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View Full Version : Very Strange sighting here in Missouri



JD Spydo
09-01-2006, 07:04 AM
Well I have seen hard evidence in the last 3 years that we definitely have Mountain Lions ( Cougars) back in Missouri again. And for the last 3 years farmers up by the wetlands have reported calves being killed and partially eaten and a few sightings by credible people.

Well on the way to Lexington Missouri to pick up my bow from the archery shop I was on an old scenic riverway along the Missouri river. I just had driven past an old restuarant/lodge that my parents frequented when I was younger and as soon as I past the place I saw something that made me slow down immediately. It was a big pit bull dog that was limping severely and seemed to be yelping in distress. This immediately got me attention because this looked like a dog equivalent to Mike Tyson and he obviously got hurt somehow. Then I slowly proceed to drive on Missouri Highway 224 about 100 yards and then right in front of me was a Mountain Lion crossing the road in broad daylight.

He was hunkered down low and it was unmistakable what he was. The long slinky tail, the ears and his coat was just beautiful. When he got across the road he went into the timber and I wasn't able to see him anymore. I wasn't about to get out of the truck under the circumstances but I don't think I would have gotten to see any more of him anyway. He was so fluid and graceful the way he was scurrying away. I have no way of knowing if it was him who beat up the pit bull or not but I would almost bet on it. There are a lot of deer in here in Missouri and I am sure he has a diet rich in meat. We have found tracks of them in the wetlands where I work and on my boss's ranch we saw footprints in the snow back in January of 05. But this is the first time I've seen one in person. It's almost like they are re-claiming the land that civilization took from them to begin with. He was sure healthy looking.

If he can thump that pit bull I know I'm not going to jack with him :eek:

Stevie Ray
09-01-2006, 07:25 AM
Hi JD,

Did you see the recent news article about the mountain lion that somehow got into some fellows house? :eek: They managed to photograph him leaping out of a window, but ... holy smokes ..

These creatures were hunted to near extinction early last century for a number of reasons, but they are suddenly making a visible comeback. Seems to suggest a rapid ramp up in their numbers. I suspect we may hear more frequent stories about encounters with them in the coming years.

zenheretic
09-01-2006, 07:43 AM
Hi JD,

These creatures were hunted to near extinction early last century for a number of reasons, but they are suddenly making a visible comeback. Seems to suggest a rapid ramp up in their numbers. I suspect we may hear more frequent stories about encounters with them in the coming years.
http://cougarinfo.com/attacks3.htm

deeker
09-01-2006, 08:17 AM
It's always a treat to catch a glimpse of a seldom-seen animal. The big cats look so gracefull and muscular when they walk. That would be great to see! Hopefully you don't meet any face to face.
I can still remember seeing my first wolf, moose, bear, etc.

David Lowry
09-01-2006, 08:19 AM
Cats are awesome man. I love all animals but I think people really underestimate cats.

Big cats really kick butt.

Glad to see they are coming back. ;)

Stevie Ray
09-01-2006, 09:43 AM
http://cougarinfo.com/attacks3.htm
The accounts on this website are sobering and if they've captured the majority of attacks during the 100+ years they indicate, then these sorts of attacks are on the rise. Get a load of the older fellow that went hand to hand with a cougar and manged to kill it with his knife ... These cats weren't hunted to near extinction last century because they made nice house pets. :D I guess I have mixed emotions about the increase in their numbers across the country. And as for seeing one ...., just hope your encounter is like JD's (i.e. from inside a vehicle :) )

The account of the attack from the fellow hiking in the Big Bend near Alpine (on the website above) reminded me of something I did many years ago that was foolish. Even though it was later in the day and even though I had to pack my 1 year old son on my back, my wife and I took a 5 mile round trip hike in the park where there had been recent cougar sightings.

We ended up at the top of the trail with another fellow and realized that it was getting late and started back. Even though we all agreed to stay together for safety, the other fellow double timed it and left us. I picked up a couple of decent sized rocks just in case, but luckily didn't see any cats. Likely my imagination regarding being stalked, but I remember getting that prickly feeling across the back of my neck several times on the way down.

zenheretic
09-01-2006, 04:28 PM
Protect your neck and your belly, the mouth goes for the neck, and the back legs rake the soft belly.

The problem with cats is that they quickly regard us as food...especially children.

Zac
09-01-2006, 04:37 PM
Protect your neck and your belly, the mouth goes for the neck, and the back legs rake the soft belly.

The problem with cats is that they quickly regard us as food...especially children.

So true. That guy who slit the neck had some idea what he was doing if he could kill it with a 420 Buck.

However, having a Yojimbo, Chinook, Vaquero Grande or Civilian when attacked by a large cat is ideal for a folder...especially since they are soft skinned and all of those kives would tear right through the animal.

