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silvercreek
04-24-2011, 08:40 AM
Keep it civil folks. Paula is watching. Saw this on the national news and couldn't resist posting. In Tulsa, Oklahoma a mountain lion was tranquilized and captured this weekend. Probably an escaped pet I thought, so I looked it up on the web for more info. Found a couple of related stories. In Jan, 2010 a hunter capture 5 photos of a cougar from his hunting trail cam. In 9/2006 a game warden in Oklahoma shot a cougar attacking livestock. Makes you wonder about what may be in these eastern mountains.

cardfly
04-24-2011, 12:15 PM
I am not in on either side here because I don't get to the smokies near as much as many of you. I was there the beginning of April and went into a hiking "outfitters" store in Gburg and was surprised to see a poster up saying to contact someone if you saw a cougar or tracks.

It showed what the cougar tracks would look like and showed what they looked like compared to coyote tracks.

Just found it a little weird.

pineman19
04-24-2011, 06:06 PM
Not trying to flame you silvercreek, you are a quality member of the forum, but if you're worried about it staying civil, maybe it's best not to bring it up;) These OT posts "go south" more often then not.

Respectfully,

Neal

Carlito
04-26-2011, 10:06 AM
Well, off topic or not, that was a timely post, SilverCreek. Heard this on NPR yesterday on my drive home...

Endangered Cougars Could Be Making a Comeback (http://www.npr.org/2011/04/25/135714591/endangered-cougars-could-be-staging-comeback)

Crockett
04-26-2011, 11:56 AM
"Federal scientists say mountain lions are extinct in the East. But sightings of the big cats continue, and some researchers say cougars could be staging a comeback."

I personally don't think they are in the smokies right now but in reality it's probably only a matter of time.

Streamhound
04-26-2011, 02:40 PM
I have been told that there are no puma in Eastern KY but the dead (or very asleep) one on the side of KY 80 had not gotten that word. I stopped and only looked out windshield and window but did not get out of car. The creature was larger than a bobcat had puma like legs and head and tail.

I asked folks after I delivered my presentation if the big cats were back and was told that yes there were but that was not what officials would say. I told them about what I saw and one guy asked if I put the puma in the car. I replied that with my luck it would only be stunned and it would likely come to in the car of my car like on those U-tube videos. Since this was close to the Cumberland Gap I would think it would not be too unusual.

Carolina Boy
04-26-2011, 11:56 PM
Silver Creek is the most awesome creek in the West, but ya didn't hear it here ;)

Carlito
04-27-2011, 01:57 PM
I have been told that there are no puma in Eastern KY but the dead (or very asleep) one on the side of KY 80 had not gotten that word. I stopped and only looked out windshield and window but did not get out of car. The creature was larger than a bobcat had puma like legs and head and tail.

I asked folks after I delivered my presentation if the big cats were back and was told that yes there were but that was not what officials would say. I told them about what I saw and one guy asked if I put the puma in the car. I replied that with my luck it would only be stunned and it would likely come to in the car of my car like on those U-tube videos. Since this was close to the Cumberland Gap I would think it would not be too unusual.

DUDE! Did you at least snap photos with your phone?

I think it's possible that the "Eastern Mountain Lion" is extinct and that the ones being seen are other varieties that have either migrated here or been released. Some research has shown that western mountain lions are genetically identical to eastern cats, but when they introduced western cats into the Florida population the act of deepening the gene pool helped that population. Maybe because they were different species, or maybe just because the population had grown so small they were majorly inbred. Bottom line: there are mountain lions east of the Mississippi.

Streamhound
04-27-2011, 02:04 PM
Sad thing is I didn't think to take a picture with the phone. Until I read Carlito's post I still had not thought I should have done that. Guess I am still stuck in the a phone is a phone and a camera is a camera mentality.

Given the number of folks who in the Cumberland Gap up to Prestonsburg area have had sightings, heard them etc I didn't realize it was a big deal.

