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Old August 7, 2013, 08:03 AM   #1
bk688
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Big predators in strange places

Hello!

I recently posted about wanting to get my sister a shotgun just in case some two or four legged predators come along her new home. She just moved to rural Arizona. Much to my surprise, someone actually commented that he couldn't think of any dangerous animals in Arizona other than of the two legged species!

This made me think. I'm so close to Chicago I could be in the city in 40 minutes. I've see cats big enough to make a tasty snack out of me here, although the conservation officer swears otherwise, and I'm nowhere near the only person around here that has seen these bobcats, cougars, mountain lion, or whatever the heck these thing are.

So what are some big critters you all have seen in strange places?

---Brant---
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Old August 7, 2013, 10:27 AM   #2
Art Eatman
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A bear was seen on the golf course at Alpine, Texas, which is in fairly arid grassland country. It's unknown as to whether or not he broke par.

Down south of there some seventy miles, on my porch I've had bobcats, javelinas, skunks and raccoons. In the yard, coyotes and foxes. And a local mama mountain lion checking out my trash-burn pit.
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Old August 7, 2013, 11:13 AM   #3
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I've come across couple bears around here with one close enough for me to reach out and kick him in the ass. I've also found panther tracks on top of my boot prints while walking out from morning hunts. Big bobcats are dime a dozen here.
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Old August 7, 2013, 12:23 PM   #4
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5 or so years ago there was a mountain lion that took up residence in the City of Oroville. He meet his demise when he was spotted in a neighborhood and treed himself, giving law enforcement time to arrive and dispatch him.

Last year, just before governor Moonbeam passed a law saying we could not longer use dogs to pursue bears, a bear wandered down into the City of Chico and decided to take a nap in someone's garage. I never did hear if they darted him or killed it.
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Old August 7, 2013, 12:39 PM   #5
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I have personally seen two mountain lions where I live (or same one twice lol).

Others report them too. But many refuse to acknowledge the existence of mountain lions around here.

I'm more concerned with feral dogs than wildlife.
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Old August 7, 2013, 01:45 PM   #6
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Big predators in strange places

Maybe not predators, but odd none the less. While in college, I played a little golf in my spare time. While walking up to the green on a particular hole, I noticed a rather large buck heading straight towards me at full throttle. He finally noticed me as he made it onto the green and high tailed it out of there. The funny thing was that this hole was between to other fairways with no woods for hundreds of yards in any direction. Yes I intended to club him had he gotten close enough.

I also see deer very regularly grazing under a power line in the middle of Memphis, TN.
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Old August 7, 2013, 02:01 PM   #7
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We have the occasional Black Bear or Mountain Lion wander into Tucson Most of the time Game & Fish dart them and put them back into the boonies. I see then every once in a while when hiking in the loacal mountains One very popular hiking tril had one lion that was acting aggressively toward humans so Game & Fish killed it. The ecofreaks raised a bunch of unholy hell about that and they were the ones who originally complained about the loin. Go figure????? Had one bear try to drag off a young woman with some kind of church group. One of the chaperones had a .44 Mag. revolver and emptied it onto the bear. The bear took off and Game & Fish found it a few hours later and it was still full of fight. The shotgun and slugs ended that mess. I have to think the guy with the .44 probably gut shot the bear while in a panicy funk. I've been here over 30 years now and any bear or lion I saw took off in the opposite direction. Doen't mean the next one might not be a problen though.
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Old August 7, 2013, 05:34 PM   #8
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I just knew I saw Bigfoot the other night at my girl friends house, turned out to be my ex. wife. It was still a little scary.
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Old August 8, 2013, 07:42 AM   #9
Armed_Chicagoan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bk688
This made me think. I'm so close to Chicago I could be in the city in 40 minutes. I've see cats big enough to make a tasty snack out of me here, although the conservation officer swears otherwise, and I'm nowhere near the only person around here that has seen these bobcats, cougars, mountain lion, or whatever the heck these thing are.
A cougar was captured on a trail cam pic in central Illinois less than a year ago, and who can forget the one shot by Chicago police 5 years ago in the Roscoe Village neighborhood?

But so far these appear to be males that have wandered here from established populations both to find mates and to escape larger males. I don't think there's any evidence they are reproducing here.

bk688, are you in the northwest burbs? There's been unconfirmed sightings there for the last 20 years.

Map of confirmed cougar sightings in the central Midwest: http://www.cougarnet.org/centralmidwest.html
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Old August 8, 2013, 01:29 PM   #10
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Bobcats are plentiful now in our part of Missouri, it used to be a rarity to see one.

