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Mountain lions in NY

June 9, 2006

I am wondering why there are no tracks in the snow or cougar sightings in the winter. One would think that with all of the deer hunters in the woods that there would be lots of track sightings and of course with all of the DEC law enforcement in the woods during hunting season that they would be verifying the tracks. Do cougars fly South for the winter?

What about cougar killed deer? These are truly unique in the manner in which they are covered with debris and marked. Why aren't they found on a regular basis? The cougars have to eat, don't they?

Has anyone actually verified the photos taken of the cougars in Southern New York? I had done some preliminary research and found that all of the photos generated on internet curculation were in fact taken out West and had been in existence for years and the same exact photos had circulated in Michigan as well.

Where can I find concrete proof that these animals really exist in new York?


Comments (156)

  • msrfrog1

    here is some good info if you come across one

  • morgan_wright

    That was pretty funny msrfrog1 but I'd offer my wife before my kids.

  • roguehikersofwny


    We spotted a mountain lion in Hamlin, NY, right off Rt. 19 where the town just put in a new trail system.

    We had a similar experience to others posted here. Two of saw the cat as were hiking today.

    At first, I spotted the cat as it ran across the main path, but I thought it was a VERY big fox, because of the red color (not really thinking cougars here).

    After we got deeper into the woods, on a side trail, we came across it dead on about 100 feet ahead, but thinking at first it was a deer -- until I saw the cat's head, and thought geez, that looks like tiger. Then, I realized OMG --that is, it's a mountain lion!

    We both saw it at the same time, and I never turned, tucked tail, and ran so fast! We hauled out of there scared skinny that cat saw us.

    We made a narrow escape, when I saw that head my animal instinct kicked in, I knew we were in big danger.
    I felt like we were back on the steppes of Africa suddenly exposed, like in a dream, where you are suddenly confronted with an attacker.

    So there you have it, sighting of cougar along Lake Ontario, western NY, about 30 miles northwest of Rochester. Anyone else care to verify?

  • donnie-2010

    We live in Florida and have a camp on Sacandaga Lake off of South Shore Rd in the Town of Day. We also have a camp in the Ocala National Forest where I have seen and heard Florida Panther (basically a mountain lion). The scream of a panther is shrilling and unmistakable. Around two years ago upon our arrival at our place on Sacandaga around 11:30 PM, while exiting the car with our two dogs, we were greeted by that same scream from the woods behind us. Startled, and fearing the scream came from a big cat, my wife hastened our barking mini dachshunds into the camp. I got a glimpse of the animal and could tell it was big with a long tail, but couldn't confirm it was a big cat. A few nights later, our neighbors behind us were enjoying a campfire when the scream came from the woods above them. Their full grown boxer came flying out of the woods and ran into the camp at full speed, refusing to come back out. I walked over to join their discussion about what could have made such a noise and have terrified a their boxer so much. I gave them my opinion and don't know if they are believers or not. I do know they have no other explanation. Others have suggested that it may have been a Fisher which has been sighted locally but I doubt a 10 or 15 pound animal would frighten a boxer too much. I for one, am 90% sure there are mountain lions, cougars, panthers, or some type of big cat in the Adirondacks.

  • bassshifter21

    I saw a mountain lion cross directly in front of my truck on my way to work last Tuesday morning. I was southbound on the 990 in Amherst, near the Sweet Home Road exits, just past the big retention pond. No question about what I saw. It was a very large cat with a long tail. He crossed in front of me, perhaps 50 feet away, then I watched him in the side view mirror as he crossed through the median and then the northbound lanes. I have been an outdoorsman all my life, and observe wildlife all the time. I know what I saw, regardless of what anyone might say, officially or unofficially. It was cool to see what others have been talking about!!!

  • ghug92

    If you go on youtube there is a video of a mountain lion in Massena, NY. Type in Big Cat in Massena. This is the real deal!!!!!! I am so glad that someone finally got proof that mountain lions live in NY.

  • heykat

    Hunters and outdoorsmen/women see Mountain Lions all the time in the Southern Tier. The DEC won't admit it, but they're there.

  • skipkyle

    I just spoke to a woman today who claims she seen one in Sullivan County last year. I was pretty shocked to overhear her conversation. I questioned her about it and she told me the story. She said she was positive it was a mountain lion. It was no bob cat. She said it was huge and she didn't know why she wasn't attacked. It was only about three or four feet infront of her. It just left.

