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Old January 5, 2011, 10:10 AM   #1
Hunter Customs
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Mountain Lion Killed

Here in Missouri there's been more sightings of mountain lions lately, however the MDC for years claimed mountain lions don't exist in Missouri.
They also claim they have never turned any loose, I'm not sure I believe that.

Last year a bow hunter around Chillicothe Missouri got an excellent picture of one on his trail camera, but the MDC claimed the big cat was just passing through, I have to wonder how they would know that.

Then a few weeks back a gentleman in Platt County took an excellent picture of one sitting in a tree on his property.
The MDC sent their MLRT (Mountain Lion Response Team) to investigate and found claw marks on the tree along with hair samples.
The MLRT said they were going to check the DNA in the hair samples to see where the big cat was from.
I also wonder how that's done unless you have DNA on file to compare it to and you knew where the cat came from who's DNA you have on file.

Well it looks like the MLRT is going to get their chance to check some more DNA as it seems a gentleman killed one around Hardin Missouri.
It appears the big cat chose to dine on a calf or two that belonged to the gentleman that shot him.

There's been one spotted by several different people in our area, as a matter of fact a couple of people had to stop their vehicles while the big cat crossed the road in front of them.

So it looks like now the MDC is going to have to admitt that the big cats do exist in Missouri.


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Old January 5, 2011, 12:47 PM   #2
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It seems this happens with a lot of state wildlife agencies. It's all politics. Here in Idaho the state maintains there are no grizzlies in the lower Selkirks (Coeur D'Alene National Forest) even though they've been seen in the area for a quarter century by locals.

In 2009 the owner of an elk farm killed one just east of the city of Coeur D'Alene so they were finally forced to admit they are here. Even now they won't talk about them or acknowledge they exist in their official state population studies.
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Old January 5, 2011, 01:32 PM   #3
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There are a few in Minnesota now which weren't there 10 years ago when I lived there. My grandpa has seen one along with a few of the locals (bobcats, not Mountain Lions).

It does seem like they're starting to migrate...
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Old January 5, 2011, 01:49 PM   #4
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I had a close brush with one, near the Lake of the Ozarks, in 1972. Second click of the hammer on a .357 Blackhawk made him smile pretty, but sent him over the ridge. MDC insisted that no such thing was possible, but that kitty had been seen off & on for the preceding ten years.

Shortly thereafter, I decided not to waste my breath.
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Old January 5, 2011, 08:10 PM   #5
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Sometime around 1975, we found one of our horses in the pasture with a terrible gash on his neck. The cut was so deep you could see his carotid jumping with each heart beat. The vet said aside from a scalpel cut, he had never seen a cut so clean. Well after sewing up the wound we examined the horse more closely and also discovered several claw like puncture wounds in his mane area.

We called Mo Dept of Covservation and they stated there were NO mountain lions or large cats in Missouri. Within 2 weeks, there were several other horses found cut up in the same or similar manner, and a couple head of cattle killed within a 2 mile area of our place. After further investigation Conservation released a statment saying that "Mexican Panthers" were apparently migrating North due to drought and lack of food in their native area. We live in Eastern Missouri (about 60 miles West of St. Louis).

Fast forward within the last 15 years there were multiple lion sitings around the Kingdom City/Fulton area. Conservation again poo poohed the sitings until one of the cats was hit by a vehicle and killed on Hwy 54. At that point MDC released a statement saying this cat and other sightings were probably young males migrating north in search of mates and "their own territory"

For whatever reason, MDC is just very reluctant to admit that we have a mountain lion/cougar population in Missouri and with sightings becoming more prevalent, it must be growing.
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Old January 5, 2011, 09:49 PM   #6
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Around Pattonsburg Missouri there was a couple of full grown horses attacked and a yearling was killed, it was not coyotes that left the claw marks on the horses.
I also seriously doubt it was coyotes that dragged the yearling into the revine to eat on it.

A couple of years back a good friend of mine lost two calves, the remains of one was never found.
The other one was taken a good distance from the kill site and there was only one set of big tracks.
It was not a coyote kill because when coyotes go in to take a calf from a cow there's three or more that do the job.

Last year I was on some ground owned by the MDC and I came upon a metal box bolted to a tree about three feet off the ground.
I went over to have a better look at the box and I could see that it was designed to hold a trail camera. The camera was removed from the box but the box still had a padlock on it just like the padlocks used by the MDC.
Now I have to wonder what the MDC would be taking pictures of that's only three feet tall?

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Old January 6, 2011, 01:43 AM   #7
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book

There is an excellent book, whose title is "South east Mtn lion, fact or fiction" or some title similar (myth or reality, southeast cougar, etc) I have a copy, but it is loaned out and may have escaped.

It explores the big cat issue in the south. From what I recall from my first read, many of the cats killed and analyzed did not have pure cougar DNA but were crossed w/ some cat from south America and were believed to be a product of the big cat pet trade.

I used to scoff at reports of "panthers" here in N. Alabama, but have heard so many reports, from too many sources to laugh any longer. However, every report that I have followed up on, or the local state wildlife biologist has worked, has been unfounded or proved wrong. But to many decent, sober rational folks are seeing something.

