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Thread: Cougars in TN???

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    Cougars in TN???

    here is an account I found on line by googleing on the search: "cougar sightings tennessee"

    Reporter: animal enthusiast
    City (of sighting): Hwy 96 near Williamson/Rutherford county line, TN
    Time of Report: 25-Aug-06

    Color of cougar: tan

    Description of sighting:
    My mother and I were traveling on Hwy 96 coming back from Murfreesboro toward Franklin, and just as we crossed the county line into Williamson County a large, tan, long tailed animal leaped across the rode.(an impressive distance). Immediately I slammed on my brakes as my mother and I said in unisom, "DID YOU SEE THAT!?!?" We were able to see it as it ascended up the hill a little then, it sat down and faced towards the road. It was AMAZING! At first, I didn't want to report it for fear of being thought crazy but now I know my mother and I are not "losing it." I have seen many many cougars, just not in Tennessee,(and not this close to home);therefore I know what we saw to be a cougar...Just makes you wonder why TWRA refuses to acknowledge their existence when instead they should be educating the public on how humans and cougars can safely co-exist.

    https://www.uu.edu/forms/cougars/sightings.cfm

    If you spend about 10 minutes reading here, you might start to believe they could be in our mid tn woods right now.

    There is a real credible story by two men who watched a cougar in west tn for about 5-8 minutes together, each with binoculars at about 200 yds. I am going to continue to research this.

    I found a site I think called "the cougar project" that has a cougar spotters guide that goes to great lengths describing the tracks how to tell them from dog prints. It is pretty tough, and requires careful analysis. Twolf, I would like for you to look at this, as you said you saw the big tracks.

    There is supposed to be a woman in Sewanee that is compiling sightings, and I am going to try to find out about this.
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    OK, how about Mt. Juliet TN?

    Reporter: Paul Van Buren
    City (of sighting): Mt. Juliet, TN
    Time of Report: 21-Feb-06

    Color of cougar: brown

    Description of sighting:
    Jason, the person who picks my garbage on Tuesday mornings, reported that a large mountain lion was sitting in the woods about 50 feet from the drive to our house, 515 Hillwood Dr., near Old Hickory Lake on February 7, 2006. It sat there for several minutes watching him before it headed east through the woods. He claimed he had no doubts about what he was seeing since he had seen one before when hiking in the mountains. He describe it perfectly, including the brown markings and black tip on the long tail. He thought it would weight close to 200 pounds.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kindacreeky View Post
    Reporter: Paul Van Buren
    City (of sighting): Mt. Juliet, TN
    Time of Report: 21-Feb-06

    Color of cougar: brown

    Description of sighting:
    Jason, the person who picks my garbage on Tuesday mornings, reported that a large mountain lion was sitting in the woods about 50 feet from the drive to our house, 515 Hillwood Dr., near Old Hickory Lake on February 7, 2006. It sat there for several minutes watching him before it headed east through the woods. He claimed he had no doubts about what he was seeing since he had seen one before when hiking in the mountains. He describe it perfectly, including the brown markings and black tip on the long tail. He thought it would weight close to 200 pounds.
    Oh just great. That is less than 5 minutes from my house.

    There is a surprising amount of undeveloped land out in that area. I've heard of multiple coyote sightings out there. I am constantly seeing deer in the area. About a week ago I saw a buck (with a very large rack) near the intersection of Lebanon Road and Nonaville Road. Very surprising.
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    Tennessee's Wild Side

    There was a mountain lion (aka cougar) that jumped out and ran on part of the trail during the 12 hours of Tsali race this year.

    I also saw one 2 weeks ago driving down 96 heading towards M'boro just outside of Triune.

    Last night coming home from bike polo my buddy and I stopped in the road due to a deer, but it wasn't a normal deer, it was an albino. I'd never seen a solid white deer before last night, pretty cool.

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    VERY INTERESING STUFF

    Man this is wild. I forwarded the posts to a conservation officer in North Alabama to see if he has heard anything up our way.

    I am more concerned about the Puma's welfare than those that come across their path.

    Keep you cameras handy while on the trail folks! Could be a cool addition to the "photos" thread.

    Anybody talked to TWRA?

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    hmm this reminds me of my "big cat" sighting at Hammy back in Aug. remember?

