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black cougars in west-central Texas?

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by texastele, Oct 31, 2012.

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  1. texastele

    texastele Member

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    I live in west-central and Texas and am out in the pasture quite a bit. I have seen a black cougar/panther/whatever you want to call it twice in the last two years. I have found big cat tracks 3-4 inches tall several times this year where I have my animals. The tracks were within about a hundred yards of where I saw one last year. The other sighting was on another guy's place where I was working about 8 miles south of the tracks and the other sighting. I was curious if any of you guys have ever seen a black panther in west-central Texas. This is interesting to me because the tpwd and many of the guys that I was a field biologist (mammalogist) with will tell you that there are no black panthers out here. There are regular cougars, but they will hoorah you up and down that there are no black ones. All of the ranchers out here have game cameras but no one has ever got a picture of a black one. Of course, nobody that I have talked to has gotten a picture of a regular one, either. And actually, none of the cowboys, biologists, or hunters I know have ever seen a black one. So, I know that I am not that much more of a field guy than anyone else, or out in the pasture that much more than everybody else, but I can't figure out why I appear to be one of the few that has seen this thing. Now I have two statements to fend off potential questions. Yes, I know how to cut sign and, yes, I know the difference in cougar/bobcat/big dog tracks. Yes, I also know what cougars look like. Also, if you type in the google search terms 'black cougars' or 'black panthers' you get a whole variety of results that don't have anything to do with animals. Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2012
  2. tarosean

    tarosean Member

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    Cause its true....There is no scientific evidence to prove otherwise..

    However, Texas has some the largest Exotic Animal Population in the US. I lived within 4 miles of Lions (African and Mountain) and Tigers.
    So it could be an escapee or someone turned an exotic loose. There are also Jaguarundi in TX that can be black but more so the size of bobcats.

    Its like bigfoot. Lots of stories and hearsay.. However when a picture does show up is grainy/poor and you cannot tell what the heck it is... LOL
     
  3. Bobson

    Bobson Member

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    Wait, what? You're saying there are wild tigers and African lions in Texas? And black panthers, apparently?
     
  4. Kitika

    Kitika Member

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    We have a mysterious Black Panther here in Australia too. There has been multiple attacks on livestock all over Australia but no one has been able to get definite proof other than pictures of tracks left in sand. If i'm ever out in the bush alone I make sure I got some form of protection as I've seen a very large black cat around our place.
     
  5. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Member

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    I'm very interested in the whole "large black cat" thing. When I was a kid and spent a lot of summers in W.Va. and Ky., the old timers were always talking and warning us about black cats. No, not the unlucky kind.

    There have been numerous reports and photos. Admittedly, a lot of the photos come up short on quality or are later proven to be housecats and people misjudged the distance. A couple, however, have endured.

    It puzzles me, too, why wildlife officials would go to such lenghts to dispute the existence of these animals despite A) so many reports B) a few photos that do show large black cats C) the known existence of melanistic (I think that's the correct term) large cats. Think tigers, lions, etc.

    Keep in mind, too, that you are in the now expanded range of the jaguar which has a very well known and seemingly higher than average melanistic variation.
     
  6. alsaqr

    alsaqr Member

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    Oklahoma has very lax laws pertaining to the possession of big dangerous cats. Several years ago a nurse in Garvin county was coming home from work at about 2:00 a.m. When she stopped at a stop sign a black leopard put its paws on her hood and hissed.
     
  7. jdh

    jdh Member

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    There was a picture posted of a pair of large very dark long tailed cats crossing a road between Bastrop and Buescher state parks last year. The link I booked marked seems to be broken now.
     
  8. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

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    There are tons of 'black panther' sightings here in Florida. I believe it is because our panthers have a reddish tone with black hair tips. When viewed under certain light and angles, they appear to be very dark or black, especially when quartering away from you.

    So far no pumas, cougars, etc. have been confirmed in Florida as being black colored or melanistic. We do have occasional escapes of black leopards and black jaguars from our numerous exotic cat attractions.
     
