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Old January 7, 2011, 06:24 PM   #26
Hunter Customs
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jhenry,
The part I disagree with is about the MDC being very open about mountian lions being in the state, I feel the term very open is misleading even in the last few years as you stated.
Around this part of the state the MDC maintained there denial status until the picture from the Chillicothe trail camera was published in the St Jospeh newspaper.
Then the picture of the one in Platt County and the killing of the one in Hardin Missouri was made public thanks to local news. Now the MDC decides to come clean and acknowledge the existence of the big cats in Missouri.

As for seeing dens and kits as you call them, a neighbor of mine actually seen two young ones wrestling around on an old dirt road.
He told me about them a year ago and said they appeared to be about half grown.
Does that mean the big cats are breeding in the state. I don't know, maybe the half grown ones are just passing through looking for new territory like all the rest.
As for the dens being found, as secretive as the big cats seem to be I would be willing to bet the dens are in country that is very seldom if ever traveled by humans.
In this part of the state we have an abundant population of coyotes, I hunt them on a regular basis and I still do not find a lot of coyote dens.

As for your statement about the MDC not turning any loose, I have no ideal if they did or not. However I'm very sure of one thing they would not be forthright with any information about doing so.

As for your sugestion about the MDC not being able to keep a secret it sure seems they did a good job of keeping information about the MLRT that was started in 1996 hush hush until now.

Unlike you I hope they do not get started in the the state. The last thing the ranchers and farmers of this state needs is another species of wildlife to contend with that cost them in damage to property, crops or livestock loss.
Which I might add that I know of not one person that has received one red cent from the MDC to help compensate for their losses.

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Old January 7, 2011, 07:17 PM   #27
jhenry
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Personally I suspect they were never extirpated, and a small remnant population held on which is currently being built up. No evidence of this exists just yet, but that is my own opinion which is not supported by any hard evidence. The MLRT was talked about prior to it's inception when I was still studying wildlife biology and botany at MSSU years before 1996, and was no secret when it stated up among folks who were interested. It just wasn't publicized very well until some hard evidence came to light. That is a far cry from hiding their existence. I agree that they mishandled the MLRT's public exposure because of the appearance now that it was hidden in some way, which was not the case.

Kits would point to at least one breeding pair (more likely than not). A good man with lion dogs could have that bit sorted out asap. Even if we do not have a sustainable breeding population at this point it is a pretty much forgone conclusion that we will. The cats are filtering in, the land is here, and the food source is here. Unless one of those things changes dramatically, they will gain the foothold necessary to have a more healthy population.

(edit addition) Now that I think about it, I very clearly remember MDC posters with cougar on it and instructions to call a specific MDC number with any sightings or other evidence. I remember these being pretty common and well before 1996. There were similar posters for black footed ferrets, black bears, and some sub species of jack rabbit.
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Old January 7, 2011, 10:25 PM   #28
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For whatever reason, MDC just does not like to acknowledge the existence of predators believed to have been extirpated from Missouri years ago.

Those Black Bears in the southern part of the state have been blamed on Arkansas bears migrating north for about 50 years now. My mother was born & raised in Mtn View and the first bear I remember being killed was near Pomona when I was 7 or 8 years old. The bear was raiding a farmer's hog pen and he shot it. Oh, and until that bear was shot, MDC denied vehemently that there were any bears in Missouri

As I stated earlier, there has been evidence of cougars that I personally know of since 1976 but MDC just poo poohed it.

MDC will also tell you (unless they have recently changed their tune) that wolves don't exist here.

As to MDC's budget and black ops, I would just point out that the majority (if not 100% now) of that budget comes from the conservation sales tax and other MDC sources of revenue and the legislature rubber stamps whatever MDC wants to do.

MDC is a good organization and has done a lot of great things for hunters and wildlife in Missouri. However, they have always pretty much done as they pleased just as they are doing with the cougar situation. When and IF they decide to, we will receive the "rest of the story" as Paul Harvey always said.
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Old January 8, 2011, 12:03 AM   #29
bamaranger
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book title

Hey I found the cougar book in my den!


