More mountain lion sightings

In late December, a friend and I where out driving and walking as we so often do. Close to 1am, we where headed towards Mt. Misery coming from Rt. 72. There was almost a full moon and was very bright. At one point, about 75 yards in front of us, something of a very light brown/beige color ran across the road. Although it being a cougar did not enter our minds, it was an appropriate size and color. It was certainly not a deer by the way it was moving. Earlier in the night we where hiking between Penn State Forest and Warren Grove. When we got closer to Penn State we heard a number of coyotes to the west and then to the east. What we saw by Mt. Misery was too large to be a coyote. We wondered if it could have been a beige colored wolf since there have been some reports in the area the past few years, but seems unlikely. There's been reports of black bears too in the Manchester area, but unless it was a very light colored black bear we didn't think so. It didn't seem to have a tail, so the bear is a possible explanation. However, it was very cold, so what would have been slinking around in that time of the night (except us)?
Anyway, still don't think it was a cougar, but who knows.
 

lakesgirl

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Jan 3, 2010
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I know what we saw was definatly a cougar. Tail was as long as it's body with a dark tip. Dark patches behind the ears, didn't see it's face though. We were near Washington and Iron Pipe Roads when we had to stop due to a couple of deer in the road up ahead. As we sat and watched the deer, my husband said another was approaching from the woods on the driverside. T'wernt no deer!!!! It never took it's eyes off of the deer. When the cat was in the middle of the road the deer bolted and the cat followed to head them off. Very healthy looking cat. All melted in to the woods.
Our son saw it a year earlier in about the same area and reported the sighting to the rangers at Batsto. They told him he saw a bobcat.....Don't need to be a zoologist to know the difference.

Last summer, while paddling the Batsto between Quaker Bridge and Batsto Lake I was able to take a picture of a large cat foot print in the sand. There are children's foot prints next to it for a reference point. That picture was verified by an Endangered Species Specialist with the NJ Fish and Game as a "large cat". I lost my copy when our computer crashed...but it's in my gallery on the njpinelandsanddownjersey site.

We also walked up on a bobcat at Turkey Point. It was stalking something in the reeds. When it realized we were there, it turned, snarled, gave us a very spooky glare and bounced into the marsh. Have to use the term bounced, from behind because of the longer rear legs it reminded me of a rabbit. They have also been spotted in Winslow WMA.
 

PINEY MIKE

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Jan 30, 2009
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Unless they're taking the ferry or the Ben Franklin, I dont see cats coming from Delaware. I also dont see them swimming the Del River near any southern counties. If by chance there were to be wild mountain lions in the pines, they would need to come down from the north. Im not so sure there are enough tracts of bound forests for them to make it this far south without being spotted or hit by a car.
 

Canoe_Junkie

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Nov 20, 2009
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Unless they're taking the ferry or the Ben Franklin, I dont see cats coming from Delaware. I also dont see them swimming the Del River near any southern counties.
The idea of my posting the Delaware incident was not to say that "wild" mountain lions are coming from there, but rather, if mountain lions can be transient in the state of Delaware, they can certainly be passing through the Pines as well... never mind, forget I even started this thread.
 

PINEY MIKE

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Jan 30, 2009
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The idea of my posting the Delaware incident was not to say that "wild" mountain lions are coming from there, but rather, if mountain lions can be transient in the state of Delaware, they can certainly be passing through the Pines as well... never mind, forget I even started this thread.
Why forget it? We are just stating our thoughts. I never said you thought any mt. lions were from Delaware. I just said they'd have to come from the north. The same would hold true for cats in Delaware, they'd have to come from the north. Both Delaware and S. Jersey are on peninsulas. I dont know much about Delaware's geography, but I feel Jersey doesn't have enough stretches of land from N to S to hide a lion on its way to the pines. I could be wrong, but for now I stand with the majority (which I know isnt always a good place to stand).
 

46er

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Mar 24, 2004
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never mind, forget I even started this thread.
Why? It's a good thread. Folks don't have to agree. And there are no experts. :rolleyes: Besides, it shows how important it is if you see something unusual, such as a big, rare cat, to collect as much good evidence as you can to have any chance of it being believed. The internet is full of hoax's and discussions that end up poorly. Some things to consider; carry a camera, and should you find something, photograph it along with something of reference, such as a coin, to give an indication of its size. In the topic being discuseed, all cat tracks look pretty much the same, except for size. Forget the reference point if the subject is quickly approaching and drool is pouring off its canine teeth :)

A very good id guide at the link. It compares sign from other animals that might also frequent an area;

http://www.easterncougarnet.org/Assets/pumafieldguide.pdf
 

GermanG

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Apr 2, 2005
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I’ve been following this thread with both interest and amusement. I figured I’d just as well put my two cents in. As of this fall I will have spent the last 20 years working at two different nature centers. A good part of that time was spent dealing with the public regarding sightings of wildlife. Sometimes they merely saw something and other times they caught it and thought we would be interested in it or perhaps even had something in captivity that they no longer could keep. But when it came to identifying the animal, many more were wrong than were right. Sometimes their description of the field marks was way off and other times it was the dimensions of the animal that they misjudged. I grew to be very skeptical of strangers’ ID of things until I saw them for myself. The part that I loved the best was that the people who were the worst at identifying things were often the most stubbornly sure of their identifications. Now I know darn well that anything is possible, and I will never rule anything out. The tiger in Jackson was a good example of that. But my own experiences have simply led me to be skeptical of very unusual sightings until they are confirmed. And those offended by that need to differentiate between skepticism and disbelief. They aren’t the same.
 

