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cupper

cougars...

48 posts in this topic

Hey folks.

I hunt in SE minnesota in Houston county. I am a little nervous this year becuase there have been several cougar sightings on or near the property where I hunt (one by my mom and one by a guy who turkey hunts in the spring). Has anyone ever had any encounters with these things in the woods? From what I read they are a fairly shy animal unless cornered or provoked. Any advice? The last thing I need when dragging a deer carcas out of the woods is some oversized kitty trying to steal it from me!!

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This post from last year has some good information...

http://www.fishingminnesota.com/forum/showflat.php?Cat=&Number=658110&page=&view=&sb=5&o=&fpart=1&vc=1

I have seen one with my own eyes less than 1/4 of a mile from my hunting area so I am always a little leery about heading into the blackness of the woods in the morning to climb into my stand. But I figure if its my time if it can get me. Read some of the directions on how to handle a cougar encounter in the above post.

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more then likely they will be more scared then you in most situations. If you do have a deer down I would recomend being careful and not be alone when tracking or gutting. Drag to open SAFE location then gut. We have a bear around in our woods which is very rare...just like the vikes going to the super bowl (HEHEHE) We are taking extra precautions this year. Not tracking deer without help and gutting deer in open spaces. Just be safe and if you do see it don't move fast to scare it.

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We have so many bears at our land up north - never had a problem. Dont worry.

Last year we did see a mountain lion - yes, I got nervous but wow that thing could run!!! The other question would be ... if you saw one while hunting from your stand what would you do? S and S?

I do think the attacks we here are a learned behavior from the animals from lots of experience with hunters/outdoorsmen - and they are rare at that - but never in Minnesota.

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I have hunted some areas in the Black Hills that are supposed to have a lot of cougars but I have never seen one. I would think you might have a problem if they were hard up for a meal but down by Rushford, Houston, and Caledonia, they should have plenty of easier targets than a full sized human. I also understand them to be pretty shy animals.

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Good Grief lets not get all wobbly-kneed over Cougars now!! If you see one in the wild count your blessings. You are as likely to have a problem as you are to win the lottery. And if you DO see one, it is not mandatory that you start blasting away. They are all over the west and there are a lot guides,hikers, ranchers and others who've never seen one. Count your blessings if you do and let them pass in peace.

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Let's say for hypothetical sake, you are hunting on private land and the owner of said land is a cattle farmer, he has seen cougars in the past and has asked "if you do see one please shoot it, as, I am worried about my cattle". Do you still pass on shooting it, or, do you help out a feller that mainly relies on his livestock for a living? What are the legal rammifications of shooting a cougar with no license?

I am a little ignorant on cougars, are they native to MN?

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get a self defence stun gun and a big knife, when he jumps you stun him and then slit the things throat like knife hog hunting,,,,think about it, you could say you killed one with your bare hands..you the man!

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If it looks at me and doesn't immediately run away, it gets shot. I'll gladly pay a fine, and not feel guilty for killing such a beautiful animal. My life is worth more to me than any fine could ever be. If it ran away I'd try to get pictures. I've also heard of a cougar in Houston county within 4 miles of my uncle's farm where I hunt. If I need to I'll save my life before I worry about the cougar. Most likely I'll never see one.

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I am not too proud to say I shot and killed one with a gun (if the event ever took place)...My luck I'd shoot it with a stun gun and he come to just as I was lifting his head...no good. In this situation I would be proud to call myself a pansy, and shoot the blessed animal. You all have heard of Buck fever, I do not want to be in the situation of having Cougar fever. They can climb trees right??? I could see myself crapping logs, while unloading my gun, and, forgetting to aim or worse yet pull the trigger (I have a lever action rifle). I have total respect for mother nature and I will do what it takes to protect myself. So, with saying that I agree totally with you Ron Burgundy.

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yeah, what are the legalities of cougars in MN? They are not in the hunting regs as protected or unprotected. But i'd have to guess that they are protected. I'm actually heading down to Houston, MN this weekend for some bowhunting crazy.gif

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Ah yes, RB...spoken like a true manly man. HA!

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Quote:

If it looks at me and doesn't immediately run away, it gets shot.


Probably alittle over reacting to an animal. I hope you give it a little more time then that, and let it show more aggression to you. Have you ever seen a deer and had it stare at you before moving off? Just becuase an animal looks at you and doesn't run away doesn't mean it will attack you. Are you afraid it can shoot lasers from its eyes or something?

Mountain Lions are ambush hunters anyways, the lion that gets you will be the one that you didn't see.

From what I understand these animals are incredibly rare in minnesota. They are native but they require huge territories to survive. I heard a stat years ago that there were only like 10 mountain lions with a known territory in all of Minnesota. Thats not saying there aren't more that are unknown but there are probably more people in my office right now then mountain lions in all of minnesota. I would be more worried about other hunters or even the boogey man then I would be about a mountain lion.

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Amen Nofishfisherman.

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FYI, they are protected. pg. 26 in the hunting regs

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Wow! All I'm saying is that if it came down to it I wouldn't hesitate to protect myself. You can't trust a cat. You can't even totally trust a housecat. They do what ever they want and can change their mind faster than a woman. I just wouldnt take any chances. They could have laser beams attached to their frickin' heads. Maybe Dr. Evil had some and one got away. Just curious. What would You do, manly man? Wrestle it to the ground and tie it up with your boot laces?

