Mathews Inc.
Mississippi Cougar Sightings?
Contributors to this thread:
Stringwacker 20-Jun-04
Ron 20-Jun-04
Don Stokes 16-Jul-04
Bowriter 04-Jan-05
Carey 02-Apr-05
Clifford 04-Apr-05
willtipp 10-Aug-05
Don Stokes 18-Aug-05
papaskeeter 18-Oct-05
Andy 05-Mar-06
bob f. 03-May-07
doublebow 08-May-07
troutms 14-May-07
Pass-Thru 28-May-07
PSMITTY 08-Aug-07
lucky buck 16-Nov-07
Genesis 17-Nov-07
Genesis 26-Nov-07
tripler 07-Feb-08
msswampdonkey 07-Feb-08
msswampdonkey 07-Feb-08
MudBug 16-Apr-08
Buffalo 1 19-Aug-08
zzzhopperzzz 21-Oct-12
Bulldog1 06-Mar-13
JohnBoy 23-Apr-13
BigJohn 23-Feb-17
From: Stringwacker
I noticed by checking another web site that confirmed sightings (via pictures) happen fairly frequently in Arkansas and Lousiana. There's a confirmed breeding population in Forida as well. You might want to do a search under "eastern Cougar" and you can find the web site I think.

Anyway, I was wondering if any of you had ever seen or heard of a cougar sighting in Mississippi? Back in the early 80's, a freind and I was coming out in the pickup from a morning deer hunt near Vaiden Ms. As we navigated the old log road, a black (?) critter with a l-o-n-g curly tail hopped the road. My friend hit the brakes of the truck and turned to me.... wide eyed in astonishment. He asked "was that what I think it was?" I replied "only if you thought it was a cougar!". We both agreed to hunt another area of the camp the next few days.

Anyone have any Mississippi cougar tales? (tails!)

From: Ron
You might want to check out some of the other sites. KS.,OK.,SD.,and IA.. I have been trying to figure out why we are having all these sightings in the last couple of years. Just about every dept. of wild life in these states with the exception of SD. have blamed it on lack of knowledge on the person that saw it. MO.and OK. have finally admitted that there be a small number but think it is only pets that have escaped. IA. is one of the few states in the Midwest where the cats are not protected. Last year hunters shot two. MO. has had two confirm kills by vehicles. One was shot in Omaha NE.last year by police and a collard cat was found dead along a rail road track in north central OK. a couple of weeks ago. They traced the collar back to SD. The cat had traveled 700 miles. The Eastern Cougar Foundation does have a web site and shows confirm sightings in the Midwest. AR. does have quite a few sightings so I see no reason why they wouldn't be in LA. RON


Don Stokes 's Link
I saw one just across the line in Alabama about 20 years ago. He was on a high bank above highway 78. Had my wife and kids in the car, and she saw it too. I stopped and looked for tracks or something to prove it, and found a dead spike buck roadkill that had been dragged into the road ditch and fed upon, from the rear. The big cat was above it, watching over it, I guess. It looked like a mature animal, no doubt of the species, typical tan color.

One of my hunting buddies saw one a few years before that, in the Tombigbee river bottom below Columbus, MS. I've seen one other in the South, in South Carolina. It crossed the road ahead of me, and looked young and rangy. Could have been an excape or release. There were other sightings reported from the same area in the same time frame.

When I was in college in the '70's there were some confirmed sightings in south MS somewhere, an attack on livestock. Biologists from the state investigated and confirmed.

I don't know of anything recent.

From: Bowriter
If you check state sites, almost all of them have some sort of cougar sighting or story. IL, IA and MO have dead cougars to back theirs up. NE has pictures. I would be surprised if most states along the major river systems don't have some cougars, some more than others and some have had them for many years. There is even a cougar story from MS being widely circulated from one hunting operation. No reason not to have them.

From: Carey

From: Clifford
Obviously as time passes, and the great cat extend their range, the chances become greater that someone will actually get a picture of a cougar... But, for now, I do not believe we have any proof of a viable wild population in MS... And, I would suggest that when it does happen, the cat will not be black!

