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#215008 - 08/27/01 08:41 AM Cougar Dens
BobR Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 03/16/00
Posts: 180
Loc: Walla Walla, WA USA
About three weeks back, I was traveling down a remote logging road that is cut into a steep heavily timbered mountain slope. As I came to a 90 degree turn in the road, I saw a spotted cougar cub run from the road up a well worn game trail. My son and I have been back to this spot many times since.

Almost every time we return to this spot, we can hear at least two cougar cubs just up hill from us. The road is littered with grouse feathers, and the trail uphill also has feathers all over it. One evening the fresh, still warm remains of a snowshoe hare were in the road. (partial skull, intestines and fur) We have seen the large female's tracks in the road many times. It appers to me that she is bringing small game that is still alive back to her cubs. Sometimes she carries the game up to her cubs, and other times she calls the cubs down to the road.

We hear the cubs nearly everytime we go there. When we go there now, I shut off the 4-wheeler and let it get quiet. Then I lipsqueak. The cubs immediately become vocal.
I have the young cougar whistle calls on my WT caller, and there is no doubt that the sound we are hearing are the young cubs.
These cubs are larger than the ones recorded on our caller. The voices are coarser and a little deeper. Yesterday evening, we walked up the game trail a short distance to try to see the den. I do not want to get too close because I am afraid the female will move the cubs. I would love to get these cubs on video.

Do any of you biologists know how long a cougar uses one den? These cubs are larger than a feral cat. I am wondering when the cubs loose their spots as it is illegal to kill a female with spotted cubs?

This has been an exciting experience. If anyone has info about cougar young and cougar dens, I would love to hear it.
Thanks, BobR

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#215009 - 08/27/01 08:55 AM Re: Cougar Dens
AzWill Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 04/20/01
Posts: 568
Loc: Globe - Arizona
Young lions that you mentioned will carry those spots around until they a year of age.

So you got some time to burn up before going after those cats you are speaking of.

Good luck. . .

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http://www.predatormasters.com

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#215010 - 08/27/01 11:47 AM Re: Cougar Dens
BobR Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 03/16/00
Posts: 180
Loc: Walla Walla, WA USA
Will, I was afraid of that. Here is a photo of the female's track. This track measures 3 1/4" in dia. I will post more photos from my video when my camcorder battery gets charged.
BobR
http://community.webshots.com/scripts/ed...rity=fohcfTcjId

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#215011 - 08/27/01 05:55 PM Re: Cougar Dens
Lonny Offline
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 04/20/01
Posts: 1598
Loc: Lewiston, Idaho USA
Bob,

It sounds like you have a golden opportunity here to get to see some lion behavior Bob. Have you seen the cubs since the first sighting? I was just wondering how much they might have grown in the past three weeks.

I wonder if the female will eventually move them if the available food supply in the immediate area gets picked over and she takes them to a different part of her home range where game might be more plentiful?

One time a buddy and me were walking a lion track that appeared to be a decent sized lion. The track eventually joined up to another set of lion tracks that looked to be a female and one cub. Not much further on we came upon what appeared to be some kind of fight go on by the looks of the tracks in the snow. We found the dead cub close by. It appeared that he first lion possibly a male killed the cub of the female. That is my only experience with lion cubs. I wish I would have taken some pictures.

Thanks for sharing your experience with us. You must spend a lot of time in the mountains to get a chance to see what your seeing. Some people live in lion country their whole lives and never see one. Keep us posted on what is happening at the den sight. For some reason I couldn't get your pictures of the females tracks to come up. Take care.



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#215012 - 08/27/01 08:04 PM Re: Cougar Dens
AzWill Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 04/20/01
Posts: 568
Loc: Globe - Arizona
Here is a photo of a nine month old cat, the spots are still visible in the undercoat.


Most females with clubs will use a specific location on a regular basis. As long as the female, or kittens, aren’t molested by humans the family will continue to stay together as a family unit....



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http://www.predatormasters.com

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#215013 - 08/27/01 11:27 PM Re: Cougar Dens
BobR Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 03/16/00
Posts: 180
Loc: Walla Walla, WA USA
Lonny, We live in the Blue Mountains. My son and I are up somewhere every evening.
We stumbled on to this den site while we were keeping track of a very large bear.
Our bear season opens September 4th. This evening, I was unable to get the cubs to respond to my calls, but there was a pine squirrel uphill raising a ruckus. I think the female was at the den tonight.

