There may be cougars in Michigan

There may be cougars in Michigan

There are 130 comments on the WOODTV story from May 17, 2006, titled There may be cougars in Michigan. In it, WOODTV reports that:

There may be cougars in Michigan after all. Dr. Brad Swanson and Dr. Patrick Rusz have co-authored a scientific paper in the American Midland Naturalist, published by Notre Dame University.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at WOODTV.

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United States

#1 May 19, 2006
Frustrated American

Granbury, TX

#2 May 19, 2006
WoodTV's website has the full text article about it. Basically sightings have occurred for years...but this article states that the recent study is due to study of "droppings" - from which 10 DNA sequences prooved that cougars are indeed here, and somehow that at least one prooved that it wasn't from a "pet" that had been released into the wild. Meanwhile Michigan Department of Natural Resources insists that there isn't a sustainable breeding group in the state. Just like bears aren't around...until folks started sending pictures of them raiding bird feeders into their local newspapers.
Frustrated American

Granbury, TX

#4 May 19, 2006
Well than Master Sun...looks like your chances are getting better and better at being able to wrestle with one. I checked out the forum on WoodTV's site dedicated to this cougar talk. One, there's a meeting in Lakeview High School on May 25th about it. Two, seems as tho reports have been coming in for many years about them being seen, all over the lower AND upper areas. And Three...seems as tho "mamas" with "babies" are being seen more and more, too. DNR site has an article about hair samples taken from a car that hit one...uh...last fall, I think, confirms that the hair was a cougar's. So, they are willing to admit there is, or at least was, one. But they're sticking with the theory that it mighta been a domesticated one turned loose, and that it still doesn't proove there's a sustainable breeding population of them around.

Oak Park, MI

#5 Jun 29, 2006
Kind of interesting that the DNR is so reluctant to accept existance of a cougar population in the state while the National Park Service posts a notice at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore that you are "a visitor in Cougar habitat."

Bay City, MI

#6 Jul 1, 2006
They are reluctant because it will cost money. Studies, classification, etc. It will be very costly and that's why they don't want to accept the existance of cougars.
Dave-Benton Harbor

United States

#7 Jul 3, 2006
As a teenager in the late 60's I had a friend who lived on Dan Smith Rd in Watervliet,Mi.One evening we saw one cross the road.Of course no one believed us.

Montréal, Canada

#8 Jul 9, 2006
I grew up in the Heart of the U.P. , YES there are cougars, bobcats, wolfs, coyotes, and most of those. No lions or tigers, but there sure are cougars.

Middleville, MI

#9 Sep 24, 2006
I live in Northern lower MICH. and have seen a large cougar SW of Kalkaska in a wooded area of state land cross a dirt road in front of me, no mistaking what it was either, I have seen them in Montana..

United States

#10 Sep 28, 2006
I saw an adult cougar crossing the road headed down for an evening drink on the northeren end of Hubbard Lake about 10 years ago. No mistaking these for anything else.

United States

#11 Sep 28, 2006
RedWingBrian from San Diego not Kansas City. Guess I need a new moniker. Kansas City Brian- you have Cox cable internet also I bet. You aced me out of my username when they redid their settings about 6 years ago I do believe. I guess you must have been on this forum before which is why I was mistaken for you. I will change to something new.
Joe Shmuckers

Hugo, OK

#12 Sep 28, 2006
the pretty kitties the prettieeeessssss

Southfield, MI

#13 Sep 29, 2006
there is no may be! There are! I have seen them and they are very vicious and scary! They have been eating my neighbors cows for almost a year now. They have lost over 20 cows. The cougars are out of control.

Tucson, AZ

#14 Oct 1, 2006
typical of the DNR they wont admit anything just like the declining deer heard and crummy hunting the last few years

