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Mountain Lions in Virginia.....yep!


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Messages posted to thread:
Bogenschütze 05-Oct-10
fuzzy 05-Oct-10
Bogenschütze 05-Oct-10
fuzzy 05-Oct-10
tonyo6302 05-Oct-10
dmsman1 05-Oct-10
Bandicooter 05-Oct-10
Bogenschütze 06-Oct-10
Bandicooter 06-Oct-10
Bogenschütze 06-Oct-10
tonyo6302 07-Oct-10
Bogenschütze 07-Oct-10
tonyo6302 07-Oct-10
Bogenschütze 07-Oct-10
Bogenschütze 07-Oct-10
tonyo6302 07-Oct-10
fuzzy 07-Oct-10
tonyo6302 07-Oct-10
Bogenschütze 09-Oct-10
fuzzy 12-Oct-10
rockinkgin 17-Oct-10
tonyo6302 26-Jul-11
BRohm0103 27-Jul-11
tonyo6302 27-Jul-11
Bandicooter 29-Jul-11
tonyo6302 17-Nov-11
tonyo6302 17-Nov-11
Bowsage 18-Nov-11
bass2xs 22-Nov-11
Mike 28-Nov-11
One Who Knows 13-Jan-12
Jim Stoops 29-May-12
WillPower 10-Jul-12
bambikiller@wrk 23-Jul-12
Outdoor Attitude 26-Sep-12
tonyo6302 27-Sep-12
hunt4em 27-Sep-12
BRohm0103 27-Sep-12
fuzzy 01-Oct-12
sisabdulax 15-Jan-13
WillPower 22-Apr-13
fuzzy 29-Apr-13
Taylor25 10-Jul-13
Taylor25 10-Jul-13
fuzzy 10-Jul-13
Taylor25 10-Jul-13
fuzzy 10-Jul-13
tonyo6302 15-Aug-13
tonyo6302 15-Aug-13
tonyo6302 15-Aug-13
Mike D 18-Aug-13
Michael Schwister 18-Aug-13
tonyo6302 19-Aug-13
WillPower 03-Sep-13
tonyo6302 03-Oct-13
Bandicooter 05-Nov-13
tonyo6302 11-Dec-13
tonyo6302 11-Dec-13
Michael Schwister 18-Dec-13
Aintright 29-Dec-13
bass2xs 30-Dec-13
brwndg 30-Dec-13
bass2xs 30-Dec-13
Bandicooter 30-Dec-13
tonyo6302 31-Dec-13










From: Bogenschütze ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 05-Oct-10


Bogenschütze's Supporting Link

Dig this. I've copied the story from a blog where I posted it....although, I've updated it with information received since posting it. The link above goes to the blog, and here's another address for a recent article in the Roanoke Times. Folks, we have company out there....

---------------------------------------------------------

Interesting that this blog was started back in April of 2008 and there are fresh posts coming in today.

The last entry caught my eye, regarding the cat seen in Loudoun County just a week or so ago.

A hunting acquaintance of mine called Sunday evening to ask if I was familiar with state regulations regarding Mountain Lions. Long story shortened, I said no, I could not give him a definitive answer, as I'd heard conflicting messages over the years....but I'll track down the info later. Why, I asked.

Seems "Thomas" was hunting in Page County last Saturday afternoon (with a buddy). A doe came strolling along the path he was set up on, so he took a shot with his bow & arrow, hit the deer and it bolted. But no sooner did it begin running than a mountain lion suddenly burst from the nearby brush, attacked the deer, killed it (before the arrow could do the job) and immediately dragged it off into the brush and out of sight! Thomas says he was stunned....couldn't believe what he'd just witnessed. His partner saw this happen, as well.

Thomas, was incensed this cat had just stolen "his" deer and - initially - was inclined to retrieve his gun from the vehicle to go get his deer back. But his partner talked him out of it for several obvious reasons....safety and unknown legalities topping the list.

Now, Thomas is Hungarian by birth and has been in our country for a decade or so, but he had no idea how unusual his sighting was. His call to me was prompted more by the idea of gaining a nice trophy than confirming the existence of these cats in our area. Nevertheless, this thing was right in front and below him in the open, and he knows exactly what he saw. In fact, he states that this cat was at least as big as the large doe he shot, if not larger. He believes the cat outweighed the deer. Go ahead....tell me THAT describes any "Bobcat" on the planet.

What Thomas did find unsettling was that this cat was within mere feet of him and he never knew it until it exploded from the brush. Might that little kitty have followed his scent to his location, trying to get a bead on exactly where HE was, before stumbling into Thomas's quarry?

So, yeah, he was within feet of what he describes as a BIG cat. I have to say, I'm finally convinced.

---------------------------------------------------------

Two updates: (1) - I got my definative answer back from Captain Pajic at VDGIF. It reads:

"Here is the Code of Virginia: § 29.1-512. Closed season on other species. There shall be a continuous closed hunting season on all birds and wild animals which are not nuisance species as defined in § 29.1-100 , except as provided by law. (Code 1950, § 29-134; 1974, c. 302; 1987, c. 488.) Captain Joe Pajic"

So, no, mountain lions CANNOT be taken.

And (2) - The incident related above happened in Page County, South of a town named Stanley and near a mountain referred to as "Roundhead Mnt". (About 5 or 6 miles due west of Hawksbill Mnt and Skyline Drive)

Finally, while doing a little background research on the net, I came across this piece from the Roanoke Times - http://www.roanoke.com/outdoors/billcochran/wb/238521

So, there ya have it. I suppose this ought to crank up this site a little....especially by those who hunt that general area. I'll tell you, I was previously VERY skeptical. But I'm convinced now!