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I had a debate about this at work with someone last week, but don't you think some of these cougars are game farm escapees? I am not condemning game farms in any way, but if a less reputable farm had an escapee, what are they going to do, call and say "Hey I've got a cougar loose, can you all help with the roundup?". I would also worry a loose farm cat might not have that natural fear of humans as much.

Noone wants a big cat rodeo, so once they are out they are gone. I still believe this is why there are a few more sightings. I also still believe there are wild ones around though too.

My opinion for the day.

DD

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Two years ago on Thanksgiving we saw one sitting out on my fields. I contacted the DNR to inquire and they told me that the numbers of cats in our state have been on a slow incline but interractions between the cats and humans has been virtually unheard of. They don't really pose a threat, especially if they know you have spotted them. As mentioned earlier, they are an ambush preditor and you won't know they are there.

Think of it this way. Black bears by shear number pose a much higher threat to humans in this state and yet how many incidents do you hear about? I can remember one in the last 20 years and in that situation it was speculated that it was instigated by the human because he didn't take the necessary precautions regarding food storage. By comparison, black bears are not an ambush preditor. They will attack face on.

How about Timber Wolves? There are many more of them in this state as well and there too, how many incidents do we hear about? With them, you risk an attack by a pack of more than one too. I'd almost rather face a single cat than an entire pack of wolves but I don't venture into the woods in fear for my life.

No need to spread any hysteria about needing to eliminate the cats.

Bob

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Well said Bob. There has never been a documented case of a wild wof attacking a human. There HAVE been cases of cougar attack, usually by animals MISTAKING a human for its normal prey. Black bears can, will and have attacked and killed and even eaten people. I have been within 30' of a pack of 13 wolves and they stood and watched my Lab and I. Then they walked off and sat in the trees and howled.

My point here is, as I said in a post way back, lets not get all wobbly-kneed about cougars. We don't need people blasting away at wild critters because they THINK the animal might be dangerous or because they just GOTTA kill something. Relax. I've seen a couple cats, hundreds of wolves and bears and lookit me.....not a claw mark on me! HA!

Live in harmony with the critters. Even the ones you decide to harvest and eat.

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Quote:

What would You do, manly man? Wrestle it to the ground and tie it up with your boot laces?


I would atleast wait until it made a charge at me. From what you first said you would shoot the animal if it simple just sat there looking at you without running away. Good judgment would say that if the animal shows obvious signs of aggression to you then by all means defend yourself, but you don't need to shoot it for simply looking at you.

Like I said the cat that is looking at you while you watch it is not the one to worry about. Its the cat waiting to pounce on the first meal that walks by that you need to worry about but I promise you won't see it until you are bear hugging it.

With all that said if you go into the woods with a fear of cougars you are probably wasting your time worrying about something that poses no threat. You are more likely to get hit by lightning while sitting on the can then being attacked by a cougar.

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I don't expect to see one. If for some reason I did, I wouldn't wait too long before I did something. The moment I felt I was in danger, it's over. I wouldn't take any chances. Big if. Huge if I was approached by a cougar.

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If you see a cougar, chances are it has known you were coming for some time. It's when you don't see it coming that you will be in trouble. We are in the upswing in small game again (a good thing) and that means the predators are on the upswing too, now. Conservation doesn't just bring the food numbers up for humans, you know. Rabies and the like are still an issue for all animals, but just because a predator looks at you doesn't mean it is rabid. The recent warmer climates in MN allow for some different animals to shift up and over, but don't get too used to it. The chances of you getting shot by another hunter have to be higher than getting mauled by a non-native predator, or even a native predator. Check back on that little fact after Thanksgiving.

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I would agree with that. I'm sure he sits on the can much more often then he goes hunting where there are cougars...

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Well this just blows my mind. I've been reading this thread for a couple of days. Tonight I come home, crack a beer, look out at the lake and a bobcat walks across the lawn. Couldn't believe my eyes.

I spend way more time than the average man in the woods. Way more than most of you would probably believe. I've seen three bobcats in the wild (not in traps or trapped). Two in my yard and one I surprised walking up on a riverbank. I've never seen a cougar.

I hate cats. I'm allergic to them to the extreme. If there's anything I fear in imagination it's a cougar. Lightning fast and looking for an animal my size. And playing with me like a kitty with a mouse. Slapping it's big paw on my legs because I try and get away.

The thing that disturbs me most about cats is the bobcat I surprised on the riverbank. It just ambled on it's way like I wasn't even there. It surely knew I was there. And didn't care. How do I know it knew I was there? Because I've crossed hundreds of bobcat tracks, seen hundreds of bobcat scats, and only seen one while on foot. They know you're there. And leave the scene long before you have an inkling they're in the neighborhood.

I've lived with wolves for a couple of decades. I've seen dozens from the truck, only maybe five on foot. They know you're there. They leave the scene before you even know they're in the neighborhood.

I've had bears popping jaws at me from 30 feet. Two times. I make sure I maintain eye contact and back away. I wasn't attacked. Once with cubs in sight. Makes ya feel pretty small though.

Why would you even consider shooting one of these animals unless pretty severely provoked? Or specifically hunting legally?

Man, there's just way too much fear out there. Please, don't lob bullets around at some boogie monster. It might be me.

Yup. Saw a bobcat tonight. Almost 45 years in the woods. Third one. It was way cool.

Craig

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what type of cover/habitat do cougars prefer to live in? it seems like they like to hang around rocky, cliffy areas.

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