Grand Rapids, MI

#15 Oct 1, 2006
The topic of Cougars in Michigan has been in the press a lot in the past couple of years. They absolutely live here. My understanding is the Members and Workers at the Huron Mountain Club have actively seen them in the 25,000 acre private club for over fifty years. I personally know numerous people who have seen them in the Lower and especially Upper Peninsula. Cougars most likely have been there all along. There closest know range is Minnesota, that is not so far away.
Just fifteen years ago Michigan would not claim that wolves where actively present in the state. Then they took the position that the wolf was just an occasional wander from elsewhere and that the state had no viable population. That was fifteen years, now there are 400+ individuals and the known range difference between the two species where comparable, but a bit further in the case of the “established” known range of the cougar. The Cougar, Mountain Lion or Puma, depending on region and preference, is the same animal. They are far more elusive, and have a lower birth rate then the Wolf. The state is holding to the position not that the cougars in Michigan are wanders but in this case formal domestic pets that got to much for the owners to handle, so where let go, or that the pets got loose. This could be true in some of the cases, be PLEASE the notation that this is the scenario in all the sightings and collected evidence is absurd
I have hiked the public wild areas of the Huron’s, and am very familiar with the wild area of the Keweenaw Peninsula, especially east of Copper Harbor, off the Mandan Loop “road”. I have never seen one, to a degree of with out a doubt. But my best friend saw what he said was with out a shadow of a doubt a cougar, dodging into the woods, on the road to MT. Brockway. It was night and I was driving, I only caught the glimpse of a deer sized black animal. I've seen enough black bears to know it was not one. The glimpse was good enough to notice a feline posterior. Another time I was bushwhacking between MT. Houghton and the Montreal River. It had been recently raining and I came across a mud patch that had two deep paw imprints, they where as wide as my hand and the pads where more oblong than wolf imprints. What STOOD out was the lack of claw marks in the mud. I wish I had some plaster then.
The Truth is that the Federal Government would require Michigan to institute a comprehensive system for the newly declared endangered species. BUT the Federal Government would unlikely contribute, especially with the current financial state the country is in. With the loss of automotive and manufacturing jobs and allocation of precious money to such thing as a higher crime rate and a failing infrastructure, Michigan quite frankly can not afford to admit the existence of a truthfully genetic wild, and sustainable population of "Felis Concolor", the Cougar. Only Time will tell.

New Baltimore, MI

#16 Oct 2, 2006
they might be here but they are absolutly in confined areas because if they were spread all over, more evidence would have been found

Tucson, AZ

#17 Oct 2, 2006
well joe you need to get out of the city a bit more bob cats are not killing cows and horses up here and it is now a bear print that is being left behind the dnr needs to get off their lazy bottoms and do some work

United States

#18 Oct 3, 2006
Master Sun wrote:
Ive always wanted to wrestle one....
yea wrestling one would we awesome i think you would win

Grand Rapids, MI

#19 Oct 3, 2006
This is interesting. Of course there are cougars. There have always been cougars. I grew up in Caledonia, my family still residing there, there are cougars to be that way and south religiously.

Michigan cannot afford to institute a comprehensive system declared endangered species. I wouldn't say newly, as they've been around longer than the majority of the current residents. I agree with Matt, the Federal Government would not be a contributor. It's about the economics of this state and the country. Time will tell, as we invade further into their domiciles and become more evasive in their world's alone, they will strut regularly into our domains in search of what they've lost. It's a natural system of checks and balances, in my humble opinion.
District Ag-Issues

Middleville, MI

#20 Oct 5, 2006
The DNR are being stupid about this issue with Cougars in Michigan. For Ex: The Cougar that hurt the Amish horse in Butler Township, the DNR said oh it's just barbed wire, my thought how can barbed wire almost lose the horse's eye, then i heard that weeks after that the Amish guy and other's went out and saw it, i'm not for sure. Then some of my Friends have heard the Cougar's cry at night on of them have got a picture of a cougar and i think that was sited in Pulsiki Michigan. Then are FFA had POA camp in Sommerset campground, the 1st night we left out some of the food and trash and two of the officers thought they heard a Cougar than a month after the DNR told everybody that they had let them loose some in Jackson Michigan and one in Somerset Michigan but they have them tagged so they know.
About the bear's my Uncle took a picture of one by Homer lake in his back yard.

Indianapolis, IN

#21 Oct 6, 2006
When I lived in Mio, way back in 1981-82, my husband and I both saw a cougar cross the road in front of our car (about 100 feet away) a few miles to the Southeast of Mio. Residents there said it was a big joke that the DNR always denied cougar being in Michigan even though many people reported seeing them. Cougar are naturally shy of people and stay remotely away from them ! The DNR are trying to protect the ccougar from people and their naturally stupid curiosity, so I don't blame them for denial.

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