From: fuzzy ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 05-Oct-10


I have it from a pretty reliable source that the biologists working on verifying the existence of a breeding population of Felis Concolor, in VA, would offer "amnesty" to anyone who can produce a specimen.... of course that wuold presume that you get the specimen into your posession and out of the woods/fields without getting nailed by a CO.

I would recommend either "lassiez faire" or "SSS".

By the way cougar is tastier than venison :-)

From: Bogenschütze ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 05-Oct-10


So I've heard.

Well, I can't say whether or not my aquaintance is into the sneeky-Pete scenario, but frankly, I wouldn't put it past him. Unfortunately, he was hoping to have the thing mounted if he could take it. Short of that (which, obviously, he couldn't do since no taxidermist in his right mind would touch it under current law), I can't imagine he'll bother.

Still, knowing him as I do, and as serious as he is about eating everything he can get his hands on, I wouldn't put the "SSS" scenario past him just to protect his food source and hunting grounds. We're talking about a guy who targets and gets excited about huge carp in the summer for making "fish ball soup" (Say what? - "Traditional Hungarian recipe! Is GOOD!"). Super nice dude, but fanatical about hunting for his food....{{grin}}....poor guy was born in the wrong century.

From: fuzzy ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 05-Oct-10


I want that recipie,tell him I will trade him my carp salad recipie for it ;-)

From: tonyo6302 ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 05-Oct-10


I do not doubt it.

Here is my jist:

I was involved in a thread within the past 12 months concering Red Wolves. I had a little experience with them in while living in eastern North Carolina.

Alan Altizer had some input on that thread, and I actually spoke to Alan on the phone. After discussing the Red Wolves, and the re-establishment of Elk in KY and TN, I mentioned to him how a friend of mine back home in Kentucky had seen a Cougar on his farm, near the Jones-Keeney Wildlife Management Area, and the Farmer adjacent to him had found a cow of his all scratched up.

Alan mentioned he believed that any Cougars found east of the Mississippi, were pets turned loose, and then explained to me how much turf a cougar actually needs in order to survive. ( glad for that, as I am ignorant on all things Cougar )

He also mentioned, that unlike domestic dogs, pet Felines turned loose can survive. His jist was than any sightings of a Cougar east of the Mississippi, were of pets turned loose.

We never discussed whether pets turned loose would survive indefinately, and even breed.

So I do believe it is very possible for Cougars to be loose in Virginia. Hell, I have seen Black Bear within sight of the Spotsylvania Battlefield and Courthouse.

Tony

From: dmsman1 ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 05-Oct-10


Saw a Feline in Highland Co. in 1978 crossing the fire road in front of us on Jack Mtn. in mid morning.After closer inspection there was absolutely no sign whatsoever, no tracks not even a disturbed leaf. After sharing this info with some of the locals in Mcdowell Va. seems there had been other sightings throughout the National forest in Augusta Co. It would be a great thing if we could get a sustainable population again Va. I would like for my grandchildren to have the pleasure of seeing these beautiful creatures.

From: Bandicooter ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 05-Oct-10


In 1994, there were approximately 30 cougars left in Florida. There are two main highways going through their habitat in the Big Cypress Swamp. The human population density is alot less there than any county in Virginia. Road miles are alot less also. Yet, two cougars were killed on the roads. That's two out of thirty. If Virginia had a reproducing population, we'd have roadkill. I've heard rumors of roadkill and of bear hunters killing them but zero evidence. Pictures from Afton a few years ago sure looked like a typical housecat at the edge of a field to me but was presented as a cougar. I was in a vehicle with an experienced hunter when travelling through Madison County. He started screaming "Cougar! Cougar!" It was a black housecat in a field with nothing around it to show its scale. All in all I'll believe it when I see one myself. Other than that, I'll say hogwash.

From: Bogenschütze ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 06-Oct-10


Hell, I'd pay good money to see a house cat take down a deer.....mortally wounded or not. I'll ask Thomas to see if he can get that on video next time; we can watch it together.

Popcorn anyone?

From: Bandicooter ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 06-Oct-10


Bogie, you're a Hunter Ed instructor aren't you? Don't bring this up during a class. It will drag the class down and you can't get anything done. That's experience talking. LOL.

From: Bogenschütze ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 06-Oct-10


Wouldn't consider it; not the proper venue for pontificating buffoonery.

Besides, I'm more concerned about what a few other instructors I've taught with might bring up, say or do. I'm sure you've dealt with that scenario....embarrassing co-instructors. I do my best to avoid being one of them.

From: tonyo6302 ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 07-Oct-10


Bogenschütze was one of my IBEP instructors.

Anyone want some stories about the class?

( he he he )

From: Bogenschütze ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 07-Oct-10


Spies! (I have money...)

From: tonyo6302 ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 07-Oct-10


Just kidding.

I truly enjoyed the IBEP class that you and Viper taught.

However, I have had better blood trails on a real gut shot deer than the one you and Viper layed out for the class !!!!!!

;^)

From: Bogenschütze ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 07-Oct-10


Hey, if you can meet that challenge, there's no excuse for not finding your deer in the field, eh?

How're you doing lately, Tony? Can't imagine you've seen too many of those blond-haired Does with Nike shorts and tennis shoes in your current hunting grounds....{{grin}}

Just as well, since the resulting "weight-forward" effect threatened to launch you out of your tree on an unscheduled flight...