    Here is the link:
    http://nationalmountainbike.com/boar...=mountain+lion

    I was assuming maybe it was a bobcat, but that idea was proved somewhat false so maybe it was a cougar??
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    Yeah Greg, I was remembering that post

    That is what got me thinking about it. That and the discussion I had with Twolf at the sorba party.

    I mean it, if you search on this subject, there are just too many sighting to not be some credence to this matter.

    I was reading the field guide on cougars, and the males can go 160 to 180 lbs, paw prints about 150 mm wide (5.9 in). body length about 5 ft. with tail about 3 ft. Normally take down prey with a massive jump, sometimes 20 ft, and go immediately for the back of the neck, and try to break the neck. They sometimes hunt from a tree limb, above the trail. Usually eat a deer about every two weeks.

    I might have to get some neck body armor if this gets real. makes you think about night riding alone. Crashing is really not so bad as being eaten alive.
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    Well, I saw a mountain lion while turkey hunting in Montgomery, Alabama about 10 years ago. It walked in front of me plain as day from about 25 yards. I researched it and they were not supposed to be that far North. At the time, the only confirmed mountain lions were in North Florida. Now I think Alabama Fish and Wildlife recognizes their presence in South and Middle Alabama.

    As for around here, my only reservation is that there are no pictures of big cats on trail cameras that I know of and there must be tens of thousands of trail cams spread out over Tennessee.

    Bob, you may want to post up on some deer hunting/trail cam websites to see if those guys have any pics.

    I will say there are confirmed Russian wild boar in Williamson County now. Good if you're a hunter. Bad if you're a farmer.

    I'll ask my dad about the cats. He knows some folks at TWRA.
    Last edited by coopdog; 11-14-2007 at 09:32 AM.

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    Update-

    My dad's a commissioner for TWRA. He said they get occasional calls of cougar sightings but have no other corroborating evidence that they are anywhere in Tennessee. He said cougars are fierce predators and would likely be attacking livestock if they were in the area. They think some sightings are actually Caracals. A semi-domesticated large cat that looks like a cougar.

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    Plenty of Sightings

    I spoke with my mom (outdoor guide and RealEstate agent) and she laughed out load when I sent her the post. She Said "of course we have plenty of Mountain lions around here!"

    One of her closest freinds is a Conservation officer and has finally come around to agree that we have plenty of Cougar's in this area of the Southeast. TWRA might finally recognize this as well with so many folks sighting and reporting. As long as they are left alone and don't eat anyones house hold pets, all will be cool.

    D..

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    Kiersta has a good story...

    Kiersta, what was the story you told us at DSG about the mountain lion. That story creeped me out a little.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny5 View Post
    There was a mountain lion (aka cougar) that jumped out and ran on part of the trail during the 12 hours of Tsali race this year.

    I also saw one 2 weeks ago driving down 96 heading towards M'boro just outside of Triune.

    Last night coming home from bike polo my buddy and I stopped in the road due to a deer, but it wasn't a normal deer, it was an albino. I'd never seen a solid white deer before last night, pretty cool.
    Thad -

    My wife and I have seen an Albino deer not that far from there in Nolensville off Waller road. We stopped and looked at it for a long while, wishing we had a camera. What a sight!

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    From what I've read so far, I have no doubt we have cougars in the area.
    I've never seen one here or know anybody personally that has (that can document what they saw).
    Bob, was that The Cougar Project or The Cougar Network?

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    I just heard about another sighting

    In Hickman county. (thats just south of Dickson county, where MB park is) 3 yrs ago. my friend, Doug Jones has a farm down there on the duck river. a buddy was hunting deer and was done for day, and about to head out of the woods, and was at the edge of the woods that opened onto two fields. Saw a large tan long tailed cat loping up the hill from the river, and bounded over a fence with no effort, going uphill. He described it a muscular animal. It entered the woods up the hill from where he was, and it scared him to be in the same woods, so he got out of there. He told my friend doug about it and so doug and his wife went down to that field the next day, early in the morning. They looked around down at the river and at a spring on the property. They did not find a cat, or any tracks, but found a freshly killed 6-point buck, with its throat ripped out, and quite a bit of meat eaten from the hind quarters. He said that the ankles and backs of legs were not cut up, so not likely a coyote. He said the cuts on the deer were like razor cuts. he reported it at the country store nearby and found that there had been three other sightings in the vicinity in about that same month.

