Sightings of mountain lions are unusual

Mountain lions have been in the information a lot this fall and winter season. The media blitz obtained begun again in mid-Oct, when a YouTube video clip surfaced depicting the weird encounter of a Utah gentleman who crossed paths with a female cat with cubs on what appeared to be a distant mountain street.

No one got hurt in the offer, but the assembly was considerably from pleasant as the cougar escorted the gentleman, Kyle Burgess, again down the path — absent from her younger types — with daunting matches of rage.

Burgess played it wise all through the ordeal. He backed absent slowly, all the although producing loud noises and trying to make himself appear more substantial to discourage the cat’s threatening developments. At a person stage, he picked up a rock and hurled it at the cat, which in the long run despatched the animal packing.

Someway, Burgess managed the composure to record the shut face utilizing his cellphone. The six-minute movie went viral in shorter purchase, creating a viewing frenzy that at past depend experienced climbed to almost 6.5 million.

Urban walkabout

The concrete jungles of Dallas and Collin counties are a extensive way from Utah, but images and movie of a mountain lion collected on path cameras in between Nov. 22 and Dec. 7 by two people in Rowlett and Princeton generated a media buzz over wildlife as opposed to any the northeast Texas region has ever seen.

The footage, supported by confirmed tracks and other signs, lends credence to the concept that mountain lions are incredibly cellular and sometimes know no boundaries when they choose to go on a walkabout, irrespective of their recluse mother nature.

While there is no way to be confident, gurus with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Division consider the cat sighted in Dallas and Collin counties — around 25 miles aside — is the very same a person that was shot Dec. 12 by a Hunt County deer hunter, about 25 miles northeast of Princeton.

Texas has its share of mountain lions with the greatest figures uncovered in the remote Trans-Pecos area of West Texas. The cats also have been documented in portions of the South Texas Plains, the Hill Place and the rugged canyons around the Panhandle, in accordance to TPWD.

Sightings are sometimes noted in parts of japanese Texas, but only a handful have been verified more than the yrs.

Trevor Tanner of Destiny was between the TPWD wildlife industry experts remaining scratching their heads soon after path digital camera footage and tracks verified the Rowlett sighting around Lake Ray Hubbard was without a doubt the genuine offer — a initially for Dallas County in modern day instances.

Tanner was included in the investigation near Dalrock Street, the place a couple’s game digicam captured what appeared to be a significant cat strolling by below the cover of darkness.

“I’ve labored for TPWD for practically 18 many years, and I can’t explain to you how lots of calls about mountain lion sightings I have had where by none of them have turned up any sort of favourable evidence,” he claimed. “To get the first positive proof from together edge of Lake Ray Hubbard in Rowlett sort of still left us all thinking, ‘How in the heck did a cat wind up there?’”

The veteran wildlife biologist also evaluated the web site in the vicinity of Princeton around two weeks afterwards, where by a sport digicam put in a wooded region east of city by a private landowner captured a photograph of a mountain lion.

Tanner claimed it was not long after he arrived to examine the web page that he positioned attainable proof to aid the photograph as the 1st verified sighting of a mountain lion in Collin County in decades.

“We hadn’t long gone 30 yards from the truck when I started observing deer fur on the ground, ideal on top of the grass,” he claimed. “I understood ideal then that we essential to get started hunting about for a deer carcass that experienced been stashed.”

The search eventually led to several carcass sections strewn about. There is no way to be sure, but the biologist believes the cat might have killed and dined on the white-tailed buck right before coyotes assisted on their own to the continues to be. He reported they positioned a devoured deer shoulder, backbone, rib cage and portion of a hind leg.

Huge cat shot

The biologist reported Hunt County fell into the mix the adhering to weekend, when a deer hunter on personal residence close to Celeste encountered a mountain lion even though manning a deer blind. Tanner stated the hunter shot the cat, a 160-pound male, at around 4:30 p.m. The cat was was about 6 to 8 several years-aged, Tanner reported.

It didn’t sit nicely with some folks when word circulated that the mountain lion experienced been killed, but it doesn’t modify the point the licensed hunter was authorized in pulling the set off. In Texas, mountain lions are categorized as nongame animals with no shut time or rules that shield them. They are on the exact same nongame record as armadillos, bobcats, coyotes, flying squirrels, frogs, ground squirrels, porcupines, prairie canines, rabbits and freshwater turtles, but significantly far more mysterious.

If the trio of sightings in the a few adjoining counties had been in truth the very same animal, it’s only natural to speculate the place a cat that had turn into fairly of an urban legend may possibly have occur from. And exactly where it may well have been headed when it was shot.

These are queries that will in no way be answered. Nor will any individual ever know what the massive male could have had for dinner in the course of its walkabout journey, but Tanner has a really fantastic strategy.

It’s uncertain there have been any horses or cattle on the menu, the biologist reported.

“Mountain lions are opportunistic, but they normally do not want to possibility receiving hurt heading soon after a food,” Tanner mentioned. “They have bought to make a important get rid of each seven to 10 days. Their main diet is white-tailed deer and more compact animals like rabbits or youthful pigs. They normally are not going to assault an adult horse or cow. A fowl or calf, maybe. Smaller sized livestock like goats and sheep, most surely. Bobcats do as very well.”

Raccoon evening meal

Raccoons are on the hit listing for mountain lions, as well. My very good good friend Randy Dearman of Onalaska can vouch for that.

Dearman is previous bass pro who spends significantly of the slide and winter season looking for huge bucks in Coahuila, Mexico. His 12,000-acre lease operates for miles together the Rio Grande.

Dearman built an attention-grabbing discovery on a person of his video game cameras when he visited the assets just right after Thanksgiving. The SD card contained a lot more than a dozen photos of a pair of mountain lions owning their way with numerous raccoons that had collected beneath just one of his corn feeders. The time stamps on the pictures indicate the Thanksgiving morning feast lasted for additional than three hours.

“I think the cats have uncovered to hunt all around the feeders, mainly for the deer,” Dearman reported. He reported they were being just after the raccoons that night and it looked like a really negative night time to be a raccoon.

Matt Williams is a freelance author based in Nacogdoches. He can be attained by e-mail, [email protected].

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