  • hunterbill

    Heykat is right, DEC will cover it up.
    One day I was walking along the susquehanna river
    Ive lived right along the river all my life
    Came along a dead lizard about 2 1/2 feet long
    Decided to bring it to my house and look it up online.
    I found out it was called a Hell-Bender, So I called the DEC. They were really interested (I would call it freaking out) and they told me to freeze it, they came at 5am the next day, knocked on my door, walked in and took it. I tried to ask them a few questions but he just kept walking and then left. I have pictures of it by the way. Well anyway, about the Mountain lions, I am a very avid hunter, I was talking to a good friend of mine a while back that i havent seen for a while and he told me this exact thing
    "I was hunting up on grange hall rd. in kirkwood this past december and I seen a wierd track heading up the hill, I followed it and there was a mountain lion perched on a rock ledge about 13ft from me. So I shot it. Called the DEC and they came and took it without saying a word, they didnt ticket me or anything." Ive known this guy for a really long time, and I also know he wouldnt lie about something like that. So I decided, if theres one then theres more. Im going up there, right before deer season starts and im setting up night/day game cams, a predatore call and some sents to attract one. I hunt up there every year and Ive heard strange noises 'calls' ive never heard in my life over the past 3 years. I know what bobcat sound like aswell as any other predatory animal in upstate ny sence ive been hunting/tracking for so long. I will post any pictures from my game cam i come across.

  • skipkyle

    Wow. You have to love this guy. "So I shot em." Nice guy. Had to do that I guess. Just his nature. The DEC came and took it away too, fast and mysterious. What is this Area 51? They should have ticketed him.

  • rosesstink

    The Susquehanna is within the range of the hellbender salamander. But they are pretty rare within most, if not all, of their range. That's why the DEC "freaked out". Not because they were trying to cover up the existence of some dangerous foreign invader - which is what hunterbill seems to be implying.

    "So I shot it." People like that should have their guns taken away from them.

  • kathymou

    This is an old thread but I thought I would respond. I live in St Lawrence County, about 8 miles from Potsdam near County Rt 47. About 4 years ago I saw a mountain lion/cougar. It was pacing along the edge of the woods and open field. It had a long tail. Not a bob cat.

    Also, in 1973, I saw a black panther. I asked an old farmer who lived near us about it and he said yes, there were sightings.

  • flyfisher_trout

    I would like to report a new sighting. On Saturday afternoon, October 9, 2010 a fishing buddy of mine was on the East Branch of the Delaware, a little below Downsville NY, when he saw a "deer" swimming across the river and didn't think much of it except that he noticed a canoe a little further upstream. When the canoeists finally paddled down to him, they apparently were quite shaken and explained to him that it was clearly a mountain lion that they saw in the river.

    He is the same person that reported a sighting from his car and fairly close up about 10 years ago in June. This was a lion that was crossing the secondary road that runs along the East Branch between the villages of Fish's Eddy and East Branch. It was approaching the river and he felt certain that it was a cougar by the size, color, and length of its tail. My friend is also a hunter and has general knowledge of wildlife.

    I buy into the theory that some people have purchased cougar kittens from certain western states where the trade is legal, then realized after a year or so that these animals eat and awful lot and simply release them. Or that some people have willfully released them because having lions in the Catskills would either help to control the deer population or help to reinstate the wilderness appeal of the mountains.

    But I don't think the DEC should discount every report. There are some folks who can't tell a cougar from a golden retriever but many sightings come from people who hunt, fish, love nature, etc. and have considerable knowledge. I would bet that, in the aggreate, the hours spent in the field by these people far exceed the time spent away from the road or office by the DEC.

  • glenncz

    This picture was taken by a friend of a friend in mid-September in a rural area near Uniondale, Pa, which is NE PA. I haev not yet confirmed that is a mountain lion, what do you think.
    In the meantime, I have had talked to at least two people here in NE PA who think they say lions near Moscow, Pa and a few other second hand rumored sightings.

  • glenncz

    A mountain lion expert confirmed that the above sighting is a house cat. When the photo is enlarged you can see white spots on the cat. Interesting, because I never saw a house cat with such well developed musculature, also, not furry, streamlined tail doesn't seem typical for a house cat. Also, the cat seems to be in the neighborhood of 50 lbs. There is something called a feral house cat, or wild house cat, which this cat very well might be.

  • in ny zone5

    Compare the cat simply to the leaves on the bush or tree, the size seems to be that of a house cat.

  • hunterintheshadows

    foxladye or whatever. i live in steuben county and am a heavy machinery mechanic. i personally know the farmer who's brother shot the cow killing cat that you metioned the bottom line is there are cougars in nys. if you dont believe it ..... spend more time in the woods. yes they are elusive and dont like human contact but they are here. when i reported my sighting to the dec. they told me there are no cougars in nys but if u shoot it... draw your own conclusion. you seem to be doing that anyway. ive called them in while predator hunting and i know the difference between a mountain lion and a bobcat after hunting the bobs in the catskills and dacks for years. my friends daughter was stalked by a cat that weighed 100+ pounds in their remote property and had he not showed up when he did, i'm convinced he would have lost his daughter!!!!

