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Game Wardens Views

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I had the same run in with a game warden during a hunters safety course. During the Q & A I asked what the Wildlife and Fisheries was doing about the predators in the National Forest. He said to define predators, so I bought up panthers. He said 'I was mistaken'. Once yes, I could have been but not 9 times and one at ten feet there is no mistaking what you are seeing! I asked if he had ever seen one. He said no. I asked him if he got out in the woods very often. He said he lives in the woods. I told him he must not cause he hasn't seen squat[edit]! Everyone got a big laugh out of it. But that is the Wildlife and Fisheries stance on panthers. Even after mulitipul sightings. Game camera pictures and so on. They are just living in denial. I sure wish someone can explain that?
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Pictures would help
If there are multiple pictures of panthers out there, I would like to see someone post them here.
I would like to see the difference between the panther and mountian lion/cougar.
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Ms.
To see some pics go to Bullnettlenews.com and search for them. There are a couple of posts with game cam pics and there is a video from a deer boxstand. Been a while but they should still be on the sight. Good luck.
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Predator
What would you suggest that a game warden DO about a predator in the forest?
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poppin',
ain't no ms. here,,, but I am interested in pictures of the panthers people keep referring to. I have been up close and personal to real live and dead mountain lions on multiple occasions while living/hunting out west for the past 25 years,in the elary 80's, an old girlfriend of mine here in La. had a pet Mountain Lion at their home, along with two other exotic large cats legally owned by her father. That Loin rode in my car more on several occasions and was a cool animal to have around,, especially to be treated as an overgrown house cat by my friend and her family.

I would like to see the difference in what is described as a panther versus what is known as a cougar/ mountain lion.

I have never doubted there were not Mountain Loins in Louisiana. I believe that even tho' their numbers were greatly reduced over the past 100 years in La. , they have always been here. As elusive and secretive the Mountain Lions are , they can exist in close proximity to humans and no one would ever know it. As far as someone saying that a Mountain Loin came as close as 10 feet away from them in the woods, without the individual being stalked by the Loin, Id have to witness that with my own eyes, Sorry, that dog dont hunt in my opinion.

Edited to include- Let me clairify, I know there are Florida Panthers, one of the sub species of the family of Pumas. I am questioning the sighting of such panthers in Louisiana, espcially the black ones people talk about.
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9 times please
So you went to a Hunters Safety Course and made a jerk of yourself in front of the kids by making a statement like that? Then you post it I think you proved your point.
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camera
why don't you bring a camera/videocamera with you or strap one to your head since you always seem to come in contact with the panthers. google image search cougars, these cats might be what your seeing.
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by any other name
First off let me clear up something.

A cougar and a mountain lion or puma, florida panther are all the same species. Just different names for the same animal.

Cougars have many names I only listed a few above. This leads to confusion in people thinking they are not the same animal.

A panther is not a species specific term. But generally it is considered to refer to leopards and jaguars. Cougars are also called panthers but probably shouldn't be. But common names vary... crappie, speck, sac-a-lait all refer to the same fish.

OK now that that is out of the way. Here are two links that contain pictures of Louisiana cougars.
http://www.thejump.net/multimedia/cougar/LA-cougar.htm

http://www.thejump.net/multimedia/cougar/la-cougar-2.htm

The first is a picture confirmed by the LDWF. It is not the stance of the LDWF that there are not without a doubt any cougars in the state. It is their official stance (which may differ than some in the dept.) that occasionally a male cougar will disperse from where it was born and enter Louisiana.

Without a doubt this is the case with the vast majority of cases up and down the Mississippi River and eastward. Of the many cougars that have been killed in places they don't normally roam now, the vast majority have been males. Males disperse much further and more frequently from their birth place than do females.
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cougar
im not a paranoid person that thinks the government is out to get me, but i do think ldwf is too hush hush about panthers in the state, in 05 when i took my hunters ed class, the subject of panthers came up, the instructor embarrassed the little boy that said something about a panther, made me feel bad for the little guy because he didnt just say they dont exist, he drove the point home to the little boy that their are no panthers, no road kill animals, and no proof they exist in the state.

about two years later, myself and a friend saw what we believed to be a panther at the edge of a large field, the next day i called ldwf and inquired about panthers, because if i dont know the legalities, ill call and ask, (i did the same when i caught a sturgeon in the mississippi river) just to be on the safe side. i was told flat out by lwdf that panthers do not exist in the state of louisiana, i probably saw a dog or a big house cat and it was my eyes playing tricks on me. so i asked the warden, well what happens if i kill one? the warden informed me that panthers are a federally protected and endangered species and that i would be arrested and charged with a federal crime if i shot one. i asked the warden how could i be prosecuted for killing an animal that doesnt exist? at this point the warden got very bent out of shape, and told me to do whatever i wanted and deal with the consequences whatever they may be and promptly hung up on me.

last year we took my neighbor to his hunting safety class, and during a break i was talking with the ldwf biologist they had on hand, we talked about wild pigs and louisiana black bears, he even told the class about a project where they are trapping bears from over populated areas and relocating them where there are no bears, but when i brought up the subject of panthers, he laughed in my face and told me the same thing, they dont exist, that he gets calls atleast once a week to his office but no one can ever bring him proof.

here is the strangest part to me, the picture i posted was taken when i went to get my boat registration from ldwf main office in baton rouge, staring back at me was a mounted cougar with a plaque underneath it that reads 'louisiana cougar november 30, 2008'

its strange to me how you can mount an animal that simply doesnt exist.

say what you want, but i still say the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence. this is another catch 22 situation, you cant bring in a dead animal because its a crime to kill one, but how can you be punished for killing animal that doesnt exist?
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Native
Cougars are native to Louisiana. They were established coast to coast when Europeans first made it to this land. Cougars in the east were annihilated 100 years ago in the eastern half of their range with the exception of South Florida where some still live today.

