Sitting over bait. A buddy of mine and I set out a bunch of leftover meat scraps, a jackrabbit, and a handful of catnip. This was about 3PM. Toward sundown, with a nearly-full moon rising, we went to our lookout spot above the bait.
Big putty-tat showed up. Sorta Siamese-cat markings.
My buddy had an AR with some sort of 3X scope on the carry-handle. He missed, three shots. (Later, back in Austin, in telling the story he got so excited he missed three more shots.) I had screwed up, trying out a new-to-me rifle with a stiffer trigger than "Ol Pet". I pulled low, missing the chest by maybe an inch. Aggravating.
I guarantee you that a cougar is highly competent at instantly being elsewhere.
So look for tracks in an area. In general, predators go to work on chow a bit earlier and hunt a bit later when there's a lot of moon. Prey animals can see better, then, and are a bit harder to catch.
And, yeah, I have found that bacon grease on a piece of rag is an attractant. I've done this at my south fence, and it's common to see cat tracks the next morning.
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