  • CatamountsinNY

    Just joined this forum today because I wanted to share what I saw last night (12/14/10) on my way back from JFK...literally only about 1/2 hour - 45 minutes outside of NYC: A mountain lion.

    It was on the side of the road on the Hutchinson River Parkway between mile markers 11 and 12 (right before exit 21, in New Rochelle). My girlfriend and I at first thought it was a deer (thing was huge); but then, when we got closer it crouched down, just like a cat...and then we got a good look at it. Definitely not a Domestic Cat, Bobcat, Lynx, or any other similar feline...this was much, much larger, and had a definitively long tail, and the facial features of a Catamount.

    I grew up in Vermont, and have seen all nature of Eastern animals in the wilds of the NE...but never a Mountain Lion.

    I assumed that there was some sort of re-introduction effort on the part of a nature conservancy or something...but then I realized my surroundings: the (relatively) highly populated suburbs of Westchester county! I figured that the local families should be notified to keep their poodles inside. So, right after seeing it, I called the cops, and reported it. They said they would go investigate...but I highly doubt they'll find anything, unless the Catamount did decide to cross the road, and got hit in the process.

    When I got home later that night, I was still curious as to how many Catamounts were estimated to be living in NY (again, I assumed that there had been a controlled release for re-population purposes), so I hit Google and found this site/conversation on the topic. Pretty wild that people are denying that they are out there.

    I had to run back to Boston in the early AM...but, if I had the time, I would have gone back out to where I saw it, and taken tracks today. If any of you Mountain Lion enthusiasts feel like doing so - please do! It was freezing cold last night, and only a light dusting of snow on the ground; so I can't guarantee that you'll find tracks, but if you do, please share them with me!!

    Also, if anyone has intentions of going out and hunting this animal; you should be ashamed of yourself. Shooting a rare/endangered animal is not only illegal, it is also sick.

    At any rate, please continue to share sightings on this thread (especially any in Westchester County) - would love to hear how that Catamount is doing!

  • Cpgasp_gmail_com

    Just heard from two different people about seeing mountain lions about three miles outside of Hudson ny. Both sitings were on the same road. Still hard to believe.

  • wolfeyes74ny_yahoo_com

    I too have heard the stories of mountain lions/cougers in Tioga County. It didn't suprise me at all. My dog was killed a couple nights ago. A family member has a tracker friend who is confident of cougar tracks up on our hill in berkshire. He also explained our dogs wounds without seeing or being told what they were. He feels there were two cats. They will continue to follow tracks and look in the area. We also installed a motion camera on our back deck to see if anything comes back to claim the prey that was left behind. Our dog was chained to his dog house because he had been runnign through the invisible fence. We have a lot of stateland around us and recently saw our first bear. We hear the coyotes every night, and ruled them out as our killer. Our other dog is terrified to go outside now. Won't go alone. If the tracks survive the night, we are going to take pics in the AM. Something was rustling the brush tonight and we didn't feel safe trying to do it tonight. I just want to know what killed my beloved dog. He was such a sweet animal, and never hurt anyone or anything.

  • r_rogan_verizon_net

    I just wanted to add my own sighting to this thread. My family owns a couple of acres of property in the Shawangunk mountains. Our property borders Minnewaska State Park; the former Awosting Preserve parcel that was the subject of the Save The Ridge campaign. I have been hiking, hunting, snow-shoeing in this area for about 30 years. 3 years ago I was bow-hunting in October, not very far behind our property. I was still-hunting, which means I would take 3-4 quiet and slow steps and then stop for a few minutes. I was walking this way for about half an hour. There were still leaves on the underbrush, which makes for good cover for animals. I had stopped for a minute, and was about to take my next series of steps. As soon as I lifted my foot to take the next step I saw a cat-like animal dart from underneath some heavy brush in front of me, moving quickly away from me with very smooth motion and agility. I thought at first I was seeing someone's house cat up in the woods. The head was that of a cat, but larger. The tail was very long, as long as the body. The legs seemed too short for the long-body, and overall the animal was too large to be a domestic cat. It was not a huge animal, but definitely too large to be a domestic cat. I asked my step-father about it, and he said it was probably a Fischer. I accepted that explanation, as the thought of it being a mountain lion never crossed my mind. However, after I looked at a picture of a Fischer I knew that was not what I had seen. It was definitely a mountain lion. I got a good look at it - about 20 yards away - for a good amount of time - about 2-3 full seconds - right in front of me. I was talking about the sighting with my step-father out at dinner one night at a local restaurant and the waitress joined the conversation to say that she too had seen a mountain lion in the area. So, if I had not seen it with my own eyes I might be skeptical, but there is (or was) at least 1 mountain lion in the Shawangunk Mountains.

