Mountain Lions

Post your warm-blooded air-breathing vertebrates!

Moderator: Scott Waters

Post Reply
repaphin
Posts: 525
Joined: July 14th, 2010, 1:38 am
Location: Southern California

Mountain Lions

Post by repaphin » December 9th, 2012, 8:19 pm

How common are they? ive seen them before. Does anyone have pictures?

User avatar
Owen
Posts: 1923
Joined: June 10th, 2010, 11:35 pm
Location: San Jose', Northern Catcrapistan

Re: Mountain Lions

Post by Owen » December 9th, 2012, 10:25 pm

I've only seen 2 over 30 yrs ago, but I see footprints and 'kills' frequently. Jon Hirt saw one on a survey we did last year and had a picture or two. For me, this is the closest that I recently got:

Image

Image

Image

Image

Young ones ocasionally turn up in neighborhoods here in San Jose. One killed several sheep next to the place that I kennel my dog. Some folks actually saw one mid day sitting on a trail about 20 minutes before they passed us heading back. I think the main reason they're not seen more is that they'll hunt deer late afternoon and evening and eat the kill during the night.

Edit

Here's a re-linked photo from Jon's post on the survey last year:

Image

repaphin
Posts: 525
Joined: July 14th, 2010, 1:38 am
Location: Southern California

Re: Mountain Lions

Post by repaphin » December 10th, 2012, 4:01 pm

I have seen a few. Mostly signs of them though. iv'e found several mutilated dead deer. And i know a area where the cougar spends almost all his time at. Iv'e never seen this cougar though. I know its there because me and my friend were on his quad and we were driving to remote areas looking for snakes and we checked out this canyon and there is a oak forest in there, like 100 trees. well anyways we went back the next day and there was Cat prints on our quad tracks.
Image
Image

User avatar
Antonsrkn
Posts: 971
Joined: June 10th, 2010, 1:38 pm
Contact:

Re: Mountain Lions

Post by Antonsrkn » December 10th, 2012, 10:58 pm

Haha isn't it a bit of stretch to say you know where he spends (almost) all his time based on seeing tracks once?
we checked out this canyon and there is a oak forest in there, like 100 trees.
Well considering that a mountain lions range is like 100s of square kilometers (on the low side), I don't think like a 100 trees are going to cut it. I would bet it spent some time there or in the area as it moved about its territory, I wouldn't jump to the conclusion that you found a spot where a mountain lion spends almost all his time at based on seeing tracks once. To survive these animals need to have a fairly large range, if they hung out in one spot they would run out of prey fairly quickly.

Seeing pumas isn't common but it happens once in a while with some luck, chances are they know you're there and lay low until you move on and you never even know. I haven't seen one, maybe one of these days... California is probably where they're most often sighted by people from what I have heard.

repaphin
Posts: 525
Joined: July 14th, 2010, 1:38 am
Location: Southern California

Re: Mountain Lions

Post by repaphin » December 11th, 2012, 5:02 pm

In this area thats the only available cover for miles. like 20 square miles. And they are sort of land locked on one side.

User avatar
Owen
Posts: 1923
Joined: June 10th, 2010, 11:35 pm
Location: San Jose', Northern Catcrapistan

Re: Mountain Lions

Post by Owen » December 11th, 2012, 5:19 pm

They're going to be where there's a steady food supply or they're going to roam with that supply. I have a good number of pigs and deer as well as cattle in the hills here, so we have a healthy cat population.

The picture that Jon took is in an area with a healthy Tule Elk herd:

Image

repaphin
Posts: 525
Joined: July 14th, 2010, 1:38 am
Location: Southern California

Re: Mountain Lions

Post by repaphin » December 11th, 2012, 8:29 pm

They're is a lot of deer and coyotes and neighbors dogs. I will go there next year and will take pictures. Nice Elk photo! i remember on my way home from Sedona there were 3 elk on the side of the freeway.

User avatar
Chris Smith
Posts: 2340
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:13 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Mountain Lions

Post by Chris Smith » December 15th, 2012, 10:45 am

Just in case anyone missed it... They can travel REALLY far!!


Mountain lion killed in Conn. had walked from S. Dakota

-Chris

bradlyb
Posts: 56
Joined: September 9th, 2012, 10:02 am
Location: Monterey, CA

Re: Mountain Lions

Post by bradlyb » December 16th, 2012, 11:00 am

This summer a couple of friends and I went on a 50 mile backpacking trip in Big Sur. The first part of the loop we were taking was on an exposed side of the Santa Lucia mountains, facing the ocean, and we had to travel 10 miles without water... so we decided to do the first part at night.

