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We were hunting — cougar-hunting. To Gene, this seemed like the ideal opportunity to prove or disprove once and for all: Are there really cougars in Maine?

Mainers seem certain that mountain lions are here

And, of course, despite our long, sweaty hours inhaling the rank mustiness of that barn, the cat chose not to show up. He would drop out of sight for a few weeks.

I hunted alone and camped alone many years; have cougae hunting lines sixty-five miles long with traps all the way, which took all the week days — I did not hunt on Sundays — through the season. Analysis at a lab concurred they were indeed feline hairs, but could not conclusively identify them as cougar.

Some are hard to dispel. I may never see one in Maine, ib I remain optimistic for the future. Recently, McCollough undertook a review of the eastern cougar to report to his scientific peers.

While the western and Florida panthers are not only holding their own but increasing in s and range, the eastern cougar remains officially extinct as it has been for nearly a century. Mark McCollough, an endangered. Another seemingly great source, it seems, would be the state wildlife biologists, who routinely make frequent visits to survey deer yards in main regions.

Maine ice fishers spot big cat biologists say could be a mountain lion

Infederal officials officially declared the eastern cougar extinct. Updated p.

The cat was standing sideways, surrounded by trees, and looking back at us, watching. Ninety to ninety-five percent of reports of cougar sightings are the mistaken identification of other species of wildlife. State and federal wildlife officials said cougars are not in Maine, at least naturally.

We assumed it may have perhaps been clipped by another vehicle and that is why it did not run, or just a chance encounter as it crossed the interstate we were on at that time. But they insist these are not eastern cougars. State and federal scientists cojgar reviewing the videos, as well as still pictures of what appear to be the animal's tracks. Very likely.

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State biologists are maiine the video as well as photos of the tracks left behind by the animal, according to Maine Public Radio. We stopped the vehicle where the cat had entered the forest. While with the department, I often went along with deer biologists like Gerry Lavigne and Bill Noble of the Greenville Regional Office to film these activities. In fact, Washington County in eastern Maine s for ln of the reported cougar sightings. A group of us — including senior biologists, wardens, and the just plain curious — gathered in the video studio to examine the film.

We showed the photo to Dr.

Information

The video was shot on March 8. But there was an exception or two. One of the earliest settlers in the area of Andover in western Maine, Silvanus Poor, was interviewed in couar elder years by his niece, Agnes Blake Poor, about his reminiscences. When I leaned out to get a better look, it must have spotted my slight movement. It caught me completely by surprise. The service USFWS will now prepare a proposal to remove eastern cougar from the endangered species list.

A bit lucrative, too, as a bounty was being paid on the cats. He was not only a noted woodsman, but wrote widely about his life in the outdoor magazines of the day mid to late s.

Is this video of a mountain lion in maine?

And as we suspected, the topic proved popular, with thousands reading it and dozens sharing their thoughts in online comments. They are cats that have. I began writing a lot about outdoors stuff my first loveand this began attracting calls and visits from people with similar interests. The long tail mentioned in the video is important, because that would distinguish the animal from a lynx or bobcat, which have short tails.

Process of elimination and circumstantial evidence le me to believe it was a mountain lion. At the time, the Jackman road jn a narrow gravel path, running over twenty miles through uninhabited wilderness.

This individual animal, according to scientists, set a record for dispersal — movement from its original territory. Rich for wilderness experience.

Oh, scientists admit there have been and probably still are a few cougars loose in Maine. There is, reportedly, one small population of cougars close to Maine. Jim not his real name, for reasons evident later was a well-educated professional man who had traveled widely and was extremely well spoken and exuded credibility. Time after time he would show up with breathtaking tales of surefire evidence of the presence of cougars — tracks, scats, kills, etc.

They also requested information from the twenty-one states within the historical range of the eastern cougar. Biologists have said that they doubt that breeding populations of the big cats live here in Maine, but accept on formerly captive mountain lions.

Seldom were they seasoned woodsmen, trappers, guides, game wardens — the people who spend much of their lives in the woods. About a month later, one of the people that heard of my sighting had a cougar run across in front of his car on Route 1 about three-quarters of a mile as the crow flies from where I was.