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  #51  
Old 01-30-2010, 12:36 AM
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Carolina Boy Carolina Boy is offline
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Thanks Jeff, i really like what you said about training ourselfs to notice things. I think those who can understand this realize that we can thank flyfishing for that. After reading your comment, "We have trained ourselves to be observant and notice things like a fish rising to flies, subtle differences in current, subtle differences in weather patterns" I emmediately was taken back to when I caught the largest brown I have ever caught in the park. I was in the middle of a large-wide strech of water, the water was stained and up from rain, it was Oct. I knew i was gonna pound the banks with a big ( rubber-legg-prince and was actually tying on this monster bug to begin fishing when literally out of the tip-top of my eye the slightest goldish flicker right up on the bank caught my attention, it was nothing, and yet i knew exactly what it was. It was a fish, I didn't know the size the water was like creamy coffee i surely couldn't see him, but he couldn't see me! I stripped my line off the reel and cast about 15 feet right on the long flat bank. I admit I used a indicator that day, why not i was waist deep in coffee, the indicator sank and i set! I was ready i knew there was a fish there. I was not expecting the weight that I felt on the other end, and I instantly knew that this was not a typical fish. Although it may be rather mellow dramatic but the fight was short and not in any way remarkable other than seeing his gaping jaws open as he came to my hand. I didn't even have a net (a mistake i make a lot and have a weird jinx thing with that I may just post about) I bellied the fish and holy sh the fish was beautifull golden brown dressed in spawn colors, he had a hook jaw like no other fish i have caught to date. He streched from my arm pit to the end of my middle finger. he actually cut me with his teeth as i removed the fly. I kissed him (yea i do that sometimes ) and seconds later he was gone. I had been there ten minutes, not even. I was bleeding from my hand and it took me a while to really process what had just happened (another topic i need to post about). to bring this all around the thing that I really remember most is the snap shot of the fly in this beast mouth, and the gold flicker I spied out of the top of my eyes. I can see it as clear as if it just happened. To further your point Jeff i believe that those of us who are the most succesfull anglers, are those who are not only the most observant, but the ones who can go into a bit of a trance or zone where we habitually register all that we take in every time we wet a line in order to maximize our ability to advance. I would very much like to fish with you one day Jeff, email me anytime and thank you for your kind words!
bmurphy055@gmail.com
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  #52  
Old 01-31-2010, 10:35 AM
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AKSkim AKSkim is offline
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Default Cougar in Area

September of 2008 I was alone fishing the Campbell River in British Columbia and came upon this sign along a foot path.

The date on the notice was Sept. 2nd, the day I was there was Sept. 5th.



Let me tell you, I beat feet out of there LOL!
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  #53  
Old 02-01-2010, 12:02 PM
jross jross is offline
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I didn't get to read over all the previous posts, but I'll respond to my last reply.

I don't think a full grown, healthy person has much to fear. I don't think for a moment that anyone could "beat up" a cougar. I would never say that. What I mean is that if it's a person or a squirrel, the cat would pick the smaller critter. So therefore, by myself I wouldn't fret too much. But natural order of things, my little boy is an easier target than I am! Since this is a cat, I'd say one would rarely see it and never be able to approach it....

Unless the approacher is on the menu of the approachee!
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  #54  
Old 02-01-2010, 12:23 PM
Knothead Knothead is offline
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C'boy, I didn't mean to make it sound like you were to enter into what could be a dangerous situation. Personally, I would have noted the site and come back the next day to look for tracks, hair on branches, etc. After all, you know what a bear does in the woods.
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  #55  
Old 02-01-2010, 02:55 PM
millerdvr millerdvr is offline
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Being from out west I have no doubt as to what you saw, and you are truelly lucky!
I have spent many many days in the mountains and the last animal to be scared of is a couger, mt. lion etc. You will almost always see a bear coming, and most likely will hear it too. as far as a lion, they are the greatest hunters of all, and most reports of attacks say they never saw it or heard it before it was too late! I have two cats myself and even at 10-14 lbs. they are amazing hunters- I couldn't even imagine a cat that weighs 200+, so I don't think any of us should lose any sleep over these wonderful creature, just be mindful as to your actions and all will be fine.
This has been a great read with lots of great info.