About 7 miles in, around 10pm, we were on a part of the trail the used an old fire road. On the right side of the fire road there was a large madrone that was at an angle, hanging over the road. In it we saw what we first thought was a bobcat. As we got closer, and we shined our headlamps on it, we noticed it definatley was something else... it was a baby mountain lion.

First of all, baby mountain lions are the cutest damn things I have ever seen. Second of all, it brings up the SCARIEST question I have ever had while hiking the backcountry, "Where is mama?" The three of us got the same idea, just keep walking, don't make any sudden moves, don't run, don't stop. For the next couple of miles we did hear something stalking us, the fire road was at the bottom of a slope which was covered in trees and we could hear rustling of leaves quite frequently.

This was the first mountain lion I have ever seen, which was pretty exciting.

My wife, when I got back to town and told her the story, asked if I got a picture, (it seems to be the most common question to the story). I still feel like the potential trade off for that photo would have made it a very bad trip, lol.

repaphin
Posts: 525
Joined: July 14th, 2010, 1:38 am
Location: Southern California

Re: Mountain Lions

Post by repaphin » December 16th, 2012, 11:33 am

A few years ago i was in a different canyon and i saw something on a rock while we were leaving and this thing was huge! i was joking around to my friend saying it was a mountain lion so we got out of there quickly and i looked back when we were on top of the hill and it was gone.

User avatar
tspuckler
Posts: 353
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 3:40 pm

Re: Mountain Lions

Post by tspuckler » December 25th, 2012, 2:16 pm

I saw one while roadhunting in Los Gatos a few years ago. I wasn't able to get any pics, but it simply walked across the road, neither slowing down to see what was up with me stopping the car, nor speeding up to get off the road and into the underbrush. Pretty awesome sight to see.

Tim

User avatar
Owen
Posts: 1923
Joined: June 10th, 2010, 11:35 pm
Location: San Jose', Northern Catcrapistan

Re: Mountain Lions

Post by Owen » December 26th, 2012, 11:33 am

Christmas Eve morning hike found along a game/stock trail. One of two 'used to be' bucks seen in December. I hope Santa had a back-up:

Image

bradlyb
Posts: 56
Joined: September 9th, 2012, 10:02 am
Location: Monterey, CA

Re: Mountain Lions

Post by bradlyb » December 26th, 2012, 10:27 pm

Wow Owen, great photo.

repaphin
Posts: 525
Joined: July 14th, 2010, 1:38 am
Location: Southern California

Re: Mountain Lions

Post by repaphin » December 27th, 2012, 10:40 pm

I remember finding a 2 point buck skull once. that was really cool. Nice photo!

User avatar
Owen
Posts: 1923
Joined: June 10th, 2010, 11:35 pm
Location: San Jose', Northern Catcrapistan

Re: Mountain Lions

Post by Owen » December 28th, 2012, 12:36 pm

Here's the other from a couple weeks back:

Image

I'm just glad the zombie apocolypse didn't happen. Zombie deer would be gruesome.

repaphin
Posts: 525
Joined: July 14th, 2010, 1:38 am
Location: Southern California

Re: Mountain Lions

Post by repaphin » December 30th, 2012, 11:53 am

:lol: :lol: :lol: yah I would be really scared! That thing looks gnarly!

User avatar
herper79
Posts: 273
Joined: June 14th, 2010, 7:30 pm
Location: Santa Clara Co

Re: Mountain Lions

Post by herper79 » January 3rd, 2013, 8:05 pm

I have been trying to get a mt lion shot too! I have seen 3 so far. All near my house. The last one jumped in front of me while I was driving home about 2 weeks ago. It jumped from the hillside, landed in the middle of the two lane and jumped to the other side in a single bound. AWESOME! I rolled my window down and we stared at each other a bit and of course I didn't have my camera.
About a quarter mile away earlier in the year I saw a mountain lion walk into the creek from the road. I parked right away and ran over there with my camera but couldn't find it. I also heard 2 mountain lions calling each other while fishing one night. You could hear them getting closer to each other. Cool, but scary when you are fishing in the dark.
At our horse barn I followed some fresh prints to a stand of oaks near a creek. I looked up and saw this leg hanging from the tree and 5 deer skulls, one dog skull, and something else small like a raccoon plus a bunch of other bones and spines.
Nick
Image

User avatar
Josh Holbrook
Posts: 2195
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 7:11 am
Location: Western North Carolina
Contact:

Re: Mountain Lions

Post by Josh Holbrook » March 17th, 2013, 12:15 pm

If you count Florida Panthers (Same species, probably not even really a distinct subspecies); I've seen/encountered 8.

