mountain lion in ct 2020
Growing up in northern Vermont, Id heard stories of sightings, though always a few steps removed from the tellersomebodys cousin had seen a cougar cross the road on their way home from deer camp up in Canaan (or was it Coventry? It was his great coolness and daring (either that, or fear) that enabled Crowell to shoot the animal at a distance of one rod only (roughly 16 feet), first hitting it in the leg with his shotgun, then dispatching it with a bullet to the head from a borrowed rifle. Though promoted as a once in a lifetime event and offered at the dirt-cheap price of $15, only 395 Nebraskans applied for the chance to hunt a mountain lion. Over time, Wright became convinced Eastern cougars lived in small pockets in the deep woods. Black panthers, which are not found in the U.S., are actually black jaguars or leopards. By mid-19th century, forests made up only about 30 percent of New England (its notable that today that number stands at approximately 80 percent, nearer to what it was when cougars thrived here). Initially, officials believed it had been released from a private handler. It was a flooded area. To obtain grouse distribution and harvest information, the Wildlife Division is asking grouse hunters to submit hunting reports through the Ruffed Grouse Hunter Log . And he said, This is where the mountain lion crossed. We walked in and there were fresh bobcat tracks in there. Hunt By Species: Mountain Lion | Montana FWP Hunt Species Guide: Mountain Lion Download the 2022 Mountain Lion Hunting Regulations Download now Current Quota Status for Mountain Lions Check Status Find Harvest information for Mountain Lions Harvest Reports Mountain Lion Identification Program Learn More > Automatic Notifications For mountain lions in Connecticut, a lack of evidence is very good evidence. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. If a young male Cougar disperses East, instead of West, they're going to keep walking because they're going tokeep looking for an area where they can find a mate, he said. Apex predators like the cougar and wolf make for a healthier ecosystem. In New Canaan, residents reported seeing mountain lions in 2016 and in 2018. At the time, a specialist from the Iowa Department of Natural. The tails gotta be there. Mountain lions usually retract their claws when walking. And Im assuming whatever were doing right now, its not working. Were arrogant if we think were the only species that makes decisions based on fear, he told me when I called him at his home in Oregon. Join Us. He is a consummate storyteller, and he wears on his sleeve his affection for the region and the hard-working, commonsense people who inhabit it. He points out that when there was a real mountain lion in the state in 2011, his office publicized it immediately. Wednesday, November 25th 2020. Ive seen tracks (Downeast Maine) and others have seen them, plain as day. Besides, Ottmann had revealed that hed been charged by a bear in this same piece of woods, and I felt conflicted about diverting my gaze from the underbrush. UConn women's basketball's Dorka Juhsz, Amari DeBerry play 'word sneak' at press conference, Fight breaks out after CT high school basketball game between Bassick, Wilbur Cross, Guide to Legal Cannabis Dispensaries in CT, The Best Bathroom Remodeling Companies in CT, recent mountain lion sightings in Connecticut have not been confirmed, 10 criminal cases to watch in Connecticut in 2023, Haar: Pepperidge Farm HQ to exit CT for NJ with 170 jobs, After 350 years, the name of a CT river could be changed. We think theyre coming in from Canada, Betty told me. The Department of Environmental . Hunters and property owners have also set up tens of thousands of trail cameras at various locations throughout the state. ), or someones coworkers mother had seen one from the back porch of a summer camp back in 07 or maybe 08, and shed tried to get a picture but this was before she got her first iPhone, and by the time shed retrieved her camera from the living room, the cat was long gone. By 1825, only 25% of Connecticut was forested due to deforestation from agricultural activities and other uses of timber. My daughter said to me thats the biggest cat Ive ever seen. Others have seen cougar in neighboring towns . Despite frequent claims, there has only been one confirmed mountain lion sighting since the late 1800s here. A month after the cat was struck and killed, researchers confirmed it had traveled more than 1,500 miles from the Black Hills of South Dakota. Mountain Lions:They can have similar coloring and their