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Old 04-06-2018, 04:27 PM   #21
Schultzz
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I know a guy from Inlet who says he saw a cougar on the back road from the Raquette Tap Room. I won't mention his name cause he's a regular but he knows the difference between a bobcat and a mountain lion. It was a while back so it might have been the one that got killed by a car in CT. Anyone else seeing big cats?
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Old 04-06-2018, 05:06 PM   #22
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I think a lot of folks have seen one once or twice. While there is no breeding population, it's obviously a fact that a mountain lion passes through occasionally. The cat that was the subject of "Heart of a Lion" was seen by many people at various points along its journey. Most of these people were told "You're crazy." "You did not see what you think you saw." "You saw a Golden Retriever (or a House Cat or whatever)." "You are an incompetent observer." etc., etc..

I understand the financial, legal and political reasons for this, but I think it's a shame that we demean people and call them stupid, when they know exactly what they saw.
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Old 04-06-2018, 05:50 PM   #23
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And people in the Southern Tier have seen them occasionally also. People I totally believe and trust. I haven't seen one.
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Old 04-07-2018, 08:08 AM   #24
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Again... it begs the question, with all the game cameras out there......
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Old 04-07-2018, 09:45 AM   #25
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Again... it begs the question, with all the game cameras out there......
I sometimes feel the same way....................and then I realize that my trail camera, which is set out at a particular location on my 92 acres of southern ADK land, has field vision to only cover about .0001 % of my particular spread.
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Old 04-07-2018, 10:36 AM   #26
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I sometimes feel the same way....................and then I realize that my trail camera, which is set out at a particular location on my 92 acres of southern ADK land, has field vision to only cover about .0001 % of my particular spread.
That's very true. There are lots of cameras, but there is LOT of area.

The couple people I know who have seen a cat have seen one prowling along the shoulder of the Northway. Speculation: When a loner cat can't get enough prey in our fairly inhospitable woods, it resorts to eating road kill...
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Old 04-07-2018, 06:52 PM   #27
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I have a brother who is involved with a study of Golden Eagles. This group collects road kill deer, relocates it to a lonely spot, stakes it down, with a game camera recording any interaction with said carcass.
He is just south of State Rt. 20. This is a fairly large group of enthusiasts stationed all along the east coast. They have collected, and shared, a large variety of animals visiting said carcasses. They have plenty shots of eagles, both Golden and Bald, along with coyotes, foxes, and Fishers. Not one pic of a cougar.
One would think a carcass would attract a cougar. I'm not saying they are not out there but....
Honestly I hope they are out there.
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Old 04-07-2018, 07:12 PM   #28
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I have a brother who is involved with a study of Golden Eagles. This group collects road kill deer, relocates it to a lonely spot, stakes it down, with a game camera recording any interaction with said carcass.
He is just south of State Rt. 20. This is a fairly large group of enthusiasts stationed all along the east coast. They have collected, and shared, a large variety of animals visiting said carcasses. They have plenty shots of eagles, both Golden and Bald, along with coyotes, foxes, and Fishers. Not one pic of a cougar.
One would think a carcass would attract a cougar. I'm not saying they are not out there but....
Honestly I hope they are out there.
How often are 'Golden's spotted in the ADK's or in your brother's area?
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Old 04-08-2018, 08:09 AM   #29
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How often are 'Golden's spotted in the ADK's or in your brother's area?
Below is a response from a friend, a respected and well known birder;

Goldens are rare but seen regularly in the Adirondacks during migration. There are some in central New York all winter, with the highest numbers in the Catskills. The only places they are seen with regularity is at hawkwatch sites like Franklin Mountain in the fall and Derby Hill in the spring.

Hawkwatch sites are found at hawkcount.org. Dig a bit and you can see which sites get goldens and when. If someone wants to keep track of what's being seen, including goldens, there are bird listservs that people report to. The Adirondack group is Northern New York Birds. Even there, reports of goldens are infrequent.

Bird listservs are listed at http://nybirds.org/RecordsRBA.htm.

I hope this helps.

Tom

I should have also mentioned ebird. You can search through it for species and locations. Google ebird.
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Old 04-09-2018, 10:13 AM   #30
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That's very true. There are lots of cameras, but there is LOT of area.

The couple people I know who have seen a cat have seen one prowling along the shoulder of the Northway. Speculation: When a loner cat can't get enough prey in our fairly inhospitable woods, it resorts to eating road kill...
Yes perhaps, but here's the thing which I can't come to terms with: when the Florida panther was literally on the verge of extinction in the Everglades (I think around the 1950's-1960's), people were still hitting them with their cars and finding concrete proof of their existence (photo's, kills, paw prints and scat samples). And mind you, that was over 50 years ago when people didn't have cell phones or even practical cameras to carry around.