From: Bogenschütze ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 07-Oct-10


Reminds me of another hunt-log I saw where someone wrote: "The property owner's wife decided to take a dip in the jacuzzi this afternoon. Looks refreshing; maybe I should bring suit tomorrow....although, it appears that's optional."

OOPS!...

From: tonyo6302 ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 07-Oct-10


I'm a doing OK Ralph. The hunting scenery is indeed different out of the burbs. I do miss the ponytail jogger!

I intentionally got some nerves melted in the old ticker at VCU back in July, and am healed and off the meds that made me feel unsafe to launch arrows in suburbia. ( Dr. Ellenbogen, THE published authority in Cardio-electro-physiology, if anyone is interested )

I got this nice recommendation letter this year that has opened a few doors for the Bow and I. Pass that along to your Brother !

Going out to a neighborhood in Orange County this Sunday with a ladder-stand in tow! Seems these people have lost about 3 grand in schrubbery. They seem real pizzed at Bambi and relatives. The letter from you and your Brother definately opened that door.

Hey, back in the burbs without Interstate 95 !!

;^)

From: fuzzy ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 07-Oct-10


tonyo, have a friend who's sced'ed for the cardio ablasion for fibrillation issues, would love a PM???

From: tonyo6302 ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 07-Oct-10


PM sent !

From: Bogenschütze ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 09-Oct-10


Tony,

Glad to hear that piece of paper was actually worth something to you, and glad to hear the operation went well, too.

Orange, huh? My son lives down that way.....beautiful country down there. Might not be crawling with deer, but then, it's not crawling with people and cars, either. That's a trade I'd jump at any day.

Good luck this season......and don't go killing yourself hauling some monster ten-pointer out of the woods by yourself.

From: fuzzy ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 12-Oct-10


tony just saw yr PM, things been wild for me, thanks buddy! :-)

From: rockinkgin ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 17-Oct-10


I put this on this forum a few years back. I had two young panther crossed our back pasture (Carroll County) shortly before my post. One stopped about 50 yards from me for (about) 10-15 seconds giving me a clear and unobstructed view. They were panthers. I'm a retired Florida DNR law enforcement officer and have seen numerous panthers. Believe me, these WERE panthers.

From: tonyo6302 ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 26-Jul-11

tonyo6302's embedded Photo



tonyo6302's Supporting Link

Well well now, it looks like Bogenschütze may have been onto something. See the link.

Wonder how many months before we run over one here in Virginia?

( Hartford CT is only 450 miles or so from me )

Mountain Lion Killed In Milford Was From South Dakota Said Animal Traveled 1,500 Miles

CTnow.com/Fox News

By KIM VELSEY, kvelsey@courant.com The Hartford Courant 7:00 p.m. EDT, July 26, 2011

HARTFORD —— The mountain lion killed by a car in Milford in June probably traveled 1,500 miles from its birthplace in the Black Hills of South Dakota before dying on the Wilbur Cross Parkway in Connecticut, the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

This mountain lion's trip was the longest one documented for a mountain lion and quite possibly the longest undertaken by a mammal in North America, said DEEP wildlife biologist Paul Rego.

"It was an incredible journey that ended in a tragic death on our highway here," said Daniel C. Esty

Young male cougars often roam up to 100 miles in search of breeding opportunities, open habitat and food resources, said Rego, but this cat's journey was an anomaly, more than double the longest previously documented journey of about 640 miles.

Genetic testing revealed that the big cat came from a wild breeding population of about 250 mountain lions in southeast corner of South Dakota, the Black Hills area, results released Tuesday afternoon revealed. No one knows why the animal — a lean, 140-pound male between 2 and 4 years old — undertook a journey across the continent. But it's travels were documents through Minnesota and Wisconsin, and biologists speculate that the cat then wandered through southern Ontario and New York before reaching Connecticut.

Nicknamed the St. Croix mountain lion during his time in Wisconsin, the cat was definitively linked to four sites in the two states through genetic testing of scat, blood and hair found in the snow during late 2009 and early 2010. He also was captured on video by trail cameras. Additional mountain lion sightings were confirmed at eight other sites in Minnesota and Wisconsin, but could not be linked to the same animal.

The DEEP said that a necropsy in Connecticut turned up no evidence that the mountain lion had ever been a captive creature — he had no microchip, nor was he neutered or declawed. His stomach was empty at the time of his death, although porcupine quills were found in his subcutaneous tissue, an indication that he had spent time in the wild, said Rego.

The results came as a surprise to DEEP officials and to biologists across the country, said Rego, who originally believed the mountain lion was a captive animal that had escaped or was released.

"It is a testament to the adaptability of this species that it could travel from South Dakota to Connecticut," Esty said. "It is a symbol, perhaps a signal of a stronger bounce back of some of our wildlife species."

Although biologists do not know how the mountain lion made its way from Wisconsin to Connecticut, Rego said it is more likely that the big cat moved through southern Ontario, rather than going into the populated area south of Lake Michigan.

Scientist may never determine why the big cat roamed so far, but DEEP Deputy Commissioner Susan Frechette said ongoing tests may reveal details of his travels, including the food he ate as he moved east. The animal was not rabid and did not have any physical abnormalities that might explain the extreme roaming, said the DEEP.

The June 5 sighting of the mountain lion in Greenwich, confirmed through DNA testing to be same animal hit and killed by a car on the Wilbur Cross Parkway on June 11, was the first confirmed sighting in the state since the 1880s.

Despite a number of reported sightings over the years (the state receives 10 to 12 unconfirmed reports each year), the DEEP says that there are no native mountain lions in Connecticut. The Eastern mountain lion was declared extinct in March by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Mountain lions are regularly reported throughout the Northeast and other areas where the animals are not known to live, but besides the mountain lion killed in Milford, the only concrete evidence of an animal in the recent past was a skull found in Massachusetts.