  • in ny zone5

    Over the last years a friend of mine and I enjoyed hiking inside Minnewaska NY state park to the cliff overlooking the wider Hudson valley. But one summer we decided to cross the road from the park parking lot, down into the small valley, over the creek, up the hill and hiked the trail there West. Over part of that trail we saw that something had dragged possibly a deer for a while on that trail leaving hair on rocks. That was in summer, in a NY state park and probably not a hunter bringing a deer to his car.

  • vssecret718_aim_com

    I know they exist here in NY. If they didn't why according to DEC and NYS Law you can not kill 1 if seen or you will go to jail and face fines..Just like the Moose they were gone as we were told but growing up and going out to the Catskills we use to see them all the time drinking from a stream in the back of the house.....

  • gruvfunk

    I just posted this message in another thread:


    We are new residents in the Catskills, living on the southern foothills of Mombaccus and High Point - Tabasco, NY to be exact. We've been here not even 5 months and marvel at the bountiful wildlife. Some sightings are unbelievable.
    Late last fall we were both shocked to see a large light brown feline of massive proportion walk past our house (within 20 yards in our backyard). There was no question this thing was not a regular house cat and far from domesticated. We did not have time to grab a camera.

    Today, March 2nd, 2011 just before dusk we just sighted a large jet black feline, again massive (within 25 yards, same location as last). About 6 feet in length without the tail, which was enormous on its own and very bulky at the end. Again, no time for a camera.

    Both cats had the same qualities: sleek movers, slick coats, concave arch in their back, huge shoulder blades sticking up, long tail barely grazing the ground.

    Both cats presented us a profile view and walked away diagonally. We never see faces. Both sightings lasted about 20 seconds.

    I'll be going out tomorrow morning to try and find tracks in the frozen snow.

    If you live in this area, you have likely seen Black Bear, Bobcat, Coyote, Fox, Bald Eagle, Pileated Woodpecker, etc - I know I have. If you have sighted a large feline in our area, please chime in!

    For reference, last 30 seconds of this video depict what we just saw 2 hours ago.

    Whether here naturally or escaped from a zoo, I cannot speculate. But this does substantiate previous claims of sightings, at least in my humble opinion.


  • bradleywright90_yahoo_com

    I live in Ellenburg NY and I have seen 2 Mountain Lions since 1988. The cat my uncle and I saw was on the Lafrancis Road in the town of Clinton in 1988. The second cat was on the Bradley Pond Road in the feild behind my farm. My wife and daughter also saw the tracks and where the tail hit in the snow as it walked along. I know what I saw and have had people with me when I saw them. They are a beautiful creatures and I am glad thatI have been able to see them. I also saw a Canadian Lynx in the 90's. The DEC should be ashamed of themselves for lying to the people who pay them!!!!!

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  • craiggrnt_yahoo_com

    First I would like to repeat again there never was in the history of the earth BLACK PANTHERS. Western movies have made us believe they exist in there films but they never have What we call black panthers are Jaguars .They are a south/central American cat not cold upstate NY.The black phase is rarely found in the wild . Yes we can make them for zoos messing with the gene pool. Next Leopards are the only cat in the world that can drag or carry it kill up a tree. We don't live in Africa so the leopard is also out. Look these facts up . GWJOEL I hunted on the state land at the end of Tracy Creek rd next to the Pa boarder. I haven't hunted there in years but have walked around there in the last few years. I couldn't find a deer track. Nothing would live there because of the illegal destruction of the land from four wheelers tearing the land apart. The 18 inch ruts . Sides of the hill tore to the bed rock tells me it's a little to noisy for a cougar.Route13 Rt 13 has grown up over the years . There's a lot of houses along it now and a lot of eyes.For others to of not seen a cougar would surprise. It would of been on the news being blown out of proportion like when bears are spotted around here.There is a bear living around West Corners.I've hunted and hiked all over the Try Cities area Catskills and the Adirondacks through every season and have yet to see any sign of cougars and believe me I look. Once I did find large cat tracks in the Adirondacks in the snow. They were old and at the time when they released lynx there. I know that tracks in snow melt out and can be much larger then the animal that made them. I've have seen the paws and tracks of 400 lbs black bears they are the size of my hand.I have also seen black bear tracks in the snow the size of dinner plates because they have melted out. Some one on here said they saw a bob cat / cougar ? A bob cat looks nothing like a cougar and no where near the size. I have spent weeks in the Adirondacks 20 miles from the nearest building and have yet to see a bob cat or tracks. The only bob cat I've seen was crossing rt17 in Hancock . Tioga county and Tompkins county and by now others have feral hogs. They are black and large.This could be what some are seeing. Like I've stated before many people I work with have told me they have pictures or video of cougars from Elmira area back to the tri Cities. I've been told about peoples uncles neighbor third wife on there co workers sister side finding cows in trees and I've asked to see these pictures and video all the sudden they can't show me.I'm am in no way saying there aren't cougars in NY. But no one seems to want to come up with the proof they claim to have.

