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Cougar - Henderson Countyy IL
Posted: 31 May 2013 02:40 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Clear sighting of Cougar in front yard - confirmed
This is the content of an E-mail I sent to friends. The Local Times - Journal published much of the below story.
I live in Henderson Country next to Big River State Forest. I am 2 blocks from the Miss.River.
I have Turkeys and Deer in my front yard (5 acres) weekly.

Content
1. Description of seeing the Cougar.
2. Other Local Sightings
3. Note about Tracks


MOUNTAIN LION SEEN MY FRONT YARD

Sunday March 10, 2013

It had rained Sat and let up early Sunday AM.
A large amount of the snow had melted.
In the far end of the driveway I had about 3” water. However this area of the Miss is called the Yellow Bank area (Indian name) because of the Yellow sand. Sand goes down to a depth of over 40 feet. Water drains instantly.

It was a totally very gray foggy day.
A couple of times during the day it misted lightly for a few minutes.

I had taken Toby (my Lab) out three times.
It was evening - 21:23 and I decided to take Toby out for the last time.

My front door has two small glass windows in, from which I can see most of my yard.

I glanced out and looked at my sidewalk to see if it was wet.
It didn’t look wet, but I wasn’t sure. If its raining I use an umbrella. I take him out on a leash. If there is not game I leave him off except at night.

I have a City Street Light at the right side of the driveway just about exactly 50 feet from my front door that illuminates my whole immediate front yard, all the way to the Basketball Court and all the way to the edge of my property to the East.

I opened the door to get a better look.
I have a 5 foot tin roof over my front door so I can easily tell if there is any rain from the sound.

I opened the door an stepped two feet out holding the front door.

There standing 50 feet away at the edge of my driveway is a Mountain Lion. He was within 10 feet of my streetlight.  He was broadside to me with his head to the right. Easily visible was his head, whole body and his tail.

On seeing / hearing me he ran to the right. It was not a panic run. It was a lope. They don’t run or lope anything like a dog or coyote.

However it could have been daylight for the clear view I had. It was 100% unmistakable Cougar / Mountain Lion..

He was well fed and I would guess weighed over 140 - 150 LBS.. He sure was a lot bigger and longer than my 85 LB Labrador.

The area where he was at had patches of snow. In the area of the woods he ran to the right there was little snow.

I had bought a pack of Green Gardening Sticks to mark where I planted Walnuts. The next day I got the sticks and looked in that area to see if there were any tracks in the snow patches.

I found some and marked them. That morning I took pictures of the tracks and put a ruler on the ground to get size comparison.
I also tried to make a Plaster of Paris Cast of two of the tracks.

It is difficult to make Plaster Paris casts in Snow. The water will melt the snow. The other problem is if the PP is too stiff it will compress the snow. PP has to be liquid enough to easily run though.

Well fortunately the tracks were somewhat Icy.

I used iced cold water. The first attempt, I had too much water (perhaps 2 tblspns too much) as the cast was garbage. The second attempt produced a decent cast with the four toes and pad well shown.

I almost daily walk to the river. Depending on my route it’s a mile or a 3 mile walk. Next to the river is a occupied house. The next day I walked to the river and saw Cougar tracks in a patch of snow but not good enough to attempt to Cast.
Two days later there was a white car in the drive. I knocked on the door and it turned out it was the fellows daughter visiting. She told me her Dad had seen tracks. The following weekend he was home. He had indeed seen track. He had tracks in the mud up behind his house. There was 5 good tracks with 2 very good. I made casts and gave him the best. The other turned out decent. There were taken in a mud that had hardened, were about 3/4” deep and had not degraded.

In addition I talked to the Site Supt in Big River. Forest. I had sent him e-mail + photos of 18 pictures of tracks. He agreed they were Cougar tracks. In addition - they had found a Deer and a Coyote about 10 feet up in different trees that were mostly eaten. A bobcat isn’t going to do that.

In April we had a local election. There are only 186 voters and the voting place is 5 miles away. It’s not a heavily populated area.  The lady poll official who raises cattle, told me they had two calves disappear. They were about 90 - 100 lbs. Her daughter found a tree in their timber that had cat scratches 5 - 6 feet off the ground. Her husband was in his truck early AM and said he saw it running about 50 yards out in the field.
The other lady had goats. They had missed two goats in the past year. Because they were m

Three years ago 20 miles North in New Boston IL a fellow shot one with a Bow. He has it mounted.

Note - My opinion - If a Farmer has an opportunity to shoot one they will and will not tell anyone. They will think they will get in trouble for shooting it.

My neighbor (1/2 mile away) told me she looked out one night about 12:00 at night and saw a huge tan dog with a long tail. She called her husband to look but it was gone by then.
_____________________________________________________________

Local Mountain Lion Sightings
I talked to my neighbor that runs the vegetable stand in Oquawka a 900 person town 10 miles South.. She said that half a dozen People around Oquawaka said they saw a Mountain Lion outside of Oquawka.

Additionally there is a lady that lives near McCabe Towing. Her husband had passed away. One night when she went out with her dog,  she saw a Mountain Lion.

A few years ago they a Cougar was shot in Chicago’s NW side (two blocks from my sister) DNA was from ND
Missouri has dozens of trail Cam pictures from all over the State.

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Posted: 01 June 2013 06:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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It is my understanding that Kenny Tharp found that cougar on his property near New Boston.  He lives a few miles south of Rt.17.

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Posted: 01 June 2013 11:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Can you post some pics of the tracks?

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Posted: 04 June 2013 08:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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These sightings become more and more common. Seems like someone would actually kill one since there are so many guys in the woods. There have been several sightings in the area I live over the years of a black panther. The most recent sighting was about 3 years ago, but from a credibility standpoint, the guys with the story are probably the last people to be believed. I dont doubt there are your typical cougars running around out there. I want to see someone arrow one in this state ,and it will happen eventually.

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It’s funny how everyone considers honesty a virtue, yet no one wants to hear the truth

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Posted: 05 June 2013 01:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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It happened just north of where this post came from.  A few years ago.  I believe around the Keithsburg-New Boston area.

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Posted: 07 June 2013 10:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Yes, the area it was found was between New Boston and Keithsburg. 
For many years, I’ve heard numerous reports of cougars along the Edwards River, between Aledo and New Boston.  There’s quite a bit of rough ground in that area. 
I’m certain I saw one north of Aledo late one evening, about 1989 or `90.  Even though I couldn’t find any tracks the next morning, I know what I saw wasn’t a deer or coyote.  It had an entirely different gait and it’s tail was WAY too long.

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