From: BRohm0103 ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 27-Jul-11


How is it possible that genetic testing could tell you that this animal came from South Dakota? I mean this animal specifically. I guess I could see it being possible that you could tell it is a North Dakota species of Lion Mountain, but why is it impossible to believe that the animals have migrated into parts of the NorthEast. I don't know what State Game Commissions have to gain by their being no mountain lion species in their state?

From: tonyo6302 ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 27-Jul-11


"How is it possible that genetic testing could tell you that this animal came from South Dakota? "

I beleive from genetic testing of hair and scat found from the same lion.

From the article, take a closer look at paragraph two;

"Genetic testing revealed that the big cat came from a wild breeding population of about 250 mountain lions in southeast corner of South Dakota, the Black Hills area, results released Tuesday afternoon revealed. No one knows why the animal — a lean, 140-pound male between 2 and 4 years old — undertook a journey across the continent. But it's travels were documents through Minnesota and Wisconsin, and biologists speculate that the cat then wandered through southern Ontario and New York before reaching Connecticut.

Nicknamed the St. Croix mountain lion during his time in Wisconsin, the cat was definitively linked to four sites in the two states through genetic testing of scat, blood and hair found in the snow during late 2009 and early 2010. He also was captured on video by trail cameras. Additional mountain lion sightings were confirmed at eight other sites in Minnesota and Wisconsin, but could not be linked to the same animal. "

From: Bandicooter ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 29-Jul-11


To everyone who really seem to want to prove mountain lions in Virginia....I'd like to point out that if a breeding population is ever proven, not an individual on walkabout like the Conn. one, you can expect to have access, for hunting and otherwise, be severly limited until an inventive someone with DGIF can come up with an environmental impact statement that shows our activities will not interfere with the lion's propagation. Did that make sense?

From: tonyo6302 ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 17-Nov-11


My hunting partner, and his certified Drahthaar ( German Wirehair Pointer ) is accompaning two CPOs and another hunter with a bloodhound, to King George County right now as I type here today.

Seems someone claims they shot a Cougar there yesterday.

Game Wardens collected blood yesterday from the trail, enough for a DNA test.

I hope they find whatever kind of cat that was shot yesterday morning.

From: tonyo6302 ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 17-Nov-11


No animal found. Partner on the way home with his dogs.

Found out the animal was shot on Tuesday. A lot of rain has fallen since then.

Also, a farm in the area has exotic animal permits.

I guess it is up to DNA testing now.

Buddy did confirm that it is unlawful to shoot mountain lion in Virginia.

From: Bowsage ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 18-Nov-11


Hmmmm, I'd rather see two Wardens show up and arrest my neighbor for shooting deer at night( with kids helping). They were called as well as sheriff,no show, nothing done. Maybe we should mention mountain lion next time and they will show up.

From: bass2xs ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 22-Nov-11


I've been researching Mountain Lions ever since I read a book, "The Beast in the Garden" years ago. Mountain Lions are expanding their range eastward very slowly. The Mountain Lion that made the incredible journey to Conneticut is the extreme exception, not the rule. Their slow movement eastward has confirmed sightings in Wisconsin, Missouri, Iowa, Illionois (1 killed by a train), and now Conneticut. Mountain Lions in Texas are also experiencing an eastern trend. For the most part though, with the exception of the Florida Panther, Mountain Lions are extirpitated from east of the Mississippi River.

Most sightings of Mountain Lions are actually bobcats or tawny/buff colored dogs. In a few exceptions, previous Mountain Lion pets have been released by their owners (a very dangerous situation).

I don't believe that we have any Mountain Lions in our state and I definitely don't support stocking them either. If the cat manages to make its way back to the east and repropagate, more power to it. I don't believe I'll ever see it in my lifetime though.

From: Mike ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 28-Nov-11


Guys, This is my first contribution to Bowsite. I've been following this thread for, I think, a year or so and thought you might be interested in a couple of items. (item 1) Back in the early 80's a young man that worked for me, who was completely eaten up with hunting and fishing, showed me some pictures of what he had ID'd (he did quite a bit of research) as mountain lion tracks taken at his families cabin at the south end of Trice's Lake in Cumberland County. He found fresh tracks, in the dry dirt under the deck/porch (enough room to stand upright), every time he went there for several seasons. The tracks were VERY large. I'm no expert but I've seen bobcat tracks, large bobcat tracks, and in my opinion these were far too large to be bobcat tracks.

(item 2) I used to bowhunt in the Adial, VA area not far from Nellysford, VA. In 2005 I was in Nellysford one evening at a small sandwich/pizza shop (great food) and got to talking to a young man that worked there delivering pizzas and such. He noticed our camo clothing and just wanted to talk. He bowhunted close to Nellysford and told me had seen a number of animals other than deer and one of them was a mountain lion. I asked him if he was sure and he said he was VERY sure and promptly produced a picture on his cell phone that he had taken from his tree stand. This was no bobcat. IT WAS A MOUNTAIN LION, long tail and all, and he was VERY CLOSE! I told him that I thought the DGIF would be interested. Don't know if he ever contacted them.

I guess this just adds to the mystique but felt I had to throw it your way.

From: One Who Knows ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 13-Jan-12


Tony and others.. The blood sample from the shot that was taken in King George came back as the blood of a bobcat.. The shot was taken by my sisters neighbor and she has been in constant contact with the game biologist since the incident.. Basically, the guy freaked everyone out by over exaggerating.. A bobcat or two have been killed in the highway in the area, so it makes sense..