Chris
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  #56  
Old 02-01-2010, 03:34 PM
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JohnH0802 JohnH0802 is offline
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I just wanted to provide a little cautionary statement to some of the posts about this particular wild animal. I am from out west, and Mountain lion's are one of the few predators in the US that can and do at times stalk and hunt people. While I agree that most wild animals that we encounter would just as soon leave us alone, and for those animals problems with people generally can involve someone doing something not very smart. This is not the case for a Mountain lion. You will not even know it is there before it attacks you, and it will not be an accident. Please do not get me wrong, I am not trying to say that you need to be afraid to go into the woods, I was in the woods out west with a much heavier and more dense population of them, I am just saying it is not quite correct to say that an animal/person run in with this particular critter would just be because of some moron doing something stupid. You don't accidentally sneak up on a cougar, or accidentally suprise one. Unless you classify what we all do as moronic (i.e. being out in the woods fishing, hunting, hiking, running, biking, etc) then any possible cougar run in would more than likely be the result of a cougar stalking a meal, and ambushing it at the right moment.
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  #57  
Old 02-09-2010, 02:39 PM
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PeteCz PeteCz is offline
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Default Coyotes in Manhattan

Ok, which is worse...Cougars in the park or coyotes in Manhattan?

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/m...wZt9PriNGmIXEJ
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  #58  
Old 02-09-2010, 03:02 PM
Redfoot Redfoot is offline
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Here is my account of an encounter that I posted on SEFF a couple of years ago. I too, like many here have a fascination with the existence of big cats and why the Park Service won't officially recognize that they exist but will tell you they are there unofficially.

Here is my brief summary that took place a couple of miles up Slickrock.


When I started this thread, I was surprised at all of the folks that had witnessed what they thought was a mountain lion. Now that this thread has been rekindled, I reluctantly report that I have had a sighting of my own this past summer. I figured that all the naysayers would immediately call BS since I started the thread, so I have only told a few since I was alone and did not have a camera.

But now, I will publicly state that I know what I saw this past summer, and it was no bobcat. Here is a brief summary for those that are interested:

A group of friends and I were camped out along Slickrock Creek fishing and all of them returned that Saturday afternoon and I had already told the Mrs. that I would not be back until Sunday so I decided to stay one more night.

I usually don't camp alone but I did not want to give up the yard pass I had already procured and I had been skunked already and did not want to go home with a goose egg. As most of you know the water levels were extraordinarily low and I decided to hike down closer to the mouth to break my own drought.

It was approximately 6:15 pm and I was on the trail heading back towards the lake when I reached the first set of campsites you come too when you hike in. The stream was to my left as was a 7'-8' drop to the stream and to my right was a sheer face up. Suddenly I caught a glimpse of movement to my left and noticed the catamount about the same time it noticed me. The cat had stopped in the middle of the stream and jumped back to the bank closest to me.

The cat was 7'-8' below me, but I could not see it, so with my heart racing I continued forward a few more step and shook my long rod in the brush to try and spook it, but I did not see it again. I stayed put for an additional 3-4 minutes , but did not want to push my luck and I headed back to the campsite across the creek and had the rest of the evening to think about what I had witnessed.

It was a longtailed cat that was no less than 75-80 pounds.

Y'all don't know me from Adam's housecat, but that is what I saw on Slickrock creek.

BTW- I still got skunked.

Redfoot
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  #59  
Old 02-09-2010, 03:06 PM
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JohnH0802 JohnH0802 is offline
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Redfoot,
I think that there are mountain lions in the park and think you probably saw one, just as I believe that Carolina Boy saw one. Thanks for the information and the post.

John
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  #60  
Old 02-11-2010, 10:18 PM
ZachMatthews ZachMatthews is offline
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You saw a mountain lion, no question in my mind about it. And, picking up on something you've reiterated a few times, I bet you saw a young male. The paws; they were big for the body? That's common in any juvenile cat. And a juvenile mountain lion would still be as big as you describe.

I've seen bobcats in the wild while hunting; they get big enough to pull down a deer, but they never have a long tail, and their pointed ears are very noticeable.

Male mountain lions establish ranges that push other males along, like dominoes. A few years ago, some game biologists radiocollared a young male mountain lion in the Dakota Badlands, almost 500 miles from where it was unquestionably identified, squished dead on the tracks in a Kansas City rail yard.

Now, how did it get there? It might well have been an escaped pet. The fact that you saw it in the dead center of the park is suggestive to me; there are plenty of rednecks with mountain lions in the TN/NC area, and the time to dump one would be right around when a youngish cat started getting too big to feed. Where would you dump it? Why, in the middle of the Park, right? In other words, at Newfound Gap.

Does it matter if it was a released pet? Nope. Mountain lions are by no means domesticated or even domesticable. Releasing a pet would be the same as reintroducing a wild cat right back into its native habitat. Keep in mind, the Smokies historically supported not only mountain lions, but actually even Eastern elk (and I believe bison. I know West Tennessee had native bison less than 300 years ago). We're not talking about the Pleistocene; white men killed these animals out.

And they'll be back. It's just a matter of time before migration (like coyotes) or reintroduction via redneck release winds up establishing a breeding population. With hunting on the wane, deer populations booming, and the rewilding of vast swathes of national forest and national park in the East that were previously logged off, we're prime for the cats to come back and explode in population (for them - as everyone says, they're thin on the ground in the best of times).

Zach
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