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Thread: Cougars

  1. #1

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    Cougars

    Over the past two decades I've noticed warning signs about mountain lions at National Forest/Parks trailheads.
    A ranger I asked told me it was for liability issues---if a cougar caused injury, consider yourself forewarned.
    Personally. I've only seen one mountain lion in the wild and heard local accounts of only a couple more.
    Not too terribly concerning really, but then over the past two years there have been quite a few in urban coastal areas,
    Then this goes viral:


    Be careful out there!
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  2. #2
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: Cougars

    I once was attacked by a goose. It didn't like me taking its picture. Be careful out there.

  3. #3
    Old School Wayne
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    Dec 1999
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    Re: Cougars

    That's it..keeeeeeeep backing away like you're prey and make wuffing sounds like a startled deer....just keep doing that....attaboy....

  4. #4

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    Re: Cougars

    I was going to post my photo of a cougar, but her husband threatened to sue me if I did.
    Michael W. Graves
    Michael's Pub

    If it ain't broke....don't fix it!

  5. #5

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    Re: Cougars

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Graves View Post
    I was going to post my photo of a cougar, but her husband threatened to sue me if I did.
    You can attract them with a bottle of chardonnay... ;-)

    Steve K

  6. #6
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
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    Re: Cougars

    When that video came out, my first thought was the guy was an idiot and should get fined for distrubing wildlife.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  7. #7
    Land-Scapegrace Heroique's Avatar
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    Nov 2008
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    Re: Cougars

    If nothing else, this is an instructive video about what a stalking cougar's behavior looks like.

    Also, the guy didn't panic and run away (good), didn't take his eyes off the cat (good), spoke firmly to it (good), but failed to toss rocks at it until several minutes into the terrifying encounter. And that, I believe, had the desirable effect it would have had at the beginning.

    Up in the mountains in my region, if I'm alone on certain trails, I sometimes clip-on a pair of "googly eyes" on the back of my cap!

  8. #8
    おせわに なります! Andrew O'Neill's Avatar
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    Sep 2003
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    Coquitlam, BC, Canada, eh!
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    Re: Cougars

    Lots of cougars wandering around my neighbourhood...but I'm too old, so I don't have to worry.

  9. #9
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Cougars

    They generally "stalk" out of curiosity. In very rare cases, they'll act aggressively if you accidentally get between them and their targeted prey, or too near their cubs. They are one least dangerous large wild predators in the world toward humans. You have about a million times higher risk of getting killed by someone's domestic dog than by a mountain lion. The classic mistake the guy in the video made was not "standing his ground" and tossing rocks from there with an attitude of authority, but showing conspicuous fear. Cougars are abundant in this area, and have even gotten suburbanized enough to be frequently spotted in back yards, or sleeping on someone's back porch in certain burbs adjacent to wooded areas. That's not a good thing because they're getting habituated to people; but so far there have been no actual incidents. Now the custom is for wildlife officials to come, tranquilize them, and relocate them. Orphaned kittens have been rescued from burn areas and given to zoos.

    One should have small children close by when hiking in cougar territory. But I played in the woods all the time as a child, heard cougar screams at night; they were all around - never an incident. I saw some tracks on a ridge near here last week. They are known to take outdoor pets in some places. Here it's hard to tell if they sometimes take wild turkeys or not, or more likely bobcats are eating them. Coyotes respect the ability of turkeys to kick, and mostly go for rodents, while the lions are deer specialists, but will take smaller game like rabbits if it's an easy snack.

    When I was a teenager, I'd accompany an older friend who was a wildlife researcher, and we'd go to some promising area, put big bright handkerchief in our back pockets to attract attention, and slowly walk the back trails.
    The point of doing this in pairs is that when a cougar got curious, he'd "stalk" us slightly behind, just out of sight, and one of us could slip behind a tree to watch it closely while it went by following the person ahead. We'd take turns. These particular lions were the mountain variety and huge compared to the ones here on the coast, since the prey mule deer were themselves way bigger than the small coastal blacktails here. We were armed of course, just in case, but never felt under threat; and I would hate to actually shoot one of these beautiful intelligent animals. Once the lion knew it was him being watched, rather than the other way around, it took off. The most remarkable was a huge tom that carefully placed his foot prints inside ours on a muddy back road, apparently assuming his own prints would be concealed that way. Remarkable behavior. I've read that leopards have done the same thing.

  10. #10

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    Re: Cougars

    There's a problem with that throwing rocks advise.
    We're advised to stand upright to make ourselves look as large as possible, but then
    you have to bend over---making yourself appear smaller--- in order to pick up the rocks!
    It sounds like something a government agency would dream up.
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

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