    Doug told me that he talked to the former superintendent of the smoky mtn national park, and one of his rangers once found a 4-pt buck half eaten and up in a tree about 20 ft.
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    I think I read somewhere to use your bike as a shield/weapon to save your life in this situation.

    Brings a whole new meaning to "pinch flat." I might need two good tires to get out quick. Maybe I should switch to Stan's! How is it at sealing cougar bites?
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    I used my bike once to shield myself from a dog attack

    I was in percy warner years ago on the trails and a big white german shephard chased me for about a 1/4 mile I was pushing the big gears and cranking hard to outrun him, and I could hear him gaining on me. His owner was yelling his dogs name and the dog was ignoring him. At the last minute, I jumped off my bike, and held it out in front of me as the dog snarled and looked like he was about to lunge. I grabbed a branch and prepared to swing just as this jogger caught up and called his dog off. it was a bad scene.
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    Who did I talk to at the SORBA party about cougars?

    twolf has informed me that it was not him. Was that you, Lefty, that I talked to about it. I would like some more details about those tracks you saw. Where were they?
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    Here is a post script to the hickman county story.

    I will be in Hickman County next week.......... if any sightings are being
    reported, i generally hear about them......... I forgot to tell you one
    other thing........ the following summer...( two years ago.... I was
    bushhogging the upper pasture...where the lion went to after leaving his
    kill ( we surmise)..... anyway ....there is a little gate half way down the
    fence row......... like a garden gate....not big enough to drive the tractor
    or a vehicle through.... well weeds and bushes had grown up leaving the gate
    about a foot open....you could see a path where deer, animals traded back
    and forth through it.........something caught my eye and i stopped the
    tractor..got down.... three to three and a half feet off the ground wedged
    into the gate..... was a deer leg ...from hip bone to hoof.......... there
    were no bites or scrathes on the leg.... we think it was too high for a
    coyote........ the more we examined the mashed down grass and the position
    of the leg ..... we became convinced something carried an entire deer
    through that gate and got stuck and by sheer muscle.... ripped that leg
    off.................. (Doug Jones)
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    Dang! Now I am scared to ride anywhere!
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    Oh noes!!!! It's bigfoot!!!!!
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    Great Thread!

    Thanks Bob for starting this thread. I am stoked and ready to pet the kitty!

    I will have to carry a bag of Jack links for a deterant while I grab the camera.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtdog View Post
    I spoke with my mom (outdoor guide and RealEstate agent) and she laughed out load when I sent her the post. She Said "of course we have plenty of Mountain lions around here!"

    One of her closest freinds is a Conservation officer and has finally come around to agree that we have plenty of Cougar's in this area of the Southeast. TWRA might finally recognize this as well with so many folks sighting and reporting. As long as they are left alone and don't eat anyones house hold pets, all will be cool.

    D..
    Look at the previous bear situation in Washington state. All the people in the suburbs said, "They are no problem we love to FEED Them". Then a bear ate a cat then everyone wanted them exterminated. I love deer hunting and any hunting for that matter, but I only use a bow and hunt to manage not for the horns. But sure if oversized cats that can take us off our bikes while riding, then we might just have to work with the TWRA. But it is proven those cats are scared of humans.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtdog View Post

    I will have to carry a bag of Jack links for a deterant while I grab the camera.
    Let me bring a .22 also if you are going to try something that reckless. Seriously, DO NOT FEED THE KITTIES! They then associate humans wth food and bad things happen. It is palatoving them. They hear/see a bike rider and that bike rider gives them food. Then it thinks every bike rider will give it food.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtdog View Post
    I will have to carry a bag of Jack links for a deterant while I grab the camera.
    Be careful Darryl, it may think you are the Jack Link.

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    Quote Originally Posted by twolfcon View Post
    Be careful Darryl, it may think you are the Jack Link.

    Mike
    The day A cougar tries anything that will directly hurt anyone in a group that I am with,

    We are going to have Cougar Steaks at the next SORBA meeting, and my room will have a new discussion object.

    And that will benifit the wildlife population in the end by keeping domesticated animals out of the general popualtion. Darwinism in action.

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    There were a couple Cougars out tonight that I wouldn't have minded try something... oh wait, wrong cougar discussion group.