I do not see a gun as ideal given they are stalking animals and most people are not aware of their presence until they are on top of you. However, one hard upper cut with a Civilian's oversized claw would kill it from massive blood loss in a very short time, no questions asked.

The Deacon
09-01-2006, 05:08 PM
Congrats on the sighting JD! That must have been a thrill. The cougar is one animal I've never caught a glimpse of in the wild. There have been persistant, but unconfirmed reports of them further north, in the Adirondacks in the last few years, so it would not surprise me one bit if they've returned to New York as well. Have seen a lynx, although the Dept. of Environmental Conservation insisted at the time, and may still be insisting, there are none in the wild here.

J Smith
09-01-2006, 11:46 PM
Some of my wifes family told me just the other day the they saw a black panther in Morgan county.I have heard stories about them around here all my life but none are suppose to be here.

Tank
09-02-2006, 12:01 AM
Great Story....and congrats on the sighting
Here in northern Calif they are abundant. This summer alone there were mountain lion warnings put up in our neighborhood 3 times. I have been fortunate enought to have seen one in the wild..(it was quite scary at the time cuz it was kind of a close encounter) but looking back,, it was awsome.

Peace

Manix Guy 2
09-02-2006, 05:55 AM
There have been sightings in Illinois , saw picture of Cougar stalknig a deer at night from timer camera . Wolf was recently killed in our area also , thought to have traveled from Wisconsin . The dangerous Armadillo is also invading Illinois !

JD Spydo
09-04-2006, 11:35 PM
Well I just got back from the wetlands in North Missouri this weekend. After talking to several of the people up there about my mountain lion sighting a lady who lives close to my boss's ranch said she saw one about a year ago coming home from work at about the midnight hour. Also another one of the neighbors up there said that they came home from a movie on a Friday night about 2 months ago and they had left their outdoor garage open and when they got home and got close to the garage in their car the guy and his wife both saw one run out of their garage. This guy is very credible too>> a former Air Force Pilot of many years.

One of the local farmers up North said that the Missouri Department of Conservation actually released a few of them to help cull the deer herd. I have no way of knowing for sure that his story is accurate but they got here somehow. These are potentially dangerous animals and they do pose a potential threat to humans ( especially children). I think the US Fish & Wildlife Service needs to give us the straight scoop on this? Especially if you are in a state where they have been seen.

Lost Jaguar
10-30-2006, 10:26 AM
I have studied ol' felis concolor extensively, although I remain an amateur. I have never had the privilege to encounter one, only fresh tracks--very fresh tracks. I did encounter a bobcat up in the mountains north of Los Angeles--his expression indicated surprise initially, then curiousity. Like many animals, he gave me a last look over his shoulder before he vanished. It is a moment I treasure.

As for cougars, I believe they are extant in many more areas than is officially recognized. They are making a comeback in the central and eastern United States. (They were never endangered in the West.) I recently moved back home to Maine, where many sightings have been reported over the last few years. Some speculate they are wandering down from Quebec. The state does not officially acknowledge any return of these magnificent animals--despite the sightings, and at least one series of snapshots. The reports are denied or downplayed as optical illusions or escaped exotic pets. I speculate, at the risk of entering a politcal discussion, that commercial interests (in this state, paper and lumber) are involved. Any recognition of a rare species opens a bureaucratic can of worms, and might involve restrictions on development or other commercial exploitation of the involved area. The state official I spoke with said (and I paraphrase), "my people are out there 24/7/365, and they haven't found a whisker, a scat, or a kill." But any housecat owner can tell you how hard they can be to find even in an apartment, if they don't want to be found. The cougar is an expert in stealth and evasion. These encounters with humans are often the result of adolescent cats wandering about in search of their own turf after Momma kicks them out. This is especially true in those areas where humans have expanded their homes and activities further out into the hinterlands.

We know deer are successfully multiplying--they are often more of a pest than a curiousity in some suburbs. And if there are deer, then there can be cougars.

Most of us will never see one. Like most animals, they'd much rather avoid us if possible. But they're out there, maybe crouching nearby, watching us with the same curiousity the bobcat had for me.

I concur that a firearm is no guarantee in defense against them. I'd carry one where it was legal, but as the previous poster noted, they usually attack from ambush, and they pounce on the back of their prey. The best defense in cougar territory is to travel in groups, making noise. Carry a good walking stick, and maybe a Temperance fixed blade. Odds are you'll never use that knife, but it'll give you a thrill to think you're carrying it, just in case. This is the philosophy I had in my many hikes in the California mountains. I never felt afraid, instead, I modeled my behavior on the cougar, like it was a totem for me. I adopted my user name in tribute to the cougar's big brother, who has been spotted in southern Arizona and the "bootheel" of New Mexico, lost perhaps, but fearlessly searching new hunting ground.

poodle
10-30-2006, 10:47 AM
shoot kitty, do not try to stab kitty,unless you cannot shoot kitty