One when I was a kid (12 maybe) crossing Alligator Alley.

Two cubs in the cane fields, managed to get a bigfoot-esque shot of one of em':
Image

Two crossing one of my favorite cruising roads in SW Florida,

One heard (not seen) vocalizing while I was camping,

This big, uncollared guy from last may:

Image

And one more female that crossed the road on a night where a friend and I were discussing all of our panther sightings and I stated "You know, there's one that hangs out around this bend, a female that everybody I know that herps down here has seen except me." Not a minute late she crossed in front of us.

EDIT: I find, when I'm in good mammaling country, its best just to leave the camera with a long lens all set up for such encounters. It worked well for me a couple years ago in Paraguay.

Image

Image

User avatar
TravisK
Posts: 772
Joined: July 8th, 2010, 10:14 am
Location: Eastern Washington

Re: Mountain Lions

Post by TravisK » March 22nd, 2013, 11:58 am

I have seen a few in the NW. I was actually jumped by an juvenile in Kettle Falls WA when I was 6.

Mark Hows
Posts: 17
Joined: September 14th, 2012, 11:40 am

Re: Mountain Lions

Post by Mark Hows » April 19th, 2013, 11:07 am

I guess I must be luck as I have only been to the US a dozen or so times and had an amazing encounter in Wyoming a few years ago.

Photo

http://www.flickr.com/photos/markhows/4 ... 2995335126

Trip report

http://www.hows.org.uk/inter/birds/2008 ... lorado.htm

Mark

User avatar
muskiemagnet
Posts: 1253
Joined: June 11th, 2010, 7:43 am
Location: kaukauna, wi

Re: Mountain Lions

Post by muskiemagnet » April 19th, 2013, 2:03 pm

mark, every mountain lion should be killed. i lost half my herd every year to those darn cougars. now that the wolves are back, i have no cattle left. the government repo'd my ranch. i sold my children for human trafficking, and my wife is turning tricks at a truck stop near bozeman. me? i'm doing time near billings for blowing up my meth lab. why does it matter if you are in a school zone? i don't get that part. you gotta go to the customer right? look, i gotta run. my 300 pound room mate "needs" me, and if i refuse, i bleed. let this be a lesson to all you tree huggers. nothin good ever came from an apex predator.

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

caught me at an odd time.

all i can say mark is sweet picture. most only get a glimps, but it seems you had a chance to watch. very nice.

-ben

User avatar
Fieldnotes
Posts: 1471
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 5:12 pm
Location: Orange County, CA
Contact:

Re: Mountain Lions

Post by Fieldnotes » July 16th, 2013, 5:32 pm

Image
Last Thursday (11 July 2013) I saw two Mtn Lions in the San Gabriel Mountains.

After nearly 2-dozen years and thousands of miles of driving wilderness roads, I encountered my first Mountain Lion as it crossed the road. It leaped up a steep cliff and I attempted to get a picture before it climbed to the top. Turned out to be a horrible shot. There were actually two Mountain Lions, one was heard calling from brush at the cliff top, and its eye shine could be seen. Main San Gabriel Canyon, just across the bridge that leads to E Fork.

User avatar
El Garia
Posts: 720
Joined: October 20th, 2011, 3:39 pm
Location: Santa Clara Co. , CA

Re: Mountain Lions

Post by El Garia » July 16th, 2013, 6:20 pm

Congratulations on your encounter! Must feel very rewarding to finally see one (two). Personally, that would trump seeing any lifer herp in the U.S., for me.

Looks like you two got pretty darned close to each other. Did it just stroll through your camp?

User avatar
Fieldnotes
Posts: 1471
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 5:12 pm
Location: Orange County, CA
Contact:

Re: Mountain Lions

Post by Fieldnotes » July 17th, 2013, 10:35 am

Not in campsite. I was road cruising when one cat ran across the road in front of me. I was like, “that coyote is big with a long tail…WAIT! Mountain Lion! After crossing the road, the cat leaped up the cliffside and hid behind a yucca. It stayed there as I tried photographing it from in my car parked across the road. However, I could not get my camera to focus, so I got out, crossed the road, and tried taking pictures, but my digital camera still would not acquire the correct focus or exposure. I returned to my car, and could see eye shine of a second cat on at the cliffside. That cat, started calling for the other cat to hurry up and get to the cliff top so they can move on. I was able to watch the cats for about 5 minutes before they were over the cliff and out of sight.

