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I was reading the Ky post about having cougars. I was just curious if anyone in Virginia have seen any or heard reports about any. I know of someone in the Southwest part near Ky that was paid by DNR about 15 yrs ago for goats killed by them. Some people say that DNR was stocking them in the area of High Knob, Scott county. Does anyone know anything about this?
 

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well i live in n.c. its close enough to virginia for me to post on the thread ,i guess...
they are rare here ,,but they are here.. people will na na you if you say they are.. but ive seen two here in stanley county ,in the last 30 yrs.. ive also been startled into awakeness by thier eerie scream once at night ,,out behind my country home..
slim
 

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BS , I have seen 3 in Va. on three different locations over a 40 year span . Also The game dept investigated a sighting on RT. 460 west of Petersburg a den with cubs was located , over 2 deer remains were found near the den . There was an article in one of the papers that said a trapper went west and brought them back . At first it was said they were paid for by insurance co's to curb deer car accidents then it was a project to control over population on Fort Pickett ( much land there can't be hunted due to unexploded ord. ) . Anyway the cats seen to have taken hold as breeding animals were turned loose . Also we can't get caught shooting them as of yet. The first one I saw was over 40 years ago .Two bear dogs were running it and as i was hunting over 700 + miles east of the Mississippi river i dare say it/they lived on this side .
 

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One of those black ones that don't exist lives in Nottaway County Va. We were hunting deer with dogs , my stand was in thick pines . There was an old brush pile near . Anyway the dogs kept hitting and running like the do when they bust a gang of turkeys . This went on over an hour and never more than 150 yards from me . The dogs chased something into this brush pile on the far side . The acted like they treed something . All at once this black ball flys out my side of the pile about 20 yards away . Well under the pines it was dark . At first i thought it was a bear as we have those and they are black . But it streached out to run and it was a lion , a big one -way bigger than the redbones chasing it .
 

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Re: Cougars in Virginia
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2010, 03:43:48 PM » Quote

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There are no cougars east of the mississippi river except in FL.

They are in Sun City Center, Florida.
 

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As a kid growing up in a very rural part of WV we were not aware that there were no such thing as a black cougar. People spotted them on rare occasions. An old lady in my church had one that visited often. In the corner of her yard she fed in the deer and squirrels and had many of them named. In the beginning the deer disappeared first, after they were all gone the black cat started hunting her squirrels during the day. This was when she started seeing the big cat. She seen it several times that summer catching squirrels, even my dad and an uncle seen it in her yard one evening. I can't say I've ever seen one first hand but I know a few people that have, and those few people can be counted on for the truth. Dave
 

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Count me in as an eye witness. Labor Day 1989, on a forest service road just off the Blue Ridge Parkway in Bedford County, between Peaks of Otter and Big Island (near Hunting Creek, for those who know where that is). Plain as day, broadside in the road, for about one or two seconds that I'll never forget. That one existed.
 

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By coincidence, I got an email just yesterday from my mother-in-law with four photos of mountain lions allegedly taken two weeks ago near Elkins WV. It's one of those emails that's being forwarded all round the net.

The pictures show as many as three cats apparently in someones driveway, as there are vehicles in a couple of the pictures. There's a pick up truck in one of the pictures with a COLORADO license plate on the front bumper! Also, the pine trees in the background look more like Ponderosa pines than anything that grows around here.

The last time I saw this kind of thing was a picture of a dead one that was supposedly hit by a car in WV. Some guy was posing with it in his garage. There was a pile of deer antlers on a workbench behind him - MULE DEER antlers. That photo was probably taken in Colorado too.

As I said before, I saw one in VA and don't doubt their existence in the Appalachians. It just bugs me to see bogus evidence in support of the idea. It takes away more credence than it lends.
 

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I have to wonder how many of the big cats seen in the east were bought as pets (legal if they are under 6 months old) then released or escaped into the wild when they become too much to care for. Cats seen by people do not nessesarily equal a breeding sustained population in a given area.

A number of years back, remains were found in Massachussets that started quite a stir, turned out that the cat had been de-clawed or some such. There was something like that about the remains that showed it to be a released animal.

Bear in mind, radio tracking of cougars (in CO I think) showed cats roaming 600 miles. I don't know how many cats were in the study or how typical that really is, but if one cat may travel 600 miles, another may go further. No real knowing. Cats seen in VA could conceavably be Florida cats. I know it's impossable to prove a negative, but at the same time there is no real proof that there are populations of cats in many, many places where the locals will swear up and down that "they're here! I SAW one!"
 

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I agree that a few sightings, however legit they may be, don't necessarily mean there's a reproducing population. Individually released captives can explain that. I don't know that such a population exists, but I do know the occasional stray cat does.
 

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You really doubt that there is a breeding population of cougars in the appalachians? Even Eric Rudolph(the abortion clinic bomber) hid in the NC mountains while hundreds of feds looked for him for months. Millions of dollars and man hours were spent looking for him. I'm sure if he can hide out in the remote appalachians a cat can do a much better job at not being found. Back home in WV everyone knows they are around and always have been but only seen occasionally. Dave
 
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