As for the big cats (mountain lions, panthers, cougars) or whatever name you want to call them I've only seen one in the wild.

However I have neighbors around here that keep spotting them.
They all know I like to call in coyotes so when they see one they call to let me know where they saw it at.
Not that it's going to be there when I go out coyote hunting, they just want me to be aware that a big cat was in the area.

I've not seen one around home but I have a mare that I spend a lot time on.
I finished this mare out as a 3 year old, she's 11 now, very well seasoned with a lot of miles and a lot of wet saddle blankets, there's not much that bothers this mare.

Three different occasions I've been on her, those little foxy radar ears get locked forward on high alert, nostrils flaring pulling in maximum amounts of oxygen for the adrenaline that's coursing through her body, with every muscle fiber as tight as a banjo string, ready to take flight, I know she's locked on to something bad and I suspect she was smelling a big cat.

I've never seen what it was, I do know that whatever it was if it had started busting the brush the ride would have been on.

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Last edited by Hunter Customs; August 8, 2013 at 04:14 PM.
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Old August 8, 2013, 02:10 PM   #11
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Follow-on to rickyrick; I'm not sure anywhere in Texas is a strange place to see a lion.

Few years ago, a pair of them were seen in three different places within the city limits of San Angelo.

They apparently moved along, as they are wont to do, without being molested.

I haven't seen one myself since I was a kid down on the King ranch.

W
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Old August 8, 2013, 06:49 PM   #12
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It looks like you've got a lot of answers unrelated to rural AZ. One from southern AZ.

Rural AZ can mean a lot of different things from "on the outskirts of the big city" to reallly really desolate. From 600' elevation to 12,000'. Conditions will vary accordingly.

Overall the biggest threat would probably be the wild dogs in groups. Shotgun is good there.
Bears have been a benign presence for years but have gotten much more belligerant the last few years.

I'm deep in lion country and have had lion tracks around the shack and at the back steps several times, likely a sick or injured lion. They've killed the neighbors dogs from time to time.

Coyotes are commonplace, but again sick/injured will hang around looking for cheap meals.

Poisoness snakes are common in my yard (little kids play here), wild barn cats help, observant dogs help. Any pistol shot cartridge works well from .22 to .44 mag. They might squirm around for an hour or so. 12 Ga = no squirming. The household go to snake gun is a stainless Ruger single action .22 loaded with shot. Everybody here can use it.

Maybe a bigger threat is the Arizona Tweaker Thief. They steal to get a small amount of dope per day. They used to be primarily located in the towns but have seemed to have gravitated to rural areas lately. Stealing anything that can be pawned or scrapped out. They usually run when confronted but you can't count anything out when meth is in the system.

Bottom line is that your suggestion of a shotgun will be a good choice for your sister (for defensive purpose) in almost all cases. Hopefully she gets it out and runs it on a weekly basis. And has it loaded with #4-00buckshot.

J

I'll add that we see bobcats regularly, I've never heard of a bobcat in AZ threatening a human, including my time as an employee of the USF&W Service in Animal damage Control.

Last edited by JTMcC; August 8, 2013 at 06:55 PM.
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Old August 9, 2013, 07:49 AM   #13
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Never really seen a predator in an unexpected place. They can be anywhere including my yard. While turkey and duck hunting I have had bobcats, coyotes, hawks and owls actually stalk me. Several got pretty close. Blowing on a duck or turkey call will also bring in predators.

Quote:
someone actually commented that he couldn't think of any dangerous animals in Arizona other than of the two legged species!
I think you misunderstood the good advice you were given on the other thread. There are virtually no credible threats in Arizona from 4 legged predators. The 2 legged type are by far the greater concern and I'd choose a weapon for that as my first priority.

All of the animals you seem concerned about are hardly "large" predators. Most bobcats are 15-20 lbs and you may see the rare 50 lb cat. Mt. lions can certainly kill a human, but once again are quite small and any gun capable of human defense is more than adequate for even the largest cats on this continent.
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Old August 9, 2013, 08:51 AM   #14
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The closest I ever cam to seeing a cougar in the wild was when visiting friends in Arizona in March of 1987. We were driving from Phoenix to the Grand Canyon, and near Flagstaff we were caught in a fairly heavy snowstorm. At one point in this snow we pulled over so I could run into the woods to relieve myself, and it was only after I let it fly that I noticed the cat paw print in the snow next to me, looked just like my cat's paw print except this one was much bigger than my hand. And it was still sharp and despite the heavy snow that was falling there was none covering the print, it couldn't have been more than a few minutes old. All I could think of was "what if that cat is sitting in the tree right over my head" and looked up to see nothing to my great relief.
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Old August 9, 2013, 02:26 PM   #15
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Walked under a small tree containing a 10-15 feet long python. This was in Java, Indonesia around 1987.