  9. tarosean

    tarosean Member

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    if you consider caged or high fenced "wild".
     
  10. tarosean

    tarosean Member

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    Cause the melanistic phase occurs in spotted felines.. Leopards, jaguars, bobcats, etc
     
  11. heeler

    heeler Member

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    I hunted on a very large and remote ranch in northern Uvalde county Texas in the 1970's and two of our hunters that I belived then and would do so today saw a black cougar.
    In fact my brother and I found a small cave with the skulls and bones of several Angora goats very near one of the sighting areas.
    I will also say both of these sightings were in the late afternoon,not dark, but getting late.
     
  12. adelbridge

    adelbridge Member

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    some of these ranches are 1500+ acres of high fence to maintain and all kinds of stuff is getting loose. We have a large population of Axis deer that have adapted to the hill country.
     
  13. Cycletroll

    Cycletroll Member

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    Jaguarundi
     
  14. Sky

    Sky Member

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    Well the one around here is not black but he/she has certainly taken care of the feral hogs..they have all disappeared in our hunting A.O. in South Tx.
     
  15. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    There were no Cougars in Kansas either according to KF&G.
    Even though I and others had seem them.

    Finally, they kept getting run over in numbers too large to ignore.

    Now KF&G says there "might" be a few, maybe.

    So if you saw a big black cat in Texas twice, yes you have them, despite what the field biologist says.

    Probably young toms looking for mates after getting run out of Mexico by old toms.

    rc
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2012
  16. splattergun

    splattergun Member

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    A black cougar is not out of the question. It's a rare color phase. Rare, yes, but not unheard of. Just because the DWR hasn't or won't document any doesn't mean they can't exist.

    There are other possible large cats that can go black, too. The exotics mentioned previously, as well as the jaguar, which once roamed as far as western Texas. Jaguars are still sighted in Arizona once in a blue moon.
     
  17. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    Rare but not out of the question? By so rare, you mean "no known physical examples exist"?

    It isn't a DWR issue, but one of science. There is no coverup, conspiracy, or dereliction of duty.
     
  18. JERRY

    JERRY Member

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    i dont know what it was now that ive read all this stuff, but in drew/bradley counties near the saline river in southeast arkansas i saw a "puma" while out hunting...actually i only heard the growl yell like sound and saw the hind end and tail as it ran into a thicket (i was in a deer stand with my four wheeler parked at the base).

    i told the guys back at camp what i saw and heard, fearing they would laugh at me but instead they looked at each other and said i told you so......they said theyd seen it too and told the DNR guy who comes around to check deer tags at the camp, he summarily denied the existance of pumas in arkansas.....that was in 2007.
     
  19. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

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    If they verify a breeding population of cougars, pumas, painters, panthers, etc. in a state where they have been extinct, they have to curtail deer hunting and other activities in that area to allow them to re-establish the population. Then you have the same bureaucratic mess as exists with wolves and grizzlies.
    Believe me, you don't want them to verify your sightings if you're a hunter. Just pretend you were drunk.
     
  20. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    Uh no, not true.
     
  21. bad375

    bad375 Member

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    I have personally seen 2 large black cats, that I would have called cougars. One in San Saba county early December of 1992, the other in East Texas in Smith county in March 1998. Wasn't that surprised to see the one in San Saba but the one in Smith county where I live was a huge shock.
     
  22. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

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    That's what they did in SW Florida. They curtailed deer hunting so there would be more for the panthers.
     
  23. splattergun

    splattergun Member

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    oh well
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2012
  24. Mango88

    Mango88 Member

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    Jaguars still venture north out of Mexico and are occasionally seen in Texas but the state wildlife people aren't interested in publicizing it.
     
  25. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Mountain lions are in a lot of places in Texas that few would think possible. They've been seen along the mid Texas coast, all over south Texas and, OF COURSE, west Texas. I didn't say there were a lot of 'em in some of those places, but south and west Texas has a good number.
     
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