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The cougar (Puma concolor), also commonly known as the mountain lion, puma, panther, or catamount, is a large felid of the subfamily Felinae native to the Americas. Its range, from the Canadian Yukon to the southern Andes of South America, is the greatest of any large wild terrestrial mammal in the Western Hemisphere. An adaptable, generalist species, the cougar is found in most American habitat types. It is the second-heaviest cat in the New World, after the jaguar. Secretive and largely solitary by nature, the cougar is properly considered both nocturnal and crepuscular, although there are daytime sightings. The cougar is more closely related to smaller felines, including the domestic cat (subfamily Felinae), than to any species of subfamily Pantherinae, of which only the jaguar is native to the Americas.
The cougar is an ambush predator and pursues a wide variety of prey. Primary food sources are ungulates, particularly deer, but also livestock. It also hunts species as small as insects and rodents. This cat prefers habitats with dense underbrush and rocky areas for stalking, but can also live in open areas. The cougar is territorial and survives at low population densities. Individual territory sizes depend on terrain, vegetation, and abundance of prey. While large, it is not always the apex predator in its range, yielding to the jaguar, gray wolf, American black bear, and grizzly bear. It is reclusive and mostly avoids people. Fatal attacks on humans are rare, but have recently been increasing in North America as more people enter their territories.
Intensive hunting following European colonization of the Americas and the ongoing human development of cougar habitat has caused populations to drop in most parts of its historical range. In particular, the cougar was extirpated in eastern North America in the beginning of the 20th century, except for an isolated Florida panther subpopulation. Transient males have been verified in Minnesota, Missouri, Wisconsin, Iowa, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and Illinois, where a cougar was shot in the city limits of Chicago and, in at least one instance, observed as far east as coastal Connecticut. Reports of eastern cougars (P. c. cougar) still surface, although it was declared extirpated in 2011.

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  1. T

    Any tips for hunting coyotes or cougar in the Blue Mountians this time of year?

    Thanks.
  2. RicInOR

    Cougar taken in ID -Wife Grabbed, Husband Shot

    daily timewaster: She had the proverbial lion by the ear, and could neither hang on nor let go. Juvenile mountain lion attacks dog in Mackay mods: I didn't find this elsewhere, but feels like it might be. OK to delete/merge.
  3. T

    Suggestions how to hunt Cougar in the Blue Mountains this month and

    December? Any special calls, or what ever. Snow is on the ground. Thanks.
  4. Argonaut

    Unusual Cougar (cat) activity in Washington state

    ABC reported two mountain bikers were attacked and one killed by a mountain lion in Western Washington. Very unusual activity on its own but they found the cougar standing over his “kill” afterward. I know cougars well and this is very unusual activity for them. The cat was obviously looking...
  5. RicInOR

    WA - 197 LB Cougar Captured

    <snicker - not a mature woman> Autoplay video at link: "Monster" 197-pound cougar captured by Washington state biologists - CBS News Near Chewelah Biologists capture and tag massive cougar north of Chewelah
  6. RicInOR

    WA - Cougar takes Dog

    A cougar attacked and killed a dog walking with its owner on a trail near Ronald[,WA] Monday evening. Cougar kills dog walking with owner on Kittitas County trail
  7. U

    anyone interested in bear and cougar in the Mt Hood area?

    I have lived in welches for a couple years and will be hunting bear and cougar this fall. I have already gone scouting three or four times and I was wondering if there was anyone in the area or interested in hunting the area this fall for bear and cats. Seems like everyone has elk fever, hunts...
  8. U

    Cougar hunting

    Greetings, Never would I have ever thought I would be considering hunting cougar. I am from the East Coast and cougar are just a different thing there, sightings are rare and as far as I know there is no need for management. I purchased the tag after doing some reading of the ODFW management...
  9. 206thsense

    Man Kills Cougar in Research Cage... and lies

    We're all pro-2nd Amendment here, and mostly pro-hunting. I know I consider myself a supporter of both. That being said... this story really upsets me: ‘Big pool of blood’: Redmond man shoots cougar in research cage The short: This IDIOT shoots a cougar that's already trapped in a research...
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