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Old 12-15-2011, 06:19 PM   #41
redhawk
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[QUOTE=Pumpkin QAAD;179307]They hunt them in the Black Hills and there is very little instance of conflict. I read a really interesting piece regarding the subject, perhaps the confines of the island have forced the cougars to adapt in terms of the human conflict.

Maybe like a Tsavo lion deal whatever they normally eat is gone.

The ratio thing is interesting because if you look at it based on human density california is low but if you look at it in terms of cougar density california is higher than other places, like the Black Hills.[/QUOTE]

Right. the Black hills are a bit of an anomaly because they are an island of forest and mountains surrounded by plains which is not cougar habitat. Add to that the fact that the Black hills are a popular tourism spot, in fact the most popular in SD, and that the Black Hills are a much more compact area then say Yellowstone (Wyoming.Montana) or Glacier national park (Montana) there are more cougars and humans in limited space.

The hunting of cougars there is based on the numbers rising as well as the lobbying of the hunting interests as opposed to any proven threat.

I'm not saying that the hunting is wrong, only that proven threat to humans is not the reason.

Having said all this I will also ask many of you to remember that I have posted on being "stalked" by a Cougar in South Dakota. At least he was following me stealthily. By making myself "BIG" and yielding a fallen tree branch, charging in his direction and making a lot of noise discouraged him. So he certainly was not fixated on having me for dinner. Education of the habitat and the mannerisms and behavior of predators and the best way to avoid and/or deal with them is the most important factor in avoiding confrontations with any animal.
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Old 12-15-2011, 11:27 PM   #42
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I wouldn't exactly say nothing is done to address the dangers of hunting there are quite a few regs.

I think we should skip the cougar and moose and bring back the mastodon and sabre tooth tigers that our ancestors extirpated. There are no recorded saber tooth attacks on man.

We can't just pick a snapshot in time and say that is how it is supposed to be. Things have changed and unfortunately, while that habitat may support it, society isn't ready to deal with the issues a large population of big cats in the middle of a very popular tourism area would bring.

Oh smilodon why did they kill you off.......
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Old 12-16-2011, 01:18 AM   #43
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I wouldn't exactly say nothing is done to address the dangers of hunting there are quite a few regs.

I think we should skip the cougar and moose and bring back the mastodon and sabre tooth tigers that our ancestors extirpated. There are no recorded saber tooth attacks on man.

We can't just pick a snapshot in time and say that is how it is supposed to be. Things have changed and unfortunately, while that habitat may support it, society isn't ready to deal with the issues a large population of big cats in the middle of a very popular tourism area would bring.

Oh smilodon why did they kill you off.......
There are already large populations of big cats in the middle and the edges or a very popular tourism area. In fact an area with attractions that get several times more tourists then the high peaks.
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Old 12-16-2011, 09:41 AM   #44
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That's exactly my point Hawk, where you have concentrated tourism in the Black Hills around Rushmore and Custer's Peak, Adirondack tourism is much different and spread out. The facts show the Adirondacks receive more tourists per year but yet, as you note, Custer's Peak gets more Tourists per day than a very popular hiking destination the ADK High Peaks region.

Besides the high peaks don't have a very high deer population density. Good luck keeping a smart cat in that area. Then you are going to run into the farmers defending their cows issue so it cannot be illegal to shoot them. Or have some sort of compensation fund setup.
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Old 12-16-2011, 10:28 AM   #45
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That's exactly my point Hawk, where you have concentrated tourism in the Black Hills around Rushmore and Custer's Peak, Adirondack tourism is much different and spread out. The facts show the Adirondacks receive more tourists per year but yet, as you note, Custer's Peak gets more Tourists per day than a very popular hiking destination the ADK High Peaks region.

Besides the high peaks don't have a very high deer population density. Good luck keeping a smart cat in that area. Then you are going to run into the farmers defending their cows issue so it cannot be illegal to shoot them. Or have some sort of compensation fund setup.
We're talking about the Adirondacks. Last I checked the High peaks Wilderness was only a part of them. As for the Black Hills I mentioned some of the main tourist draws but it is also a very popular backpacking area from the Black Elk national Forest which includes Harney Peak, to Sand Creek in Wyoming which is an area that is more off the beaten path and where I and others have Bushwhacked.