User avatar
muskiemagnet
Posts: 1253
Joined: June 11th, 2010, 7:43 am
Location: kaukauna, wi

Re: Mountain Lions

Post by muskiemagnet » August 3rd, 2013, 7:50 am

one was confirmed last week by the DNR in wisconsin. trail cam in florence county. good picture too.

-ben

User avatar
chrish
Posts: 3298
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:14 pm
Location: San Antonio, TX
Contact:

Re: Mountain Lions

Post by chrish » September 19th, 2013, 6:26 am

I am like many of you and have spent thousands of hours in the field over the years within Mountain Lion range and seen a total of 3.

One was crossing the River Road as I was road cruising in Brewster County,Texas. This was just a back-legs-and-tail-hopping-over-the-guard-rail sighting.

The other two were in the same place - the entrance road to the Calakmul Ruins in Campeche Mexico. Those two cats simply walked down the road in front of us when we drove up on them. They (it?) were clearly not used to seeing cars/people down in this isolated patch of rainforest. I was actually disappointed to see the Mountain Lion on that road since there are six species of Felid in that area of which I had only seen two and the mountain lion was one of those. :(
Now there is a LOT more traffic on that road and I suspect the days of mountain lions walking down the road are gone.

User avatar
Owen
Posts: 1923
Joined: June 10th, 2010, 11:35 pm
Location: San Jose', Northern Catcrapistan

Re: Mountain Lions

Post by Owen » October 2nd, 2014, 12:18 pm

Found a scratching post of a tree on yesterday's creek hike. The scratch marks go up about 4ft.

Image

User avatar
PNWHerper
Posts: 667
Joined: July 8th, 2011, 1:04 pm
Location: King County, WA

Re: Mountain Lions

Post by PNWHerper » October 4th, 2014, 4:27 pm

Owen, looks like a deer or elk rub. Cougar scratching posts are a rare find, and very rarely on vertical trees. Typically on horizontal logs. Their scrapes are much more common to see.

User avatar
jonathan
Posts: 3627
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 7:39 am
Contact:

Re: Mountain Lions

Post by jonathan » October 19th, 2014, 7:19 am

My dad has spent over 50 years in the forest constantly as a very successful hunter and prodigious hiker, always on the lookout, mostly in Idaho and Oregon. He really knows what he's doing with wildlife and spends plenty of time in rather remote places. And he's seen none. They're common, but they do not show themselves very often.

I've seen one in Kings Canyon National Park. My friend and I had hiked into a high valley and had just crested a hill and come upon some marmots in a boulder field at about 11,500 feet elevation. As we looked at the marmots suddenly we got a glance of something large that we seemed to have spooked, running between the boulders about 100 yards away. We only got 3-4 brief glances at it as it passed in-between boulders, and had to compare notes afterwards ("that was totally running like a cat!" "it had a long tail!" "it was tawny!") to be sure that we had both just seen a cougar.

hellihooks
Posts: 8025
Joined: June 8th, 2010, 7:12 am
Location: Hesperia, California.
Contact:

Re: Mountain Lions

Post by hellihooks » October 19th, 2014, 7:39 am

On Nov 2, 1987 I was tracking a cougar and had knelt down to examine a footprint and the cougar came up out of a gorge and we both froze, staring at each other from about 6 ft apart. After maybe 4 secs (seemed MUCH longer) the cat turned and silently vanished back into the gorge. This was at the edge of an Orange grove, and the cougar print was in some very clay-rich mud, so I scooped it up with a flattened pepsi can and set it on a window sill, where it 'cured' into a memento I kept for many years.
I remember the date precisely because I happened to go to my first AA meeting that night... and haven't had a drink since... 8-)

User avatar
Noah M
Posts: 2289
Joined: November 3rd, 2012, 6:00 pm
Location: Gainesville, FL
Contact:

Re: Mountain Lions

Post by Noah M » January 3rd, 2015, 4:18 pm

Does this count?

Puma concolor coryi found this spring in Big Cypress

Image

NACairns
Posts: 372
Joined: December 30th, 2013, 7:27 am

Re: Mountain Lions

Post by NACairns » January 7th, 2015, 5:53 pm

I've tracked dozens on Vancouver Island but never saw a live cougar until I got to the relatively more open scrub of south eastern AZ. I saw a couple there but only got one photo. This young male was trying to stay cool in a shady dry creek bed at 3000 ft. He had initially been on the other side of this bush but was bothered by loud birdwatchers and came to my side of the bush and gave me one shot with his head up. There were three of us watching from behind a sycamore log and we were able to watch for 20 min before he spotted us and bolted (unbelievable speed). What an outstanding day and critter.
This was a decade before switched to digital so here is a poorly digitized version.

