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black cougars in west-central Texas?

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

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  1. tarosean

    tarosean Member

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    This...
     
  2. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    You misrepresented the issue and your Florida example does as well. You said...

    The Florida panther wasn't discovered as a breeding population thought to be extinct from the state. Its population decline has been documented and hunting curtailed on it in 1958 and later got CITES protection in the 1970s in order to keep this particular subspecies from going completely extinct (not just extirpated from Florida).
    http://www.fpl.com/environment/endangered/pdf/panther.pdf
    http://www.fws.gov/verobeach/MammalsPDFs/FinalizedFloridaPantherRecoveryPlan081218.pdf

    So no, just because a breeding population of carnivore might happen to be rediscovered where once it was extirpated does not mean the state will enact hunting restrictions on deer. The matter isn't one of geography, but one of species protection as noted with your Florida panther example.

    That
     
  3. ambidextrous1

    ambidextrous1 Member

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    About 7 years ago, I saw a 'large black cat' skulking through the arroyo adjacent to my house in El Paso.

    I watched him, fascinated, for about five minutes, until he became concealed in the bushes. About that time, I realized it would be a good idea to photograph him...:mad:

    I have discussed that sighting with quite a few locals, and their response leads me to believe that 'large black cats' are exceeding rare in El Paso.
     
  4. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    Over the last thirty or so years, there have been a fair number of sightings of "black panthers" in southern Brewster County. All of them well south of Alpine and mostly at night. Reasonably reliable observers who lived in the area.

    I've always figured that it was high melanin count, with reality being more of a very dark brown than actual "black as coal".

    I missed a shot on a big cat, years ago, that was very much like a Sealpoint Siamese in coloring. The paws, ears and tail were a real brown, while the body was the usual tawny color.

    I guess I'd call it, "Uncommon, but certainly not unknown."
     
  5. CharlieDeltaJuliet

    CharlieDeltaJuliet Member

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    I live in NC, I have seen a mountain lion (black as could be,but still had a shade darker spots). Evidently science will say it is a one in ten million mutation, but too many others over the years have seen the same.
     
  6. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

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    You're correct that "they don't have to restrict hunting" but wait and see what happens when a breeding population is discovered in a state where they used to exist. Therefore I change my original quote from "have to" to "will" ... and I stand behind that statement.
     
  7. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    And yet no hunter has ever recovered one and none are known from zoos, museums, or natural history collections. Apparently, black panthers are being raised by bigfoots which are also seen all over the country with regularity, but also mysteriously with no known physical specimens existing.
     
  8. shiftyer1

    shiftyer1 Member

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    I've never seen one but i've heard alot of stories, some from people I believe trustworthy. It seems whenever someone mentions a big cat of any color in an area people are slow to believe them.

    A few years back I was finding tracks pretty regular but folks looked at me like I was nuts, then I found a doe in a tree. Dang coyotes are getting talented;)
     
  9. DammitBoy

    DammitBoy Member

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  10. CharlieDeltaJuliet

    CharlieDeltaJuliet Member

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    Well, I am not saying Panther.. I saw a mountain lion( had spots) that was black. I have seen two of these. One in the wild and one in captivity.
     
  11. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Member

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    Mountain lions don't have spots except when they are very young cubs.
    Did you read the article that accompanied the picture? It includes the analysis and opinion of "an accomplished outdoors writer and naturalist" as to what is seen in the picture.

    Some excerpts from the article.

    http://texascryptidhunter.blogspot.com/2012/02/black-panther-photographed-in-texas.html

    From the author:
    "As has been discussed here before, officially, black panthers do not exist. Science tells us that there is simply no such animal. It is true that other big cats occasionally exhibit melanism but they do not make their homes in North America.
    ...
    I think the animal in the photo is most likely a jaguarundi."​


    From the expert:
    The animal in the photo is definitely a cat and it looks the closest to a jaguarundi of any known species. It is definitely not a jaguar (no spot pattern found on the coat. Messed with it in photo shop and you could pull some spots by messing with contrast and lighting and none show) or a cougar. The body position and short legs point to jaguarundi along with the dark color.