tails can look alike, which has lead to some house cats being mistaken for them, even though mountain lions are much, much bigger. In 1978, mountain lions were listed as a state threatened species. Still, there are those of us who know what weve seen. Initially, officials believed it had been released from a private handler. Its OK, he told me. "Connecticut is cougar heaven . I saw a cougar in Wolfeboro NH crossing / running across 28 ; close call between myself and a car traveling in the opposite direction over 12 years ago . As a scientist, lack of evidence is very good evidence. Ottmann and I walked farther. A trail camera was set up and confirmed the presence of a mountain lion on February 16, 2020. In the decades that followed, many cougar enthusiasts came to share Wrights conclusions, at least at first. Forty years of reporting on New Hampshire cougar sightings has convinced Harrigan that the state is home to at least a handful of breeding animals. And it was this curiosity that led me to the Old Well Tavern in Simsbury, Connecticut, at a time of day (11:30 a.m.) that does not normally find me ensconced in the dim confines of a drinking establishment. Jason Hawley says his office gets lots of calls about mountain lions each year. In another version, its about habitat protection and the onerous federal regulations the state would have to follow if we found a mountain lion within the state. Size alone . On another large animal that is most definitely here: bears. I was just amazed as I watched this scene in my own back yard. The Great Divide | Are There Mountain Lions in New England. How to Report a Possible Mountain Lion Sighting. Mountain Lions in New York. Body coloration can range from tan to gray and cubs are usually covered with blackish brown spots. For decades afterward, there were reported sightings of the mythical creature prowling the woods around town. But that was OK. Bo Ottmann, A Lobster Trap Menorah Shines in Gloucester, Massachusetts, Chips Off the Old Block | Knowledge & Wisdom, Yankee Candle | New England by the Numbers, First Christmas | Krissy OSheas Scandinavian-Inspired Holiday Cottage, The Sweet Life | Holiday Baking with Dorie Greenspan, 2019 Yankee Magazine Editors Choice Food Awards, In the Kitchen at Mayfair Farm | Weekends with Yankee. I was outdoor with my two pugs and quickly scooped them up and brought them in the house. Mountain lions, however, arent seen much in the Nutmeg State, even though several have reportedly been spotted around the Woodbridge area this month. Bill and I are full-throttle. It's rare to see an up-close look at mountain lion behavior out in the wild, let alone a whole family. A threat to livestock, they were hunted out of the state and driven to parts more wild. Stephen Gencarella, professor of folklore studies at the University of Massachusetts and a Connecticut resident, says, The government coverup is only the latest version of something that could stretch back in the oral tradition to precolonial times. He notes that supposed mountain lion sightings spiked in the late 1800s and early 1900s shortly after the animals disappeared from New Englands woods. Our wildlife biologists and enforcement agents are mostly political bureaucrats who dont often venture more than 100yards from the truck. Mountain lions inhabit the badlands and Missouri River breaks regions of North Dakota. Recall a few years back, a guy in a kayak off Horseneck Beach in Westport, MA, was tracked by a large fin. When I accepted the assignment to write about my quest to uncover the truth regarding the existence of cougars in New England, I had little idea what I was agreeing to. My daughter and I were driving north in West Granby, near the Simsbury, Ct. line just after lunch one summer day a few years ago. Abbott believes it is possible that more mountain lions such as the one that was killed in Milford in 2011 could migrate here. In their estimation, the presence of a breeding cougar population in New England would likely stem from our proximity to Canada, where, as they rightly point out, DNA analysis has resulted in 19 positive identifications across Quebec and New Brunswick since 2001 (although some of these were shown to be of South American lineage, suggesting escaped pets). Many, many times, in many different ways along its travel up through Minnesota, Michigan and to Canada, down through New York, through hair samples, blood samples, trail camera photos. Before I departed the Old Well Tavern, Bo Ottmann offered to lead me on a walk into an adjacent stretch of woods, where, he assured me, cougars might be