From: Jim Stoops ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 29-May-12


Mike (28-Nov-11): I believe you. I live about 15 miles south of Nellysford and had a recent sighting. A neighbor and I had heard his cries in Dec/Jan and it was pretty close. Then one night in February (shorty after nightfall and lots of moonlight) I let my German Shepherd out for a few minutes and she tore off to the very edge of her boundary (about 40 yards from the deck where I was) and started barking and stomping on the ground with her forefeet. In the moonlight about 10 feet past her, I saw the cat's silhouette as it walked through an opening in the pine trees along a deer path. Silent, darkish, large, with a long serpentine tail. The most unnerving thing about the whole experience was that the cat was completely indifferent to the dog's presence. Went out the next morning but saw no tracks or scat - it was a dry winter. Some old-timers believe me.

From: WillPower ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 10-Jul-12


A few years ago, my brother had a cougar circle his tree multiple times as he screwed in steps and went up the tree in the dark. The cougar would not leave, circling him many times,of course until he got settled and day breaking, haunts him bad to this day, in fact he will not go to a stand alone in the dark ever since, haunted bad by this cougar incident. We were miles deep in very mountainous terrain. Guess you never know whats watching you in the dark as you make your way to your stand.

WP

From: bambikiller@wrk ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 23-Jul-12


A guy I hunt with swears up and down he was driving down the road this Spring in Sussex Co and had a cougar jump into the road, look at the car and then hop to the other side of the road into the woods.

From: Outdoor Attitude ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 26-Sep-12

Outdoor Attitude's embedded Photo



So a buddy of mine got this shot on his trail camera earlier this month. He lives near Afton Mountain just outside of Charlottesville, Va. He believes this to be a very large Bobcat, but I've never seen a Bobcat without stripes or spots before and I would think that even with an inferred flash, the spots or stripes would show up.

He also believes the tail to be short like a Bobcat, but I say the full length of the tail could be pointing away from the camera.

What do you think?

From: tonyo6302 ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 27-Sep-12


I am guessing Bobcat. Colors do strange things with IR Light.

Heck, even at night with regular flash, colors do strange things.

From: hunt4em ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 27-Sep-12


I have to agree with tony, I think its a bobcat. Ive seen hundreds of them on cameras and everything points to bobcat to me.

From: BRohm0103 ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 27-Sep-12


Yeah the head looks more like a bobcat than a Mt. Lion and I think the body would be longer if it were a Mt. Lion. There's no doubt he's odd looking for a bobcat but that's what I think he is. Maybe some weird type of cross but I don't think it's a Mt. Lion.

From: fuzzy ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 01-Oct-12


Outdoor Attitude, your trailcam pic is without a doubt, a bobcat. A very large one too!

From: sisabdulax ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 15-Jan-13


Bobcat for sure. Even look at cheek too.

From: WillPower ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 22-Apr-13


Cat pic is clearly a mixed breed bobcou cat........them dang cougars are breeding with our bobcats now. My buddy Matt trapped a 78lb bobcou this past season.

From: fuzzy ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 29-Apr-13


lol @ Willpower, seriously?! :-) Are your raccoons mating with your black bear, too?

From: Taylor25 ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 10-Jul-13

Taylor25's embedded Photo



I've spent many of hours hunting in the mountains of the Shen Valley. I've hunted from Bath Co to Shen Co,and have never seen the slightest trail of a cat. I keep hearing about all these sightings, pictures.... Black panther in Rockbridge Baths area.I have a hard time believing they are here, and we only get one/two sightings a year ??? I would say that 90% of the "sightings" people call in are large bobcats. Believe me if your not paying attention in the woods a bobcat will be on you and gone in a hurry. A good point I heard from an old timer in the Augusta Co area, said this "if there are cats in VA how come none of the bear hunters have ever put one in the tree, with the amount of bear hunters that run these mountains at some point one is going to tree if they are here. That is one of most valid points I have heard yet.

With all that being said, this picture was sent to me from " decent/credible source" that someone in the Nelson Co area had seen one several times in November of 2012, and finally got this on camera in June 2013.

you all be the judges and ask around about the sighting. When the picture was sent to me the text said "Nelson Co cat, confirmed by Game Warden"

From: Taylor25 ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 10-Jul-13


The picture is small, save it to your computer and zoom it in.

From: fuzzy ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 10-Jul-13


cant see a thing :-(

From: Taylor25 ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 10-Jul-13


Maybe I can email it ??

From: fuzzy ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 10-Jul-13


sure! cecil_sink@yahoo.com :-)

From: tonyo6302 ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 15-Aug-13


I heard on WTOP radio today ( Washington D.C. Station), the recording of a Price Willaim County Police officer from yesterday.

He called in that he had seen a Mountain Lion yesterday in Prince William Forest Park. He was watching it as he was talking to the dispatcher on the radio.

Sooooo, all you Suburban Whitetail Management Toxophilites, be careful out there.

From: tonyo6302 ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 15-Aug-13


tonyo6302's Supporting Link

More research and I found this.

From: tonyo6302 ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 15-Aug-13


tonyo6302's Supporting Link

An article at this link.

Ghosts of Virginia's mountain lions?

Posted: Wednesday, August 14, 2013 11:00 am | Updated: 12:03 pm, Wed Aug 14, 2013.

There’s been another mountain lion sighting.

This one, on Aug. 10 at Prince William Forest Park, happened late afternoon outside a dining hall at one of the national park’s campgrounds.

