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Backpacker Magazine – June 2010

Wildlife: Where to See Mountain Lions

Mountain lions can be found from Central America to the Pacific.

by: Kelly Bastone

Mountain lions near Columbus, Montana (Michael H. Francis)
Mountain lions near Columbus, Montana (Michael H. Francis)

Range
The Rockies to the Pacific, and all of Mexico and Central America

Where
>> Patchy forests, especially bordering open fields “Mountain lions like to work the edges while hunting,” says Paul Beier, a Northern Arizona University biologist and mountain lion expert. So scan the boundaries between dense brush and open grassland. Position yourself on a ridge or the opposite side of a canyon where you can watch without scaring them.

When
>> Dawn and dusk, year-round These nocturnal cats are “one-tenth as active during the day,” says Beier.
 
How
>> Seeing a cougar is “an outrageously difficult thing,” admits Beier. In his years of study, he’s only happened upon two cats—the rest of his 30-plus sightings resulted from radio tracking. Your best bet is to head where elk or deer are plentiful. Since mountain lions must eat every day or two, they stick close to their prey.
>> Locate a recent kill: If the carcass is covered with sticks and leaves, it means the cat plans to return for more food. “It’s likely even watching you,” Beier says. Find a good viewing spot a safe distance away (100-plus yards), and wait for the cat to return.

Top spots
Vancouver Island, off the west coast of British Columbia, has North America’s highest mountain lion concentration. Look for tracks along the 5.6-mile stretch of the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail from Sombrio Beach to Parkinson Creek. Or hike Plumas NF, in California, where large tracts of undeveloped land give cats plenty of room to prowl.

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Richard
Mar 07, 2012

I saw Bigfoot in my back yard

Richard
Mar 07, 2012

I saw Bigfoot in my back yard

Frank Mastrobuono
Apr 13, 2011

An article published today about reported sightings in Rhode Island.

http://southkingstown.patch.com/articles/matunuck-cat-sighting-not-a-mountain-lion-witnesses-disagree

Chris Sprinkle
Jan 23, 2011

I live in the same little community north of Mazatlan as a previous poster (I assume, since there are very few "communities" north of Maz) and my neighbor spotted one on the railroad tracks, as well....same neighbor,maybe?
Be that as it may---I also saw a mountain lion in the same area as I was driving a dirt road out to the highway. Another neighbor also saw one on the railroad tracks a bit south-- a quarter mile or so away. I imagine it's the same mountain lion as they have very large territories, but still it is a bit disconcerning when you have to walk parallel to those tracks by about 20 ft.

Ron Borat
Jan 10, 2011

I do hours of deer hunting in remote ares of foster and west greenwich.have tracks of black bear and lion in my cell phone,several reliable sources have seen mountain lions walking trails.These animals are so elusive and shy you wont see them and they make almost no noise when they walk.I've hunted monster swamp bucks and never saw them but yet have their sheds.And the last cherry on the sunday is this,one was hit off of 102 and the DEM knows it,they took it away.Folks they don't want people in full panic.Their here in RI

Jo Simpson
Oct 01, 2010

Our neighbor spotted a cougar walking down the railroad tracks mid-day in September of this year. We live in a little community just north of Mazatlan, Mexico! He said he was just strolling along, seemingly not nervous, afraid or concerned about anything! Never knew there were lions in Mexico!

Rosemary Waterman
Sep 15, 2010

I saw one in Scituate, RI in June of 09. Then April of this year, found a fawn carcass burried in the sand of the riding ring, at a stable in Exeter,RI. Two days after I removed the fawn, and it had rained, I found prints coming from the woods, through the ring to the very site the deer had been. The sand in that area had been dug & overturned. I've since started sharing my story with the locals & are finding more & more people have seen a cougar, or proof of one having been on their property. DEM claims we are mistaken,and that there are no cougars in RI. I beg to differ!!!!!!!!!!!!

John A. Lutz
Jul 19, 2010

Cougars/mountain lions are NOT only in the U.S. between the Rockies & Pacific Ocean.
There is CONFIRMING evidence of current COUGAR-MOUNTAIN LIONS in the east from Mississippi River to Atlantic Ocean. Their presence in the Smokey Mountains Will the public ever wake up & realize wildlife officials have lied to them for years??? Go to my website: www.easternpumaresearch.com for the TRUTH!!!

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