found. I lived in great Barrington mass and I took photos of tracks in a field in April of 2009 (and of course lost them). Sport hunting for cougars is not sustainable and shouldnt be allowed to go on. Still, Spatz acknowledged that the word hope is very different from the word believe. of Energy & Environmental Protection. Just like we dont need any slimy humans on earth period. The mountain lion is believed to have had an encounter with a family on their lawn. As a carnivore biologist, Hawley says he would love it if mountain lions were here. As I rushed to meet her in the woods, she told me what she had seen. There are no breeding cougars in New England and we do not need any. Several years ago, I saw what was definitely a cougar walking along a street. Mr. Betty and Mr.Ottomans passion and efforts are impressive. Obviously, this is the reason why the experts are loathe to admit that the species is here. Bobcats top out at about 40 pounds (most are much lighter than that) and are only. I saw a Mountain Lion in 2007 in Northfield, MA at the junctions of Rtes 10 and 63. LOS ANGELES (AP) A mountain lion that was part of a National Park Service study was fatally struck by a vehicle on a highway near Southern California's Santa Monica Mountains. This was as clear as day had a long tail and long body I was thinking someones pet was on the loose or escaped form a zoo !! Snowy winter AM just before us neighbor kids were heading to catch the bus, we (myself, my dad and neighbor) all watched a large cat cross the yard and leave huge prints and a distinct tail drag mark in the snow! 10186. . Morse has been tracking cougars for 45 years, mostly in the mountains of the West, where their existence is not in doubt. Where I live bears, wolves cougars etc roamed freely and now sadly if one of those apex predators is spotted our DNR will usually destroy it. Here in southern Utah, lions have been known to occupy home ranges as large as 513 square miles. And there are different schools of thought about that. Uscinski, a Connecticut native, adds that the theory that the government is covering up the existence of mountain lions is likely motivated by a distrust of authority. Habitat. Westford, MA, crossing Dunstable Rd from Long Sought For Pond into the woods. Jason. Hawley, a wildlife biologist with the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, says data dont support a breeding population of mountain lions in Connecticut. I have heard several accounts from sober, sane, intelligent people who have seen them (especially a latre, good friend who was a very competent spokesman and hunter.). I met with Morse at her home in Jericho. Mountain Lion Weight: 80-160 pounds Length: About 7-8 feet long Tail: 2-3 feet long (up to half of the total length) Identification The mountain lion is a large, slender cat, with a long rope-like tail. The big cat on the ground before him, motionless, yet somehow still embodying that particular feline litheness, as if, with the flick of its tail, it might bound to its feet and disappear into the woods. Weve done a lot of work over the years investigating sightings. I was driving to work in Greenfield heading south on 10 and had just taken a right hand turn at the junction when the big cat crossed the road in front of me. He drove me out to the spot. Yet I also remembered something Sue Morse had told me months before, as we sat in her living room drinking beer and chatting cats. You can subscribe to Connecticut Magazine here, or find the current issue on sale here. Public opinion surveys show many more would support reintroduction, than oppose. The Damned Story: Eastern mountain lions, or pumas or cougars, were last officially seen in Connecticut near the end of the 19th century. And theres another school of thought, Well, no, there just are too many of them probably we have to reduce that population somehow. Where do you fall in that whole continuum? One cat will leave more than 10,000 tracks per day. Broken Down: The National Society of Leadership and Success? Officially, there are no mountain lions in New England, although there is a good possibility the big cats could be here, Tate said. These powerful cats can weigh between 70-220 pounds, with males weighing more. So theres fresh mud. I knew it was a cat track because the tracks were in a straight line and no signs of claws like you would see with a coyote track. It had rained previously. He set down his cigarette and looked me in the eye. TOLLAND A local woman reported Friday that she saw a mountain lion in the area of Sand Hill Road, . As I looked at my daughter