Emu's on the other hand are not native to Louisiana. So if you see one you can kill it.

Point being that cougars are native to Louisiana so if one comes back or if they have always been here then it illegal to kill it.

The passenger pigeons have been declared extinct. That is the official stance. But that doesn't make it legal to kill one should one somehow still be alive.

So it isn't a contradiction to have laws against the killing of an animal that is no longer thought to still be around.
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thank you
Mr. Guerin, i respect your response, and you personally, however it was never explained that way to me by anyone pertaining to ldwf, i was told simply that in this state they do not exist. i didnt know they were native to the area.

ill be the first to admit, i dont know everything, im only 26, but i think ldwf could better explain the way you did, it makes a lot more sense the way you put it.

i do still believe the cats are out there and people are seeing them, the so called 'black' cats, i dont know so much about.

(on a side note mike, i didnt know i knew you, a year ago or so i sent a picture to your fish website that i couldnt quite identify, turned out to be a green sunfish, it wasnt untill you edited a post i had commented on about asian carp that i made the connection)
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Why?
Why would you go to a hunter education class and intentionally try to pick an argument with the warden? I'm sure you made a fine impression on the young people who are abandoning hunting in notable numbers. Hope you feel good about yourself.

I recall a bear with a tracking collar roaming from Florida to Greenwell Springs Road in Baton Rouge several years ago. If a young bear can wander that far 'lookin for love,' how far do you think a cougar might roam? Seems to me that a cougar could cover a lot more miles per day than a bear could. It seems quite plausible that cougars MAY pass through Louisiana with some degree of regularity though I SERIOUSLY doubt any single person in the state has seen a cougar on ten separate occasions unless they had been keeping company with a 'Wild Turkey.'

Who knows, a few cougars may have even taken up residence here in La. but based on everything I've read and seen, there's no notable and reliable evidence that would support the notion that a breeding population exists in La. Therein, cougars don't 'exist' here as in they don't appear to permanently live, breed, reproduce and call La. home. If you have evidence of a breeding population here in La. perhaps you would be so kind as to share that evidence.

Any cougar that is indeed found or seen in Louisiana is likely to be a 'Florida Panther.' Long ago the feds put the Florida Panther on the endangered species list. That means it is illegal to kill it, harass it, harm it, etc... in the entire U.S. Surely this isn't too complicated for you to comprehend.

Lastly, the last time I checked a game wardens primary responsibility was to enforce laws. I can't think of a single predator, nuisance, etc... that wardens have been been tasked to 'control.' That would be the job of various biologists and specialists. Evidently it's you who doesn't know what you're talking about. Why are you bothering a warden about the job functions of biologists? Can you not tell the difference? Would you likewise ask a welder how to fix the plumbing?
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Black Cat Sighting
Attached isa picture of a black looking cat with a long tail in Vermilion Parish between Abbeville & Kaplan and a picture of a track.Wardens were called to investigate in March 2012.
Also a picture of a confirmed Cougar at night in Vernon Parish last year.
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predators
IN MY 50 YEARS OF HUNTING IN MISS. LA. AND ALA. I HAVE ONLY SEEN ONE PANTHER AND YES IT WAS A REAL PANTHER. I HAVE HEARD A COUPLE HOWLING AND IT IS REAL CHILLING. I DON'T SEE THEM AS A PROBLEM BUT I DO SEE COYOTES AS A REAL PROBLEM NOT BEING ADDRESSED. i'VE SEEM THE POPULATION OF COYOTES EXPLODE IN THE LAST FEW YEARS. THEY HAVE KILLED OFF ALL THE SMALL CRITTERS IN THE WOODS AND I KNOW FOR A FACT THEY KILL AND EAT DEER. WHAT ELSE IS THERE IN THE WOODS FOR THEM TO EAT. IF YOU WANT TO FOCUS ON SOMETHING FOCUS ON COYOTES.
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me too
IN MY 50+ YEARS OF HUNTING ALL OVER THE COUNTRY I HAVE ONLY SEEN ONE COUGER, AND IT WAS IN COLORADO. However i have seen a Black Panther many times, they had one in the Monroe zoo for many years. It was a melanistic phase leopard, aka black panther. This also occurs in jaguars, but not in mountain lions. We used to argue this point 50 years ago when we were kids, and still no one i know has ever seen one in La. They do occur, but very few and they cannot repopulate the state due to lack of food.Deerhunter, how bout u send some of them coydogs my way, i'm trying to figure out how to control an over population of deer and rabbits.I may be forced to join dmap to thin my herd!lol
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black panthers
wish i had a camera instead of a bow 10years ago,saw a black panther on eveing walking slow looking for deer i guess,pass in front of my tree stand,he or she about 7 feet long solid black,about 4 inches of the tip of the tail not so black,very good looking cat
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