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    Big Cats

    Used to come across bobcats often on my rides around AZ, and of course heard multiple stories of "Big Cats" stalking humans. Several approved hunts occured in the Tucson area while I was there because these kitties were getting a little too friendly. There are multiple stories of folks being ambushed in CO and So Cal, which always had me worried when I'd ride solo into the box canyons of the Sonoran Preserve. Alas, I never did see a Mountain Lion/Cougar/Puma. I can tell you however that depending on your "fright" level, even a bobcat can make you feel like they are plenty big and really skeered. The liklihood of a bobcat attack on human however is just about zero...particularly on a bike.
    When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells

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    Obviously, we need to keep this in perspective

    These animals are extremely scarce, and secretive. I don't know the exact stats, but there have been maybe 4 human deaths in the last 100 yrs. On the other hand, people are moving into the wilderness, their habitat, at an alarming rate. Combine that with a exploding deer pospulation, their favorite food, and we may have a recipe for more encounters.

    I'm with Darryl. Wouldn't it be really cool to see one? However, one noted expert on the big cats, and an author of a book about them, has only actually personally seen two in the wild, and he said both were pretty lucky sightings. So I would say the chances of having a contact is pretty remote.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny5 View Post
    There were a couple Cougars out tonight that I wouldn't have minded try something... oh wait, wrong cougar discussion group.
    Is this an obscure DC reference...?

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    Maybe it's was a Chupacabra?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jtbrill632 View Post
    Maybe it's was a Chupacabra?
    That's one of my favorite Scooby Doo episodes.

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    Twolf, thats the Cougar network

    web site
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    Cougars in Tennessee, oh yeah!

    Oh, yeah, there are a number of cougars in Tennessee, and they can be found in any metro area.

    Articles:
    http://www.singlescene.net/cougar_relationships.html

    Men, be careful out there!
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    You Too Could Be The Fasest Rider On The Trail

    If you see this behind you, it's time to hit the pedals.
    REAL HARD!
    Last edited by twolfcon; 12-22-2007 at 01:09 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by schaarschmidt View Post
    Oh, yeah, there are a number of cougars in Tennessee, and they can be found in any metro area.

    Articles:
    http://www.singlescene.net/cougar_relationships.html

    Men, be careful out there!
    As far as the other cougar situation you guys speak of, at my age that broad would have to be 70 yrs old....that's just wrong on so many levels for me.
    What do you call it when a 49 yr old guy is looking for a 25 yr old....I mean besides pervert.

    Mike
    Mike

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  41. #36
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    I thought there were several instances where cougers picked off joggers in California?
    Terry

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    I think they can run up to 30 mph so I guess I need to remove my bash guard and put the big ring back on. Maybe we can call it the cougar ring????

  43. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Mechanical_Animal View Post
    ...... but I only use a bow and hunt to manage not for the horns.
    Deers have “antlers” horns are there for life, antlers are shed every year.. I am from WV done my fair share of killing things.. Antlers also are branchy (like a deer) horns are not they may curve but do not branch off..

    Quote Originally Posted by twolfcon View Post
    Be careful Darryl, it may think you are the Jack Link.

    Mike
    Now that is funny..

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny5 View Post
    There were a couple Cougars out tonight that I wouldn't have minded try something... oh wait, wrong cougar discussion group.
    Yep I see a cougar everynow and then at my neighborhood pool - how they have a structure of 20 year younger "kitten" I will never know but I like to look


    Just to many to respond to in this thread..

    C


    Disclaimer: The views expressed in this post do not reflect those of NMB, Bill Gates, or the Internet. Void where prohibited. Paddlechris contains enough preservatives to theoretically live forever. Use of Paddlechris may be habit forming. If reading this post results in anything that lasts longer than 4 hours, seek medical help immediately.

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  44. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orange View Post
    I thought there were several instances where cougers picked off joggers in California?
    In 1991, there was a jogger in colorado killed by a cougar, while jogging alone on the edge of town. middle aged guy in great condition. Searchers found his half eaten body being guarded by a cougar. they shot the cat and later found part of a human heart in the cat's stomach. There is a book about this incident called The Beast in the Garden, David Baron. (2003). somebody sent me a link to an excerpt from it.