    The cat looks a little fat to me which is what threw me off. Cougar and jags are both muscular but this cat is not. Jaguarundis are not a muscular cat and after reviewing a photo of a pregnant jaguarundi it looks like that might be the case. There are definitely jaguarundis in the Hill Country despite what officials say and this is the time of year many of our predators are pregnant."​
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2012
  12. CharlieDeltaJuliet

    CharlieDeltaJuliet Member

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    The one I saw in captivity was less than two months old, the other not sure. But I do disagree about the spots. They have them, they are just faint. My brother has one mounted and the spots are just a tad darker of a golden color than the base fur.
     
  13. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Member

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    Bottom line is that if you know where there is a black, spotted mountain lion in captivity, you are in possession of information that any naturalist in America would be extremely interested in, to say the least.

    Contact someone (maybe the naturalist who contributed to the article in the link from my last post) and give them the information. Just remember to ask them to provide you with the results of their analysis so you can post it here to prove that you've done what no scientist/naturalist in America could do by locating a melanistic mountain lion.
     
  14. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    LOL, it is a B&W photo taken via the IR setting of a game camera. The camera is improperly aimed and too close to the feeder, producing an extreme hot spot by the IR flash (or maybe external light), thereby making everything outside of the hotspot look darker than it should. Notice how the feeder legs all appear to be different shades, the leg closest to the animal being darketst.

    You just can't say the animal is black from this image. Sorry, but but you another one of those equivocal images and as noted, not identified as a mountain lion (Thanks John!). Furthermore, who here has a species ID key based on animal butts?

    Equivocal images are not proof. There are still no actual, tangible specimens despite the countless claims, like Bigfoot, chupacabra, Jersey Devil, etc.

    Here is a very nice discussion. I like how the lady notes the commonality of black panther sightings in Florida where they only have about 100 known mountain lions (none black), and that folks have suggested that the black cats may be other Panthera species possibly escaped from zoos and such, but nobody sees the normal colored ones, just the rare black ones. Ever wonder why the rare stuff is so common?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6przuR7ITfY&feature=related
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2012
  15. lynntelk

    lynntelk Member

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    Yes I have

    To answer the original question, yes I have seen the animal in question in the area you have asked about. I live in the Midland/Odessa area. There is a small population of the black jaguar close to this area. I was going to a location in the oilfield about 30 minutes after sunrise when I saw one ~30 yards off the edge of the road. The cat stopped on the road to look at me for ~2-3 seconds, then ran off. I told the foreman on location what I had seen. He worked in the area for many years. He said they have been sighted many times by numberous individuals. I have talked to other ranchers in the area that have also seen the same black jaguars.
     
  16. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    That's great! Not only have jaguar not been documented in Texas since around 1900 or so, but you know of a population of particularly unique black jaguars in the Midland/Odessa area. That is quite phenomenal!
     
  17. CharlieDeltaJuliet

    CharlieDeltaJuliet Member

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    I was thinking that Mexico had a population of Jaguars( not sure about color) and they were within range of populating Texas. I think I had seen this on Discovery Channel, not really sure. I may be completely wrong about it though.
     
  18. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    Mango88, yes, Mexico has them. Some have moved back into Arizona. There haven't been any confirmed sightings or takings of them in Texas since the early 1900s. That they would show up and show up as black for the first time in the middle of Texas, well away from Mexico, and show up as black and only black after a century or so is highly unlikely.
     
  19. JERRY

    JERRY Member

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    the cat i saw in s.e. arkansas was tan or tauney...the usual puma color....

    can anybody in that area tell me if there have been conformed killings or photos of one?
     
  20. lynntelk

    lynntelk Member

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    Since Texastele started this post I would be interested in hearing how far of a distance from the Midland/Odessa area to where he has witnessed the sighting. He requested info for Central West Texas. Central West Texas covers a lot of area in this part of the country.
     
