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Location: Olympia, WA
Joined: 04/09/2005
Posts: 140
Cougars

Another question for you Wazzu07, how do you discern the difference at the kill site? Cougar kills are eaten in place, and coyote kills are strewn and scattered?

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Location: Canada
Joined: 12/26/2006
Posts: 323
Cougars

There was another study in years gone by where cougars were targeting mature bighorn rams. A couple of cats were collared and that was their primary target.

I am no expert, but I suspect it was due to the horns creating more blind spots, etc.

I use to guide for cougar and there was a biologist doing a study in the area I hunted. Big mature toms were killing 2 sometimes 3 deer per week.

Black bears and grizzlies do a lot of damage to the fawn/calf moose and elk in the spring. There have been cases where they suspected that 40 to 50% of the moose calves were being taken by bears.

In wilderness areas with no bear or wolf control and where access is very difficult for hunters to have much of an impact, moose calf survival rates are very low. Consequently recruitment is low. A late fall count would show only 25% had survived. In these areas the bull/ cow ratios are also way higher, often 1:1 or 1:2 as opposed to 1: 20 or so in heavily hunted areas.

Don Fischer's picture
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Moderator
Location: Antelope, Ore
Joined: 03/24/2005
Posts: 3173
Cougars

My son was out on a local ranch this past weekend for some kind of religious deal that was going on. He took a walk after dark and on his way back said he got this strange feeling. So he stopped and looked around with his light and about 30' behind him was a cougar. He said he threw rocks at it and yelled and it left.

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Location: Washington
Joined: 03/11/2006
Posts: 80
Cougar kills

Sometimes it's very difficult to tell what killed a deer. I almost always find the carcass after the birds/ coyotes and my key indicator is tracks and location. If the carcass was stuffed up under a rock or brush and has since been dragged out by scavengers i figure its a cougar kill.
When they're fresh it's easy to discern who the culprit was. Coyotes generally kill from the hind and cats kill with a crushing bite.
I don't think bears kill many adult deer in our area. It's mostly shrub steppe country and prime for cats, but the bears have trouble sneaking around. I wouldn't know a bear kill if i found one.
Wild/ loose dogs ate tough on the deer also. In the midwest (iowa) we saved afew deer from dogs. They tear them to pieces and return home to eat their kibble!

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Location: Central Washington
Joined: 10/05/2006
Posts: 27
Cougars

It is easy to discern a cougar kill from coyote or bear when it is relatively fresh. If you were to look at the neck and nasal area of a deer or elk kill and saw puncture wounds around this area it would most likely be a cougar. Coyotes like suggested above do not really have a specific area of kill, but will go for the limbs trying to bring the animal down and they would then bite repeatedly to kill it. A cougar will consume what it wants and then cover up the rest to conceal the smell and hide it from other predators. If you find a carcass that is out in the woods look for a "latrine" which is where a cougar, just like a house cat will go to the bathroom and cover up its scat, this is a good indicator that the cougar was in the area. Cougars are not necessarily scavengers, but if given the opportunity they would most likely scavenage.

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Location: Washington
Joined: 03/11/2006
Posts: 80
They'll scavenge if they get the chance

We put a carcass out here and had this cat come along soon after...

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Location: Washington's Back Country
Joined: 06/25/2005
Posts: 316
Cougars

I found 2 cougar kills in March a day apart and 30 miles apart......I found the tracks and drag marks....Definately Cougar....one in Lincoln Co. and another in Stevens....on Sat and one Sun.....got a coyote tonight....350 yds with the new .300 Win Mag......180 Noslers not so good for yote huntin

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Location: Canada
Joined: 12/26/2006
Posts: 323
Cougars

Cougars and scavenging.

Like all carnivores, I believe they will scavenge when they need to. However, from what I have seen over the years and from the info I have obtained from some area biologists I dealt with in the past, they prefer fresh kills.

Where prey is plentiful these cats will feed on a deer kill for one or two days and then leave and kill again. They do not seem to care for tainted meat and will leave it and kill again. I think the old and infirm cats who have more difficulty taking down deer and the young and inexperienced who also have difficulty are more likely to scavenge.

If cougar could be relied upon to scavenge, hunters would have started baiting them many years ago...............such is not the case and that is because it is a very iffy proposition.

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Location: Washington
Joined: 03/11/2006
Posts: 80
good point

Good point about the hunting/baiting. I've always heard that they're not fond of old meat also.
I don't remember where I heard this...I'm sure somone will want to ask where and who came up with it, but the logic is hard to argue.
Since we have pretty much stopped killing ravens/crows/magpies/eagles the cougar kills have become more scavenged because there are more birds to find their cache. As soon as the birds find it, the coyotes are on it and the cougars are out a meal. So they kill another deer and hide it until it's found by the scavengers. Since there are far more scavengers than their used to be, the cougars (paramount predator in most areas) are killing more deer to keep fresh meat...it makes sense and is a perfect example that people can never change just one thing in nature.

tim
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Location: north idaho
Joined: 06/11/2004
Posts: 601
Cougars

It is kind of funny how different states laws affect other states. Ie Since hound hunting in washington has been banned, The cougar population in the northwest corner of washington state has exploded. The last tranplanting of caribou done was in northeast washington along the idaho border. In 2 weeks all but one cariobu was eaten by cougars. Now in idaho alot of the caribou recovery area has been blocked to snowmobiles. Greenie lawsuit. Now sleds haven't shown any harm to the caribou, but the predators have shown harm to the caribou.

I have seen one cougar in the daytime and it was quite an expierence. Personally let wahsington hunters hunt cougars with dogs.

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