Also in Indonesia but in central Sumatra my friends and I encountered a small herd of elephants while mountain biking on oil field trails. An old man was killed by a tiger in the village next to our oil company camp.
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Old August 9, 2013, 03:05 PM   #16
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Quote:
...There are virtually no credible threats in Arizona from 4 legged predators...
Although I live in Michigan, I was under the impression that there are both Cougars and Black Bears in Arizona. True or False?
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Old August 9, 2013, 07:27 PM   #17
Art Eatman
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Yeah, dahermit. AZ, NM, TX. They generally don't bother anybody.

SFAIK, the main four-legs hazard in AZ is coyotes on small children around Tucson and maybe Phoenix.
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Old August 10, 2013, 10:01 AM   #18
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I went out the back door one morning before daylight and ran right into a big black bear eating the suet out of my wife's bird feeder.

Bird feeders also attract deer, which attract cougars to the woods just back of the barn.

We've phased out the bird feeders.
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Old August 11, 2013, 10:40 PM   #19
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my uncle has a picture of a Black Bear on his hunches sitting on his patio watching my two cousins eating breakfast. the bear has a "man that bacon and eggs looks good" look on his face crazy part about it is his patio is up about 15 ft of stairs that this bear had to walk up. oh and also its in the middle of Anchorage....then again Alaska is still a perdy wild place
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Old August 12, 2013, 08:24 AM   #20
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While partridge hunting walking down old logging roads back in the woods. I came upon abandoned 53 Plymouth station wagon. Stuck my head into the car thur its rear dirty window for a look see. Bob cat was sleeping in it. And He immediately exited his bed and past the side of my head. So close. I felt his fur sliding across my ear. To this day I'm not sure if the cat was screaming or it was me who was. It was indeed an exciting moment.____
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Old August 12, 2013, 01:16 PM   #21
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"I think you misunderstood the good advice you were given on the other thread. There are virtually no credible threats in Arizona from 4 legged predators. The 2 legged type are by far the greater concern and I'd choose a weapon for that as my first priority.

All of the animals you seem concerned about are hardly "large" predators. Most bobcats are 15-20 lbs and you may see the rare 50 lb cat. Mt. lions can certainly kill a human, but once again are quite small and any gun capable of human defense is more than adequate for even the largest cats on this continent."

I must seriously beg to differ with you. Tell that to the young lady who while camping out with her church group on Mt. Lemmon here just North of Tucson was dragged from her tent by a Black bear. The bear finally let go after on of the groups chaperones emptied his .44 magnum revolver into the bear. The bear ran off and was later tracked down and killed by Game & Fish officials. Several Mountain lions had to be tracked and killed after threatening hikers on the Sabino Canyon hiking trail.
Where I do agree with you is on the two legged predators. The map that Game & Fish put in the hut regs actually show a line crossing the state with the warning that due to illegal activity hunting to the south of the line could be hazardous to your health.
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Old August 12, 2013, 04:57 PM   #22
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Quote:
While partridge hunting walking down old logging roads back in the woods. I came upon abandoned 53 Plymouth station wagon. Stuck my head into the car thur its rear dirty window for a look see. Bob cat was sleeping in it. And He immediately exited his bed and past the side of my head. So close. I felt his fur sliding across my ear. To this day I'm not sure if the cat was screaming or it was me who was. It was indeed an exciting moment.____
If that had happened to me I would say exciting would be putting it mildly; most likely I would have had to change my drawers.

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Old August 13, 2013, 02:09 AM   #23
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About 10 years ago my father spotted a cougar in the city of McMinnville, OR. I dropped off a .22 rifle so he could gut shoot it if it was spotted again. There were a lot of small children in that neighborhood and a big cat around it a bad idea. I don't know if the city did anything about it but as far as I know there were no further sightings.

I know if I saw a big cat in my yard, I'd gut shoot it with a .22 short and let it wander off and dies somewhere else...

Since Oregon passes the crazy California style hunting laws black bear and cougars numbers have skyrocketed but they as hard to hunt as ever...

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Old August 13, 2013, 08:31 AM   #24
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Trouble is, Geezer, you've created more hazard than if you'd not shot at all. You now have a wounded animal with a really hostile attitude. Far more prone to attack than before being shot.

While I fully understand how city ordinances against shooting can be a problem in this situation, don't make the cat problem worse.
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Old August 13, 2013, 10:48 PM   #25
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I don't dislike anything enough to gut shoot it on purpose.
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