I hope this is the best place to put this. I know its kind of cotroversial but has anyone seen any couger sign in New York. Or just what are your thoughts on eastern mountain lions? I have never heard of anyone who actually has a good undoubted sighting of one. Are they out there?
I spoke with a fellow member of my hunting club from Sabbattis(Adirondacks). He said probably no -one would believe him but during hunting season walking down a tote-road six does ran accross in front of him and right behind them was what he called panthers, one black or very dark and a tan one. He said they were big with long tails.
i know that there was a guy in Camden, NY who had got a picture of the moutain lion on his trail-cam. Another guy from Camden chased one on his 4-wheeler. want to say it was on the news. this is what i heard from one of my hunting buddies.
Last Edit: Dec 14, 2007 13:26:48 GMT -5 by centro44
Greetings. I live in Rosendale, NY, and work the sightings hotline for the Eastern Cougar Foundation.
I wish I could say we've got mountain lions in NY, but there hasn't been a confirmation since '97, in Keene Valley. The DEC and State Museum with three universities ran a big Adirondack carnivore survey in '06: no cougars. The trailcam pic from Camden was a housecat.
Where cougars live and breed, random trailcam pics and roadkills (15 so far this year in Florida) show up routinely; they get trapped in sets meant for bobcat and coyote; they get run up trees by houndsmen. There have been a few confirmations in the last five years just north and west of the border in Quebec and Ontario.
I like to keep an eye on trapper and houndsmen websites because we feel that outdoorsmen like yourselves, folks who are out there all the time, might be the first ones to find evidence if/when cougars cross over from Canada. They're also a great place to pick up tips for scent lures and tracking.
I'd be much obliged if anyone here gets a good tip or finds sign: tracks, scat, a deerkill...or a body.
There are likely a few in the Northeast, though it shouldn't be so tough finding evidence if they were here. We get pics and video all the time, but it's always housecats, bobcats, and canine tracks. The last confirmation in the Northeast came from Maine in '00. If you look at the Cougar Network's Big Picture map - www.cougarnet.org/bigpicture.html - you'll see a bunch of confirmations in New Brunswick around northern Maine. Hard to imagine cats aren't crossing back and forth in all that country north of Baxter State Park.
There's a few Canadian confirmations that haven't made it to the map. A female was hit just north of the New Hampshire border in '02. A cat was trapped in a goat pen outside Cornwall, Ontario in '02 that nipped the goat owner as it escaped the pen. There's one from the Niagara Pensinsula in '03 in Ontario just east of Buffalo. All of these suggest that there ought to be a few cougars showing up on the US side of the border, but why don't we have any evidence in the four or five year since these incidents?
Half the DNA from eastern Canada is South American (the source of cougars from the exotic pet trade), suggesting escaped/released cats are breeding with some possible remnant natives there. The kitten hit in Kentucky in '97 had the same genetic profile, but we doubt there are any remnant natives left in the US east of the Mississippi River north of Florida (a few dispersers have crossed the Mississippi).
The problem with the notion that they're hanging out unscathed and unseen in some remote areas is that they do their darndest to find eachother. They'll roam far looking for mates, especially young males. A juvenile radio-collared in the Black Hills traveled 660 miles before getting hit in Oklahoma...by a train. That's why you might get a string or cluster of sightings, then nothing. A cat gets dumped, starts moving, and ends up hit, shot, or starved. Think of how many roads and interstates would have to be crossed in the Northeast covering 660 miles. SUNY ESF tried releasing western Canadian lynx into the Adirondacks. Some made it NJ and PA, and half of them ended up as roadkill.
With the thinnest of population densities in the Northeast, even a release isn't likely to hole up and stay put. If it's able to survive on its own, it'll try to find others. Yes, they're elusive, but they still leave plenty of sign. A moving cougar leaves 10,000 prints a day, and kills a deer a week. Seems trappers, houndsmen, hunters, or wildlife buffs, not to mention state agency rangers or biologists, would find some sign (like the '97 Keene Valley deerkill reported by the DEC).
Other than a couple of darkish pelts from South America, there's no evidence of black or melanistic cougars, though there are a ton of reports of large black cats. There are black jaguars and black leopards that zoos and breeders may be inbreeding to get the desired result (like white tigers and lions), and there are black bobcats.
There's an episode running now in the Monsterquest series on the subject of black cats, maybe on Discovery Channel. I haven't seen it, but I've heard they've done a pretty good job.
hey great thread , tonka , you were very informative and for once someone w/ some facts. I've been saying and arguing w/ some for years " where are they then , no roadkills and never any treed by the hounds" . good job and an excellent read.
What the British couldn't do at gun point is now done in courts of law by men in black robes
Thank you, flatiron. I think you can add to no roadkill and none treed by hounds, none taken in a trap or caught by a remote camera, at least not in the Northeast.
