Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics > Hunting

Cats

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Ultio1:
So I was walking my dog yesterday, he sniffs around and I follow, when he honed in on some tracks and the tried to drag me straight back to the house. I looked at the tracks for quite a while and got two second opinions and it is definitely a large cat. We have mountain lions and 2 kinds of jaguars that have recently returned to the area. I havent seen the cat and am wondering about the behavior of large cats. Are they likely to come closer to satisfy their curiosity or hunger? I want to get four hens but I am not at all interested in a new cat  ;)  Will a cat that size bother with chickens? What about Dogs? 

kimrpeterson:
I have had two close encounters with mountain lions in the past couple of years.  One was a huge male (approx. 150lbs) which was stalking my husband and I when we were in the back country.  The other was a young one, which scared me the most because mommy was probably close.  If the tracks were a mountain lion, you could very well have a problem.  A mountain lion will kill any dog or chickens you might have if they are in the area.  I live in the mountains and a mountain lion in the area recently jumped over a chain link fence and killed a goat, then jumped back over the fence with it.  Here is some info on mountain lion encounters;

General Advice About Lion Encounters
The general advice to avoid being eaten by a mountain lion is to travel in groups. If you encounter a mountain lion by yourself or with your children, stop, make yourself look as big as possible, and pick up small children and put them on your shoulders to make you appear even larger. Aggressively defend your position. The idea is to deter their attack by making them think that it isn't going to be easy for them. Pick up a branch or a rock to help fight them if needed. They are just big kitty-cats, so you don't want to appear as smaller prey to them. In particular, running away makes them think you are prey, and will encourage an attack. Yell for help by screaming cougar! or something similarly specific rather than just help!.

Do not take your dog with you into the wilderness, if you want to reduce your chances of a cougar attack. According to Banff National Park Chief Warden Ian Syme, "Many people like to take a dog along in the wilderness because it gives them a sense of security. They feel they will be protected from cougars. But that's not the case. Dogs are an attractant in most cases."

However, you may not have to worry about taking action to prevent an attack, since mountain lions ordinarily either lie hidden, waiting for prey to approach beneath them, or approach unseen, and then attack and kill by a bite to the back of the neck that severs the spinal cord.

DeltaEchoVictor:
I have to agree with Kim, large cats can be a problem.

My wife had an encounter with a cougar while on the periphery of our large yard when we lived in a remote(ish) area of SW Mo.  She was sitting down by the creek drawing on her sketch pad.  She had heard some noises behind her in the brush, when she finally turned around there was a large cat looking at her from about 30 or 40 feet. 

I don't know if it was actually stalking her or was just curious but it could have bad news.  Fortunately I'd made it clear that she needed to carry her pistol with her when she was out on the edges of the property because of several packs of wild dogs we'd been having problems with.  She said when she turned around to look at it, it stared at her for a few seconds and took off and she didn't have to pull her pistol fortunately.

I was at work when all this happened.  When I got home she ran up to the truck & excitedly told me how she'd seen a bobcat.  I asked her to describe it to me...her description was of a cougar.  Then she related the above story to me. 

Ultio1:
Well I guess I wont be walking the dog much anymore  :(
As far as I can tell it hasnt been on my property but Im not betting on that as the tracks were less than 1/4 mile from the house. I havent seen a javalina in weeks. Maybe Ill pick up one of those game cameras and put it up near some water and see if I can get some pics to post. Any suggestions from anyone who has used one before?

DeltaEchoVictor:

--- Quote from: Ultio1 on March 12, 2009, 10:34:22 AM ---Well I guess I wont be walking the dog much anymore  :(
As far as I can tell it hasnt been on my property but Im not betting on that as the tracks were less than 1/4 mile from the house. I havent seen a javalina in weeks. Maybe Ill pick up one of those game cameras and put it up near some water and see if I can get some pics to post. Any suggestions from anyone who has used one before?

--- End quote ---
Find an obvious game trail to locate the camera on leading to the water.

Look for tracks around the water source & "back track" from there.  There will probably be a couple of trail looking areas where the ground is more worn or beaten down.  Look for tufts of hair, scat, or other signs of obvious movement or activity to and from the water source.  Animals are like humans in that they tend to travel well established trails & routes to and from their bedding, watering areas.  They like the path of least resistance as much as we do.

Don't set the camera right on or perpendicular to the trail.  Set it back a dozen feet or so from the trail and at an angle so it faces down the trail a bit and will cover several feet of the trail or area you want to take pictures of.  Also, lock it to the tree or object you're mounting it to so that it can't be easily stolen.  They've been known to disappear quite frequently. ::)

If you get pictures of it, post 'em up so we can see 'em. ;)

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