"The Eastern Cougar" BOLGIANO and ROBERTS.
-historic accounts, scientific investigations,
new evidence

Stackpole Books, 2005


I was a bit off re the title, but the theme is same.
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Old January 8, 2011, 12:15 AM   #30
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One was spotted just the other day around Lawrence Livermore Laboratories. Do you think they can nail it with their Vulcan gatling gun?
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Old January 8, 2011, 06:19 AM   #31
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Somewhere around the early 2000's there was a big cat hit by an old lady right in front of World's Of Fun, here in Kansas City, it seemed like the MDC was like apprehensible in acknowledgeing it. When it comes down to it, you realy never know what might be out there, the next time you sneak up on an old gobbler at 4:00 am, you keep that in mind....Jeezus! what now??? My son just told me two young fellars on a coon hunt treed and shot a mountain lion in Ray county this week!!! their everywhere!!!
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Old January 11, 2011, 08:21 AM   #32
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I live and farm in north central Missouri. We have a bobcat population that is increasing as I've seen at close range a she cat with 3 young. So far, I've not seen a cougar but I'm sure I saw a deer killed by one (probably with a kitten of the year) but the track had been so messed up by other people I couldn't positively identify. Over the last 10 years there have been various livestock attacked but the bunny cops have made all sorts of excuses for the injuries. My thoughts are that if the cougars are acknowledged, the MDC may have to start paying for damages done by the cats. If that flies, other damage claims would have justification and soon MDC would be paying out a LOT of money(which would cut into their funds for new pickups and stuff). Just before deer season 2009 there was a flurry of activity involving radio telemetry vehicles in the area around and just west of my place up to and including an airplane flying oval and figure-8 patterns most of the first day of the season. Those guys were looking for something with a collar on it no doubt in my mind. I've got right up to the point of calling the local bunny cop a liar in public as to the reality of cougars here and he just shook his head.
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Old January 11, 2011, 12:11 PM   #33
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We are located just a little bit North of Warrensburg, MO. My mother saw the first Mt. Lion in 1998. We later found a deer carcass in a tree. The MDC said (again) it must have been coyotes. We see a lion now and then, but it is always on the move and never seems to bother our livestock.

Why does the MDC claim there are no lions? Well, they have not seen them. If the professionals do not see them, they do not exist.

Just look at the new species of animals that are found in remote areas. The native people have been hunting and eating them for years, but until they are "Discovered" by a professional, they do not exist.

http://news.mongabay.com/2009/0810-h...himalayas.html

I just hope a breeding population does not become established in Missouri. Everyone is happy about these things (they are beautiful) until fluffy becomes their next meal.
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Old January 11, 2011, 12:37 PM   #34
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I don,t know about Missouri,but here in Indiana where I live the locals have tall tales of the mountain lion or cougar.It seems about every month or so one has been spotted,the talk starts,the rumors start, then it dies down for a month or two,then the process starts over again. Supposedly,three kittens had been spotted back in the summer.Huh,where there,s kittens,there must be two of them,right.
I have hunted&fish the Hoosier National Forest in my area,quite regularly,for over 20 years now.Almost every local that I come upon while fishing or hunting in that area,always asked if I have seen the big cat. No I reply,nor have I every seen any evidence that a big cat exist here.It is usually followed by"well so and so,s brother,s uncle,s friend seen one& I have personally seen it,s tracks".Getting the picture here.I usually inform them what the park rangers&conservation officers,that I agree with,told me,that these people are probably seeing a large mature bobcat.They get big,they have large padded feet{for walking in snow},and people don,t realize that a mature bobcat,s winter coat can turn unusually dark.I also agree with them,If cougars are in Indiana, someone has released them or they are someone,s escaped pet.

I have seen many of deer kills over the years in and about the Hoosier National Forest,but I have never seen any evidence of a cougar or mountain lion at the kill. Coyote,Fox,Raccoon,Opossum,Domestic Dog,Hawk,Crow,Eagle and the occasionally Bobcat yes, but no cougar,mountain lion or puma.

So,after the so called kittens were spotted this past summer,this is now what I tell people who bring up the subject." I just seen it the other day.But don,t worry,it,s tame and on a leash and when I approached it,Bigfoot stood up beside it with the leash in his hand and told me they were out looking for Elvis". It usually stops the talk dead in it,s tracks.
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Old January 11, 2011, 01:12 PM   #35
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I agree wholeheartedly about the potential existence of mountain lions in areas without anybody official knowing about them. I work as a volunteer in the mountains in Southern California in a no-hunting area that is adjacent to a National Forest and also to about nineteen jillion people living in suburbs. We have complete complement of lions, as evidenced by the trailcams we keep on all of the few watering spots in the mountains. BUT NOBODY EVER SEES THEM.