Between work and my own hunting and pursuits, I spend a considerable amount of time outdoors in woodsy places, and have yet to see any sign for sure of a big SE cat. But I'm still looking.........................
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Old January 6, 2011, 02:58 AM   #8
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You say "well if they don't exist you won't mind if I shoot it then will you?"
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Old January 6, 2011, 06:49 AM   #9
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mountain lion

i have a neighbor about 3/4 mi. from me that ran one out of his fenced yard about 3 years ago. it was after his small dog. he has never been one to stretch the truth. when the tail is almost as long as the body it kind leaves out a bobcat. just ask the wild life people though aint no lions in tenn.
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Old January 6, 2011, 07:10 AM   #10
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Killed a cougar in central OK in 2007. Was tracking a wounded hog down a gully when i suddenly got an uneasy feeling. Looked around and there was a big cougar sitting on the high bank. The cat was switching his tail and licking his face like he was anticipating dinner. Shot that cat in the chest with my .50 muzzleloader; end of story.

For years the OK wildlife Dep't warned folks not to kill their cougars under threat of prosecution. Livestock and pets were being killed by cougars and humans were threatened. Finally the legislature got tired of it and passed a law that allows cougars threatening livestock or humans to be killed.
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Old January 6, 2011, 02:31 PM   #11
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I don't see what difference it makes as to the origin of a cougar in an area, whether as released "pets" or as in-migration. If the habitat is suitable, the population will likely grow.

My wife has had a couple of brief glimpses, here in south Georgia outside of Thomasville. Folks tried the, "Now, now little lady, how would you know what a cougar looks like?" until she answered that they look just like the skin draped over our living-room couch.
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Old January 6, 2011, 02:48 PM   #12
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They're fine until they start eating your goats, sheep, llamas, or donkeys.

I have a friend who tried to coexist and wouldn't shoot a family of them even though they were killing his pet donkeys. After the third one he asked me to come help him take them out, we got the mother, father, and one juvenile, the other decided to find another territory.

In this region of the Sierras there are way too many Lions to sustain their numbers, they've been overly protected. I was reading that the average lion gets around 70 deer a year, multiply that by a few hundred and it's easy to see why they start finding sheep and domestic animals easier to get. Lions need quite a large range and when their numbers increase they search for easier ranges that aren't infringing on another's territory. There are a lot overlapping into residential areas bordering forests, pets are easy picking.
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Old January 6, 2011, 03:00 PM   #13
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Why is there a MLRT (Mountain Lion Response Team) if there are no Mountain Lions?
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Old January 6, 2011, 03:58 PM   #14
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The Missori Department of Conservation has been very open about the extistence of Cougars in the state for the last few years, complete with articles in the Missouri Conservationist. The current question is the size of the population. Cougars are pretty well studied as a species, to include DNA from various locations, so yes DNA can in fact point to a specific specimin being from a previously known population or even from a previously tested captive population.
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Old January 6, 2011, 07:45 PM   #15
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jhenry,
I'll have to respectfully disagree with how open the MDC has been about mountain lions being in the state of Missouri.
I can't speak for the way things are around the Ozarks but I can of how things are in Northwest Missouri.
Until lately (the last couple of years) the standard answer recieved from the MDC was there's no mountain lions in the state, however if you do see one they are protected.
Then a couple of the big cats was found killed along a couple of different highways, the statement given then from the MDC was they were most likely someones pets that escaped. Now they are saying they were young males just passing through looking for new territory.
As I said in my original post, they are being sighted more often so the MDC has to come clean and admitt they are in the state.
They are still protected unless they are threatening livestock, domestic animals or humans.

Mustangpalmer91,
From what I gather the MLRT was started in 1996 and this was back when the MDC still claimed no mountain lions in the state, so I would say your question is a very good one.
However now the MDC is having to come clean about the big cats being here so they decided to put out information about there being a MLRT.
However the MLRT is still claiming no documented cases of mountian lion attacks on livestock, people or pets.
Well it looks like that may be changing as attacking livestock was the reason given for shooting the one at Hardin Missouri.

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Old January 6, 2011, 07:53 PM   #16
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These animals are so so dangerous. They belong in the mountains not around people. Ever see any the one case where one mountain lion attacked three bicyclists in a single day in CA?

They need not be messed with and if you are hunting them you need be very careful because in an instant the roles can be switched.
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Old January 6, 2011, 08:23 PM   #17
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what he said

Bwah ha ha! that's excactly what I was thinking:

Mustangpalmer91 writes: Why is there a MLRT (Mountain Lion Response Team) if there are no Mountain Lions?

And if there are no mountain lions, there should be no rules that regulate culling them; everyone, open fire!
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Old January 6, 2011, 08:53 PM   #18
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Hunter, you haven't stated anything I did not essentially state or agree with in my post. What part are you disagreeing with anyway? I clearly stated they have been open about it within the last few years. Prior to that, not so much. Of course you are dealing with department biologists (scientists) who are not going to make any pronouncements about the population of anything at all without the evidence to back it up. It is simply not responsible or good science to do that. Numerous sightings do not constitute evidence of a creatures existence, or we would have a Chupecabra Response Team in place. The hard evidence in hand at this point constitutes evidence of Cougars in small numbers, with no evidence of a sustaining breeding population. None. Could there be? Sure, and truthfully I hope there is. DNA will tell the tale, along with den sites, kill sites, etc. which are able to be found pretty easily by biologists where breeding populations do exist.