  • DaCows4040

    In response to gruvfunk, I think you saw what is known as a Fisher. They can have dark fur, almost black and are a very large type of animal from the weasel family.

    I have read this forum numerous times because I thought I saw a mountain lion in Rockland County NY, at the very Southern most part of Harriman state park, off on the other side of the fence from interstate 87. I no longer believe that I did see a mountain lion. Living in Westchester just 8 miles from the I have seen numerous foxes and coyotes.

    Last year (2010) on route 17 driving south I almost hit a black bear crossing the highway near Hancock, NY.

    Anyways what finally brought me to post was the fact that there recently was a Mountain Lion in NY. As many of the other who have posted against Mt. Lions being here many of the reasons you gave of why mountain lions are not in the state were true. First off there was multiple sightings of this animal in the same area on the same day. It became a huge news story down here. Wildlife experts were able to find tracks and scat from this lion. Lastly, very sadly as many have said would happen, this mountain lion was killed by a car. If you check out this link http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/hc-milford-car-vs-mountain-lion-0612-20110611,0,2357918.story

    or just google mountain lion, greenwich ct you can find multiple stories. They believe this lion was released or escaped from its owner/handler. I would not be surprised if a rich person in CT owned a mountain lion illegally.

    Hope this helps!

  • tplandscaping_optonline_net

    Living in Tuxedo NY for most of my life I have seen thousands of deer over the years, the occasional bear,coyotes red fox, grey fox and two bobcats. Five years ago I was snowplowing during heavy snow at 4 AM in Sterling Forest. A mountain lion crossed in my headlights at twenty five feet. Initially I thought it was a small deer as the color appeared the same. The animal I estimate at around eighty pounds was bounding through the deep snow at ten foot leaps. I clearly saw its long tail. It was a large cat! I exited the vehicle to see the tracks however the large single depressions were filled by the collapsing fluffy snow. Three years back while on a deer hunting trip in northern Maine my guide also registered to track bobcat with hounds told me that on one occasion his dogs had treed a cougar, the animal was left unharmed as it was not legal game. Skeptics even now after the CT roadkill confirmation acclaim it to an escaped captive animal. This may be the case, however I believe there to be a small breeding population in the northeast for years now.

  • whatmeow

    Here is some food for thought/proof, a mountain lion was confirmed to be in Greenwich CT last week. Then one was hit by a car in Milford. They say it was likely the same one, likely one that someone released or had escaped...but there were 2 more sightings in Greenwich Sunday morning.

  • the_analyst

    @Craig76, actually you are incorrect. There are black panthers, because the term panther does not refer to one cat. Panthers are a genus of cats that include tigers, lions, jaguars, and leopards. There are both black leopards and black jaguars, so technically there are black panthers.


  • LBrown8349

    I just want to say that I SAW a Black Panther today!! That's why I did the search. I told the Forest Ranger and he said others have sited them too, but the DEC officially says None in NY. I first thought it was a black bear, until it turned around and ran in the woods. It was definately a black mountain lion, with the long tail. It was bigger than a German Shepard too. So to say they don't exist is BULL. This was in Jersey Hill State Forest, near Birdsall, NY (Allegany County)!

  • bhrost

    The other day I saw an article in Reuters about a wild Mt Lion killed in Connecticut, the first in about 100 years. Genetic tests proved it to be a wild animal from South Dakota. At some point it crossed the state of New York, where some of you may have seen it. It is a rare occurence no doubt, but if one animal did this it is likely that others have migrated further than some might have thought possible.

    Consider the fact that these creatures have spread over two continents under what were probably fairly adverse conditions. There are still corridors they can move along, although as this article illustrates (the lion was killed on the highway) our system of highways is probably the most dangerous territory for them to cross. Interesting to think that a Mt Lion can be prowling nearby and you wouldn't even know it!

  • alex2012

    I just signed up to say i believe i may have seen a mountain lion in my woods!!!! I was on my way to go on there not thinking twice about running into aomwthing like that and to my surprise i see some kind of fat cat just walking through there and a bunch of birds screaming at it. Kind of sucks though cause now i feel a lot more uneasy about going into the woods myself. I wish i had some sort of mountain lion trap or somethng so i wouldnt have to worry about it. Its also a problem that they sneak up on their pray so it seems like theres no easy way to watch out for them. Oh well. Maybe a warning ahot once i get a shotgun might be able to scare a mountain lion away if its looking for something to eat. This was seen in Downstate New York. Peace.

