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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Cougars in Tennessee -- fact or fiction? (No question about it for Millsfield couple)

Monday, November 3, 2008

(Photo)
Although there is no physical evidence of cougars in Tennessee, Tom Perkins of Dyer County believes these are the first photos of actual tracks from a cougar in the Cloverdale area.
The concola species of the genus Puma is commonly referred to as a cougar or a panther.

Almost every state east of the Rocky Mountains gets reports of cougars being seen, and Tennessee is no exception.

For years, West Tennessee, including Dyer County, has had sightings of cougars.

On Sunday afternoon, Oct. 19, Tom and Mary of Perkins of the Millsfield Community in Dyer County were riding their bikes as they normally do in the Cloverdale area close to Elbridge. While riding they noticed some indentations in the dirt. Upon closer inspection, they discovered what they were looking at were the tracks of a very large animal.

The tracks were made in the soft dirt on the side of the road. The ground was wet and the tracks appeared to be fresh. It looked as though the animal came out of a newly harvested cornfield, walked along the edge of a farm road for approximately 100 yards and then went back into the field.

Mr. Perkins was pretty sure they were cougar tracks. So, he and his wife took several photographs to compare to known photos of cougar tracks on the Internet.

Their conclusion was they were cougar tracks.

The Perkins, who are avid recreational bicyclists, often ride their bikes in the area where the tracks were found.

"I'm going to carry a chunk of meat and throw it at the cougar and then ride away like you know what," said Mrs. Perkins, when asked about her riding plans.

Alan Peterson is the assistant regional manager of West Tennessee for the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency. He takes over 100 reports of cougar sightings each year. He estimates there are approximately 1,000 reported cougar sightings each year across Tennessee.

"Even with all the reports we get, there is no physical evidence that there are any cougars in the state of Tennessee," said Peterson. "Half of the sightings we get are reports of black panthers and the other half are of the tan variety, and never in the history of the United States has there been a wild black panther."

The closest states with stable populations are Colorado and West Texas. Occasionally, a wandering young male will make its way to West Arkansas or Missouri.

"For a cougar to make its way to Tennessee would be virtually impossible," said Peterson. "The rivers in Arkansas and Missouri run north and south, and it would have to cross all those rivers and ultimately cross the Mississippi River."

Peterson believes that if cougars did exist in Tennessee, there would be hard evidence such as a body, feces or hair left behind on a fence, all of which are easily attainable in known cougar habitats.

The county that Peterson gets the most reports from is Shelby County.

Peterson looked at the tracks pictured in this article and believes a large dog made them.

"If anybody does spot cougar tracks, it is best to get a plaster of Paris mold of them," said Peterson.

The Perkins are not overly concerned and do not plan to make any changes in their bike riding habits.

"Actually, I hope I'm proven wrong," said Mr. Perkins.


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One day last year me and two of my friends skipped school. I think we went to lake county. One of the two saw a large cat-like animal and decided to run towards it screaming "Yay kitty,I wanna pet the kitty!"

I tackled him becauase the cat was large, orange, there were 3 of them, and they were about 50 yards away. We were in a fairly residencial area.

From this I deduced they were a type of Puma, but i did not want to find out by more scientific means.

-- Posted by SadEmoKid on Mon, Nov 3, 2008, at 4:45 PM

Sorry, but that's a dog track. No "wild" cats in Tennessee.

http://www.bear-tracker.com/caninevsfeli...

-- Posted by whatch on Mon, Nov 3, 2008, at 4:53 PM

Then I was about 7 years old, my father, uncle, and myself were in Lenox back on Tar Hill Rd rabbit hunting. We heard a roar and looked up the hill and saw a cat that appeared to be what at that age I called a "mountain lion". This thing looked to stand about the height of a full grown lab and was muscled up. It stood there and my dad fired a shot at it and it ran off. It looked to be a dark tan color but it was about 60 or 70 yards away. All I know is if that was a bobcat, that's the biggest and loudest bobcat I've ever heard or seen.

-- Posted by timay76 on Mon, Nov 3, 2008, at 5:01 PM

the black panthers showed up in bells the other day......really. they did. i saw em on tv.

-- Posted by my escape on Mon, Nov 3, 2008, at 6:15 PM

I"m sorry...I didn't mean to start a fight in the middle of your Black Panther Party!

Forrest Gump!

-- Posted by timay76 on Mon, Nov 3, 2008, at 9:30 PM

One morning about five years ago, I was setting up in my deer stand in Lauderdale County, when I heard something coming through the woods I knew it was pretty big by the breaking sticks hunters you know what I mean, so I got my rifle ready and waited I just knew it was going to be a nice buck but I got the shock of my life when this big cat come trotting through the woods and since I've been hunting since I was ten not counting the years I went with my dad prior to that, I knew it wasn't a bobcat, it was a cougar it was close enough I could see it's 3ft tall muscular fawnish colored body, long tail, I was frozen at first, then I scoped it and thought long and hard about pulling the trigger but I just couldn't bring myself to do it, although I know that most people will never believe me it happened. Since that day I've never went into that thicket unarmed. Other people around the area claimed to have seen cougars too but I know for fact what I saw.

