mountain lions in Illinois? ? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 05-21-2013, 04:34 PM Thread Starter
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Location: southern ill
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mountain lions in Illinois? ?

I have been hearing a lot about them around my area recently.. a deer was killed on my road, throat ripped out by its head and long gashes on sides. We couldn't find any footprints but that was all that was done to it. A few miles away someone got pictures of one on a game camera and one of my dads friends has been stalked by one before. Anyone have ideas what to do if I would see one while trail riding or if I see one near my pasture? Thanks
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post #2 of 16 Old 05-21-2013, 05:07 PM
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I'm no expert and perhaps someone from out west who deals with them more could tell you better. All I can say is what i think i would do. DON"T run and act as big and bad as you can. Running will kick in the prey predator respnce in the cat. Make a bunch of noise and odds are they will move on. Generally speaking they try to avoid contact, Generally speaking. Now I may be waaaaaay off on that and end up cat food if ever presented with one.
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post #3 of 16 Old 05-21-2013, 06:36 PM
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If your trail riding your horse will let you know a cats around waaaayyy before you ever see it. Had a lion sunning in the pasture one day until Scars caught wind of it (I didnt know it was there when I turned them out, but they saw it from the house above the pasture) and Scars chased it out, but my gelding was in a panic.

Best thing to do is not run away, make yourself as big and loud as possible
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post #4 of 16 Old 05-21-2013, 07:02 PM
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I see them several times a year. Sometimes more than one in a week. Still doesn't make me an expert, I don't think. But, what my friends and I do is the same as Fort Fireman says. We don't back down, definitely don't run, make ourselves big, and all of us roar, wave our arms, get quite ferocious. You may be surprised at how motivated you get when faced with one.

Mtn. lion stalk from behind, which kind of stinks. So, whether riding or walking, we frequently check our back trail. And, unfortunately, I have been horseback and the horse and I have been both surprised by lion.
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post #5 of 16 Old 05-21-2013, 09:00 PM
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They are definitely in Illinois. I know a local lady whose horse was attacked about 2 years ago. I have never seen one, but plenty of folks I know have.
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post #6 of 16 Old 05-22-2013, 05:50 PM
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Apparently the easter cougar is making a comeback, smaller than the mountain lion. It was believed they were wiped out, not so.
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post #7 of 16 Old 05-23-2013, 04:45 PM
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A few years back we had horrible huge fires very nearby. It pushed them off the blm and onto populated areas. They put out all kinds of warnings that they were moving in, and would be looking for water - sad situation. It made me very nervous for my horses just the same. I never personally saw one, but one drank out of my neighbors pond - so, flood lights went on 24/7. But, no one lost anything to them. In ordinary circumstances a healthy one just won't come off the BLM and go after an adult horse.

If I had to ride through dense trees and worry about the possibility of them being "somewhere" in would make me just a wee bit nervous.

Just a note, we have lots of bobcats. If you pay attention to "signs" you can tell they are around. For example, recently the coyotes moved out but the rabbit population kept declining - which I noticed but didn't "think about it". I guess it ran out of wild rabbits so it went for my daughters rabbit. The horses just parked as close as they could get and watched the entire episode. Nice vet bill later, rabbit was okay. Anyway, I imagine there are similar things to "take note of" w bigger cats.

There is just as much horse sense as ever, but the horses have most of it.
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post #8 of 16 Old 05-24-2013, 11:16 PM
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I was told, if you are being stalked by a mountain lion, there's a good chance you will not be aware of it since they do so from behind and are very stealth about it. I'm hoping that horses are low on their list of things to hunt due to their size and that there are many smaller animals on their menu since I do believe they are making a comeback whether the DEP wants to admit it or not.

You just have to see your don't have to like it.
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post #9 of 16 Old 05-25-2013, 02:07 PM
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We have cougars here and I see the tracks all the time at the farm along the creeks and the river. I have seen two crossing the road near the house. The dogs keep them away . Or so the game warden thinks.
They have never attacked the cattle or horses. I do make noise when entering the wooded areas in the river bottoms especially since black bear have been seen down there. Shalom
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post #10 of 16 Old 05-30-2013, 03:18 AM
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Yes, a number of cougar sightings have already been confirmed here in Illinois. Cougars prey most often on deer. And according to some news I read, they are nocturnal and they generally stay away from people.

When you are on a great horse, you have the best seat you will ever have.

-Sir Winston Churchill
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