young cougar was looking at me

renita_wa(z8)January 24, 2007

I went to get the mail today and saw something out of the corner of my eye at the edge of a field. Overfed cat, fox... I dunno. So I got my binoculars out and it was a big cat all right. It was probably about 30lbs. There was a sighting about a mile away from here of an adult female, but that was in the fall. I guess I'm surprised that they are still around.

I immediately put the chickens back in their fenced yard, and wondered if I could let my 4-year-old go outside by herself ever again. Adult female and now cubs...doesn't sound good to me.

Any cougar wisdom, advice?

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Dibbit(z7b SC)

Not too good, as far as livestock safety goes. If you have a LARGE dog, who is territorial, you are probably OK. My understanding of the big cats is that they will run from dogs, at least for a distance - they can't run fast very far. If you keep an eye on your 4-year-old, then she's probably OK. If you can scare the cubs, and mama too, somehow, say with unexpected loud noises, bells, water pistols, rubber balls, etc., and make them think that people are awful, without actually hurting them, things might work out well. Look up Karelian bear dogs online for methods that are being used to make bears who are beginning to be nuisances to change their minds. I don't know if you CAN do anything similar, legally or practically, but it's a thought.

That said, and while I would definitely be worried in your shoes, I envy you your sighting!

    Bookmark   January 24, 2007 at 7:50PM
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20 guage bird shot from about 75 yards should sure disourage em without doing any real damage.....If your not happy using bird shot get a reloader, in your area, to load some shells with rock salt. I'm not sure about the distanse with the salt , probably about the same or 10 yards less ?

    Bookmark   January 24, 2007 at 11:43PM
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Roberta_z5(Z4/5 IL)

I wonder if it is possible to trap a young cougar in a Have-a-Heart trap? Early last spring, we had a major problem with two feral cats. Admittedly, we let our chickens out to start free-ranging before they were fully grown, and learned from that mistake big time. Those cats picked off our chickens, at the rate of one a day until we had lost half of our flock.

We moved them elsewhere and that male was well over 30#. They left us with a litter of kittens which we found a few days later so it would have been a matter of time before they taught their babies where to find food. The kittens grew up with the chickens last year, we had them fixed, and they still think they are chickens!

    Bookmark   January 25, 2007 at 11:59AM
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balsam(z4/5 NB)

Are cougars protected in your state? You should check with your county extension agent or whatever your equivalent is before you try trapping or shooting at the cougar, even just to discourage it. Our eastern cougar was believed to be extinct in NB, but in the past several years there has been conclusive evidence that it does still exist in the province. Naturally, it is an endangered species and there are hefty fines, even jail time, for interfering with them.

Perhaps your local extension office can give you tips or even help to prevent the cats from bothering your birds (or 4 yr. old). Are cougar attacks a common problem in your region?

    Bookmark   January 25, 2007 at 12:08PM
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paulyn(z 8 NW OR)

I also saw a cougar the other day walking down our drive. And a different cougar walked into our neighbor's house, all the way to her back bedroom. Since some of our animals are getting hurt we will have to take some drastic measures, unfortunately. The cat that I saw was truly magnificent.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2007 at 4:35PM
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There is one in Massachusetts. My daughter saw it. Clear as can be in the day time. But Mass wants to keep it a secret so someone does not go hunting for it and kill it. Lots of people in town have seen it. I am always in favor of allowing the wild animals to live. I hope they make a big comeback. The turkey sure has made a big come back as has the bald eagle. Even deer have a higher population then years ago.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2009 at 1:50AM
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