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Possible Mountain Lion Sighting in New Hampshire

CONCORD, N.H. -- The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department today reported that one of its staff members, following up on a routine report of a mountain lion sighting, saw what is believed to be a mountain lion in a rural area of Barnstead, N.H.

Mountain lions are known to exist in the wild in states no closer than Iowa and Florida, so it is not thought to be a dispersing wild animal, but rather is most likely an illegally released pet.

"Survival of this type of animal is typically extremely low as they normally do not have the developed abilities to catch prey on a consistent basis, and/or may have been de-clawed," said Fish and Game Wildlife Division Chief Steve Weber. "If the animal does survive, we would expect to collect hard evidence of its existence in the form of a picture, tracks, scat and/or DNA evidence."

Mountain lions were extirpated from their range in the Eastern United States by the late 1800s, with the exception of the endangered Florida panther. According to the nonprofit research organization cougarnet.org, there have been four confirmed reports of mountain lions in the Northeastern U.S. since 1938.

"The Fish and Game Department receives numerous reports of mountain lions every year," said Weber. "We still have no documentation to confirm their presence. While we do not believe this is a harbinger of a recovering population of mountain lions in New Hampshire, it does add one more credible report to several others we have received over the years."

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  • PartridgeCartridge

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PartridgeCartridge

"If the animal does survive, we would expect to collect hard evidence of its existence in the form of a picture, tracks, scat and/or DNA evidence."

I hope it is a wild cat. They belong here.

If they really want to prove it is a real sighting, all they have to do is put a few good lion hounds on the ground. A few hundred miles of good ground work and boot leather will catch a cat.

Problem is, actually catching a wild one is proof and then they have to set up a management plan and that costs money.

I really hope it is a wild cat.

I've personally been in on over two dozen cat catches,kills,tranquilizing/gps collaring in New Mexico, Arizona, Montana, Idaho, Alberta and BC.

Do you have any idea how many cats you have to chase just to catch two dozen? Starting to get the idea?

I know what cat sign is and have seen smoking hot tracks, most likely female, in the Catskills. I even called a DEP agent and he looked at the tracks in fresh snow. She was in heat and her urine had blood spotting in it too.

He told me it was a bobcat. I told him he was a dipshit. Bobcat my ass. Total denial while staring at 4.5' wide tracks. Not to mention that bobber tracks are differnt from lion. The difference is like mistaking a moose track for a deer track.

Effin moron.

Here's some cat pics from some of the catches.

Big Tom tracks

P1130021-1.jpg

Pregnant female

P1060008.jpg

Young male

P1060004-1.jpg

Sub adult pair

P1130029-1.jpg

Mature esteus female

P1130046-2.jpg

Theres two in the tree here, yours truly.

P1130042-1.jpg

Treed at 9000'

P1010002.jpg

Sound asleep with the help of some Ketamine/Xylazine (Rompun)

P1010003-3.jpg

I've been around these beautiful animals to know the differnce about their tracks/sign from bobcat and lynx.

The next conservation officer that tells me there are no big cats in the Catskills is gonna really get an earful from me.

I really hope the NH story pans out.

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I really hope it is wild as well.

There are tons of possible sightings here in PA every year, but no proof, such as a dead cat. I hold out hope that felis concolor is out there.

Bede

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Our DNR denied they were in north Ga for years until a deer hunter had one scare him bad enough last year that he shot it about 70 miles east of Atlanta.

I cannot see why if they are in the north Ga mountains, which can no longer be disputed, that they could not work there way up the Appalacian range.

Dave Gowdey, I saw one walk acoss the road not 40 miles east from where you now live.