  • route13

    Craig76, I have been driving on Route 13 daily for many years now and can practically name every bump in the road. There are numerous houses along the road, but they are fairly spread out and all of the properties are surrounded by trees, bushes and hills. The creek runs parallel to the road for the entire length and there are no side roads connecting to Route 13 anywhere except for the very north end. Cats are elusive creatures and very stealthy as well. Even with the homes that are there the surroundings provide enough cover for any animal to move about virtually unseen. Oh, and I may have failed to mention that one resident on the road did report to me having seen a very large cat with a long tail near the creek behind their house. Twice. I'm sure that is still not proof enough for you, but I know what I saw.

  • drjakeny

    Was speaking about hunting to a nice guy in Lowes down in Utica last week. He went on to tell me his neighbor in north Herkimer County had shot a large cat that was attacking a calf in his herd up at the margin of woods and field. Turned out it was a cougar. He reported it to the DEC and ended up in a heap of trouble for shooting what turned out to be a tagged animal. Officially, of course, it never happened as there have been no cougars for nearly a century. His issue was that it didn't matter what it was, tagged or not, it had attacked his herd. Can't verify it, of course, so take it for what it's worth. Certainly an interesting tale.

  • bkpr

    I know this is an old thread, but just thought I would add to it... http://www.middletownpress.com/articles/2011/07/26/news/doc4e2f1341de52f489437623.txt

  • bkpr

    LBrown839- Not to say that it could never be a black panther... most sightings of "black panthers" have ended up being fisher (also called fisher "cats") being mistakenly taken for black mountain lions....

  • in ny zone5

    bkpr, how can anyone ever believe that "most sightings of "black panthers" have ended up being fisher (also called fisher "cats") being mistakenly taken for black mountain lions...." Fisher weighs 10 lbs, the other 100-200 lbs. Shape is very different.

    Check the Wikipedia, which says that fisher cats are weasels, "Males are 90 to 120 centimetres (35-47 in) in length and weigh 3.5 to 5 kilograms (8-11 lb). Females measure 75 to 95 centimetres (30-37 in) and weigh 2 to 2.5 kilograms (4-6 lb)." Look at the pictures of fisher, their shape looks so very different to cougar.

    And here is the Wikipedia about mountain lions : "They are the fourth largest cats[21][22] and adults stand about 60 to 80 centimeters (2.0 to 2.6 ft) tall at the shoulders.[23] The length of adult males is around 2.4 meters (8 ft) long nose to tail, with overall ranges between 1.5 and 2.75 m (5 and 9 ft) nose to tail suggested for the species in general.[24][25] Of this length, 63-96 cm (25-38 in) is comprised by the tail.[26] Males typically weigh 53 to 100 kilograms (115 to 220 pounds), averaging 62 kg (137 lb). Females typically weigh between 29 and 64 kg (64 and 141 lb), averaging 42 kg (93 lb)."

    I bet there is also a big difference how a fisher scampers around and a mountain lion strides.

  • reg8_cornell_edu

    Just saw a big cat. In Brooktondale, south of Ithaca NY. It was moving southward along an old railroad bed. Not sure what kind, probably bobcat, though no pictures I've seen really match what I saw. It crossed the road in front of our pickup 3:30 pm in broad daylight. About the same size as an eastern coyote. Very muscular with sort of snub ears, not pointed. Got it on the cellphone camera, but too far away. Just a pixelated blob.

  • ElizabethB_16

    I know this is a very old thread yet I feel that I need to respond to those who don't believe that there is a possibility that mountain lions could be in this area. 1) Mountain lions are extremely reclusive, and considering that the Adirondack State Park is 6 million acres, they could be here. 2) Mountain lions bury their scat so of course you would not find that as proof of their being here 3) Even in states with a documented presence, there has been reproduction yet very few young that survive to adulthood. 4) Considering the vast territory that makes up the Adirondack State Park, finding a carcass of a mountain lion is highly improbable, after so many months of being exposed to the elements and carrions, the remains would literally go back to earth. I do believe that these animals are here, although if there is a breeding population, it is very small and the young may not survive the elements/other predatory animals. My boyfriend is an avid hunter and has been for 15 years. He saw tracks in his own backyard (which is really more wilderness than suburban) that he could not identify to be any other animal besides a mountain lion. By the time I got out to his house with my camera, the tracks had melted due to premature warm weather. In speaking with the farmer across the road, it was discovered that a small deer was found on that property but was covered with brush (as occurs with mountain lion kills) I know my boyfriend has been in the woods all his life and he now hunts differently because of what he saw....he's more cautious, especially when predator calling/hunting. I'm not saying with 100% certainty that they are here, but there really is no reason why they wouldn't be. Anything is possible.

