Post by cherokeetracker on Jan 3, 2017 22:56:39 GMT -5
It was about 30-40 miles south of Shreveport, working on a compressor station and some pipelines. The Superintendent said he saw a black panther. We laughed him nearly off the jobsite. It was about 5 days later when I saw the thing cross the road in front of me. That would not bother most people and at first did not bother me. I was elated that I was actually seeing this big cat. Then just as it got to the tree line it stopped and turned around and just sat there staring at me. Maybe it was the loud pipes on my Harley, or maybe he was sizing me up. Whatever the reason I didn't like it. Kind of a eerie feeling having something that big and evil looking, an watching you. I just rolled on the throttle. It was close enough that I could see it's green-yellow eyes. Dirt roads and Road Kings in the river bottom. Coyotes often paid us a visit, and we would point lazers at them, and cuss the fact that we could no longer carry even in the rig trucks. 2012 early fall,,,,, Charles
Cougars, Lions, Puma's, Panthers, etc. pretty much all the same thing. never heard of a black one but we have lots of the big tan one's here & in over 60 years of being out doors I've only seen a handful & that includes the one I have mounted life size on my wall & the one my son took with his bow. They don't want to be seen & nothing can hide like the big cats, they reign supreme at hiding in plain sight.
Probably all of us here in the west would die of a heart attack if we had any idea how many times a lion had laid in the rocks or brush & watched us walk past. They could eat human flesh everyday if they chose to do so & that's a fact. No other animal can move & hunt like the big cat's. A full grown lion will average close to 2 deer kills per week & I just happen to live about 2 miles from some of the best mule deer winter range in Idaho & when the deer move into this area the big cats follow them in. When the cats go in the hound hunters also go in, they take several cats every winter, not exactly sure what the quota is for this unit but it's quite high.
I know of two that were taken in the last few days & one guy called in a young Tom & killed it when he was calling Coyotes just a week ago. Many people live & hunt in the west all their life & never see one, I can just about guarantee everyone of them has been seen by a big cat, they are like a shadow, you never see them, you never hear them & neither does the deer or elk....or the occasional human. There were 2 killed in SE Idaho last year & one child was carried away but recovered. This was just one of several attacks last year, this guy survived.
The son of Leonard Baity, the well known custom gunsmith in North Wilkesboro N.C., caught one on his trail camera just outside the Thurmond-Chatham Gamelands a couple years ago, and showed me the enlarged photo. It was a mature animal. These are rare sightings, though.
My wife's oldest friend spent some years living in Montana, actually right near Mike Venturino. She said they had to wear a gun to go outta the house due to a large male lion deciding to use the side of their garage for a marking post and dousing it quite fouly with urine weekly or so.
My first (humorous side) thought was of the older women who prefer younger men.
But,,, on to the serious stuff. In many states,,,the game officials swear the cougar is not in their state. Yet,,, evidence keeps popping up to prove them wrong. I work in Animal Damage Control,,, and I was talking to a state biologist several years ago who said that the "official" position for NC was that we didn't have any. Yet he had personally seen one cross the road late one night. To prove they exist,,, they need the following; Picture, Spoor, track cast, & hair sample. And often when one is found to be in a state that denies their existence,,, they do a DNA test & swear they have been illegally imported. I often reply that how is it a rarely seen, & even rarer live caught WILD cougar has been illegally released? It usually causes stuttering & confusing comments. I have seen exactly one in the wild,,, and that was in 1996,,, in Colorado, the day after I tagged my first bull elk. I went driving back into the area where I'd killed my bull,,, to see if I might kill a coyote or whatever. Well, about 1/2 mile from my gut pile,,, I had a cougar run hard across the road ahead of me. Elusive, & shy,,, but one of the neatest critters in the wild.
Locally,,, we have bobcats,,,and,, they too are not often seen. I see them occasionally,, as I spend time in the woods. Saw a very young one a few weeks ago. Then I caught pics of it as well, including in my old (open & easily accessed) barn. I have game cameras all around my place. I catch the bobcats often,, but never a cougar,,,, yet,,,,!
Last Edit: Jan 4, 2017 9:55:44 GMT -5 by contender
Post by cherokeetracker on Jan 4, 2017 12:00:57 GMT -5
First off like I said earlier none of us believed that man when he said he saw a black panther. I didn't until I actually saw the cat myself. To me it just didn't add up. I am more used to seeing tan colored cats. In photos mostly,,,, Another fact was When another compressor station (36 miles south of Fort Stockton) location was decided upon,,, Surveyors were sent to begin surveying and layout for the jobsite. A few days into the work, and man was killed by a PUMA, Mountain lion, or whatever TPWD wants to call them. Professionals were called in, and 16 cats were taken. All mountain lions, not bobcats. All were killed by means of guns. The details of the kills was not disclosed. I do not know if they were baited, called, or what. Also I have now forgotten how many square miles they might have covered. But we talked about the fact that it was not that many. I didn't think they shared territory. This was 2009 The Oil company paid for everything. Or maybe I should say the Gas company because it was a Natural Gas compressor station. During my work there nearly everyday I saw wild animals. Such as deer and hogs, and of course the smaller varmints and snakes. Stairs had to be built with grating type of metal or expanded metal in some cases Below each step ( the front of the risers ) to prevent snakebites,,, as snakes like to hide in the shade in the summer. The snake will lay in the shade of the stairs and when you go to walk up them or down it will strike between the stairs. But just like Dick said, I never saw a mountain lion ! He is right! You just don't see them and they are watching you. When you go into "Their territory" their turf, you are the hunted not them. There is hunting allowed of them in south Texas. Talking with pros that do it a lot with and without dogs,,, will tell you that without dogs you will most likely never see one. You are not knowingly allowed to hunt them alone, and you should never anyway unless you have some kind of death wish. Charles
When I lived in NY, many, many people had seen cougars but the NY DEC always said they were bobcats or lynx, whatever.
Now in East TX we have bobcats here, I just saw a huge one 50yds off my back porch the other night, not usually that big here. I thought is was a coyote, snapped my 22 to may shoulder(mistake, pain from surgery) and missed by "hairs", still mad at myself.
A lot of people around here say and have seen cougars, I haven't yet but many say they see black panthers to which I nod and laugh inside. They are actually seeing darker phased bobcats one the locals whose a friend has seen many, but there is also a rare cat in TX not many know about, "The Jaguarondi", it size is between house cat and a bobcat, head of a cougar like but smaller in relation to the body, they are dark phased, look them up.
Growing up in Florida we had a resident Florida panther who's territory included our farm. In 18 years of serious woods bumming there I saw it twice, both times at the edge of a woodline watching game trails or maybe just watching me. My older brother had a black phase panther grab one of his goats and creased it with a shot. He reported the depridation to fish and wildlife who promptly told him there are no panthers that far north in Florida. Story changed when he provided hair and blood from the shot and they promptly wrote him a ticket for shooting at a panther.....