ImageFelis concolor, Cochise Co. AZ, June 2003 by nacairn, on Flickr

User avatar
Kerby Ross
Posts: 71
Joined: November 14th, 2012, 12:38 pm
Location: Chino Valley, Arizona
Contact:

I have only seen two ..........

Post by Kerby Ross » January 13th, 2015, 7:29 am

I live in Arizona and have only seen two in the wild. But they are pretty common. Hunters can buy a over-the-counter tag for around $20. Hunters harvest between 350 - 450 per year in Arizona and they are getting ready to make it two per year. Although most people never see one does make them rare in the least.

:)

Kerby...

User avatar
Roki
Posts: 199
Joined: January 23rd, 2012, 10:08 am
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

Re: Mountain Lions

Post by Roki » January 20th, 2015, 8:45 am

For all the time in the sticks, I would think I would have seen a few more by now, but I have only seen three. One on a rock wall by my apartment at night in the town of Glenwood Springs CO, one along a dirt road south of Oracle AZ (quickly ran across the road and was gone), and this one collared female I spotted while flying in a helicopter near Reno NV. I have however, seen lion tracks plenty through the years. Once I was doing some bird surveys in a relatively old growth part of the White River national forest on Vail pass and it was a misty, light drizzle kind of a day and I had walked through some areas of untracked mud then through large areas of big trees with lots of dead and down (logs). The place just had that feeling of anything could be off in there. Almost Oregon like, wet, mossy, big trees area which are rare in Colorado. Lots of good hiding spots, water, plenty of elk and deer sign. Well, I doubled back after a while and came back by my set of tracks and right next to them I saw fresh lion tracks following mine. The hairs on my neck stood up.

Anyway, here are the shots from near Reno.
Image

Image

Roki

User avatar
Roki
Posts: 199
Joined: January 23rd, 2012, 10:08 am
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

Re: Mountain Lions

Post by Roki » January 27th, 2015, 1:04 pm

Here is an amazing shot my coworker Matt got during a bird survey. I am surprised he was able to get this from a helicopter.Image

Image

NACairns
Posts: 372
Joined: December 30th, 2013, 7:27 am

Re: Mountain Lions

Post by NACairns » January 28th, 2015, 6:47 am

Wow, what a shot.

User avatar
JAMAUGHN
Posts: 1132
Joined: May 14th, 2011, 11:16 pm
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Contact:

Re: Mountain Lions

Post by JAMAUGHN » March 1st, 2015, 10:08 pm


User avatar
Neil M
Posts: 285
Joined: April 10th, 2012, 6:27 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA

Re: Mountain Lions

Post by Neil M » March 11th, 2015, 6:04 pm

No Way JAMAUGHN!

I have been hiking all over Santa Cruz and the bay area and never come across something like that! Did you have a long sighting where he just stared at you?! Amazing.

User avatar
JAMAUGHN
Posts: 1132
Joined: May 14th, 2011, 11:16 pm
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Contact:

Re: Mountain Lions

Post by JAMAUGHN » March 11th, 2015, 8:47 pm

Did you have a long sighting where he just stared at you?!
Well, not too long, as she was, you know, staring at me. :lol: The whole sighting was probably not more than a couple of minutes, but it felt much longer. I'd stepped off-trail to water a tree, and she was about twenty yards downslope. I regrouped with my hiking companion before attempting a photo. The whole thing felt much longer than it probably was, and I'll be replaying it in my head for the next decade.

JimM

User avatar
Berkeley Boone
Posts: 878
Joined: June 8th, 2010, 3:02 am

Re: Mountain Lions

Post by Berkeley Boone » March 12th, 2015, 6:28 pm

JAMAUGHN wrote:Well, not too long, as she was, you know, staring at me. :lol: The whole sighting was probably not more than a couple of minutes, but it felt much longer. I'd stepped off-trail to water a tree, and she was about twenty yards downslope. I regrouped with my hiking companion before attempting a photo. The whole thing felt much longer than it probably was, and I'll be replaying it in my head for the next decade.

JimM
Holy crap! I would still be looking over my shoulder, even safe at home and in my bed!
--Berkeley

User avatar
Kelly Mc
Posts: 4317
Joined: October 18th, 2011, 12:03 pm

Re: Mountain Lions

Post by Kelly Mc » April 8th, 2015, 11:52 pm

I need to come by here more often.

Woe! That photo from a helicopter looks like a brilliant oil painting

Post Reply