  • LionsandTigers

    Since this thread is about mountain lions in NY I will repeat this post here---November 2011 I saw a large dead red cat on left shoulder of Southbound I-81 just after the Whitney pt exit. The face was rounded-a cross between a raccoon kind of face and a domestic cat.-sweet/round face very long rope like (thickish) tail w.straight fur-curved around towards the front- height of a St. Barnard but thin build like a Dane. The legs were long. The color was solid orange red. I was traveling at 65mph and by the time I had processed what I saw it was too late to easily pull over. I was very surprised. I posted a description of what I had seen on Topix in the hope someone else had seen it and could let me know what it was. All I got was a few snide comments. Then I found this:
    "05-05-2011, 06:48 PM #1
    crokit Join Date: Dec 2010
    Posts: 158
    Mountain lion sighting
    First, let me state that I have all my faculties, excellent eye sight, and am not given to exaggerations.
    Today, while traveling south on Interstate 81, between Syracuse and Binghamton, I saw a Mountain Lion / Cougar/Panther, pick your noun.!! 100% positive, absolutely no doubt. There is ZERO chance that it was anything else. The only other thing it could have possibly been ( other than a live mountain lion/cougar/panther ) is a full body mount of a mountain lion/cougar/panther and someone pulling a prank. It was less than 100yds off the West side of the road, sitting on top of a section of rock/cliff that the highway had been cut through. It was sitting on it's haunches, leaning forward, ears forward, looking down onto/across the highway. It was about 30-40 feet above the highway. Just before the " Castle creek 1 mile " highway sign.
    When I screamed " holy F%^K, a mountain lion, scaring the S#$T out my buddy who was driving almost lost control at 75 mph.
    An absolutely beautiful animal, well muscled, excellent specimen. Up until now, when ever I've seen reports of sightings, I've taken them with a grain of salt. No more!
    Anyone know of any other recent reported sightings in that area?
    Wldnerness: Can you put me in touch with any of the state Dec/Rangers/etc from that area?"
    And my post on Topix was as follows:
    East Syracuse, NY
    1 huge red fox, moutain lion or lynx on I-81 (S) near Castle Creek
    Nov 9, 2011
    Did any see a dead huge cat like animal on the southbound side of I-81 about a mile closer to Syracuse then the exit for Castle Creek. It was on the left lying an its side, obviously dead and huge. If you did see it, or heard someone else talking about it, what was it? It looked like it had a body like a mountain lion, a long tail with long fur-not bushy and a face that was rounder like a lynx.Its color was pretty uniformly red-not mixed or strips or anything like that. I was moving too fast and, once I had processed what I saw, I had gone too far to see it. Apparently someone picked it up, probably for its fur, because it was gone soon thereafter. I saw it at around 10:40am Tuesday morning. If you did not see it but are familiar with the wild life around there, any ideas? Any information would be appreciated.
    Hunters and Wild life experts,(to those needing to be sarcastic, save it), what do you think? These two sightings are at identical places. I do not believe that they are both mirages. Also, if the one I saw was young--it would not have been as visible to a driver on I-81 6 months earlier. The one I saw was not so big that it would have been very visible to drivers if it were on the top of a hill. That means that the one I saw could have been the adolescent offspring of the one seen by the earlier poster. If so, maybe there is a den nearby. I know exactly where I saw the dead animal so a wildlife person or ranger could easily investigate. If the other poster saw the parent in May and I saw a dead adolescent one in November I bet that there is one that has set up a residence in the area.

  • in ny zone5

    In today's MSNBC web site is an article about people in Connecticut seeing cougars, but officials do not care.
    Then I always read that there is no local breeding population, and occasionally encountered cougars would be released pets or are wandering in from somewhere else. I read that we have 1000 mountain lion pets in the east. For me a hungry escaped pet, wanderer or locally bred cougar are equally of concern when I hike in the woods, or garden outside.

  • JoshFitz

    This thread definitely has many great discussions going on but one has to realize how large Northern NY is. The Adirondack State Park as mentioned above by oneshot "... is larger then the more famous Yellowstone, Grand Canyon and Yosemite National Parks combined?" The park is well over 6 million acres and much of that is distanced from anywhere people normally venture. A mountain lion also has a range upwards of 300 miles. Given both of these and if you know anything about the winters in this area, it tends to snow quite often and is windy through another rather large portion of the winter. I've lived in the northern region of the AKD's for more than 20 years and am a very, very active outdoorsman. It's not uncommon to see deertracks in the snow anywhere around where I live but it is uncommon to see them there for more than a week. They tracks melt off, they fill in with other snow, they get covered over. I'm just saying that when something does leave a track in the snow, if somebody doesn't come across it in that time, the tracks are gone.

