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Thread: Cougars

  1. #81
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: Cougars

    Quote Originally Posted by Heroique View Post
    There's truth in what you say, but the Sierra Club’s finding is both men would likely have been killed by continuing with the rules. And remember, Sederbaum was saved by the fleeing.
    What's the expression? Always go hiking with someone who runs slower than you.

  2. #82

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    Re: Cougars

    Quote Originally Posted by reddesert View Post
    I saw a mountain lion once while mountain biking (in the state park next to UCSC, where deer are common and lions are present). It avoided me. Actually I barely saw the lion at first, I just noticed that something moved off the double-track ahead of me. After I passed some distance, I happened to stop and turn around and saw the lion re-emerge from the bushes and cross the track.

    I've never seen a road lion while road biking, but given the decreasing quality of people's driving I consider that significantly riskier.

    Lion attacks are extremely rare and may involve a sick or weakened animal that has not been able to hunt its natural prey, or a juvenile.
    My B-I-L saw a mountain lion cross the road while his was on a bike ride in the foothills. i think it was two years ago.
    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.

  3. #83

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    Re: Cougars

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    Meet Silas. I had him for a few weeks. Just like a BIG kitty cat!

  4. #84
    Land-Scapegrace Heroique's Avatar
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    Re: Cougars

    Quote Originally Posted by jdurr View Post
    Meet Silas. I had him for a few weeks. Just like a BIG kitty cat!
    It might be wise to say why you kept Silas from the wilderness.

    It looks like he’s dreaming to be there.

  5. #85
    Old School Wayne
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    Re: Cougars

    Quote Originally Posted by Heroique View Post
    There's truth in what you say, but the Sierra Club’s finding is both men would likely have been killed by continuing with the rules. And remember, Sederbaum was saved by the fleeing.

    Don't much care what the Sierra Club says...I haven't worked with mt lions but have worked with other large mammals and in those same mountains for many years and can only say I disagree. Biking/running in large predator habitat is asking for trouble (but we assume we're entitled, as humans, to do as we please), and running/fleeing from a cat is a mistake. Its possible someone might have been killed anyway but much less likely if both stood their ground and fought to the death, especially since death happened anyway and it may have prevented it.

  6. #86
    Land-Scapegrace Heroique's Avatar
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    Re: Cougars

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne View Post
    I haven't worked with mt lions but have worked with other large mammals and in those same mountains for many years and can only say I disagree.
    I think the opinion has some degree of merit, but I think I’ll agree with the Sierra Club, the Wash. state Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, and Earthwatch scientists: these two men acted correctly from start to finish, dealing with an unusual situation where the rules had broken down.

    BTW, what large mammals were you working with, and in which part of the N. Cascades? Very interesting.

  7. #87
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Cougars

    In this case, with two people involved, there was an element of distraction. But there is simply no way to out-sprint either a cougar or a bear. If they want to catch you, you'd be the slowest species around.

    This year is a bit unusual due to more people being out and during the week on the trails than usual (versus weekends), due to pandemic issues. In more normal years critters are bolder to be out and about up in the hills around here mid-week because relatively few people are around; so that is the best time for potential cougar sightings. But so far, I haven't personally spotted any in this area. Others have. And these coastal cougars are rather small, just like the blacktail deer they hunt, so that's another factor making them inconspicuous. Their relative abundance is made apparent by IR-triggered trail wildlife cameras, which routinely capture shots of them at night. Bobcats, however, don't seem to mind being spotted by humans. They haven't been trapped or hunted in this state for a long time, and frankly, are an important factor in ranching and farmland rodent control, just like coyotes. Bobcats also thin out the population explosion of wild turkeys somewhat, and perhaps cougars take a few too.

  8. #88
    Land-Scapegrace Heroique's Avatar
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    Re: Cougars

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    In this case, with two people involved, there was an element of distraction. But there is simply no way to out-sprint either a cougar or a bear. If they want to catch you, you'd be the slowest species around.
    I’d say the two bicyclists would agree with you, even if “cougars are faster” probably had nothing to do with their final-option behavior. While their behavior was correct according to the wildlife specialists above, I’m sure they’d add that other choices would be correct too. There’s just no perfect answer here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne View Post
    I haven't worked with mt lions but have worked with other large mammals and in those same mountains for many years and can only say I disagree.
    It just occurred to me that “working with large mammals” in the N. Cascades most likely means you’re not an ecologist or natural scientist, but a big-game hunter with a license, right? If so, I hope you can continue to share your experiences as an informative point of contrast. For it’s also helpful to know how large animals behave toward humans when they’re dying, severely wounded, being tracked, or made to feel deep distress.

  9. #89
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Cougars

    Ironically, although the distraction due to a second person might have been what saved the other, it's also entirely possible the confusion involved is what set off a violent frustration reaction in the cat in the first place. Hard to know exactly what the cougar was thinking. It probably wasn't contemplating either of them as a potential meal at all. More likely, it was inexperienced, and was suddenly confronted with an unfamiliar situation that triggered some kind of strong emotion. Even ordinary house cats can throw a scratch or bite when frustrated over an unwelcome sudden choice. The difference is the size of the teeth and claws. Maybe the same cougar would have ignored a single trail biker. Maybe it was unfamiliar with bikes in general, and enticed by the whirring shiny wheels.

  10. #90
    Old School Wayne
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    Re: Cougars

    Quote Originally Posted by Heroique View Post
    I think the opinion has some degree of merit, but I think I’ll agree with the Sierra Club, the Wash. state Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, and Earthwatch scientists: these two men acted correctly from start to finish, dealing with an unusual situation where the rules had broken down.

    BTW, what large mammals were you working with, and in which part of the N. Cascades? Very interesting.
    I'm not sure when the Sierra Club became an expert on these things. I would certainly never seek them out for their opinion on how to behave around cougars, but I suppose to the unwashed masses they would be considered experts.

    I guess it would depend on who from WDFW said what. I missed or glossed over their comments. Care to repost? They have some good knowledgeable people and some other good people who overextend their expertise. If it came from their PR department they were probably just trying to make the survivor and the victim's family not feel too bad. Also, a publicly funded agency in a rabidly me-me-me country is never going to say "you shouldn't have been doing what you were doing where you were doing it."

    Lets put it this way, two guys got attacked and one is dead. You can go on believing they did all the right things if you want, but how did that end for them? I take a different view that I think would have ended in a different outcome, if not prevented the encounter entirely. I don't claim to be an expert that anyone else should follow, I just know what I would have done and wouldn't have done and its based on my own extensive reading and decades in the field. I'm only my own "expert" and recommend that everybody become their own best expert.

    The only large mammal I worked with in the North Cascades were elk, but I did plenty of other work with other species there. In other areas I've worked hands-on with wolves, deer and bear. But that's irrelevant, one need not do any of that in order to learn how to behave in the wilds. I learned more from careful reading than from actual encounters. I've encountered many bear and a few wolves and all ended rather boringly with them running away.

    Quote Originally Posted by Heroique View Post
    It just occurred to me that “working with large mammals” in the N. Cascades most likely means you’re not an ecologist or natural scientist, but a big-game hunter with a license, right? If so, I hope you can continue to share your experiences as an informative point of contrast. For it’s also helpful to know how large animals behave toward humans when they’re dying, severely wounded, being tracked, or made to feel deep distress.
    I don't hunt, but I'll eat it if you kill it.

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