Ky Tim
04-27-2011, 03:38 PM
here in Kentucky the mountain lion rumors are always prevalent. The only Mt. Lion ever found dead in the state was a kitten that was DNA'd. Here is the report: http://books.google.com/books?id=G6P_LYhjOpYC&pg=PA119&lpg=PA119&dq=Floyd+ky+cougar&source=bl&ots=V98MpRLVHq&sig=k8pSgVn-iqUwX3FCbRPVtGIiEHI&hl=en&ei=ZdhuTbjbCobLgQfS9qFD&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CCkQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=Floyd%20ky%20cougar&f=false

All of these reports about eastern Kentucky mountain lions yet there has been zero photos, zero trail cam photos and the one cub that was evidently a released pet. There is not one shred of credible evidence.

All that being said, a population of them would be able to exist in that end of the state with all of the undeveloped land and an elk herd of 10,000 or so.

Streamhound
04-27-2011, 09:50 PM
Now I guess I see why folks wanted the body. One dead puma does not mean there is breeding population for all I know it could have been a pet that was turned out when it got too big or too expensive to feed.

I am figuring that I don't need to worry about puma and I'll just keep an eye out for snakes

Ky Tim
04-28-2011, 12:15 AM
Streamhound, I hope you didn't think I was calling you out on this or anything, I didn't mean it that way. I just find it hard to believe with as many trail cameras as people put in the woods now and the cell phone cameras that there are no photos. Another thing that would convince me a little more that that there are a few reclusive big cats is nobody ever finds them dead anywhere.

Knothead
04-28-2011, 07:55 PM
nobody ever finds them dead anywhere.
You don't find much dead anything as nature has a way of swiftly disposing of such things. I probably haven't spent as much time in the woods as many of you but the only thing I can remember are tortoise shells; the rest of the critter was gone. Peter Hathaway Capstick in one of his books on African hunting marveled at how quickly large animal carcasses disappeared.
I feel this is why we don't find any bigfoot remains.
It would be interesting to show proof of a living puma here in the east.

501
04-28-2011, 08:03 PM
Yeah maybe the proof of mountain lions existing in the east is controversial. Their are always two sides of how evidence is viewed. Just look at the wealth of viewpoints on wether or not Bigfoot exists. Some say there is not enough(or any) technological evidence (i.e. film). Then again, maybe we aren't as smart or as advanced as we think we are. Maybe these beasts we debate are simply eluding what we consider evidence of their existance. Smarter than we think.......? Personally I will continue to read and respect all posts and opinions on this subject. What I really want though is to be the next extremely lucky person who gets to actually see one of these cats in the wild!

Lee

Streamhound
04-29-2011, 10:06 AM
NO Offense KyTim.
Like I said I didn't realize this was a heated discussion. and with no real proof otherwise I think it could have been a pet or guard-cat. Saw something on animal planet last nite that talked about big cats being kept in rural locations and these cats were not indigenous to the areas.

GrouseMan77
04-29-2011, 06:17 PM
Before I got married they used to trap me on occasion. Good times. :cool:

Carlito
05-02-2011, 12:43 PM
Before I got married they used to trap me on occasion. Good times. :cool:

LoL Nice. Nuthin' like a good cougar mauling.

Seriously though, I've spent LOTS of time in the woods fishing, hunting, and camping, and I've never once seen a bobcat. I know they exist and they are actually quite common, but in the hundreds (thousands maybe?) of hours I've spent in the woods, not once have I glimpsed one. I was actually talking to my dad about that Saturday when we were hanging out at the hunt camp (trying to catch a gobbler). He grew up hunting as a primary means of providing meat for the family, has been on countless trips over the 60 years since he's been old enough to hunt, and has only ever seen 1 bobcat.