JD Spydo
10-31-2006, 05:31 AM
Last Friday I was back at work up at North Missouri. I stopped in the local Missouri Department of Conservation ( fish & wildlife people for the state of Missouri). The Missouri Dept of Conservation always has literature that they hand out on the states fish, wildlife and flora & fauna of all types. They truly are a great source of information. For instance I just recently sent Dr. Hannibal Lecter some very nice information about several snakes we have here in Missouri. The good Doctor is a snake lover you know :eek: . But they also pass out a lot of great information about the wildlife, trees, fish and other natural items of interest here in the state. But as a rule they only cover the stuff in Missouri. They just recently in the last few years admitted that black bears are back in our state now.

There was a give-away information spec sheet on an animal I have never seen the State of Missouri ever even talk about much less give information on>>>~~~ You guessed it!! the information sheet was about Mountain Lions :eek: . I immediately went to the main information desk and asked the lady in charge about this new information sheet. She said that she personally didn't know anything about it ( yeah!!! Right!!). I find that strange indeed :confused: . Because she is the one who is supposed to answer your questions if you have any about the subjects that they cover.

Why would the state hand out information on Mountain Lions when in the not so distant past they vehemently denied their existence here in the state :confused: : . I think they know darn good and well that the big cats are here and now they want the public to know about them. And they are telegraphing the information in a very sneaky fashion. :rolleyes: HERE!!! KITTY, KITTY!!! indeed :rolleyes:

cobrajoe
10-31-2006, 09:35 AM
Just a few years ago I thought I saw a cougar back at home (central Nebraska). It was night, but in the headlights I saw a quick glimpse of an animal about the size of a larger dog with a golden yellow coat. I almost mistook it for a golden retriever, but I did see a long slim tail held in the hook that I see so many cats do.

As for defense, If I couldn't get a rifle out and kill the darn thing first, I'd rather have a sturdy stick or bat and pretend the kitty's head is a softball.

poodle
10-31-2006, 09:47 AM
cougars are the strongest cats pound for pound, good luck with the stick.try keeping a rifle where you have your bat.

HoB
10-31-2006, 11:38 AM
Congratulations, JD! What an experience!

I don't get the talk about the defense against one. Haven't you read how rare an encounter is? :confused: Yes, even here in suburbia of eastern Massachussets the is a chance that you you could encounter a bear....do I prepare to protect myself from one? Hardly, should I indeed ever see one, I will celebrate the day and not think of shooting it or trying to clobber it.

I have my doubts about the stick as well. A cougar is supposed to be able to jump 24 feet from a standing start....:eek:

zenheretic
10-31-2006, 01:25 PM
Usually if a cougar looks at you as food you will never see it. You will be blissfully walking along and suddenly be kissing the dirt, with intense pain in your neck, then lights out, game over, please try again, insert one cosmic token to play again.

JD Spydo
10-31-2006, 01:47 PM
Usually if a cougar looks at you as food you will never see it. You will be blissfully walking along and suddenly be kissing the dirt, with intense pain in your neck, then lights out, game over, please try again, insert one cosmic token to play again.

I believe that and I'll tell you why.

I saw a documentary special on The Animal Planet Channel about a year ago. There is an island off the coast of Bangladesh that is famous for it's high concentration of Bengal Tigers. And the indigenous people who go to that island to collect various food items and honey which is very high quality from that island have a disguise that they wear.

What they do is to have a mask and other piece of clothing to make it look like you got eyes in the back of your head. So theoretically you will be looking at the cat all of the time. The natives say that the Tigers will rarely attack you if you are looking straight at them. I would bet that's probably true with most big cat predators.

I have heard through other sources that Mountain Lions are very stealthy and usually do most of their hunting at night time. The people up in North Missouri that have spotted or seen the Mountain Lions are usually seeing them on country roads at night. And for me to see the Mountain Lion I saw in the daytime is more than likely a very strange anomaly.

I have heard however in the case of Mountain Lions that they usually go out of their way to avoid humans and that we are not really on their menu per se. North Missouri is so filthy with deer that I am sure they are very well fed in that part of the state. But they are there and they are in other parts of the state too. I just wonder how they did get there. It was either migration or they were intentionally introduced into the ecosytem.

zenheretic
10-31-2006, 03:02 PM
It was either migration or they were intentionally introduced into the ecosytem.
I'm betting migration. The feds like to make a production out or reintroducing animals. Take the wolves in Yellowstone Park and western Montana/Idaho. Lots of news and fanfare. Radio collars are another clue.

jaislandboy
10-31-2006, 07:49 PM
helluva story J.D.
pretty scary....actually.....On a side note if you like movies with big cats and lots of Gore...then Attack of the Sabretooth on Sci Fi is quite entertaining...:rolleyes: