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Spent some time with a cougar researcher



Near the end of a back road recently I met a cougar researcher who was looking for lion tracks like I was. We hit it off enough that he invited me to come with him when they tree and collar a lion.  Today my son and I went along  with the researcher and a couple of assistants to check kill sites ID'd by GPS tracking of collared lions.  We went to two kill sites and hunted around till we found a deer killed by the cat at each location.  One YOY deer and one a couple of years old.  In both cases the lion ate most of the bones, including all of the skulls except for teeth and jaw bones.  Bones are relatively soft on younger deer.  Interesting day.

I am learning to drive a new computer and will try to post a pic of a kill site later.  Not much to see but some hair and bones.  They take samples to ID sex and age and health of the deer, including how it relates to other deer in that region.  We learned both ways, swapping local lion and people info for some valuable info on patterns they track in this area, travel corridors, how cats interact with terrain, kill patterns, etc.  Good stuff.

Indispensable information for both parties. That would have been a good conversation to hear.

Hawks Feather:
That would have been a very interesting conversation. 

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The pic above is after we uncovered the deer bones from under a pile of moss and duff.  This was probably a 2 year old deer, or nearing 2 anyway.   The first kill we found was not covered at all, just the remains neatly piled, which is also common for cougars.

 They don't scatter bones, but scavengers that follow them do.  Skunks are the most common scavengers in this area, but bobcats and coyotes are common here, not as wary as in some regions.

Re so much hair:  the biologist said that cougars begin by plucking the hair from an area of flank and belly on the deer before opening the body cavity.  They use their teeth, and he has videos of mt. lions doing that.


 That definitely looks like a murder scene  :huh:


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