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Hope this is the right section for this.....if not, feel free to move it.

Has anyone in middle Tennessee seen or heard of cougars or other big cats around??

I live in middle Tennessee, about 12 miles out in the country. We have lots of wildlife out here, the usual animals such as rabbits, turkeys, etc. We also have a pack of coyotes, idk how many for sure but i have seen at least 3-4 at night. I have been told by neighbors that there are also cougar(s) out here. A neighbor around the corner showed me a pic on their phone of a track by their creek. However, ask Wildlife management and they swear there are none.

I have a coming 3 yo colt. We often walk around the roads out here, and he has been well behaved if a bit 'prancey'. Nothing i would not expect from a young colt. Recently, he has been acting weird. He does not want to leave the yard and go on the road. He will shake and tremble, and stare across the road into the woods in the distance. He is looking toward the same area my neighbor took the pic of the track. He has seen coyotes before and still walked fine on the road, so i am inclined to think it is something different. I have also heard a noise that i cannot identify....sounds almost like 'help' but is clearly an animal call. If i can get it recorded when i hear it again i will upload it.

Sorry for the long post, but i need to figure out what i am dealing with, and how to handle it best. If anyone has any input or any ??s i can clarify, I would appreciate the help.
 

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wow, this is interesting! I haven't much help, because I live in Oregon. My friends in Eastern Oregon did have a cougar near their house. They described its call as sounding like a woman calling "help."
 

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I live in Northern California in the valley, during the summer the mountain lions and cougars come down from the mountains to the upper park, and sometimes even down to my house and barn. Mountain lions sound like a screaming child, and cougars sound like someone calling for help.
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Ha! Same out here, tell a wildlife officer you've even seen one and they'll laugh at you.

We've had several actual sightings. Our county is 90% national forest so it's likely. Back in the 90's after several were reported the NFS hired a "professional" tracker to investigate. He found nothing. My neighbors below me had seen one crossing the HWY at 5am on their way to work to drink from their creek, the guy never came up this far.

If you want to be taken seriously report your findings and suspicions as a probable cat that's been released. I wouldn't doubt it since its in a populated area or could be one searching for new territory and just passing through.
If you can leave flood lights on and pen a dog up outside to bark. When it's warm enough we leave our dogs penned up by the side door to bark at coyotes/bobcats/bears/hogs/etc, that and letting the dogs mark their territory has kept the wildlife at bay.

Hopefully if it is a cat he'll move on shortly, they have a large territory and don't stay in one place for long.
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We live near louisville, ky. I asked fish and game if we had cougars. The agent looked at me for amoment, then said "officially, no. Unofficially, yeah, they're out there all right.". Supposedly some were released in TN and travel,ed down here. I know people that have seen them, and these people know the difference betweenabobcat and a cougar.
 

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I suspect he's telling you he doesn't want to leave home because that's his happy place. Beyond about 13' he can't tell the diff. between a coyote and a dog. A large cat, maybe by smell if he recognized the smell as a predator. Most predators are night hunters and will take dogs and cats, not a horse.
 

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I live in Northern California in the valley, during the summer the mountain lions and cougars come down from the mountains to the upper park, and sometimes even down to my house and barn. Mountain lions sound like a screaming child, and cougars sound like someone calling for help.
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I thought Puma, Mountain lion & Cougar were names for the same animal?
 

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Most predators *typically* will not bother a horse. I would be concerned if the horse was elderly/feeble or small. Coyotes I wouldn't worry too much (though the horse probably won't like them) a mountain lion definitely could.

I won't say too much because my guess is my area is very different from yours and predators would act differently. I feel in general though the horse may be nervous but I doubt they would be bothered, but motion sensor lights and dogs (big loud ones, not snack sized ones!) are both good. We have a LOT of wildlife in our area but even though they are RIGHT around we haven't had a problem with our animals, I thank the dogs (and diligence on our part-sheep are ALWAYS in at dark!)
 

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I live in a small town in North Carolina and any Wildlife officer will tell you that there is ABSOLUTELY no cougars, mountain lions, panthers whatever you want to call them around here but me and a friend of mine deffinantly believe different. I was at his house around 9:30 the other night as we had just got back from a trail ride that was 2 hours away and we put the horses up they were fine and we went inside. All of a sudden the horses were going crazy they were kicking the stalls, rearing up, and when we got out to the barn we didnt see anything they did this again around 15 minutes later and this time we found a very large cougar inside of his goat pen which is right outside of the barn. We reported it and now the officers finally believe it because it had killed all of the newborn goats born the day before.
 

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It's possible to have them out there. The problem is finding the proof. the track of a mountain lion is like any other cat track except size. unfortunately unless there is a reference in the pic you have, it is inpossible to tell exactly what size the track in the picture was. Could be a mountain lion, or a bobcat, or a big house cat. As for the screaming sound , it could be. However like was mentioned Bobcats sound like that as well. Also you get a cub black bear hollering for mom they sound like it to, however wrong time of year right now.

I've heard we have them in my area of NC as well. The western part of the state I could totally see them being there. however I haven't seen the proof that I need yet. As for around my house, I'm not sure. Of course a few years back i found a dead bobcat and I didn't think they were around in any big way so what do i know.:lol:

It's kind of funny this topic came up. Two nights ago my wife ( a police officer) got a call about a "cougar" sighting. She sent my the call report and the witness spends time out west hunting cougars and other big game as a guide with cabelas. So, who knows but officially No there are NO cougars in NC.
 

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I thought Puma, Mountain lion & Cougar were names for the same animal?
I meant to say bobcat. Whoops.
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Well, whatever the critter out there is, your horse is aware of it! Horses have a strong sense of self-preservation. I give my horse the benefit of a doubt unless they prove themselves to be a slacker.
We have bear, cougar and bobcat here. I prefer to stay out of the way of all three.
 

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there could be something he smells or sees. I had a horse that was terrified of pigs.
I had one scared of coyotes (but not dogs ) go figure.
 

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The DNR still refuses to admit to cougars being in Michigan. They are here though. There have been multiple sightings.
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