    I saw a TV account of a California woman mountain biker who was taken down while riding, drug away, by her head. Two hikers heard her crys for help and ran to the scene and beat the cat with sticks until it backed off. Then they called a ranger with a cell phone. The ranger came to the area, pretty quickly and found and shot the cat. As I recall it was not a large cat, and a female. the woman survived. I want to look this event up and see the details. If i can find more, I will post up.
    --Bob S.
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  45. #40
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    LBL sightings

    I ran across two sightings in the northern part of LBL. These were by hunters in the last two years.
    --Bob S.
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  46. #41
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    Quit trying to scare everyone out of the woods so you can have the trails to yourself Bob!



    Encounters with cougars are rare and the risk of injury or death from an attack is infinitely small. In fact, your chances of being attacked or killed by a domestic dog are much, much greater. DFG statistics show that, in the last 20 years, hunting accidents killed more than 85 Californians and injured 700. In the last 100 years, only 14 fatal cougar attacks occurred on the entire North American continent. In that time, more than 15,000 people were killed by lightning; 4,000 by bees; 10,000 by deer; 1,300 by rattlesnakes. Yosemite National Park has cougars plus 3 million visitors a year. There has never been an attack in the park’s history. More visitors have died from rockslides. On the list of daily "dangers" faced by Californians, cougars are but a footnote.

    I took this exerpt from here:
    http://www.mountainlion.org/facts_faq.asp

  47. #42
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    here is the california mtb'er attack

    --Bob S.
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  48. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by twolfcon View Post
    As far as the other cougar situation you guys speak of, at my age that broad would have to be 70 yrs old....that's just wrong on so many levels for me.
    What do you call it when a 49 yr old guy is looking for a 25 yr old....I mean besides pervert.

    Mike
    Pervert is a good start, but typically I think you call it a cradle robber.....
    When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells

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  50. #44
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    When the attack on the MTB's happened, I lived about three miles from the trail head (Whiting ranch). It's true that attacks are rare, but when you're out there alone, you know they're out there also, it can get weird. Go to the MTBR SOCAL section of their forums, there are always posts about sightings. There is a post up right now of some tracks that were spotted.

  51. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by papa View Post
    Is this an obscure DC reference...?
    Nope just the overgrown cousin of this cat:


  52. #46
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    That cat has evidently chased a few mice into walls.
    If he doesn't stop soon he will definitely be ENDCAT, the end of his face will be at the end of his butt.

    Mike
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  54. #47
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    hmmm..

    Quote Originally Posted by twolfcon View Post
    Be careful Darryl, it may think you are the Jack Link.

    Mike
    I hope they like garlic and cayenne....Say lots of deer at hammy today. too wet to ride, but took a look at the trail.

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  56. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by twolfcon View Post
    That cat has evidently chased a few mice into walls.
    If he doesn't stop soon he will definitely be ENDCAT, the end of his face will be at the end of his butt.

    Mike

    *shakes head* That was funny.

  57. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtbrill632 View Post
    When the attack on the MTB's happened, I lived about three miles from the trail head (Whiting ranch). It's true that attacks are rare, but when you're out there alone, you know they're out there also, it can get weird. Go to the MTBR SOCAL section of their forums, there are always posts about sightings. There is a post up right now of some tracks that were spotted.
    West Coast Liberals make for tasty trail snacks...LOL. Should have gov. terminator on the group rides. Don't kill the cat if you're in his back yard and make sure you can ride faster than your trail partner.....

    I am a conservative conservationist. I huge the tree before I cut it out of the way of my knobby tires.

    I am very comfortable in my hypocrisy... .

  58. #50
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    Gives new meaning to the need for body armor.

    Quote Originally Posted by jtbrill632 View Post
    When the attack on the MTB's happened, I lived about three miles from the trail head (Whiting ranch). It's true that attacks are rare, but when you're out there alone, you know they're out there also, it can get weird. Go to the MTBR SOCAL section of their forums, there are always posts about sightings. There is a post up right now of some tracks that were spotted.
    I went to the socal MTBR forum and searched on "lion". These california riders are seeing lions pretty often, and it sounds like they have kind of gotten used to them. They post up "rules" to follow to avoid unfortunate encounters. Some are: dont ride at night; don't ride alone; don't take dogs (attract lions); don't bend down and work on bike, (leaves you vulnerable and attractive to attack); look behind frequently; don't ride under or close to overhanging cliffs. etc. Some are saying to ride with a blast horn, and pepper spray. I imagine it is quite open compared to here with all our trees. If the cats get plentiful here, an ambush could be much easier. Gives new meaning to the need for body armor.
    --Bob S.
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