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Old 05-05-2011, 06:48 PM   #1
Crokit
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Mountain lion sighting

First, let me state that I have all my faculties, excellent eye sight, and am not given to exaggerations.

Today, while traveling south on Interstate 81, between Syracuse and Binghamton, I saw a Mountain Lion / Cougar/Panther, pick your noun. !! 100% positive, absolutely no doubt. There is ZERO chance that it was anything else. The only other thing it could have possibly been { other than a live mountain lion/cougar/panther } is a full body mount of a mountain lion/cougar/panther and someone pulling a prank. It was less than 100yds off the West side of the road, sitting on top of a section of rock/cliff that the highway had been cut through. It was sitting on it's haunches, leaning forward, ears forward, looking down onto/across the highway. It was about 30-40 feet above the highway. Just before the " Castle creek 1 mile " highway sign.
When I screamed " holy F%^K, a mountain lion, scaring the S#$T out my buddy who was driving almost lost control at 75 mph.

An absolutely beautiful animal, well muscled, excellent specimen. Up until now, when ever I've seen reports of sightings, I've taken them with a grain of salt. No more!

Anyone know of any other recent reported sightings in that area?

Wldnerness: Can you put me in touch with any of the state Dec/Rangers/etc from that area?
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Last edited by Crokit; 05-06-2011 at 06:45 AM..
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Old 05-05-2011, 07:57 PM   #2
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Well, I'll keep a look out, I can litterally see that strech of highway from my backyard!
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Old 05-05-2011, 09:30 PM   #3
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Color?
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Old 05-05-2011, 09:48 PM   #4
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Color?
A brown I can only describe as tawny, little darker towards the back end. Lighter mask area in the face. Hard to describe it's size because of the way it was postured, but I first thought juvenile.
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Old 05-05-2011, 09:51 PM   #5
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Well, I'll keep a look out, I can litterally see that strech of highway from my backyard!
I hope to go back there in the a.m. to see if I can find the exact spot, maybe find some hairs, scat, or, as wet as it has been, tracks.
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Old 05-06-2011, 06:01 AM   #6
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Only a few miles from me.I travel through that area all of the time.I'll keep a lookout. I know the DEC says they are not here.Is there any reason that any of you can think of as to why they would not be here, habitat,prey etc?
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Old 05-06-2011, 06:45 AM   #7
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Thing is, it was in plain sight, though a bit above your normal driving sight plain. Someone else HAD to have seen this. It was approximately 3 pm.

Amazing how much time I spend in the outdoors with nary a sighting, and then BAM!!. The area I saw it in, when viewed on topo's/sat IS quite desolate and heavily wooded land with lots of character
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Old 05-06-2011, 06:48 AM   #8
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Don't forget your camera!
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Old 05-06-2011, 07:01 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Crokit View Post
Wldnerness: Can you put me in touch with any of the state Dec/Rangers/etc from that area?
Try Scott Van Arsdale, a DEC biologist in that region. A good guy who wrote a piece on cougars several years ago for the DEC Magazine and keeps up with the cougar research.
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Old 05-06-2011, 08:16 AM   #10
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Learn how to distinguish cougar tracks from dog tracks and bear tracks (most people can't distinguish dog tracks from bear tracks). Here is an excellent website that shows you what to look for - http://www.bear-tracker.com/caninevsfeline.html If you find likely tracks, photograph several, not just the "best" one, and include an object for scale, such as a quarter, in each one. If possible, protect some of the tracks and get a knowledgeable person to confirm the location--preferably, someone from the DEC. We are plagued with hoaxes.
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Old 05-06-2011, 08:36 AM   #11
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Don't forget your camera!
Gosh dang Crokit, where was your camera!? Get a trail camera or borrow one, grab some roadkill on your way over there, and get us some pictures!

I wonder how many trail cameras are out there in the woods of NYS - thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands? If they are out there, they are going to have to show up on one of them sometime.
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Old 05-06-2011, 09:02 AM   #12
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I see Bobcats too. Bring the camera for the wolverines though.
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Old 05-06-2011, 09:41 AM   #13
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I see Bobcats too. Bring the camera for the wolverines though.
Camera Hell. Bring a pair of track shoes!!!
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Old 05-06-2011, 11:07 AM   #14
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Or a slow not so fun relative.
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Old 05-06-2011, 06:17 PM   #15
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We are plagued with hoaxes.
I don't think you are plagued with hoaxes. There are a few small groups of people who want to prove that cougars are here OR not here. Those people who claim they are here with fraudulent pictures are challenged and exposed as frauds pretty quickly. A large majority of the people just don't know what a cougar looks like or what evidence is needed. I have found that 99% of the people reporting cougar sightings truly believe that they saw a cougar, but don't know how to identify them correctly. Any properly educated scientist always investigates reports with an open mind, and relies on the evidence to make a determination.

Most animal tracks start to deteriorate quickly. Usually, within 24 hrs the tracks start to be poor in quality. So, you have to get a picture and/or a plaster mold of the tracks within hours.

Having seen many cougars out west, I usually looks for fur shearing, kills, and scat. Cougars will shear/rip off the fur to get to meat. You will find a large pile of fur (4-7' wide). In the NE, cougars would go after deer or coyotes as their preferred prey. Deer kills can have puncture holes in the skull, or broken necks. They will also break bones (such as legs) in half. You can also find the body of the prey covered up with leaves and branches.

In regards to trail cams. First it is illegal to put them on State land without a permit. Second, we have found that bobcats can hear the camera, and will sometimes walk around the cams. We don't know if cougars will do the same thing, but it is possible.

Finding a cougar in the NE would not be nearly as important as finding a sustainable reproducing pair. One problem the DEC complains about is people getting a newborn cougar out west (or other locations) and trying to raise it as a pet. When the cougar gets too big, the people then take it upstate and release it. This can cause real sightings, but the cougars are not wild. And, some cannot survive in the wild.
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Old 05-06-2011, 08:14 PM   #16
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I wonder how many trail cameras are out there in the woods of NYS - thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands? If they are out there, they are going to have to show up on one of them sometime.
Yeah,no doubt someone would get a photo of one if they are out there. People out west are getting photos of them on trail cams.
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Old 05-06-2011, 08:20 PM   #17
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Now Crokit, you aren't supposed to be drinking and driving! :-)
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Old 05-06-2011, 08:37 PM   #18
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Now Crokit, you aren't supposed to be drinking and driving! :-)
LOL

I hear ya, I expected to get the razzes, and doubt I will ever be able to prove what I saw. That being said, just seeing one, alive, and in the wild is one of the biggest thrills of my lifetime, regarding outdoors. I will forever have that image seared into my id. It was a flat out beautiful animal.
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Old 05-06-2011, 09:22 PM   #19
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Even if it is captured or killed the DEC will say that it is an escaped pet.
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Old 05-07-2011, 07:27 AM   #20
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Even if it is captured or killed the DEC will say that it is an escaped pet.
Which is most likely what it is,or released like mikie said in his post.

Does anyone know someone who has one of these as a pet,don't they usually have them declawed and remove the fang teeth?
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