Now, I realize that bobcats are mostly nocturnal hunters, but my question is this: if an animal as common as the bobcat can be so reclusive, is it really surprising that an animal like the mountain lion (that is even smarter) would be a rare sight? I do think it's likely that wild cougars are extinct in the east. I don't think it's likely that there aren't any mountain lions running around in these hills.

fishndoc
05-02-2011, 06:00 PM
Well, offically there were no cougars in Georgia, until a hunter ran into this down in Troupe county, southeast of Atlanta, a couple of years ago:

http://oi54.tinypic.com/14w7r69.jpg

DNA showed it to be a wild Florida cougar.

Too bad it's not still out roaming the woods.

whitefeather
05-04-2011, 02:56 PM
If some of you folks actualy want to see a cougar, on the ground, in the woods of the Smokies, I dare say you won't unless you're extremely fortunate. They are cats and cats are night hunters. Cougars are the largest of the "domestic" cat family. They snooze during the day on high rock outcroppings or tall, large limbed trees, such as oaks.

One sure sign of their presence, even if not seen, is the carcasses of deer that they pull up into tall mature trees to eat and store away from other predator scavengers such as bear and coyote. They are the only mammal in the woods that can do this! Also look for buzzards swarming around and landing in a tall oak tree.

This was documented in the GSMNP by one of the outgoing park superintendents a few years back. They are there. Only the numbers remain to be determined, but there's no budget for it.

When you are in the woods, L@@K UP! Scan the tree line. That's where you'll get your best opportunity to see one. But he'll see you way before you see him and remain motionless and quiet till you're gone.

And you may be startled at how close they can get to you without you even knowing it.

Ky Tim
05-05-2011, 01:50 PM
LoL Nice. Nuthin' like a good cougar mauling.

Seriously though, I've spent LOTS of time in the woods fishing, hunting, and camping, and I've never once seen a bobcat. I know they exist and they are actually quite common, but in the hundreds (thousands maybe?) of hours I've spent in the woods, not once have I glimpsed one. I was actually talking to my dad about that Saturday when we were hanging out at the hunt camp (trying to catch a gobbler). He grew up hunting as a primary means of providing meat for the family, has been on countless trips over the 60 years since he's been old enough to hunt, and has only ever seen 1 bobcat.

Now, I realize that bobcats are mostly nocturnal hunters, but my question is this: if an animal as common as the bobcat can be so reclusive, is it really surprising that an animal like the mountain lion (that is even smarter) would be a rare sight? I do think it's likely that wild cougars are extinct in the east. I don't think it's likely that there aren't any mountain lions running around in these hills.

Carlito you bring up a good point and one I have thought of as well. I have spent the majority of my 44 years in the woods and on the water. In that time I have seen exactly two bobcats. One when I was a teenager back in the 1980'as that walked under a treestand I was in at Ft. Knox, and the other was just last April on Dale Hollow Lake.

All that being said, I have a ton of friends that hunt and most of them run trail cameras on their property throughout the year, as may as five or six different cameras. On these cameras, it is not unusual for them to get photos of bobcats. It is not suprising to anyone because there are several bobcats around. That being said, I have yet to see one photo of a Mt. Lion on any trail cam photos from Kentucky.

Now everyone needs to understand, I am strictly talking about the state of Kentucky and not anywhere else.

Corbo
05-07-2011, 10:48 PM
Saw a Cougar friday morning on Chapman Highway in Seymour.... it was a full body mounted specimen riding in the back of a newer yellow Dodge pickup.... wish i could have seen it up close.

BigMax
06-13-2011, 09:01 AM
FYI


http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110612/us_nm/us_mountainlion_killed

Grumpy
06-14-2011, 10:53 PM
If i were a Park Ranger, i would not tell the public there were Cougars in the neighborhood if they exsisted, every fool & their 1/2 bred brother would e out trying to find it & swear up & down that it was trying to attcak them so they killed it:eek:

I, for one, hope they exsist & are showing their extrme prowess by staying out of sight from the 2 legged predators that think they know what's best for them.

Grumpy

Knothead
06-16-2011, 09:05 AM
it was trying to attcak them so they killed it
A person at one of my Hunter Education classes asked the wildlife officer about killing a bear in self-defense. The officer said you had better show some claw marks to claim self-defense.