From: willtipp
For the past 5 years I have lived in Columbus, Ms. Befor that I lived in George county about 10 miles south of Lucedale, ms. One afternoon while feeding my beagles, I heard a Florida panther scream. It was about 50 yards away and I could not see it but that was the only thing that could sound like that; it made my scalp tingle and my neck hair stand up. It did't seem to bother the beagles at all. Of course very little bothers a beagle while its eating. Later my mother in-law told me she had seen it. It wasn't black - it was the standard couger tan. My wife also saw one bound across the road in the car lights one night. It was also tan. After that I went to the library and got a book on cougers. In this case probably a Florida panther--- the same thing only a little smaller. From what I read they tend to follow the deer which is their staple food. Usually when they scream they are looking for a mate. So, I can say that there was at least one couger in Mississippi at that time.

From: Don Stokes
Barred owls scream "just like a woman" and many people mistake the sound for a "panther". I've almost jumped out of my stand when one cut loose close by. It'll raise the short hairs, even when you know what it is.

From: papaskeeter
The Clarion Ledger out of Jackson had a short film of a cougar that was filmed in or around the Madison area last year. It also was of the brown color with along tail. A guy filmed it from his deer stand but it was a very short length of time.

From: Andy
Mt hunting partner (who I have no reason to doubt) saw one at our lease in Nanih Waiya in October 2004. I called the game warden in the area and he told me that it was most likley a black jaguar. He said they were federally protected.

From: bob f.
Several different people saw one on several occassions near Houston, MS. They think it either escaped or was released by someone.

From: doublebow
My neighbor seen one behind my house. He said it had a 3 foot tail.

From: troutms
A friend of mine saw one this past deer season on the waterway just south of Fulton,MS.

From: Pass-Thru
In 1976 or '77 I was bowhunting near Port Gibson, Ms. Some guys at our club kept talking about something they had heard around our southernmost property line. They said it for sure wasn't a bobcat but they couldn't identify it.I was only 16 or 17 years old at the time and curiosity got the best of me. I decided to go hunt that area. I climbed up into a box stand and had been there for a couple of hours when after looking to my left and seeing no deer, looking to my right and seeing no deer, I then looked backed to my left and standing in the middle of the dirt road about 75 yards from me was a couger. Yep. Long body, long tail, tannish brown color. I watched it for a brief moment and it walked away. I never heard it make a sound. After returning home to Jackson I went to the Natural Sience Museum on South Jefferson St. to report the sighting. A lady there pulled a book out and told me to look through it and let her know when I saw a picture of a couger. So I complied and when I turned a page and saw a picture of a couger I said, "That's it." I told them where I saw it and even told them I could show them but they never followed up on it. And that could be because there were so few reported sightings back then compared to now. But,like so many others,I know what I saw. Before I end this I should mention that our hunting club, which I am still a member of today, consists of 2300 acres along the Mississippi River.

I should get to do some bowhunting in MS this year. I'll take the camera and keep my eye out for one.

From: lucky buck
I don't know but I was told that a coon screams like a cougar. Any info from someone who would know?

From: Genesis
We had a guy yesterday that was running with a camera off hwy 7 bypass just outside Water Valley saying he had been watching a cougar for 30 minutes!They took some pics but I don't know the results yet of what kind of quality they are.

Anyway.Whatever the animal was it had some pretty credible people around here thinking it was a cougar....This is the first report in our area ever.

It was in a good river bottom and actually not 1 mie from my home where the deer have exploded in the last 2 years.

From: Genesis
The photos were sent to MDWP,I'm headed to view them myself on my lunch hour.

