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black cougars in west-central Texas?

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

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  1. Flintknapper

    Flintknapper Member

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    I have NO doubt that there are now (or were) cougar...present in your area. Also, any Wildlife agency in any Southern State...KNOWS cougars are there, they just don't want to promote it....and for good reason. They already have their hands full doing other things and "mis-indentification" IS a real (and time consuming) problem for them. Much easier to deny it than to authenticate the 'few' real sightings.



    Are you saying the Wildlife agencies are publicly ridiculing those who report sightings...or that the public is doing so? If the Wildlife depts are doing so...then they lack professionalism, if the public....well you just take your chances.

    Yes, there are real sightings of (normal colored) cougars all throughout the South, but you have to admit MANY other times...its a case of someone not knowing what they are talking about. Just strike up a conversation about it (almost anywhere) and you'll be hard pressed to find someone who HASN'T seen a cougar or knows someone who has.

    People are all too eager these days for some sensationalism. Too bad, because all the false claims (and they are many)...detracts from those who HAVE actually seen a big cat. That is what the game departments are dealing with.
     
  2. Davek1977

    Davek1977 Member

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    You're right, which puts black cougars solidly in the realm of aliens, ghosts, Nessie, Yeti, chubacabras, werewolves, vampires, and other things that people have claimed to have encountered, yet have absolutely no proof of. A lack of evidence doesn't disprove their existence....but tangible evidence would lend a LOT of credence to such claims when the claims themselves seem doubtful. You're entirely right, I cannot "disprove" the existance of such creatures, but, to be fair, no one has proven them accurate either, despite probably thousands of claims. Threee hundred hundred million firearms in the US...thousands of sightings, many by people who were armed apparently.....and not a single carcass, pelt, or anything else that supports the claim? Again, I'm skeptical, and all the hearsay in the world...without evidence to support it...does little to convince me of their existence. Someone has GOT to come up with something more convincing than "my neighbor's cousin's grandma saw one once" or even "I saw one once, sure wish I'd have taken a shot at it while we were watching it" before I entertain the idea.....then again, these mythical creatures are probably bulletproof and immortal, making it even harder to prove they are "real".
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2012
  3. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Member

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    Yes,it was done in our local paper.
    Killing one would likely get you the wrong kind of attention as most non-game animals are protected by law(at least they are here). The likelyhood of prosecution is extremely high. Back in the 1970s,we had a LOT of black bear sightings that were all attributed to "mis-idendification". I personally knew and talked to a lady who's dog treed one in her front yard. She stopped talking about it because so many made fun of her....until a Chandler Mountain beekeeper killed it. He narrowly avoided prosecution. The mis-identified,non-existant black bear is now mounted and on display in the Chandler Mountain Community Center.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012
  4. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Member

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    It is a proven fact that black jaguarundi exist(which I am convinced is what folks are seeing,in my area,including me)yet no-one has killed one of those either.
     
  5. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    With more than 200 year of scientific collections being made and nearly 400 years in some areas of the US, you think public ridicule has kept people from displaying or documenting the mythical black mountain lions?

    So by ridicule, you mean the wildlife agency called the person stupid or something like that, or just noted that the person must be mistaken given the lack of existence?

    Mountain lions can be taken in Texas. Your information says you are in Alabama. So I am not sure what you mean about non-game animals being protected by law when referring to mountain lions where you are. From http://www.outdooralabama.com/images/file/2011-12 WFF/64 Lifetime Res Code-Regs 7-11.pdf

     
  6. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Member

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    I am in Alabama and killing a mountin lion here will cost you big time! Mountain lion (and black bear) are protected species in Alabama(even though they don't exist here).From the same regulation you cited above:pROTECTED SPECIES

    All birds except English sparrows, crows, collared doves, starlings and blackbirds (except rusty) are protected by state law. Game birds and game animals may only be taken during open season for hunting. There is no open season in Alabama for bear, mountain lion (cougar) and ruffed grouse. Other wildlife species are protected by the nongame species regulation.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2012
  7. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    DNS, what commonly happens when somebody sees a cougar and a reporter learns of the sighting and then goes to some wildlife agency type for comment: The article gives much more space and credence to the wildlife person's "We ain't got no..." comments and writes the article with slant that ridicules the one who saw the critter.

    Here in south Georgia, my wife had a definite sighting one morning while driving the fifteen miles to town. She commented on it later and got the usual, "Now, little lady, just how would YOU know what a panther looks like?"

    She batted her eyes at him and in her most syrupy ladylike southern manner replied, "It looked just like the one we have draped over the couch at home."

    Silence ensued. :D
     
  8. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    Interesting. They are a GAME ANIMAL as defined by law but protected as non-game animals. However, given the long history of settlement in Alabama, this is a recent event. In all the preceding history there and everywhere else, no black ones have ever been taken.
     
  9. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Member

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    I think you will have a very hard time proving that statement. Let me stipulate AGAIN that I am not speaking of black cougars(the OP's original subject). I am talking specifically about large long tailed wild cats possibly jaguarundi.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2012
  10. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Member

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    Yes but clearly DNS WAS given that he was responding directly to a statement about mountain lions.

    While jaguarundis are certainly related to the topic at hand, it's not really reasonable to contradict someone's statement about mountain lions by saying that you're talking about jaguarundis.

    It would be like my saying that no one has ever shot a 1000lb whitetail deer and you responding that I will have a hard time proving that statement and adding that you are talking about elk, not whitetail deer.