•Click here to hear audio of the police dispatch Like the big cat sighting in Westridge earlier this month, the creature was gone by the time police and park rangers arrived.

And like the phantom cat in Westridge, officials were quick to point out that it wasn’t a mountain lion, though they didn’t see it for themselves.

In the most recent case, a young woman camping at the park in Triangle saw what she thought was a mountain lion and panicked. Police were called to an “unknown situation” at the park’s dining hall.

For a few minutes, it was unclear if a mountain lion had actually attacked someone.

When officers arrived, the cat – of course – was gone and no one was injured. The witness description put the creature at the size of a bobcat or fox, said Paul Petersen, a wildlife biologist and the park’s chief of resource management.

“It’s heavy cabin camp user time at the park,” he said. “People who aren’t used to the outdoors get out here, and a cat, or potentially a bobcat, becomes a mountain lion.”

In the Aug. 2 sighting of a potential mountain lion in Westridge, police said they believed the cougar reported by a longtime resident walking her dogs was actually a large, tan pit bull.

And wildlife officials were adamant that there’s no way someone spotted a mountain lion, because they no longer exist in Virginia.

“Short of hard evidence, we do not believe there are any mountain lions roaming anywhere in the state of Virginia,” state wildlife biologist Kevin Rose said.

Virginia’s mountain lions, known as the Eastern puma, were once on the endangered species list. But in 2011, they were declared extinct.

That federal distinction hasn’t stopped the sightings. Every year, game officials respond to a handful across the state. There have been sightings in Spotsylvania, Fauquier and now Prince William.

There are several websites devoted to tracking sightings of mountain lions along the Eastern seaboard. And each asserts that state and federal wildlife officials have good reason to deny the existence of cougars. If they weren’t actually extinct, governments would have to devote time and money to protecting them as endangered species.

At Prince William Forest Park, Peterson said he’s quite sure there aren’t any pumas roaming the park’s 15,000 heavily wooded acres. And he has evidence to back him up.

Between 2003 and 2006, the park conducted a carnivore study in an attempt to document the predators living in the forest. Rangers found evidence of black bears, bobcats, fox and coyotes.

(An interesting aside, Petersen said coyotes seen at the park and adjacent Quantico Marine Corps base are larger than their counterparts in the western U.S. That may be because they have wolf DNA. In an October 2011 study published in the Journal of Mammalogy, researchers studied DNA gathered through scat samples of Northern Virginia’s coyotes and found their ancestry includes the wolves of the Great Lakes.)

Petersen said the study found absolutely no evidence of cougars at Prince William Forest Park.

But unlike state game officials, he’s not willing to discount the possibility entirely.

In July 2011, a mountain lion was hit by a car and killed on a highway in Connecticut. In a news release, state game officials at the time said it was the first cougar seen in the state in 100 years. DNA tests showed the big cat’s genetics matched the DNA of mountain lions living in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

And they surmised the cougar walked all the way to Connecticut.

State game officials can toe the company line that mountain lions are nothing but ghosts here in Virginia.

But lacking hard evidence to the contrary, we say anything’s possible.

From: Mike D ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 18-Aug-13


So if someone here in Va gets an opportunity at one of these "extinct" animals and takes advantage, are they in trouble?? BTW, thanks for the post, Tony!

From: Michael Schwister ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 18-Aug-13


I nearly hit a young mountain lion with my motorcyle a couple weeks ago along the clark/loudan county line area. 3 hops to get accross the road, looooong tail with a black tip. Probably 50-60 lbs.

From: tonyo6302 ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 19-Aug-13


Yep, Mike, it is illegal to shoot Mountain Lion in Virginia.

However, one taken in the 'burbs will probably not be prosecuted.

If I see one in the wilderness, it gets a pass. If I see one in my neighborhood, it gets a pass through, and I will take my chances with my neighbors sitting on the Jury.

From: WillPower ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 03-Sep-13


bobcou have a black tip and average about 60 pounds. Defintely a bobcou for sure on the county line.

From: tonyo6302 ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 03-Oct-13


tonyo6302's Supporting Link

Well, someone must have ran the Cat out of Prince William County . . .

LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC) — Police in the District say they have received reports of a mountain lion roaming freely in Southeast.

On two occasions 911 operators have received calls from concerned residents who claim to have seen the large animal.

The latest sighting came Wednesday night in the 3600 block of Highwood Drive Southeast, which prompted the city’s Office of Neighborhood Engagement to issue a public safety alert.

However, police say no officers are able to corroborate the reports and have not seen the lion firsthand.

Mountain Lion sightings in the District aren’t as uncommon as one may think. Two years ago authorities received a report of “large cat” prowling near Rock Creek Park.

National Park Service officials told The Washington Post they were highly skeptical of the claim at the time. Rangers and biologists say they found “absolutely no trace” of the animal.

In June, a black bear was spotted in Gaithersburg, Md. on three consecutive days before it was captured in neighboring D.C. a few days later.

From: Bandicooter ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 05-Nov-13


Bandicooter's Supporting Link

From: tonyo6302 ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 11-Dec-13

tonyo6302's embedded Photo



tonyo6302's Supporting Link

This one near where I hunt, at Todd's Tavern, in Spotsylvania County, from this September;

"November 21st, 2013, 6:06 pm

By RUSTY DENNEN

The photo has been making the rounds on Facebook, the grainy image showing what appears to be a large cat-like creature captured by a game camera around Todds Tavern in Spotsylvania County.

Is it a cougar, also known as a mountain lion or puma, as the post suggests? Or something else?