I've lived much of my life in mountain lion range starting in 1943 (CA, OR, WA, ID) and have seen a grand total of two live ones, both going in the other direction at flank speed and 'way out of range of any ordinary firearm. Basically, they are ghosts. And except for denning and raising cubs, they don't stay in any one area very long.

We find kills regularly (deer), cat crap, but no lions.

Incidentally, if you find a dead deer that is partly covered with dirt and leaves but basically intact (not scattered around by coyotes and other scavengers) GET THE HELL AWAY FROM IT. Lions aren't normally aggressive but they work hard for their meals and don't like anything, including people, helping themselves to the leftovers. Coyotes know when to clean up; they don't do it before the cat has left the area. But you don't, and it's not a mistake you want to make.
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Old January 26, 2011, 10:00 AM   #36
Hunter Customs
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I had a friend call me last night, he said another big cat was killed over by Macon Missouri.
I don't have any additional information on this one, anyone have any information on this one?
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Old January 26, 2011, 05:20 PM   #37
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Aw you all in Missouri neednt bother bout it, was a lionm killed in Omaha at a city park, one got away one got shot is in the zoo.

We have had cougars in the loess hills forever, now folks are moving into remote areas noone lived in before and are finding cougars. They get upset and move out to find another isolated spot, some get killed, was a big one killed right outside the high school; in Harlan IA, was there on my motorcycle. It was big but then we also have big bobcats. Some like a small dog in size. Neighbor of mine lost a few calves ,we found a den and some cubs with the momma, all were killed. A few miles from me a horse was atacked, game and parks couldnt say what it was but the claw marks on its hide told the tale there, was a few miles from my place.

Dont fret, but do go armed at night, and a good dog will let you know if one is around. My dogs get locked up in a steel kennel at night too.
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Old January 26, 2011, 05:55 PM   #38
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Same here in PA, PGC denies there are big cats. In December one was supposedly hit by a carand killed here in Lehigh County at the base of the Blue Mountain. According to the farmers they witnessed the PGC releasing three cats on the mountain. From what I gather they are doing this in areas that experience a lot of deer/car collisions to reduce deer numbers. A guy I know shot a coyote two seasons ago. Strange thing was, the yote had an ear tag with a serial numer and a phone number. The phone number was to a farm in the midwest. The guy that answered the phone stated the insurance companies in PA buy them from him and transplant them here to reduce deer numers.

The there is the story of the Amish farmer in Lancaster County who had reported to the local game officer that a big cat was harassin his livestock. The PGC told him there are no lions in PA. A few days later the farmer shot the mountain lion that "wasn't harassing his livestock.
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Old January 27, 2011, 06:19 AM   #39
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From what I have read about the MDC the DNA from these kills while simply confirm the cats were just "100% 104lb" somali domestic cats.

If you google the somali cat you will see how much they look like a cougar.

Now most of the images will be of small domestic cats weighing 10 to 15 lbs.
But rest assured that the DNA confirmed the cats killed by the farmers were 104lb mutan somali cats!
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Old January 27, 2011, 06:28 AM   #40
Nnobby45
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Quote:
Why is there a MLRT (Mountain Lion Response Team) if there are no Mountain Lions?
Hey, that was my question. Sounds more like a Federal agency.
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Old January 27, 2011, 08:47 AM   #41
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I was born and raised in the Kansas City area and my wife is from a little town down near the Lake of the Ozarks. Just prior to us moving away from Missouri in 1993 people on the Kansas side of KC, over in Johnson County, kept seeing "mountain lions" but were repeatedly told by the authorities that they didn't exist and were probably just bobcats. I also remember seeing a picture in the newspaper of a shot a woman in Johnson County took in her back yard where a large mountain lion was taking a nap on her chase lounger. There was also a picture of the cat running off with the long tail standing in the air. Some bobcat! A zoologist was quoted saying that the growing deer population in the area had no doubt brought the big cats. It seems deer are primary source of food for the cats. If you've got a large population of deer, you probably have the cats.

Now I think sitings are quite common in Missouri. My father-in-law sees them when he's out deer hunting in Miller County down in mid-missouri quite frequently.