When we got home a rancher neighbor was on the phone with Dee. He told me he had just seen a cougar on the hill behind his place.
Wade and I grabbed the caller and rifles and took off on the 4-wheeler. On the way over, I decided to try a new strategy Steve Craig recently told me about. We were on the scene 30 minutes after the sighting. Less than ten minutes into the stand I heard the brush move downhill. When I looked, I saw the cougar spin around to leave. It came out of the brush 25 yards downhill from Wade. He fired from the hip while sitting down. I saw the fire leave the barrel and it appeared to me he shot two feet over the cougar. Wade went to get the 4-wheeler while I went down to get the caller. I heard a pick-up stop out on the road. I heard someone talking to Wade. When I got to the road, the rancher and a friend were laughing. He said, that boy of yours is shook up. He's white as a ghost. Wade was pretty upset, but it was so close and it happened so fast. We called up a cougar awhile back that wasn't so lucky.
BobR

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#215014 - 08/28/01 06:26 AM Re: Cougar Dens
Calypso Offline
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 04/21/01
Posts: 1707
Loc: Hondo, Texas USA
Hey BobR,

You and Wade are having waaaaaay too much fun! Curt and Jerry are in for an exciting hunt. I think they are out right now shopping for bigger coolers!

Good Hunting,

Bob C.

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#215015 - 08/28/01 07:52 AM Re: Cougar Dens
Curt Barrett Offline
PM senior

Registered: 04/21/01
Posts: 5144
Loc: Pacific Northwest
LOL, I hope we need those coolers! Can't wait to get up there. Looking forward to meeting Bob R in person.

Bob C, I finally got those two videos sent off to you. Should be there in a few days. Very impressive footage! Multiple huge, hog bears. You will not be disappointed. I feel fortunate to have been able to view them. Thanks Bob R!

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#215016 - 08/28/01 08:46 AM Re: Cougar Dens
BobR Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 03/16/00
Posts: 180
Loc: Walla Walla, WA USA
Bob C We have been having plenty of fun, but it is just beginning. Wade is still rattled. That was the fourth cougar he has had in his face in two years. He had told me that the next one would not get away, But it happened again. The first three he did not even get off a shot. I was unfamilar with the area last evening. The cover was so thick that I could not get the caller farther away than 25 yards. When we were setting up, I never considered that it ws possible for anything to make through the thick brush along the creek bottom. I had placed the caller in the brushline to conceal it, and the cat came out of the same brush 10 feet from the caller. But that is what makes hunting fun, you never know what is gonna happen.

Bob, I will send you an e-mail tonight telling you a little about those videos.
BobR

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#215017 - 09/01/01 02:01 AM Re: Cougar Dens
BobR Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 03/16/00
Posts: 180
Loc: Walla Walla, WA USA
I have had some interesting experiences the past few days. I have been trying to figure out how to get the cougar cubs on video. This spot where the logging road makes the 90 degree left turn is in a deep wash made by the spring run-off. There is also a spring that causes a big mudhole in the road. The spring dried up about three weeks ago, and six days ago I got the brilliant idea of hauling up water in five gallon gas cans and then dumping them on the dried up mud. After 100 gallons of water,I now have a nice mud hole with standing water. Elk, deer, bear and cougar (and other small game) have been leaving tracks in the mud. I took my camcorder up yesterday evening and this evening and set it on the ground. I focused it on the game trail the cougars are using, and part of the mudhole is visable. I turn on the camcorder about 1 1/2 hour before dark and leave. Then I go back after dark and pick it up. I have got some very interesting videos so far, but no cougars as yet. About a half hour before dark this evening, a pine squirrel came in to drink. It stood up and strated chattering. This went on for a few minutes and then it ran away. I never saw what spooked it. I watched the tape until it was so dark all I had was a black TV screen. The tape was almost at the end, so I turned up the volume really loud and let it run out.

I had just dozed off in the recliner, when a loud noise woke me up. I grabbed the remote and backed up the tape. The sound I heard was a loud SNIFF SNIFF. Something had just put its nose down to my camcorder to check it out. The mudhole was less than ten feet from the camcorder. Then I heard splash, splash, splash, splash. Whatever was there was walking in the water. Then it sounded like it was wallering around in the water and taking a bath. Then I heard LAP, Lap, Lap like the dog taking a drink. This went on for a minute or two. I guess some of the bright moonlight had filtered through the timber, because suddenly I saw the ghostly outline of a large bear on the black TV screen. It stretched its neck to look at the camcorder and then turned and walked off into the darkness. This is one of the neatest videos I have ever made. I am gonna get those cubs yet. Tomrrow, I will see if a photo made of that bear will turn out.
BobR

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#215018 - 09/05/01 03:06 PM Re: Cougar Dens
Muss Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 05/10/01
Posts: 135
Loc: central washington
BobR-
That is a great story! Good luck to you on getting those cubs on tape. Sounds like Curt and Jerry are heading over to do some hunting too, you will have a great time

Take care, and good hunting
Muss

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