In most other ways, the Black hills and the Adirondacks are different as far as the type of forest, etc but both areas would support Cougars. My main point in bringing up the Black Hills is because of the Cat to human ratio and the fact that in spite of that, there are no incidents of consequence.

As a person who has hiked extensively in both areas my opinion (and it's just an opinion) is that the Adirondacks has more remote, less populous area then the Black Hills. Oddly enough, even though South Dakota is much more sparsely populated then NY, about 60% of that population is located in Rapid City and the towns located within the Black Hills.

Hmm "more sparsely" is that an Oxymoron or what? Now we see why I'm not a writer!!

BTW It's HARNEY Peak, Custer doesn't have one, he has a park.
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Old 12-16-2011, 10:54 AM   #46
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Harney only won a battle he didn't climb it like Custer

I also spent quite a bit of time in the Black Hills. Both places are very remote but the Black Hills seemed to have a more abundant and larger body size deer population.

I don't have the stats on it but when I saw my first mule deer I was quite impressed.
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Old 12-16-2011, 11:26 AM   #47
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Call it Black Elk Peak then because he stood at the top of it before Custer ever did. In fact in the Book "Black Elk Speaks" he states the following about standing at the top of the mountain where he had his vision.

“I was standing on the highest mountain of them all, and round about beneath me was the whole hoop of the world, And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell and I understood more than I saw; for I was seeing in a sacred manner the shapes of all things in the spirit, and the shape of all shapes as they must live together like one being.”

Or call it by it's Lakota name "Hinhan Kaga Paha" for it is to us a sacred place.

Incidently, Black Elk was nine years old when he ascended the mountain and had his Vision. Custer rode his horse up as far as he could go, The first WHITE person credited with ascending Harney Peak was Valentine McGillicuddy on July 24, 1975.
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Old 12-16-2011, 12:47 PM   #48
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What was the name of the tribe that occupied that area prior to the Sioux arrival in the late 1700's ?
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Old 12-16-2011, 02:38 PM   #49
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What was the name of the tribe that occupied that area prior to the Sioux arrival in the late 1700's ?
Hidasta, Awatsa and Awaxawi among others. the Crow who were a split off division of the Hidasta stll populated the areas of the Great plains as did the Northern Cheyenne. The Mandan occupied the area of the Missouri just North of the area that the Yankton Sioux populated.

The Lakota (Sioux) were actually displaced from the area of the Ohio Valley by the members of the Iroquois Confederation and later from the midwest by the Ojibwa or Chippiwa. They migrated just West of the Missouri River and broke up into 3 bands, the Lakota, Nankota and Dakota. That was all before the coming of the horse to the Great Plains.
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Old 01-11-2012, 12:54 PM   #50
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Hey all,

This is my first post so i guess it looks like I'll be baptized with fire I grew up in between Ticonderoga and Whitehall (Dresden)...I worked for the DEC many summers in the Lake George and Pharaoh Lakes areas. I've spent my life hunting fishing, hiking, trapping, paddling etc, and now work as a Law Enforcement Ranger in Yellowstone.

Back on topic...I'm not claiming to be an expert, just another person with time in the backcountry. I firmly beleive that the ADKs get some transient or dispersed cougars roaming through. Having a few resident kitty's is not out of the realm of possibility I just don't believe Northern NY has a big enough deer heard to sustain a population of cats.
That being said, cats thrive in the fringe areas around many California cities so maybe we'll just have to wait and see!

I will never believe that the DEC is "secretly releasing cats" or failing to deal with them...That is gross negligence and opening up severe legal issues from every angle.

As far as what would happen if NY did gain a viable cougar population well, I would suggest reading into the 1995 Yellowstone/Idaho reintroduction, that was a serious can of worms still loved and contested to this day...I know if NY gains a population then preservative measures would be introduced such as logging/developmental restrictions in viable habitat areas but in all truth that is the only hindrance I can think of. There's my 2 cents!

Stay safe out there!!
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Old 01-11-2012, 12:59 PM   #51
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omitted the Yellowstone/Idaho "Wolf" reintroduction...good source of info into the politics and procedures and associated hoopla of gaining a new fluffy forest critter
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