mule deer could have put up a stronger fight. From watching the video, it is my opinion that the deer was specifically chosen by that cat. Maybe Darwin can weigh-in from the grave
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  #73  
Old 28 July 2011, 14:32
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I feel like that mule deer could have put up a stronger fight. From watching the video, it is my opinion that the deer was specifically chosen by that cat. Maybe Darwin can weigh-in from the grave
What about the deers buddy standing around watching him get mauled? You got a big rack on yer head, use it dammit.

That was a big cat though.....probably figured 'better him than me'.
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  #74  
Old 28 July 2011, 14:57
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Yer anthropol....

Quote:
Originally Posted by 19MIKE View Post
What about the deers buddy standing around watching him get mauled? You got a big rack on yer head, use it dammit.

That was a big cat though.....probably figured 'better him than me'.
....anthroplo...anthro...fuck it, you're making it sound like the deer have a human brain and a set of scruples. They're just prey animals who no better than to risk their neck. (Water buffalo on the other hand have been known to kick ass on lions - see Battle at Krueger).
  #75  
Old 29 July 2011, 09:40
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If Mountain Lions also begin to return that shouldn't be a surprise. A few hundred years ago the pioneers cut down just about all the trees and tilled even the most marginal land. Uncontrolled hunting decimated the deer herds as well. In recent decades marginal farm land has been abandoned and has gone from being overgrown back to forest land. There is rich habitat for deer and reduced hunting so now there is a surplus population. That provides lots of opportunity for a Mountain Lion population to grow.
Yes you are right. In Connecticut most of the old growth forest was gone by the middle of the 19th Century. In the northwest part of the state, where most of the open land is now, much of the wood was turned into charcoal and used for 32 iron smelters, the last of which went dark in the early 1930's. You see Litchfield County now, and you see woodlands and pristine looking landscape where many well to do people from the NYC area own 2nd houses. But during the 1800's it was an industrial area where the trees were cut down and smoke from charcoaling fires and iron smelters was heavy in the air. A few years ago I got to see an aerial photo taken in the 1880's from a balloon of what is now the People's State Forest. The landscape was nothing but meadow with no trees whatsoever.

In the 20th Century the trees in Connecticut started to come back, and with the loss of many small farms in my lifetime the regrowth of forest has accelerated. A good friend of mine has a relative who moved to Florida and had not seen the state since his childhood 40 years ago. My friend's relative returned to visit and was shocked to see how much the trees had come back since then.

Along with the return of the forested areas has come the critters that live in that type of habitat. Some of them, especially bird species such as ravens or goshawks, hardly get much notice from people. A couple species, including wild turkey and the fisher cat, have successfully been reintroduced by our state DEP from New York.

The large mammals have come back entirely on their own. There was no deer season here in the early 1970's and now they are all over the state like rats. If any of you guys want good practice just come here to hunt. About 10 years ago I was at a Environment Committee hearing in the CT Legislature, and the guy who represents hunters testified that someday we'd need to have a black bear hunting season in the state. Some of the members of the committee literally laughed at him. Now that there are black bears being trapped in New Britain and in the north end of Hartford no one is laughing any more! There is now a permanent herd of at least 100 moose living here in the state.

So to me it is no surprise at all that the apex predators have returned as well. When we were coming out of the woods from trout fishing we saw our first bobcat here. During the 1990's we saw evidence of coyotes, including carcasses of them that were hit by cars on the highways. I was visiting a friend who lives in the suburbs west of Hartford, and heard a pack of them howling at night. The first live one I saw was along a drainage pond between a suburban highway and a big Home Depot/Sam's Club. But with as many deer as there are here the coyotes generally don't take them out.

However mountain lions do like deer, and during the 1990's there were enough reports of sightings that the local papers ran stories on it. It was just a matter of time before there would be evidence that even the CT-DEP would have to admit the presence of mountain lions. A dead one on the side of the Merritt Parkway with DNA identification is just that. I wonder when the next one will turn up...

Quote:
They SHOULD be protected except in cases where its obvious they are rabid, or hunting only people.
I agree, although the feds make it such a headache for the states that they try to look the other way as much as they can so they won't have to do the paper work. People from the CT-DEP have told me that, and I'm sure that the Wisconsin DNR would privately say that as well. I cannot blame state DEP's or DNR's for not wanting that federally imposed mill stone.
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  #76  
Old 29 July 2011, 15:54
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Landsharks...so far I've only run into bear, though I've come across lion tracks, and possibly startled one while doing a recon at work (something large ran and then climbed a large oak 100 yards from me...probably just a chupacabra).
  #77  
Old 29 July 2011, 16:16
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Typhoon;
I have very mixed emotions about re-introducing fisher cats.
They are the bane of all pet owners, here in Vermont.
I've lost ducks to mink, chicks to hawks, and chickens to racoons.
The loss of our cats, on a regular basis, to fisher cats is the most painful for my family.
But, they do deserve a place to live in our ecosystem.
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  #78  
Old 29 July 2011, 16:31
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Originally Posted by 19MIKE View Post
Spectr,

How big do you figure that cat is?

Looks like a juvi (spots still visible)cat. Maybe 80 lbs.?
  #79  
Old 29 July 2011, 16:43
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One of the wildest pics I've ever seen was of a big muley buck taken in NorCal that had two racing stripes of missing hide down his back from his neck to hips. The biologist who took the pic speculated a big cat had landed on the buck's back and got an 8 second ride and got tossed off. He said the buck appeared to be okay and probably lived, just with some impressive scars to show the ladies.

The size of the deer or it's strength doesn't matter usually, the cat lands on the back and sinks a canine into the neck to paralyze the spine. If that doesn't happen they swing around for the choke out like that muley video above. I've seen videos of bobcats who use the throat choke out method on adult deer. Coyotes do the same canine to the spine trick, they want an fast and easy kill and not the death struggle above. Cougars are ambush attackers, they use the rocks to jump down on deer or sneak up from behind. Most of their prey never knows what's up until the cat is on their back. One deputy sheriff out here was turkey hunting a few years back when he heard a twig snap and looked up to see a cougar in mid air about to land on him. He rolled right and the cat landed right where he had been and the deputy came up shooting from the hip like Lucas McCain. He emptied the gun and finally broke off the cat's attack. Trackers later found the cat dead from the one shot he had hit it with and he was a healthy male.
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  #80  
Old 29 July 2011, 16:59
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Originally Posted by Carl Spackler View Post
Looks like a juvi (spots still visible)cat. Maybe 80 lbs.?
We blew that pic up trying to get better look at his tail and back end but no luck. The tracks he put down in the mud that night were just shy of 3 3/4". Are you going by the dark areas on his front haunches?
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