  21. TexasPatriot.308

    TexasPatriot.308 Member

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    Friday afternoon before opening day, broad daylight about 2pm my hunting buddy pointed out a large black cat near a feeder, we see several feral cats during the year so we kind of talked about it for a while, some hogs came in and the cat ran off, definitely large tail, we walked down to feeder where cat was, the weeds were up to and over our knees, the cats back was definitely over the weeds. wished one of us would have shot it. in this part of central Texas we got lots of cougars and reports of black cats are regular. they are here.
     
  22. Davek1977

    Davek1977 Member

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    "They're here" "I SAW one" "They're real...I saw one in captivity" "Lokk at this poorly lit picture...its a black panther, I swear!" What does every one of these claims lack? Tangible proof, making them every bit as "documented" as Bigfoot. While I don't doubt that many people BELIEVE they have seen such a critter, the utter total and complete lack of supporting evidence doesn't lend much credence to the claims. Hundreds, if not thousands, of sightings over the years, and not one carcass or pelt to be found anywhere? No documentation, no verifieable photos, no nothing? Yet...we're just supposed to take it on faith and a few people's words that they exist? I'm not always a skeptic, but without something to lend some basis to these claims other than the word of my fellow man, I have a hard time buying into it
     
  23. CharlieDeltaJuliet

    CharlieDeltaJuliet Member

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    According to wiki "The jaguar's present range extends from Southern United States and Mexico across much of Central America and south to Paraguay and northern Argentina. Apart from a known and possibly breeding population in Arizona (southeast of Tucson), the cat has largelybeen extirpated from the United States since the early 20th century." It is possible that these are what people are seeing. If they are really that rare then I understand why they are not seen. I have lived in mountain areas (NC) for most of my life and have only seen 7-10 big cats in the wild. This is including bobcats. My area is one of the most rural of NC. When in Texas this was 3 of the accounts of big cats. But melanism is rare but is in EVERY species of animal, so I am not going to call someone a liar, when what they seen is possible, and documented in all other species.

    I know most have seen melanism, but for those that haven't here are some photos of melanistic animals. http://twistedsifter.com/2012/02/10-incredible-melanistc-all-black-animals/
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2012
  24. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    Davek1977, I've seen several cougars through the years, and beaucoup tracks around my house. But I'm in SW Texas, not in west central Texas.

    As far as color, I know the reliability of the several people in the Terlingua area who have reported "black" panthers, although in discussion they agreed that the color could have been a very dark brown. Two night-time sightings at household trash pits; only one in daylight. Odds are that it was the same one cougar, based on timing and locations.

    As far as cougars in general and the "We don't have any, here.": They are definitely travellers. Texas Parks & Wildlife released a radio-collared young male from the Black Gap Wildlife Management Area south of Marathon some sixty miles. It was killed in a rancher's sheep pen, two nights later--seventy miles north of Black Gap.

    A friend of mine does contract flying of radio-mounted critters. Eagles, peregrine falcons, cougars. One cougar regularly travelled from the Glass Mountains north of Marathon, south to the southern end of the Del Carmen range in Mexico. Some 200 miles, one way, plus crossing the Rio Grande.
     
  25. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    In Tennessee in the 1950s and 1960s it was common to hear older people talk about being stalked by black panthers back in the 1920s or 1930s. But no recent reports. We do have large wild cats, reports of lynx, and in the long past a small population (sustainable, resident) of cougar in the Smokey Mountains (a few generation back I think). Whether the cougars were black or not, you have to remember that the credible "stalked by a black panther" story I heard was stalked at night, and as Ben Franklin pointed out, "In the dark all cats are grey".

    But then if you told me thirty years ago, that coyotes would be a problem in Tennessee, I would have laughed and demand that you show me a carcass. Now they're a major threat to livestock. So I am reluctant to diss all "big black cat" reports, but will withhold judgement until there is positive proof. It is easy though to have a false but honestly mistaken sighting.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2012
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