and then turned to follow the direction she was looking, I saw the animal in my side mirror. Bobcats: They are about two to three times larger than their distant relative. Anyone can get fooled. Weight. She didnt claim to see the mountain lions long tail, but optical illusions can lead people to think theyve seen a tail. Mrgunsngear (Mr. Patrick's reporting has appeared on NPR's Morning Edition, Here & Now, and All Things Considered. UConn women's basketball's Dorka Juhsz, Amari DeBerry play 'word sneak' at press conference, Fight breaks out after CT high school basketball game between Bassick, Wilbur Cross, Amanda Bynes, Steve from 'Blues Clues' to appear at 90s Con in CT, Connecticut paranormal convention coming back this spring, Bridgeport woman competes to find love on Paramount+ dating show, Self-taught pianist Serene to perform at Grace Farms. As I turned a corner going north toward Waterbury, I saw the cat come up from the cornfield, saunter across the highway, turn and look in my direction and then amble off into the brush. What time of day was it? As a P.O. When he suggested we retrace our route, past lion, to see a sow bear with cubs, we headed in the opposite direction. Stupid me grabbed my camera and a stick as to protect myself ( yes stupid idea as I could stop this thing from attacking me lol. It is healthy to have respect and caution, but fear shouldnt drive ecological decision making. They also want to foster the formation and protection of migration pathways for them and other animals to enter new states. Records suggest that cash bounties for cougar kills were relatively common in the late 1700s and early 1800s; in the Adirondacks, a trapper named Thomas Meacham was credited with 77 cougar kills. In the 1930s, Bruce Wright, an influential wildlife manager from New Brunswick, Canada, began gathering reports of sightings of mountain lions in the East and searching for their tracks. Sometimes people feared fishers (erroneously attributing the blood-curdling screams of foxes to these hard-to-spot creatures), and in the late 1930s, after several animals were slain under strange circumstances in Glastonbury, the Hartford Courant dubbed the lion-like creature supposedly responsible, the Glawackus. 60-108 inches. Working in the 1980s in southern California, where there are cougars, biologist Paul Beier said that 95 percent of cougar sightings they investigated turned out to be misidentifications. Not long after, what was believed to be the same mountain lion was struck and killed on Route 15 in Milford. As a carnivore biologist, Hawley says he would love it if mountain lions were here. I appreciated Ottmann and Bettys confidence and commitment, but here I was, poking through thorny thickets behind a bar, trailing a bleeding man whose devotion to proving the presence of cougars was beginning to seem like a quixotic quest with no end. It may not surprise you to learn that I was quite intrigued by this third group. I saw one about 10 years ago, on our road. She said it was long and thick. Could UConn women's basketball be back to 'square one' with seven available players at Seton Hall? Indeed, in 2011, a male cougar was hit and killed by a car in Milford, Connecticut; through its DNA, wildlife biologists were able to trace the cat back to South Dakotas Black Hills, some 2,000 miles distant. A quick Google search reveals that the theory is not limited to Connecticut and similar tales are told throughout the Northeast. Over time, Wright became convinced Eastern cougars lived in small pockets in the deep woods. document.getElementById( "ak_js_1" ).setAttribute( "value", ( new Date() ).getTime() ); This setting should only be used on your home or work computer. We even had a sighting someone here at DEEP, in my office, was convinced they saw a mountain lion. According to the Smithsonians National Zoo, bobcats are part of the lynx genus, which means they are related to other cats like the Canadian lynx, Iberian lynx and Eurasian lynx. Mountain Lions: Large tan cats with a distinctive two to three-foot curving tail, that can almost touch the ground as they walk. For mountain lions in Connecticut, a lack of evidence is very good evidence. my husband tapped my leg and asked what is that crossing the road It was a Cougar tan in color long tail which had a slight curl upward .I wish I had my camera to prove it but I know We saw it. So long as the tails there, that is. You cansubscribe here, orfind the current issue on sale here. Cougars, Lynx, Bobcats, Wolves, Bears etc were and are a After all, if one mountain lion had wandered here, didnt