Here in South Florida where we have a sizable population of "panthers" (same critter as a mountain lion) we just exist along with them and while they snatch a goat or some other small livestock every once in a while, they've never attacked a human that anyone can remember. Same goes with the red wolves and black bear we have roaming around here too.
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Old January 27, 2011, 09:04 AM   #42
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PA is going through the "there are none here" from our Game Commission even tough people have gotten photos, lost live stock, and all the same as Missouri happenings. We dont have them here but they are protected, even if you are a farmer and kill you attacking you're live stock.
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Old January 27, 2011, 10:39 AM   #43
Art Eatman
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Apparently it's physically impossible for a mountain lion to exist in any area unless it's been seen first-hand by an Official Person of a game department. No member of the lay public knows what he's looking at, nor can he be relied upon to be truthful. Trust your government in all things.
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Old January 27, 2011, 11:00 AM   #44
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Quote:
I was born and raised in the Kansas City area and my wife is from a little town down near the Lake of the Ozarks. Just prior to us moving away from Missouri in 1993 people on the Kansas side of KC, over in Johnson County, kept seeing "mountain lions" but were repeatedly told by the authorities that they didn't exist and were probably just bobcats...
Just saw your post, Snakedriver. I was a Sgt. for the Lafayette County Sheriff's Dept. in (one county north of Johnson) at that time. There were some folks about 10 miles south of Higginsville Junction who had several permitted, big cats (some African) in an enclosure... I recall hearing about them getting 'off the reservation' occasionally and causing quite a stir among the locals.

"Martha... there's a lion asleep on the back deck!! You know, like the MGM lion! Call the Sheriff!"

"Lay off the sauce Henry. It's 6:30 AM, for heaven's sake."

The Lion Sleeps Tonight plays softly in the background...
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Old January 27, 2011, 12:02 PM   #45
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Can you just imagine the "oh crap" moment when the woman gets up, gets some coffee and then spots the big cat napping on the lounger in the back yard???
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Old January 27, 2011, 06:46 PM   #46
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Ten years ago I was told that there were no cougars in my little part of north central Louisiana. We've seen several. I know that there is at least one breeding pair in the lower part of Natchitoches Parish, near the Red Dirt WMA and I know that there is at least one near my Momma's place near Deville, LA in Rapides Parish.

It wouldn't surprise me to learn that cougar are in Missouri or Tennessee. That's prime country for them.
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Old January 27, 2011, 10:27 PM   #47
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Within the last few days there was a confirmed sighting (photos taken & verified by MDC) of a cougar in the West St. Louis county suburb of Chesterfield.

MDC re released their tired old statement about "young males strolling through Missouri looking for new territory".

Snakedriver.... they also stated that Florida has a population of 100 big cats and while Florida sees frequent road kills, we have only had 13 confirmed sightings in Missouri over the last 15 or so years (search the MDC site and read their post).......

MDC just does not want to admit that we have any kind of a breeding population in the state.
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Old January 27, 2011, 11:05 PM   #48
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Well Cowboy Mo for good or bad, the newest number released this month is officially 160 panthers now. Unofficially the number is somewhere between 200 & 600 according to some of the some folks. The Everglades are a very big place and there's no way anyone is going to count them all.

Here's an article that was in our newspaper recently.

http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2011/...n/?partner=RSS

Interestingly, a few years ago they brought some other cats from Texas that were judged to be nearly DNA identical to the Florida panthers so they could enhance the local breeding population with some fresh blood.

Cars are definitely the cats biggest natural enemy.
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Old January 28, 2011, 09:49 AM   #49
Art Eatman
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For sure, on the problem with cars.

It's common in Texas to have lengthy dry spells. What little rain happens runs off the pavement, so the borrow ditches are greener than the pastures behind the fencing. That attracts critters, which then leads to dead critters and crumpled sheet metal.

We were driving along I-10 between Fort Stockton and Ozona, casually counting dead deer, and BossLady sez, "Hey! A dead lion by the fence!"

Only time I've ever seen that...
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Old January 28, 2011, 07:57 PM   #50
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I haven't heard any more info on the cougar killing in Macon county. It's been hushed quickly it would seem. I've been tramping around the place looking for tracks but nothing bigger than bobcat here. Although they're very sneaky, they can't prevent leaving tracks when they move. I spotted bobcat tracks on two different farms 5 miles apart-yearlings by the size of the tracks. I've got a bunch of deer right close to the house and barn so it's possible that could draw any cat in the area.
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