It’s almost certainly something else, says Rick Reynolds, a wildlife biologist with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, who looks into cougar reports from across the state. And it turns out that supposed sightings are not all that rare.

Reynolds, who works out of the Verona office, saw the purported Spotsylvania photo, taken in September, and showed it to another department biologist.

Because of the lighting and angle, “It’s difficult to analyze, and would benefit from other photos from the same camera in the same location,” he said.

Another issue with the image: “It’s hard to get a perspective of the size of this particular animal.” Specifically, there’s no clear clue to determine how large it is, relative to the grass and trees in the background.

“Another thing that caught our attention was the lack of a tail.” A cougar’s tail is about two-thirds the length of its body.

“You’re not catching much of a tail there at all,” he said, which might suggest that it’s a bobcat, which roam Virginia woods.

And Reynolds noted that part of the picture appeared to be cut off.

Reynolds typically gets about two cougar reports a month, and has been looking into them for about a dozen years.

Some photos he’s seen are convincing, and were actually cougars, he said. But it turns out the photos were taken in the West, where they still roam.

“I got a photo taken by someone who worked for a railway company over by Covington” in western Virginia, Reynolds said. It was supposedly taken in July, and there was snow in the background.

Another image shows a man with a dead cougar on the floor in a garage or a shed.

“But in the background, you see these deer racks that are obviously mule deer” native to the West, not [white-tailed deer] native to Virginia.

Reynolds says cougars are migrating eastward, and have been sighted east of the Mississippi.

In July 2011, a cougar found dead along a highway in Connecticut was traced to wild mountain lions in Illinois through DNA tests. It was the first one reported in that state in more than 100 years.

The migrating animals, Reynolds says, “for the most part are juvenile males being driven out of [their] territories.”

Reynolds says all reports here are taken seriously because “there is a potential for a cougar to show up in the state.”

There are mountain lions in zoos around the state.

“We pick up all kinds of wildlife that is not native to Virginia,” Reynolds said, such as alligators and pythons.

They end up in the wild, or someone’s backyard, when owners tire of them, or they escape.

The last cougar report, he says, came out of Marion, off Interstate 81 in Smyth County, in October.

According to the VDGIF website, there have been 121 possible sightings since 1970, but none has been confirmed. Most of those were in Shenandoah National Park and in the Bedford, Amherst and Nelson County region.

The last eastern mountain lions are believed to have disappeared by the 1940s, according to the Eastern Cougar Foundation.

Rusty Dennen: 540/374-5431

From: tonyo6302 ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 11-Dec-13


tonyo6302's Supporting Link

I found another interesting internet link, good reading for both believers and skeptics;

http://eprn.homestead.com/index.html

From: Michael Schwister ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 18-Dec-13


One of my guys saw a dead one on the side of the road along route 7 in Louden county near the Clarke county line last week in the evening

From: Aintright ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 29-Dec-13


Hi , every one , post caught my eye . About 25 yrs ago I was riding across Skyline Drive with a girlfriend and her kids somewhere of along the drive above Grottoes . A large cat leaped across the road and stood on the rock wall for maybe 5 seconds or so , I saw how large it was and the swooping tail just before it leaped into the darkness out of headlights . The girl with me , thought it was a Bobcat till I pointed out the fact of the long tail and size . Then about 15 yrs ago I was fishing with my ex Brother in law over at Lake Moomaw up one of the south western fingers of the lake and we kept hearing and seeing small rocks rolling down the slate bluffs when it finally appeared in a small opening between some cedars , only for a second or two , but long enough to again realize the size and long tail before it leaped into the brush . We where pretty tight into the bank and decided we should put some water between us and the cat . At one point , the small pebbles rolling down where only 15- 20 yds from us and when it appeared in the opening , the pebbles only rolled a few feet from its feet and the opening we saw it in was about forty yds from us , making me wonder later just how close this cat may have been to us at one time . Aintright

From: bass2xs ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 30-Dec-13


Are you guys seriously still debating this? There are no mountain lions in Virginia PERIOD!!!

We are going to look at this scientifically. The closest small population of mountain lions are the Florida Panthers which reside in the Florida Everglades. The land that they inhabit is approximately 1,508,537 acres...pretty good sized chunk of land. Currently the estimated population is 100-160 panthers in the Everglades, with numbers fluctuating but steadily increasing since the low in 1995. In 1995, the animals numbered somewhere between 20-30 and there still was two that were killed by vehicles. During this time, the animal was going to go extinct, natural reproduction had failed because the population became too small to support further reproduction. The problem with small populations are that any genetic defect is passed on; especially when the population is breeding within itself...offspring inbreeding with relatives multiplies the genetic defects to the point that they can't reproduce anymore. It's kind of nature's way of eliminating inbreeding as much as possible.

Anyway, the population was failing. The remaining animals would most likely have died out within the next ten years. To stop this, 8 male cougars were brought in from Texas to provide a genetic shot back into the dying population to try to save them...it worked. The population has slowly crawled back from the brink of extinction.

Now let's look at human interactions with the Florida panther; this year alone there have been 16 panthers found dead...13 of which have come from vehicle collisions. There is 1,508,537 acres with fewer roads than Virginia (and West Virginia) has yet 13 were still struck by vehicles...let that sink in.