    After having seen a cougar myself in the woods while out hunting, I asked some wildlife professors from a nearby forestry school and the responses I received were it could have been a fox, the tail was long and thick rather than bushy; maybe it was a house cat, never saw a houscat that could have easily gone 60+lbs; maybe I just didn't know what I saw, well as I've said, I've spent more than 20 years in the woods here and the only animal I have yet to see that lives here is the Moose though I've seen many signs. The basic consclusion was that it was a released animal because I was able to get so close to it or even within sight. I think this was just possible because I was out hunting on the top of a ridge and the wind was blowing my way so it would have been awful hard for my scent to be down at the bottom and off to the side of that ravine.

    Later I asked some local DEC officers about the issue, his response was that the DEC does not at all deny that cougars are in the area but that there is no reproductive population. They are most likely coming down from ME and southern portions of Canada. As to find hard proof that they are there, there 1400 people in the town I live in, we are basically in the middle of nowhere as it's 25+miles to the nearest populated center. There are very very few sightings from any of these people, less than half a dozen over the last 20 years so I would say although rare, they are around.

    Good luck with your venture

  • z
    I have seen a mountain lion pass by me and five friends within 20ft. We were at little rock state forest in Salamanca NY perched on a giant rock. This park has had many mountain lion reports that have gone over looked by the D.E.C. I have done much research on this subject after my sitting. The D.E.C does not have the money to train there officers to deal with mountain lions in any area of New York. That beings said they choose to ignore the situation because there has not been a confirmed report which means two or more pieces of evidence (fur, prints, picture, film, dead or live specimen) in new your since about 1910. Mostly because we killed them all off in this area. Why no tracks? Mountain lions are very smart they will not go within a radius of people or civilization (noise) of 5 to ten miles. So in other words they can smell you like a shark smells blood in water. If there is not a reason to be seen they will insure that you do not see them. Mountain lions or cougars have a territory of 50 square miles. That does not leave much space for them in most of NY State being as they don't want to come in contact with humans. So they probably stretch there territory over many states. Around 2012 a mountain lion was hit in Vermont this mountain lion was tagged with GPS tracking in was tagged in the Dakotas an came here. Some think it is the first proof of mountain lions migrating. But others think because of the lack of territory and a large population increase in the west of mountain lions pushed that mountain lion to find new territory coming east. The second makes more sense because that mountain lion came to Michigan then New York and then back to Michigan then back to New York (establishing territory) to get hit in Vermont. Tying back to my sighting that same mountain lion never passed through the park I saw my mountain lion at any time. Mountain lions know human activity that why they stay away. You do not want to come across these animals they are very dangerous and if I was not in a group like I was I may have not been so lucking to tell this story. Know they might be out there but be thankful they have never found you.
  • z
    o and there is a breedinging poulation. they dont have the funding to amit it. they have always been here.
  • subtropix

    I have no doubt that there are cougars running around in Upstate NY (yes, the animal variety).

    I live about 15 minutes from an island known as Manhattan and within the last year have seen....

    herds of deer

    coyotes (or more correctly, the 'coy wolf' (several were captured on film running in Manhattan)

    red fox

    flocks of turkeys

    bald eagles

    only a matter of time before I will hear the cry of the mighty puma!

    I find it amusing that so many find the idea so unbelievable. Not like we're talking about the Sasquatch sighting here.

  • lionheart_gw (USDA Zone 5A, Eastern NY)

    It wouldn't surprise me if there were pockets of cougars in many places. I live in a rural part of Albany County and have never seen one or heard of one being spotted around here, but a co-worker who lives on many rural acres in Meriden, CT sent a picture last year of what is very obviously a cougar in her area.

    She said that there had been several reported sightings in the area and a confirmed cougar kill by a car on a highway in Southington. CT.

    With the advent of trail cams and phone cameras, we should probably see more hard proof become available over time.

    CT is well south of most of us, so I would find a report of a sighting in any rural area to be reasonably credible. It wouldn't just have to be in the North Country.

  • skooch502003

    I live in clyde ,wayne county,5 years ago my neighbor called me at 5.45 in the morning and said their was a big cat laying in her lawn, I asked her what color and how long was the tail thinking bobcat. She stated it was 4 to 5 feet in length and tail was about three feet. I told her to leave it alone it was a mountain lion. Then talking with some of ma customers they had heard from a good source that DEC and introduced some into the area.

  • skooch502003

    We have had to people hit and kill them ,cops came they called DEC they took carcasses and cop wrote accident report they hit a deer.,

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