    Your point about jaguarundis probably being mistaken for black cougars is well taken, however that is not an argument for the existence of black cougars. It is, rather, support for the assertion that when people say they have seen a black cougar/black panther/black mountain lion, they are mistaken.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2012
  11. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    Okay, at least we are clear as to what YOU are talking about about that you don't know what you are talking about. The notion of the cat being large, long tailed, and possibly being a jaguarundi is completely incoherent. Their max weight (20 lbs) is about half that of the norm for bobcats which are NOT considered to be large cats. In fact, it is the smallest native North American cat species, LOL. It is smaller than the Jaguar, Mountain Lion, Bobcat, Lynx, and Ocelot.

    Now, that isn't to say that these weren't 130 lb. jaguarundis. After all, I would be hard pressed, as you noted, to prove a jaguarundi can't be 130 lbs., but only because one has never been recorded that weight, right?
     
  12. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Member

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    I believe folks whom I know personally when they tell me they have seen "a large(?) black cat with a long tail" as I not only trust them not to lie but have also seen one myself. The one I saw certainly wasn't a cougar (too small) but was not a housecat(too large). What we/they are seeing has yet to be positively identified but at this point it's a "he said/she said" argument as neither side has been proven.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2012
  13. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Member

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    I never prescribed a weight to the animal and certainly NOT 130 lbs.
    Offering an alternative of a known animal as possibly being what is being seen(at least in SOME of the sightings) is incoherent? How so?
    You are correct,my bad. I agree with him on that staement.
     
  14. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    From Wikipedia, jaguarundis appear to max out at 20 pounds. That would mean that a big jaguarundi would not be much bigger than a large house cat. Hard to envision somebody mistaking one for even a small cougar.
     
  15. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Member

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    Okay,then what did I see and what are other people seeing? I'm open to suggestions(am I the only one?). For background,I am 59 years old,have hunted and trapped since I was big enough to tag along with my dad. Have studied animal behavior and sign as well as wildlife habitat improvement. In over 45 years as a trapper,I have only seen one large black cat and caught only one partially spotted wildcat(described above), 20-25lbs. These two instances are enough to convince me that there are large(over 20lbs) long tailed cats in our woods that are neither cougar nor stray housecats. For the record,I don't believe there are any melanistic cougars.
     
  16. solvability

    solvability Member

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    I had this discussion the other day - according to DNR we have no breeding population of Cougars in Alabama, but we all know we do - it is a political finding not biological. We have gray Cougars in North Alabama and jet black Cougars in South Alabama. I have seen one large Gray Cougar and it was a sight - many friends have seen them - a couple close up - the guys and the Cougar were Turkey hunting.
     
  17. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    Wikipedia sez jaguarundis max out at around 20 pounds. I don't imagine that a housecat sized critter would be mistaken for a panther.
     
  18. Davek1977

    Davek1977 Member

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    "I SAW it!" I see that, and even hear that, in conversation so often regarding these kids of stories, and in almsot every case, the person thinks that ought to be enough to convince people of it happening.. Sure...you saw SOMETHING, and after the fact, talked yourself into WHAT you THOUGHT you saw. That is a perfectly reasonable explanation, but one many seemingly refuse to believe as possible. Instead, people create cat species that have never been photographed, taken, or even carcasses found. That seems like a MUCH more plausible explanation than someone's eyes playing trick of them, doesn't it?? C'mon folks...think about what you are asking us to believe! That cat or "cat-like" animals, black in color, with long tails, heavier than 20 lbs.....exist in the Southern wild in such numbers they are apparently frequently seen, but an actual specimen has yet to be found, nor any quantifying evidence of any kind, other than hearsay, backs the idea they exist? WHat can I say? The idea of a mistaken ID or someone's eyes playing tricks on them seems so much more of a logical explanation......
     
  19. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Member

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    Okay,fine y'all can have it your way. No point in carrying it any further.
     
  20. JERRY

    JERRY Member

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    the puma or whatever you want to call it that i saw in S.E. Arkansas was tan. never seen a "puma" in Alabama and have only seen "black" panthers as jaguars and leopards at the zoo.

    there was a puma shot by a hunter near West Point Lake in Georgia a few years ago, but it was determined to have been a "pet" set loose due to the minimal amount of parasites it had; im guessing ticks and what not. BTW the hunter who shot it got a big fine by DNR for killing it because he didnt say it was trying to attack him, he was in a deer stand when he saw it and just shot it just because i guess.
     
  21. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    No, you did not, but you did say ...

    The only natural large, long tailed cats in North America are the mountain lion and jaguar and the mountain lions are the smaller of the two and they are gigantic compared to jaguarundis.

    You keep talking about proof, that we can't prove that they aren't black panthers or some other large black cats being seen, but given the preponderance of historical, known, and accepted information about 'black panther' type animals is that they do not exist and so the burden of proof resides with those making claims to the contrary.
     
  22. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Member

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    I won't argue with that.
     
  23. allaroundhunter

    allaroundhunter Member

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    800px-Jaguar.jpg

    Melanistic Jaguar. Could it be mistaken for a "black panther"?
     
  24. Davek1977

    Davek1977 Member

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    It could....but that would mean these black jaguars are being seen at a rate far higher (it seems, and often outside of their documented range) than those of a more common coloring.....something, again, that seems hard to believe, all things considered
     
  25. allaroundhunter

    allaroundhunter Member

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    Oh I am not saying that all of these sightings are black jaguars, because I can assure you they are not. I am just saying that they do exist, and in N. America nonetheless.

    I am with you, it is extremely hard to believe that there are more "black panthers" being seen than their typical colored brethren, especially when there are no pictures or other evidence to support such statements.
     
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