Now let's look at Virginia...when we look at Virginia we see an area that is ripe with wildlife and prime to have an apex predator among us. We have ample areas of wild lands in which such a predator could live, rarely encountering humans...but was that always the case? As the influx of Europeans came in to the East coast, the natural resources such as trees were seen as a untapped renewable resource...huge industries sprung up revolving around the abundant trees that were present. Shipbuilding in the "new world" was one of the biggest industries around...trees were cut like there was no tomorrow. As areas were cut, they just kept pushing westward and harvesting more and more trees. At times, you will hear our forests referred to as a second growth forest...more like a third or fourth growth forest the way we have over harvested the trees. So, what to take from this is, the landscape you see now is not what was present a hundred years ago or more. It wasn't until the beginning part of last century that we realized that we need to manage our forests too.

Anyway, let's look at the history of the mountain lion in Virginia. At one time, mountain lions were classified as an eastern variety and a western variety...different subspecies. This is why it was "illegal" to kill an eastern mountain lion this past century as they were determined to be endangered and likely extinct. Quite frankly, I don't believe there was any difference between eastern and western, just geography. The last mountain lion killed in Virginia was in 1882, over 130 years ago. In West Virginia, the last one killed there was five years later in 1887. Throughout the country, they were eliminated on site, much of the way of all predators were. This wasn't done for hunting or trophy purposes, it was done because people were genuinely afraid of them. Eventually the last remaining stronghold was in the mountains in the Rockies. I'd like to also note, the abundant deer population that we know now was also non-existent for the majority of the east. Deer are an "edge" species, they love to live around edges...we cut down so many trees that their habitat was essentially destroyed. So not only was the habitat destroyed, so was their food source.

During the mid portion of last century, an awareness came out that we need to start managing our wildlife better. This is when the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation took hold and the mountain lion was one of the species that was designated as a "big game" animal. From there, they started to repopulate...completely taking over the west and little-by-little moving eastward.

Mountain lions, particularly males, can and will disperse. They have been making there way throughout the Midwest, some actually crossing the Mississippi River. There have been plenty documented in Kansas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, and Missouri...some even made it to Illinois. We all know of the one that went on a really long trip and made it all the way to Connecticut before being hit by a car and killed. There have been 76 lions that were actually confirmed to have entered the Midwest, all were killed except two that were captured and held in captivity. None survived to establish a territory in the wild. This is something you need to understand too...a dispersed male DOES NOT indicate a "population". A population is when there are enough animals of both genders in one area to support themselves and breed. Females do not have the same amount of dispersing behavior that the males do; one of the reasons why their populations move so slowly to new territories.

The east has rebuilt itself and with it, prey species such as deer have rebounded to the point that they are ripe to be preyed upon by an apex predator such as a mountain lion. There hasn't been a mountain lion that has ever been found as a road kill here before or shot by someone who thought it was a bobcat (or even a mountain lion for that matter). We have plenty of trappers in the state, none have shown up in traps that were set for other species. With all of the hound hunters in the state, none have been treed by bear or deer hunters. Guys, it just doesn't add up the way you want it to. These are all facts that have been laid out here, these are not opinions. There is a whole scientific community which would love to see mountain lions show up in the east, some biologist would becoming famous for "discovering" it. There would have been a dead one discovered by now. I can't believe that someone in this state would be able to kill one and then keep it a secret...stuff like that gets out quickly. They're just not here.

Over the years in numerous places besides Virginia, there have been reports of mountain lions. It's amazing what they actually end up being too...dogs, bobcats, coyotes, deer, even house cats. Like I have said before, our brains will take one piece of information and try to twist it into something that fits. That isn't being delusional or being a kook, it is just our brain trying to make sense of something. Time and time again it has been proven that we suck as witnesses, psychological tests have proven that.

So I have laid out all the facts for all of you...there is no emotion in my argument at all, simply science. If you want to believe that a remnant population was somehow able to survive for the past 130 years you're telling me the following:

1. They were able to survive despite habitat destruction. 2. They were able survive a lack of prey species. 3. They were able to survive vice all genetic principals that are known. 4. They were able to survive without ever being shot by a hunter. 5. They were able to survive without ever being hit by a vehicle. 6. They were able to survive without being caught by a trapper. 7. They were able to survive without ever being treed by a hound hunter. 8. They were able to survive with revealing any hard evidence at all of their presence. 9. They were able to survive without being seen by any of the myriad of searches done to prove their continued existence.

Gents, I believe in science and facts and I have presented them to you. I would love to see some facts presented to me from you guys but none of you have presented any. For you guys to be correct, mountain lions in Virginia would have to be the hide-and-seek champion of all time. So what is actually unrealistic? Believing that they are here despite any evidence of proof and against all science? Or maybe, just maybe these people have a case of mistaken identity? Whether any of you will admit it or not you actually know what the real answer is.

From: brwndg ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 30-Dec-13

brwndg's embedded Photo



I hear ya bass2xs, and as a biology major, I agree with your facts. BUT.....I never say never

From: bass2xs ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 30-Dec-13


I would say a Coelacanth living in the dark depths of the ocean is a far stretch from this! LOL! Let's face it, we still don't know all the things that live down in the deep.

About the only thing I would concede as being POSSIBLE (not probable), would be someone's pet escaping or being released. Even then, 99.9% of the supposed sightings would be misidentifications.

They will eventually get back here, plenty of prey species for them when they get here to. I highly doubt they will get here during my lifetime though unless some sort of reintroduction effort gets done. As cool as I would think that is, it won't happen. The general public is just too scared of apex predators to allow it to happen.

From: Bandicooter ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 30-Dec-13


Bass2xs....Excellent!

From: tonyo6302 ........ No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual No Violations Reported on this individual ....... Date: 31-Dec-13

tonyo6302's embedded Photo



I thought I heard one once, in Spotsylvania County.

Never did see anything.

;^)




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Subject: RE: Mountain Lions in Virginia.....yep!

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