This is regards to Randy D. messages. How do you know that it is a fact that there are no cougars in MI including the UP? You must have done research and covered the whole UP to know this is a fact. I rather think that this is just your opinion. I've been working with the Michigan Wildlife Conservancy with my lynx to compare tracks with cougar tracks. They have pictures of cougar tracks on the shores of Lake Michigan. They have DNA tested scat from areas in the UP and lower MI that say there are cougars. They have sightings and even caught some cougars on film that line up with background that can be identified. I say that the facts say that there are cougar in MI and further information proves they have a breeding population. There is no scientific evidence that cougars were ever truly extripated from our state. It was more or less just assumed that they were. But as you say there is no proof that these cougars present are remnant population, ones that reentered MI from other states or Canada, or released pets. It may be a combination of all three. Just wanted to tell you the facts.
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Most wildlife professionals are wise enough never to offer opinions as "facts". Delaware, of all places has a cougar. Well, at least one. After numerous reports of a "big cat" in this small state's northern areas, wildlife officials ridiculed the idea and did their usual "just another large housecat routine". That all stopped last year when an animal control officer responded to one of these calls and as he turned the corner of the house to go into the back yard, came face to face with an adult cougar. The cougar's reactions weren't nearly as slow as the ACO and was gone in a flash. We STILL have a cougar living in the state and whether it got here artificially or was a left over or a migrator is irrelevant.
South Carolina is another state with a proclaimed NO COUGARS statement. It seems mighty strange, however, that in their hunting regulations, it is illegal to shoot or maim a cougar and is punishable by fines or confinement. How do you shoot something that doesn't exist?
I'm not arguing with Randy's OPINION, but unless he's omnipotent, I doubt it would be classified as FACT.
Last year some big cat tracker out of Florida was hired by or G&F to track a cat near Hot Springs, lots of people in that area.
I do know for a fact young MT Lion tracks were found near Batesville on the White River Low population of people area with axcess to thousands of acres.
Near Harrison a female and two kittens were video taped.
Near Huntsville (close but not close) a female Cougar was shot while it attack a calf. Again thousands of acres of deep deciduos woods with low human population.
G&F here removed a statment about "No cougar in Arkansas from the front of the hunting reg book."
They still claim if there are any cats they have been released one way or the other.
Finding cat scat? I doubt it! Finding marking trees, yes I believe it, smelling a where a male marked his territory You can bet on it!
If you really want to find out about big cats, make a offer to the old loggers, $500.00 and you will eat the eat if they bring it in fresh! Be ready to BBQ! I know a fellow that said that once and lost his money and ate a nice sized Cougar steak. He made the same claim about timber wolves too and that was before everyone had them as pets and wolf dont taste near as good as cat.(I hear)
Since cats are reclusive you may never see one, how many bobcats do you see alive in the woods? Lucky to see one per year. I have seen them and watched one as my son walked within inches of it and he is sharp at spotting deer! The cat stayed crouched behind a log and watched the boy walk by.
You want to cause a panic, just set up a mounted cougar where a few cars may see it.
For those who want to follow the sightings of cougars going on in the east you can access this website. www.easterncougarnet.org
They also aren't any in Ky either, but I happened to see one as well as a few other people. I know if they're down here, ther're in MI.
A lot of people see things and hear about things and really believe what they see and hear. If there are so called mountain lions in michigan they had to of been pets realeased. There are no wild ones I know all of the dog hunters and none of them have seen a cougar track in the UP. I know one hunter that said he would pay a lot of money to see a track to run his dogs and tree the cat and take pictures of it for proff. Rember there are a lot of dog hunters that hunt in the UP and never found a track yet. Randy
IHMO it sounds like some of us are believing what we WANT to believe. That would certainly distort any interpretation of data. Me? I don't care if cougars live in Michigan or not. I am a very logical fella though. Tracks MIGHT NOT be those made by a cougar. Scat MAY NOT be that of a cougar. "Sightings" MIGHT NOT even be of a cougar. I am aware of at least two "cougar sightings" that turned out NOT to be cougars! That said, I consider tracks, scat, and sightings as EVIDENCE, but certainly NOT "proof" that they are from a cougar. The "proof" of a cougar is a captured cougar...dead or alive. "Seeing is believing." In a state like Michigan with lots of people using the outdoors, and LOTS of people looking for cougars(Like Randy said about dog hunters), it is only logical to me that IF cougars are here, we would be able to get one. Until we do, claims of the existence of cougars in Michigan are only possibilities. And one other thing.....You can not prove a negative. In this case you'd have to cover every square foot of Michigan to PROVE cougars aren't here.
Very good Doug. Prove or disprove it goes on. Randy D.