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mlvaj

Cougars in SE MN???

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Was just wondering if anybody heard any rumors of cougars in SE MN. Over the weekend when we were hunting, my great-uncle ran into a cougar on the way to his stand in the morning. He said he heard a growl and flashed his flashlight towards the noise. All he saw was a big brown cat with pointy ears. He said it was as big as a deer. He yelled at it and it took off. He did however bag a nice 8 ptr that morning. Upon registering the deer, he asked the locals and they say they saw some cougars also. Anybody else seen or heard about this?

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I hunt in SE MN as well, the farm I hunt is owned by a friend by farmed by someone else, the farmer swears he saw one while combining two years ago...I think they are all over our state, just in very small numbers, plus they range so far that it is probable they are in SE MN at times, if not permanently

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I hunt in the NW part of the state and heard (mind you it MAY be a rumor) the DNR has introduced a small number of cats in that area to help control the deer herd population. Would not suprise me if they are in the SE as well. There have been known cases of tracked mountain lions released in MT only to be found in Kansas (yes, THAT far!)2 years later. I wish I could remember what magazine I read that article because I'm sure there will be a number of non believers thinking a cat can't have a range so far from where they were introduced.

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I've never seen one, but south and east of Caledonia, I've found their tracks at the mouth of a cave. Yes, I know what they look like.

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Turkey hunted down in SE MN a couple of years back..The farmer we talked to claimed to see them from time to time...

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One of the papers had a blurb about report of a lady in Winona who saw one her a tree near her stand and watched it try to take a deer down as the deer wandered under the tree.

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Quote:

I hunt in the NW part of the state and heard (mind you it MAY be a rumor) the DNR has introduced a small number of cats in that area to help control the deer herd population. Would not suprise me if they are in the SE as well. There have been known cases of tracked mountain lions released in MT only to be found in Kansas (yes, THAT far!)2 years later. I wish I could remember what magazine I read that article because I'm sure there will be a number of non believers thinking a cat can't have a range so far from where they were introduced.


I wonder why they would do that. Theres too many wolves in the northeastern part of the state, where i hunt. We hardly ever seen any deer but hear wolves howling and see tracks. Why dont they just trap some of these wolves and bring them over there grin.gif

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Doubt the DNR is releasing cougars.

Look west and you can see that lions are spreading across the Dakotas.

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Like I mentioned...this could simply be a rumor. We all know how second hand info can be blown out of proportion. In this case the person that allegedly "saw" the cat contacted the DNR to make a report and they were told that the DNR released a few to help control the population. I agree, there are plenty of wolves around so why the need for cats? I am skeptical myself. I'll see if I can find out any more information from a reliable source. Myself...I think if there was in fact a sighting the cats have migrated into the area on their own.

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I saw one while turkey hunting in the Whitewater wildlife area back in 94.Must of sounded like an easy turkey dinner to him.He was within 30 yds of me when I seen him.Waved my arms and he was gone.

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You have to remember that cougars were native to Minnesota. It is belived that there were not a lot of them though. All they need is a food supply and they can live anywhere. I read once that the last reported cougar shot in Minnesota was in Becker county in 1897. I do believe that there are real wild cougars in MN but I also think that there are cougars here that people had as pets that either escaped or were released by there owners.

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Good perspective, chopper. Echoes my thoughts.

Also, I'd be simply flabbergasted if the DNR introduced cougars for any reason without notifying the public. Massive potential downside with very little potential upside.

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I agree,hopefully they would not do that.

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I completly agree guys, why would the DNR do such a thing in the first place? Also, can they even do that without letting the public know? Doubtful, in my opinion. Wolves are already troublesome to farmers with livestock in MN, another reason I find the rumor to be just that...a rumor. I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one to think it's crazy the DNR would do this.

Back on to the question at hand...cats in SE MN? You bet! Chances are higher than most would think...bluff country is prime habitat for them.

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2 years ago we kicked one up out of some CRP grass while pheasant hunting in Southern MN. Kind of cool to see since it just took off running and didn't come after any of the dogs.

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You guys ever hear about black bears in SE minnesota? A good friend of mine, that I have no reason not to believe, told me that his girlfriends uncle that lives in Wabasha has bears that will come into his back yard. Pretty cool I think!

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Wabasha is known to have a stray black bear or two. We have some people that have gotten pictures of them. My parents had first hand experience. They saw a mom and two cubs strolling down the ski hill after cleaning up for a wedding held at Coffee Mill Ski Chalet. Never seen the big cats, but the bluffs are prime habitat for both feeding and hiding. Last Thursday I took the day off for bow hunting, I was in the stand early and I heard a noise I have never heard before. It sounded almost like a dog barking, but not very distinct. It was just up the bluff from me so I couldn't see it, but it was a little eerie until the sun the came up. I'm assuming it was coyote barking, but I've never heard one bark before. I had thoughts of a big cat coming down the bluff, but thankfully, I saw nothing. There have also been nights when we have heard some very strange screams. Sounding like someone stepped on the tail of a very large cat, we are never sure what it is, but it made my blood curdle and hair on the back of my neck stand up. There is some freaky stuff lurking in bluff country.

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Quote:

I agree,hopefully they would not do that.


Depite what a person's second cousin on their uncles side heard from a friend of a friend in a bar, DNR does not release cougars, bears, wolves, or coyotes. Besides the well-advertised turkey program, the only other large animal released in Minnesota is Sasquatch.

I want credit for starting that rumor.

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Tracks were found by a buddy on some land I hunt in Dodge County 2 weeks ago. Guy had no camera with him.

Also, this summer at my parent's house which is about 3 miles from that spot we figure they had a cat in their yard a few times. They had big branches in 2 of their trees broken. No way a coon or any other animal normally seen in the area is doing it. Also at those times it smelled like cat. My mom also heard a big scream/cry one night. So I think there is one in the area making the rounds. Haven't seen it yet though--need to get time to get the game cams out in the area.

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Here is a Co report..Alsio I did see one 7 yrs ago not far from Kellogg MN..I KNOW what they look like..no mistake made...

CO Scott Fritz (LaCrescent) reports duck hunters are harvesting a variety of birds. Swans are beginning to show a presence. The first deer season has gone well. Many nice does were harvested. Enforcement was taken for unplugged shotgun, no federal stamp, no big game license, unlawful party hunting, litter, and open containers. Report of a cougar. A hunter had the cougar 30 yards away on a tree limb. She watched the cat for about ten minutes. When a buck came towards her deer stand the cat attempted to take it. The incident has shaken her nerves enough that she will not go back out hunting.

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Quote:

the last reported cougar shot in Minnesota was in Becker county in 1897.


Would it be lawful to shoot one if you saw one?

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Unlawful to shoot one in MN. As to the comments about the DNR releasing a few cougar to help control the deer, are you kidding? Like the wolves aren't doing a good job...let's be serious here.

I did like the Sasquatch rumor though...that was just plain old funny, I don't care WHO you are!

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I wonder why the dnr released Sasquatch, was it to control stupid hunters? grin.gif

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Quote:

I wonder why the dnr released Sasquatch, was it to control stupid hunters?
grin.gif


It was a relocation to protect him from those beef jerky guys that have been tormenting him.

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lol. I love those commercials. Jack Link's has a MySpace page for him....I was busy not working a couple weeks ago playing Sasquatch football at their website.

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