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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2019 9:27 am 
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greengrass wrote:
I worked on a cougar project putting cameras at kill sites and never once saw a cougar. You could tell the distance with a directional antenna and they were often 20-100ft away and not once did I see one. As soon as I was gone they reappeared. Occasionally you'd hear an accidental stick snap but that was it. Have had the some experience with every animal I've worked with.

Now that's a scary detail to know. Fascinating to hear from the voices of experience from the likes of Chris, Art and Greengrass on this discussion.

I've come across a handful of confirmed Cougar kills and all during daylight hours. All the kills ranged from fresh and partly consumed to slim pickings but never a warm fresh kill. Never saw any cat and figured that they were well fed and resting some place or off looking for another meal. Never considered that my approaching the kill site would have moved the cat off of its kill. Only to be very likely nearby watching my every move. I always figured that it would take a lot more than that to shoo off a Cougar on it's kill. If that's the case then they likely treat all impending human encounters much the same way. To simply avoid a confrontation no matter what. That would certainly explain why I have only seen 2 Cougars while hiking. Yet have never seen a cat when standing where it was standing only a minute or so earlier. I would imagine that the exceptions would be if it was an extremely hungry cat, emaciated, injured, protecting young or on a warm kill. Hunger, desperation and being a defensive parent are powerful motivators. Then those circumstances would change all the rules of the game.

So perhaps the findings that Cougars may be deterred by the sounds of a human voice is likely true. For that matter such as with my experiences while hiking solo. Even the unnatural sounds of clothing brushing against foliage and the sounds of a hikers footsteps, is enough for cats to know that it's a human approaching. Young children's voices are said to be an attractant and likely due to the higher pitch which mimics the higher pitch of young prey species. It would be interesting to know what tones of the human voice works best as a possible deterrent.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 8:04 pm 
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Location: Magalia, California
I don't think the results from the Santa Cruz mountains necessarily apply to wilderness areas where fewer humans wander around the woods. We have a suburban lion population here (actually we live in the "sticks"-- lots of dense second growth on a ravine-riddled landscape). They catch and eat dogs and cats, as well as the usual fare. A neighbor's friend got cell-phone video of one nailing a coyote in broad daylight. He filmed it from inside his house. I have yet to see it. Another neighbor had to talk a puma out of attacking his akita -- the cat was close -- across a canal, crouched, and eyeing the dog, and the guy stood his ground and kept telling it, "Don't you dare!" The cat changed its mind. I am sure the mtn lions here take down prey close to human habitation on a regular basis, because the deer range throughout the residential area and the cats pass through to get them. The vultures often tell me where there's a kill by their movements, circling lower, and then disappearing in the brushy ravines. I think we all agree that it's nice living close to nature.


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