Now we talk about the modern era in the ADK's.
I've yet to see a photo that was grainy or somehow distorted, and those i have seen were either bobcat or house cats.
I've yet to see anyone provide a good scat sample.
I've yet to see anyone document a known cougar paw print.
I've yet to see anyone document a known cougar kill.
And I've yet to hear/see anyone hit one with their car (excluding the one referred to below).

Have cougars moved through the ADK's and other parts of the northeast? Yes, and there is proof of at least one doing so.

Is that a normal occurrence? That is debatable, but the lack of evidence of their presence (and they do leave evidence) suggests that it isn't.
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Old 04-09-2018, 11:49 AM   #31
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I agree - I don't think they pass through routinely. But I also don't think there has been only one. I think it's one, maybe in ten years. Probably loners, like the well documented one. And most probably end up living out their lives and then dying in the wild, and the body is never found.

Now the well documented "Heart of a Lion" cat was seen by several people. And NYS DEC officials documented paw prints and scat, and fur from a property near Lake George (in fact IIRC it was a DEC employee's property).

The sad thing is that until it was incontrovertible, and until the cat was dead in CT, the DEC kept this secret, and the people that had seen the cat were called "crazy" or equivalent.
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Old 04-09-2018, 02:24 PM   #32
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The sad thing is that until it was incontrovertible, and until the cat was dead in CT, the DEC kept this secret, and the people that had seen the cat were called "crazy" or equivalent.
That's an interesting point. I wonder if the DEC has ever given a reason for keeping it so secret...............
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Old 04-09-2018, 02:26 PM   #33
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The sad thing is that until it was incontrovertible, and until the cat was dead in CT, the DEC kept this secret, and the people that had seen the cat were called "crazy" or equivalent.
I don't deem someone "crazy" for thinking that cougar have passed through NY, at one point or another.

However, there does seem to be a sizable, and vocal, contingent which believes that cougar are residing in NY (and the northeast in general) and that the DEC is deliberately trying to suppress news of their return. I won't call those people "crazy," but I also will be frank in saying that there is zero evidence to support that theory.

There was actually an article discussing how the DEC views these claims (I wish I could find the link). The DEC reviewed at least some of the cases, and almost all of them that had "photographic" evidence turned out to be distorted pictures of feral cats or bobcats. I think some people really want to believe the cougar have returned to NY and they let their imagination run wild when they get an incomplete view of something furry in the woods.

Edit: I saw a "wolf" one time while driving around in northern Michigan. It took me a few minutes to realize that I hadn't seen a "wolf," but a rather large coyote. I was so amped up and eager to see a wolf and I knew wolves inhabited parts of Michigan that my mind jumped to a premature conclusion before my eyes could refute it.

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Old 04-09-2018, 09:37 PM   #34
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I agree completely. There is no breeding population.

The reason the DEC kept the "Heart" cat data secret is discussed in another thread; I don't have the link right now. Actually stating that there was a cat out there would require a whole bunch of additional work that they are not budgeted for. $, simple.

But unfortunately, keeping secrets about this cat just further drives the "conspiracy theories" of folks who think there is a breeding population.

I would love to be able to tell whoever is in charge of this "Just tell the truth, stupid."
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Old 04-11-2018, 09:32 AM   #35
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That's an interesting point. I wonder if the DEC has ever given a reason for keeping it so secret...............
DEC took some heat in 2011 when it was discovered they didn't report the Lake George sighting. I believe they said it was for investigative purposes. It would've been a big story, for sure. I also believe that they thought it was a captive one that had been released, like the one killed in Saratoga County in the early 90s.

As for reintroduction, predators go where the food is and there's not much of it (deer) in the Adirondacks, which would lead them to the outskirts and the ag lands. That's all a struggling dairy farmer needs is a predator targeting their cows. Leave it be, and if they naturally return, so be it.
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Old 04-11-2018, 10:52 AM   #36
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Below is a response from a friend, a respected and well known birder;

Goldens are rare but seen regularly in the Adirondacks during migration. There are some in central New York all winter, with the highest numbers in the Catskills. The only places they are seen with regularity is at hawkwatch sites like Franklin Mountain in the fall and Derby Hill in the spring.

Hawkwatch sites are found at hawkcount.org. Dig a bit and you can see which sites get goldens and when. If someone wants to keep track of what's being seen, including goldens, there are bird listservs that people report to. The Adirondack group is Northern New York Birds. Even there, reports of goldens are infrequent.

Bird listservs are listed at http://nybirds.org/RecordsRBA.htm.

I hope this helps.

Tom

I should have also mentioned ebird. You can search through it for species and locations. Google ebird.
Thanks Tom.

I thought I saw a Golden two weekends ago about twenty miles west of Binghamton on RT 17/86. Balds are seen around there/here often. I really didn't think it an immature bald, due to its size and color but at 70 mph [us not the bird] and it is coming off the median and flying over the car it was difficult to identify.
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