manumuskin

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Jul 20, 2003
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German
are you saying that without a college degree or years of experience in an animal rehab the rest of us cannot be qualified to know a coon from a possum? I have had the same experiences with people identifying snakes.let me say there are two classes of people when it comes to animal identification.Those who know what their talking about and those who don't and it's not hard to tell the difference if your one who does.I once had a boss who told me a story of a 40 ft snake he ran over crossing a farm road in milmay and when his truck went over it it came down with a thump.he looked in his rear mirror and the snake just crawled off into the woods.The man obviously believed what he was saying.he also swore that south jersey was full of poisonous water moccasins.Now neither are their water moccasins in south jersey nor any poisonous snake for that matter.We do have the veneous Timber rattlesnake but venems and poisonous are two quite different things.So if you have someone who says they saw a purple cat 10 ft long with fire shooting out it's eyes I would personally say yeah man I saw one of those two last year and then laugh as they walked away to tell everyone else they weren't the only one( I have learned the hard way to never argue with people like this)Or better yet tell em it was the jersey devil (they probably are already tossing this idea around in their head) But if you have a person who seems otherwise sensible and sane and does seem to have some knowledge of critters even though they don't possess the desired college degree they actually may be a viable witness.I once spotted what I swore was a fisher in cook forest state park in nw pa and thought i must be loosing it only to report it to the rangers who then informed me several decades ago they released fishers in allegheny national forest 50 miles north and they started showing up in the park 10 years ago.I have an uncle who was a big time haerpetoculturalist back in the 70's when i was a teen.back then I think the term hadn't been invented yet.He got a call from a man on landis avenue in vieland in the middle of town who told him he had a copperhead in his back yard.My uncle said no way man,copperheads don't live in south jersey but he went ober anyway expecting a milk snake or a young racer or some other striped snake,maybe a water snake even.The man had a copperhead under a board in his back yard.How did it get there? don't know but it was a copperhead nonetheless.
Now if my uncle was a biologist no one would doubt him but since he was just a hobbyist that raised nonvenemous snakes many would say he was mistaken without actually seeing the snake.
I have on occasion ran into wildlife biologists who knew much more then i did about their animal group they specialized in but not much about snakes at all so what I'm getting at is a degree by no mean means your the only one out there with powers of observation.Have you ever crawled across the Great Swamp?I have and the cougar I seen was only a mile and a half approxomately from that swamp.It took me 5 hours to go a mile and half as i crossed and recrossed it.I think a place like that could hold a big cat ot two unnoticed by us if he could get there first.we are kind of surrounded by unfriendly l;arge predator areas but then again cats often move at night and we do not see very well at night while they do.The cat i seen probably did not expect to see people out in the middle of a wet meadow/swamp.he wasn't counting on canoes.By the way i know the latin name of the cat....does that qualify me or do i still need the degree.The possible bobcat i seen was too quick to verify and I admit it.I saw the cougar for at least a minute in the tree as we approached it.It was big enough I wouldn't want to tangle with it(i routinely fight with my house cat all the time as verified by looking at my hands) and it was solid beige and had a long tail.wasn't a bobcat.deer don't climb trees.it jumped 10 ft out of tree and didn't fall,wasn't a man disguised as a cat.Apparently i was pretty scary too.It ran like hell so it wasn't tame.
By the way i really don't believe in the jeraey devil or bigfoot:)
Al
 
whoa, whoa, whoa, wait a minute. are you to tell me that there's not a ten foot purple cat with fire blazing out of its mouth in south jersey? as mj would say, "you're just being ingnant, that's just ingnant".

anyway, i'm a full supporter of sasquatch's existence, just not in southern nj.

p.s.
i for one do not believe that german was saying what you interpreted his post to be manumuskin, although i do not mean to answer for him.
 

woodjin

Piney
Nov 8, 2004
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I agree with PBfrog, Al. I really didn't get that German was implying that you need a degree to validate a sighting. I took it that he was just saying that in all his years of working in the pines he has learned to be skeptical.

Jeff
 

bobpbx

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Oct 25, 2002
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Al, I get what German is saying. It's just like us Christians--when someone tells us that Christ was just an ordinary man, we ask them to produce the body. Skepticism is warranted where German worked.

By the way...I believe you saw that cougar. If you say it's so, its good enough for me my Pine Barren Brother. Your time spent in the woods has bred its own kind of degree.
 

GermanG

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Apr 2, 2005
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I can't clarify what I said any better than others already have. But I do want to add that I place little value on degrees myself when it comes to this topic. They amount to not much more than a few letters after your name. I learned far more after college than I did during it. And I know many others without degrees who have more practical knowledge on certain subjects than some who had higher education on said subject.
 

manumuskin

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Jul 20, 2003
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If cougars are establishing a population here they will eventually be found out,i believe what i saw was a transient like the bears that show up occasionally.bears are not near as slick as cougars,if their around hunters will see them.
No problem with your skepticism german,as long as your skeptical of the degree people along with the rest of us.a degree is fine as long as those who carry it realize it doesn't always make em right or those who don't wrong.I am still skeptical of that 40 ft snake that can survive being run over by a pickup:)
Al
 
i'd be much more skeptical of a 40 ft snake in nj before i'd be skeptical of it surviving. in fact, there hasn't been one that size alive for tens of thousands of years...and the movie 'anaconda' doesn't count...

it's ok to be skeptical of those that hold higher academic degrees, but i hope that posters here aren't holding the degrees against the people that have them.
.
 

gipsie

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Sep 14, 2008
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i'd be much more skeptical of a 40 ft snake in nj before i'd be skeptical of it surviving. in fact, there hasn't been one that size alive for tens of thousands of years...and the movie 'anaconda' doesn't count...

.
But has anyone seen one of these?