-- Posted by Fenderplayer78 on Mon, Nov 3, 2008, at 11:31 PM

I have been hunting along the Mississippi River and the Reelfoot Lake area for over 40 years and have seen several very large Cat tracks.

Large Cat Sightings & tracks are all over the banks of the Mississippi River and in West Tennessee. Several Cats have been killed and re

ported to TWRA with pictures

Everyone needs to go to this website and review the known sightings in West Tennessee -- TWRA Alan Peterson has no ideal of the truth -- he never gets out of the office to see or find out.

TWRA does not want to formerly report cougars are in Tennessee -- they would have to protect them as protected amimals.

Mountain Lions & Cougars are protected spiecies. There is no open season to kill them in Tennessee.

View Website:

https://www.uu.edu/forms/cougars/sightin...

-- Posted by Duck Hunter on Tue, Nov 4, 2008, at 5:08 AM

so many cell phones with cameras, we can get some good pics i bet?

-- Posted by sid36us on Tue, Nov 4, 2008, at 5:46 AM

Here kitty kitty. Why do people only find the tracks, or see a fleeting glimpse? Sounds a little phoney, but wait some red-necks found bigfoot! No that was fake too. Around these parts some hunter would have spotted it already and ground checked it thinking he had a record bobcat.

-- Posted by 1* on Tue, Nov 4, 2008, at 8:36 AM

I've lived in several different states and never seen a "big cat," although everywhere I lived claimed to have them.

Of course, one small town in Iowa claims to have kangaroos.

People see what they want to see. I'm not doubting anyone's sanity. There very well could be cougars around here. But I have to agree- tracks just aren't enough evidence for me to believe it, personally.

-- Posted by grasshopper46 on Tue, Nov 4, 2008, at 10:00 AM

THIS IS NOTHING NEW JUST BECAUSE IT JUST MADE THE COVER OF THE NEWS PAPER! I KNOW FOR A FACT THEY ARE HERE.I HAVE TRACKED THESE BIG CATS FOR YEARS AND NOT FROM JUST FOOT PRINTS. I HAVE WATCHED AND OBSERVED THESE CATS THEY ARE NOCTURNAL ANIMALS VERY ACTIVE AT NIGHT BUT,CAN BE SPOTTED IN DAYLIGHT HOURS. THEY ARE NOT HARD ANIMALS TO FIND IF YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR YOU CAN EASILY FIND ONE OF THESE CATS ANYWHERE THEY IS A LOT OF ANIMAL ACTIVITY. I HAVE WATCHED THESE CATS FOR YEARS ITS FACT NOT JUST A PHOTO OF A FOOT PRINT IN THE NEWS PAPER, IF A PHOTO OF A FOOT PRINT HAS YOU THIS UPSET, I COULD TURN PHOTOS IN THAT WOULD MAKE YOU LEAVE THE COUNTRY!

-- Posted by d_104 on Tue, Nov 4, 2008, at 6:34 PM

As far as getting pics goes...

i expect many attempts to be like big foot style..

slightly to the left and out of focus.

also: CAPS LOXCKS ODHEUQWHROUP HFWHOOOO HOO!

-- Posted by SadEmoKid on Tue, Nov 4, 2008, at 8:30 PM

Reverend Tom and his wife, Mary, Methodist Minister.... only this would happen to him. He made a mold of the print and brought it to his children's sermon last Sunday morning from what I understand. You'd have to know him, he's a character. I can just picture Mary running and screaming! Makes me laugh, Brother Tom would be right behind her screaming louder.

I think it's cool you guys were in the paper. Keep riding your bikes, maybe you WILL find Bigfoot for us!

-- Posted by dizzylizzy on Thu, Nov 6, 2008, at 12:53 PM

I'm asking SadEmoKid to let me go to the woods next time; he has the most fun!!!

-- Posted by exresident on Thu, Nov 6, 2008, at 10:23 PM

I saw a siamese and a tabbly cat get in a fight in someone's front yard in Rolling Meadows on Halloween night! What were we talking about?

-- Posted by timay76 on Fri, Nov 7, 2008, at 9:35 AM

Cat's claws (yes, even the big ones) retract when walking. There would not be such large claws visable in a cat track, just the pads. Looks more like a bear. They are seen often in Missouri and middle Tennessee. Let the spin continue.

-- Posted by vixenvol on Sun, Nov 9, 2008, at 5:19 PM

okay I'm 17 and I live in McNairy county TN and I heard the stories never believed them But a few mounths ago I took my girlfriend and her little brother coon hunting. And out of nowhere we hear sreaming and my girlfriends little brother took off to the house and my girlfriend called 911 I told her to stay here and I went ahead to see what the sreams where about and why someone is on my land when about 25 yards out there I see these glowing eye twice the size of my golden retriever and twice as fast. I took 2 shots one hit and the other missed and my girlfriend came running to see why I fired my shotgun then she seen it running off but then the cops where at the house then the next day the game warden came and he took pictures of foot prents and said it was a panther. Still idk what we saw today but it wasnt no bobcat but i've seen and kilked then. It may have been a mountain loin but it was black. I still don't like going out there alone.

-- Posted by jamesmithunter on Mon, Jan 6, 2014, at 2:15 AM


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