From: tripler
hinds county along the big black a couple of years ago.

i've heard lots of talk about them in the different hunting camps around the ms river where i hunt but i've never seen any trail pics. they've even found deer covered up with leaves that they believe were killed by a big cat. cougar/panther but i've heard even more stories out of louisiana. . . all just stories though. . . most were pretty believable. . . but still just stories. I've been hunting on the ms. river since i was 13 and never caught sight of anything

well. . . i shouldn't say not anything. I saw 4 black bears on one hunt and have seen several other bears through the years

From: MudBug
This I can say, I live in Stone County and one night I was out back on the porch smoking a cigarette and the wood line for the national forest is about 200ft back. I heard a scream that made me like to soil my drawers! It was no Owl, racoon, or any of all that. I know bobcats and see them all the time so that was not what I heard. The sound was just beyond the tree line walking along the fire break. The scream even scared my dogs so bad they ran and hid under the porch. Gods Honest truth. about the time I finished my cig I saw what appeared to be a cat about 4 - 5 ft long from neck to hip with a long tail behind. I couldn't tell the color because it was dark and I wasn't hanging around to find out!!! It definately was a cougar or panther. I love cats but not them kind!!! LOL

From: Buffalo 1
I had a black panther cross the road in front of me one night in Feb. 1975 or 1976. It was solid black with red eyes. I was in Franklin Co. about 1/4 mile from the Homochitto River. I was about 5 miles from the junction of Hwy 84 & 98. I reported the sighting to the Ms Game & Fish Commission. They were asking for input on cougar sightings at the time. After I reported the incident to them, they told me it wasn't so.

I had aircraft landing lights mounted on the front of my Jeep . The lights were "on" when I sighted the animal. I was completely sober and know what I saw. My father, who is now deceased, was with me and he to witnessed the cat crossing the road. It is not every day that you see about a 3 1/2-4' cat with red eyes crossing the road.

Maybe it was just somebody's house cat that was on steroids and the steroids turned the cat's green eyes red.

From: zzzhopperzzz
About two weeks ago, I saw, what I thought at first, a Black Labrador dog stick it's head out of the brush near my home.. I watched from my raised patio as it backed up into the woods momentarily as a car passed. Then it did a 180 degree turn to reveal a two foot tail!!?? We have had large "cat piles" covered similar to a house cat, except huge! I encountered a large dark colored "kitten" on our porch not long ago. It had stubby little legs and dark and lighter stripes on it with a thick tail and a unique cry.. A few nights later I think I encountered "Momma" cat. I couldn't see the body with my flashlight, but the eyes were like the purest green emeralds you have ever seen.(gave me the up the neck chills).. It was a large cat because it's eyes were nearly level with the top of my porch swing back.. I tried to go around the house to get a side view, but it was elusive and aware enough to leave that spot and climb a bank between me an the neighbor.. I can't forget the sensation it's eyes had on me, I knew it was a dangerous animal instinctively.. I live in the city limits of Fulton, Ms. We started noticing these visits right after we planted catnip given to us by a friend.... Sinc B

From: Bulldog1
I suspect that we have a significant population of panthers (cougars). I had an episode with one several years ago while bow hunting. Using a primos call, I had an unexpected guest walk up to the tree I was in one evening. I drew an arrow back in my Mathews as he approached my tree for protection. He looked up at me as he got under the tree and I thought it might be a dangerous move to release an arrow. His back was narrow but his vertical width was massive. I later learned that there is a fine for shooting one. When I got down from the tree (30 min later) in the dark, All I needed was some charmin. Lol.

I recall that my Grandfather indicated to my uncle that they were there. (in the 70's). I think they've always been there.

From: JohnBoy
Saw one outside my childhood home several years ago. Got up one morning before school and the dog we had tied up outside my bedroom window was going nuts. I looked out across the pasture and saw a reddish tan cat with a long tail that curled up at the end. It was at least two foot tall with about a three foot tail. I saw a pair of cubs in a ditch when I was young while riding home with my grandmother...about two miles from my early morning sighting. All this was in northern Holmes county.

I've heard countless tales of encounters over the years. Even had a guy at work who claims to have witnessed one take down a deer fawn during early bow season outside Louisville a couple years ago.

From: BigJohn
We have cats call em cougars/ panthers whatever they're here. I saw one one night cross the road I shined my lights on him and I saw those bright orange eyes they're known for. This was near Ethel about a mile from my house. I've heard em scream and I'm still getting chills right now. My brother saw a brown one cross the road near Kosciusko. Some folks might need more convincing but not me I've been around them boogers most of my life.

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