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Cooper Hill Hunter
There have numerous reports of cougar sighitings in maine, and just the mention of it brings up lively discussion. I know people who absulutely swear they have seen one. There is a lot of woods out there, but I am not sure that there is a wild population reporducing here, but I could be wrong!
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Tell your F&G dep't they are behind the times, a year ago a SD lion was in Wis. crossed the line in to Ill. and was shot by police.  Know if was a SD one by DNA.  Since then we have had them treed and photographed in NW Wis.  Wis. is still east of Ia.
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I wouldn't be surprised about Mt Lions in Maine or NH for that matter. There are bear all over in my area and I never see them so not seeing any Mt Lions doesn't surprise me -if they are there.
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Youall can have some of ours.   :p

http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/huntwild/wild/species/mlion/

My vet reports a colt being killed in the corral and dragged over the fence here a coupla years ago. Had to have been a lion. Every year some are seen or even shot during deer season near here. A local gal's boyfriend shot a nice buck 2 years ago right at the end of legal shooting time. When he went to collect it Mr. lion had it and refused to relinguish his dinner!! Multiple roars and growls had the local deer collection team in a high speed retreat!!

For the sceptical: http://www.buckmanager.com/2009....itetail

Don't get me wrong I like to have them around, but they can be hell on dogs and livestock as well as people.

The young males are known for dispersing long distances and with the deer populations there, and the habitat, there could be lions.

 Quailguy

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Given the deer populations, there isn't any reason they couldn't be surviving in the remaining wild areas of the Northeast.

Im not so sure.  I worked for the NH F&G for about 6 years.  As the article states, every year there would be about half a dozen "sightings".  Sad to say, but all but one or two, throughout all the years, were orange house-cats.  The other couple were bobcats.  There was one sighting that got a lot of press, i think it was in 2002, b/c it was on video.  Though it is still "unconfirmed" the odds were firmly in the case of it not being a cougar.  

Anecdotaly, there are scores of NH hunters that swear on their lives that they have seen them.  Talented, knowledgeable hunters.  I don't doubt them, nor think they are lying.  However, with the dismal population of large herbivores, large population of competing apex predators, and an enormous number of human users of the rather tiny parcels of land, I doubt very much that what they see are indeed lions, and in the infinitesimal chance they are, they are no more wild than the the piranhas people let loose into the Merrimack River.  Friendly, probably not, but certainly released.

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pa'tridge hunters
I wouldn't be surprised about Mt Lions in Maine or NH for that matter. There are bear all over in my area and I never see them so not seeing any Mt Lions doesn't surprise me -if they are there.

Quite a few years ago the fire warden Blue Hill Mt. got a picture of one from the tower on the mountain.

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Just got this e-mail forwarded to me today. Hmmmm......

How about a stroll in the woods???

See what's been roaming the neighborhood, north of Kempt, Nova Scotia. Wow this is some cat! Look at what James Snipe hit with his car on Northfield Road. The lion was still alive but unable to move, so our neighbor called DNR and they came and put him down. A land owner had seen this one a week before dragging off a 320 lb. steer. His neighbor is an amateur taxidermist and he's going to stuff him. This one weighed 260 lbs. While most? Mature male mountain lions weigh 80 to 150 lbs. We had no idea they still roamed around here! This is just outside Bridgewater, N.S.

Cougarpicture.jpg

Cougarpicture2.jpg

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Here in WNC there are always a few "sightings" each year, but last year pictures were taken by a local guy (not some forwarded, anonymous person…not that there's anything wrong with that…but you know). Definitely not a bobcat, house cat, etc. It was a lion; official line from NC Wildlife: They aren't here; must be released.

Here's my concern, how many raised in captivity mtn. lions are being released into the wild? And by who? It just seems odd to me.

John

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PartridgeCartridge

Hey Lars,

I believe that cat was from Idaho. It's been on the net for a few years, and if you look in the background there are mule deer horns on the table. That is a 200lb cat and I would put him at about a 16" B&C  skull.

I've held sedated cats that big in my arms while they purred. Shot a bigger one than that too.

But what do I know,,, aparently less than a NYDEP guy that has never seen one in person.

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