The first trailcam pic of a cougar east of the Mississippi River turned up in August in Minnesota, 20 miles east of the Mississippi: outdoorlife.blogs.com/newshound/2007/10/trailcam-nabs-m.html Sanctioned remote camera studies in the Adirondacks, NJ, PA, MD, VA, WV, and KY have all failed so far to produce a cougar photograph.
Mountain lions continue to get caught in bobcat snares in western North Dakota.
Three cougars have been accidentally caught and killed in neck snares since mid-December, said Greg Link, assistant wildlife division chief for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department.
Four mountain lions were accidentally trapped last season. Three died, and one caught in a foothold trap was tranquilized and fitted with a radio collar, Link said.
"There is a lot of (trapping) activity for bobcats, and we know that can translate into mountain lions being caught," he said. "Those trappers have been cooperative in reporting when they do inadvertently trap a mountain lion, and they let us know about it."
Rick Tischaefer with the North Dakota Fur Hunters and Trappers Association said trappers are trying to figure out a way to reduce the accidental catches.
"As professionals, we have a responsibility to do something about it, not stick our heads in the sand and say, 'That's not right,'" he said.
Bismarck Tribune Traps snare, kill three mountain lions Jan 09, 2008 - 04:05:19 CST By RICHARD HINTON Bismarck Tribune Three mountain lions in the Badlands have been snared accidentally since mid-December in devices set out to trap bobcats.
Two of the cougars were trapped at one time northwest of Grassy Butte around Dec. 12, and the third was caught Dec. 22 west of Fairfield, which is between Medora and Grassy Butte, Greg Link, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department assistant wildlife division chief, said Tuesday.
"There is a lot of (trapping) activity for bobcats, and we know that can translate into mountain lions being caught. Those trappers have been cooperative in reporting when they do inadvertently trap a mountain lion, and they let us know about it," he said.
The pair of cats is believed to be a mother and offspring that were caught in snares about 100 yards apart.
The female weighed 102 pounds and was between 4 and 5 years old. The younger cat was between 1 and 2 years old and weighed 78 pounds, Link said.
"They were both found the same day," he added.
The latest caught cat was a male about 2½ years old that weighed about 150 pounds.
"They were all caught in neck snares, so the animals pretty much died immediately," Link said.
Trappers, too, are concerned about finding the wrong species of cat in their traps, said Rick Tischaefer, of the North Dakota Fur Hunters and Trappers Association.
"We're looking at it. We will put our thinking caps on to figure out what to do to reduce these incidental catches," he said.
Prices for bobcat pelts are "phenomenal, so there is a financial incentive (to trap)," he added. "As professionals, we have a responsibility to do something about it, not stick our heads in the sand and say, 'That's not right.'"
Four mountain lions were accidentally trapped last season. Three died, and one, caught in a foot-hold trap, was tranquilized and fitted with a radio collar, Link said.
That cat, a male between 2½ and 3½, has been traveling in a 207-square-mile area in the Badlands since November of 2006, said Dorothy Fecske, NDGFD furbearer biologist.
Since the mountain lion season closed in Zone 1 on Nov. 10, NDGFD has verified 14 lion sightings, including the snared cats, in the Badlands country that's considered the lions' primary range in North Dakota. Called Zone 1, that area sits west of state Highway 8 and south of state Highway 1804.
For 2007, NDGFD confirmed 55 mountain lion sightings, 51 in Zone 1, Fecske added.
NDGFD representatives have met with trapping organizations such as the North Dakota Fur Takers Association and the North Dakota Fur Hunters and Trappers Association on regulations and issues, Link said.
"We discussed ways to reduce the likelihood of this happening," Link said. "But it's obvious it can still happen."
(Reach outdoor writer Richard Hinton at 250-8256 or richard.hinton@....)
Me and my cousin travis are trapping on my families farm and as Eric Centro said we got three pictures of a mountain lion eating the porqupines that we had caught.The mountain lion was big. my cousin weighs probably 190 and i weigh 170 and the ice we were walking on the ice the mountain lion was breaking through it when we werent.My uncle said if he sees it in the lot again hes going to shoot it with the 22-250 because hes got kids and he cant take a risk of something happenning.
Cougar attacks on people create a lot of media attention, but they're exceptionally rare. The chances are greater being struck by lightning, but that may be small comfort with one around your property.
Where's the family farm? Are the pics digital? You're welcome to send them to me: firstname.lastname@example.org We haven't had a confirmed photograph of a cougar in the state in 40 years. Have you found/photographed any other sign, tracks or scat around the porcupines?
Especially with documentation, I'd urge you to contact the DEC. You've got evidence of one of the rarest animals in the US east of the Mississippi River.
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