that mean that others could have? We met for lunch on a Sunday morning in early March, and it didnt take long for me to understand why Harrigan is such a popular columnist. Morse, 70, comports herself in a friendly and no-nonsense manner. Massachusetts and several other New England states have bear hunting, or harvest, seasons, which proponents say help control populations. Based on this blurry photo and pawprints, DEEP confirmed it was likely a mountain lion. McEnroe: It is an uphill challenge. Were getting more and more home entries every year. Lol Here is a small glimpse at what these dogs were bred to do (if you got sensitive eyes, do not view): Hawley:Were sort of stuck between a rock and a hard place right now. Reading Time: 4 mins read . But the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said Sunday that bobcats are the only large wild cats found in the state. But, I think with education and planning, we should reintroduce wolves and cougar in the Northeast. The scientific name for the catamount is Puma concolor. The Mountain Lion will return to feed on the prey for up to 10 days. They denied it until a cougar was hit as it tried to cross the very busy Merritt Parkway. But other hard evidence of the big cats presence is elusive. Height. A 140-pound male mountain lion was hit by a car and killed in 2011 in Milford, Connecticut. Perhaps, then, the ultimate question isnt whether cougars are among us, but rather how we can encourage them to settle here. When you look at a state like Connecticut, with all the people we have here, all the trail cameras we have in the woods, all the cars we have driving you can imagine if we had an established population here in Connecticut, we would know about it pretty quickly. Can they really all be cases of false identification? The MPD Animal Care and Control Unit's report includes a fact sheet about mountain lions, which has many common names, including "puma, catamount and panther.". CT Style. And theres another school of thought, Well, no, there just are too many of them probably we have to reduce that population somehow. Where do you fall in that whole continuum? The debate rages in Maine, where the last confirmed cougar kill occurred in 1938, and in New Hampshire, where the last confirmed kill was in 1885. July 20, 2022. So all the other states in the Northeast that have bear populations have a harvest on their bears. Check out 4 Seconds Until Impact by Bruce Hemming, or Cat Urbigkits books about predator attacks in unlikely places . That's not to say that pits are not formidable dogs, they are. In 2011, genetic testing confirmed that a mountain lion originated in South Dakota and traveled more than 1,500 miles before being struck by a car on the Merritt Parkway, according to Reuters. I must have looked doubtfulwe were within spitting distance of a heavily trafficked road and only 12 miles from downtown Hartfordbut both Ottmann and Betty told me that cougars actually prefer more populated areas, since thats where deer tend to congregate. We really must establish first that these beautiful animals SHOULD be in every state that was once THEIR habitat. . For a solid four seconds, Marchibroda watched as a large, sleek cat standing about three feet tall with a long, curled tail crossed Skyline Drive near Gavel Springs Gap less than 100 feet in front of them. In the 37 years Ive been working, things have changed in ways Id never have predicted. Lets learn to live alongside this very large animal is one of the schools of thought. This assessment is echoed by the aforementioned Christopher Spatz, who has been studying cougars for better than 20 years. We need cougars and we need wolves back in the Northeast, because a landscape of fear is a well-balanced landscape.. Even though the experts say there arent any mountain lions in CT, there are. What color was it? Middlebury, Vermont | Could You Live Here? Young pumas dispersing from Western habitats are being killed at the source, compromising the Easts critical opportunity for ecosystem health and the return of an apex carnivore., Regardless of where they are found, or whether people want to hunt or protect them, people are enchanted by mountain lions. The Spatz and Sue Ottmann referred to are Christopher Spatz and Sue Morse, two of the better-known and arguably most experienced cougar skeptics in the Northeast. The image has since been deleted from social media. Newspaperman John Harrigan has long covered the New England outdoors, including writing the New Hampshire Sunday News column Woods, Water & Wildlife which ran for almost 40 years.