A good example of the need to study can be found in the efforts to take a good look at black bears in Missouri. There have been increasing reports, road kills, poached bears and so forth. They were thought to have been extirpated from the state, and the thought was (still is mostly) that the increasing population came from bears from Arkansas expanding their range. Population studies to include collection of DNA samples have shown this to mostly be true, BUT, some of these bears have DNA which does not match known samples and can not be pointed to as coming from a certain known population. It is an unknown population which begs the question, were they really all the way gone from the state. Perhaps not. Continued study of the Cougars may in fact show a breeding population, and may even show that they are not all wandering young males from other areas. Who knows.

At any rate, I do not believe the Department of Conservation is engaged in some disinformation program to hide mountain lions or something or secretly let some loose. I think this for multiple reasons of simple logic. Most of all because they are not capable of keeping a secret for longer than five minutes and have no budget for black wildlife ops.
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Old January 6, 2011, 09:42 PM   #19
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same here.....

Quote:
Here in Missouri there's been more sightings of mountain lions lately, however the MDC for years claimed mountain lions don't exist in Missouri.
They also claim they have never turned any loose, I'm not sure I believe that.
Game and Parks and the USFWS denied that there were any in Nebraska for decades, despite sightings by residents in the Panhandle and South west and South Central parts of the state.

One farmer where I hunt was losing feedercalves to one pretty regularly, but NGPC/USFWS blamed the predation on "wild dogs" or coyotes..... who ever heard of coyotes taking down 300 lb. steers? They told him, "Mountain lions don't exist in Nebraska." ....... shortly thereafter, a very ventilated mountain lion that "did not exist" showed up on the Game Warden's doorstep in McCook.....
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Old January 6, 2011, 10:05 PM   #20
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Back in the 70's, I studied Mammalogy at the Univ. of Ky under noted zoologist Dr. Roger Barbour. He swore up and down that mountain lions existed in E. Ky., and finally got a plaster cast of a track and scat to prove it.

None the less, the Commonwealth continued to deny it.

We had a lot of these cats on the North Rim of Grand Canyon. They're elusive and like ghosts. They're utterly silent when they want to be, and seem to appear and disappear at will. I have no doubt that they're far more widespread than even wildlife experts believe.
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Old January 7, 2011, 03:32 AM   #21
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I don't know what it is with fish and game departments, but they're quick to deny the existence of anything that doesn't fit their view of things.

Years ago up in interior interior Alaska, folks along the Kuskokwim River started reporting sightings of musk ox and ADF&G denied there were musk oxen inland along the river system.

Apparently the musk oxen were unaware they weren't supposed to be where ADF&G said they weren't, because they crossed over to the Yukon River side where folks started reporting seeing them.

And again......ADF&G denied their existence until they started up the Koyukuk and the villagers being villagers started whacking the non-existent musk ox on their subsistence hunts.

Then all of a sudden ADF&G discloses musk oxen DO exist on the inland rivers and no one can shoot them.

Everyone of these agencies treat you like you've just reported a UFO sighting, and as I far as the USF&WS goes, I wouldn't believe that bunch of misfits if they said the sky was blue.
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Old January 7, 2011, 09:25 AM   #22
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Quote:
I don't know what it is with fish and game departments, but they're quick to deny the existence of anything that doesn't fit their view of things.
.... I suspect reality not conforming to their expectations has something to do with control issues...... or maybe self-worth: "I'm getting paid to run this system, and it will run like I said it will run." Unfortunately for government types with control issues, Nature will find a way........

Quote:
as I far as the USF&WS goes, I wouldn't believe that bunch of misfits if they said the sky was blue.
+1
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Old January 7, 2011, 09:41 AM   #23
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Cougars are in fact and indeed, ghosts who can exist quite well outside of our knowledge as mere humans. We rarely see or hear them. Especially a small population ie: the Florida Panther. That's why folks use dogs. A good man with trained lion dogs is a whole nuther buisness. It would appear to me that anyone wishing to demonstrate a breeding population could find dens and photograph kits, with day or night equipment. That would be quite a coup. I hope someone does just that. But till then we have what we have and no more.
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Old January 7, 2011, 02:33 PM   #24
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Show me cubs

I live and hunt in Mo. and have seen one with my own eyes once! Sullivan county Mo. at dawn in a CRP field. Do I believe they pass through and maybe live in Mo? yes. Do I think the MDC is releasing them or has NO, that's an old timers tale (along with the rattlesnakes). Do I think they are breeding here? I will when they find a female with cubs in MO. Until then people will continue to make up tales just as they always have about one thing or a courger!
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Old January 7, 2011, 03:51 PM   #25
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The problem is if they admit they exist, they have to come up with a plan. That would create extra work...
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