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Panther Proof?

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I was recently doing a search of the Red Dirt Wildlife Management Preserve in Natchitoches Parish, and was scrolling through some photos posted by a woman from Missouri who vacationed there in 2003. I was kind of shocked when I saw one of her photos, because I knew exactly what it was. I'm posting her photo, and what's funny is that she had no idea that cougars aren't supposed to exist here. She was just posting her vacation pictures for her family and friends to see.

The original source page is: http://www.msu.edu/~spauldi1/pages/kisatchie.html
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Cougar
It's funny that you posted this. I was nearly laughed out of the DWLF a few years back when I saw ,AT EARLY light chasing a doe thru Black Bayou NWR in Monroe, What I thought was a panther/cougar!! Until now I too was doubting what I saw! Thanks for the posting. I need to trust my EYEs more!!
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dog
Nice pic of a dog track there. Cougar tracks have a dimple on the front of the heel pad and the toes are not as symetrical as in the photo, and usually point in slightly different directions. Dog toes all point forward. And since there are so many dogs running around Red Dirt, doesn't surprise me at all.
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Cat according to this site...
http://floridaorienteering.org/nature/panther.htm
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Dog?
Cats have retractable claws. Dogs do not!! The picture here does not show any claws.
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might be real
i never believed the stories until i seen one at about 100yds. in avoyelles parish. i asked the wildlife biologist for the fed. office near my house and they said that it is not really a cougar or panther but in hte same family called a "jagarand" not sure on the spelling, and that mostly they are black but may also be a light tan color. i have only seen one in my life. now about the track, i have seen some pretty big bob-cats expecially in the last 10 yrs. but you never know
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panther
my uncle has filmed a panther twice at our deer camp...and a friend of mine shot a deer here in the baton rouge area..and he watched a panther drag it off before he could get to it..and another uncle has seen a panther while deer hunting here in the BR area
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No Dog
Guys that's no dog. It's too deep to not show ONE SINGLE CLAW MARK. As was said before, cats have retractable claws. And that's one hell of a track in size for any dog. The last two panthers confirmed were shot in Keithville in the late '60s, just up the road from here.
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Cat
The top pic is a cat with no doubt but the second 2 appear to be yote tracks. I'm willing to bet its a MUFF Cat!!! Anybody knows what that is?
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Big Cat
I was bowhunting one afternoon in the Atchafalaya Basin several years ago near Bayou Benoit. The sun was going down behind me, but it wasn't quite dark yet. It had been quiet all afternoon then all of a sudden, I heard what sounded like something running in circles and making strange, raspy, hissing and just really weird noises just out of sight in the brush out ahead of me. Naturally, I started getting excited, you know the feeling, your heart starts thumping and you breathe a little faster, shake a little, etc. I nocked an arrow and watched, and a few seconds later I saw a long, tan/golden colored body, it looked alot like a deer, about 75 yards directly ahead, but it was level with me, and I was at least about 12 feet off the ground in my climbing stand. It stayed about a second or two then jumped or ran down to the ground out of sight. I was totally confused. Deer don't climb trees and there certainly wasn't a hill there. There was an old dead cypress tree that had fallen over and was leaning against another one in that exact spot. It started making sense. I remembered I'd been fishing around there a few weeks earlier and heard what sounded like a high pitched scream way off somewhere in the swamp. I guess I figured it was just some coonass at his camp probably getting drunk hoopin' and hollerin', but now I wasn't so sure. I started putting 2 and 2 together. The noises, the color, size, up an old dead tree leaning over, all spelled out BIG CAT! Even though I didn't see it clearly, and it was only 1 or 2 seconds, I'm convinced that's what it was. Maybe even more than one. Then it dawned on me that I had to walk right through there to get back to my boat, and I was WAYYY back in the swamp, and it was getting dark fast. The hair stood up on the back of my neck. I packed up, shut it down, and hauled my butt outta there quick, fast, and in a hurry before it got dark!
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Here Doggy
If you want to learn how to identify cougar tracks than I suggest you visit this site. the pictures posted do not pass the "X Test".

http://www.cougarsanctuary.org/tracks.html
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saddaddykiller
I think it was 2002 there is a confirmed cougar in Louisiana. Confirmed by DNA analysis after it was seen by two people and scat found.

saddaddykiller do you have access to the video??? Is it possible to get a copy made? I would love to put this video online.

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Sighting
We had a DNR Biologist along with Feds from Sabine NWR spot a cougar in Johnson's Bayou. They were in a helicopter and saw one walking on a hog path. No picures were taken but I believe them.
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http://www.easterncougar.org/tracks.gif
Looks pretty convincing to me. Compare the tracks from this link and decide for yourself.
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more attention
a few of you need to pay more attention to the words under each picture.

1. first pic is the one the lady on vacation took.

2. second pic is a Florida Panther track

3. third pic is a coyote/dog track.
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Hephalump!
Haven't looked at the site but that picture is at a bad angle with way too much shadow to tell for sure.

What stands out the most is the small pad, but again bad angle.
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GameBio
It looks like the top pic CLEARLY passes the "X Test"
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panther
im pretty sure,the last panther confirmed in the state was at lake fausse point, a panther was spotted by a biologist near the campground at close range. they went back and foung the cats scat. it was confirmed panther scat and said to have rabbit hair and domestic dog hair in it. google it you can find the reports
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Panther sighting
About 10 years ago I was deer hunting with my Dad down towards the Larto Lake area. We were running dogs and had met up to regroup and make another run. We saw a big cat running across the field. It was a yellowish looking cat with a long tail that almost touched the ground and then came back up in the air. We took the dogs and put them on the tracks but they wouldnt touch it. They actually whinned and hide under the truck, LOL. They wanted no part in that thing. Also, in the same area (about a mile apart) I had a cousin that had a sow and shoats in a wooden pen. Something got in the pen and killed a shoat and carried it out of the pen. There were claw marks in the wood!
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Sign
If you're in an area that doesn't have bears, then you can find sign. Tracks are easy, but they also dig their claws into fallen over trees. I've spoken to extremely credible people that have seen them (group sightings) AND found their tracks in Bienville, Bossier, Caldwell, and Tensas Parishes all within the last year. A guy saw a pregnant one (milk sacs swinging as it ran) in Caldwell, and his buddy snared 2 in two days in Ouatchita Parish while coyote trapping (I can't confirm that, but I believe him). But the most credible sighting I've ever heard occured 10 years ago in Washington Parish. I good friend of mine, his Dad, and his Dad's friend were camped out on an old sandy gravel pitt with a large pond on it. That afternoon, they were sitting there and watched 2 cougars come out of a beaver swamp, cross the road, and walk in the sand along the edge across the pond at only 75 yards away; they watched them for about 2 minutes, and the cougars never saw them. Now this was 3 people who all saw the same thing: Tan cats with long tails that were about 7 feet in total length, with tracks 4 inches wide.
WLF always says, "Where's the body?" We'll never see a body unless one gets run over, but I promise you they get shot more frequently then you think and we just never hear about it due to the strict fines and jail time. And the reason that the top pic has a smaller heal pad is b/c that could be the rear track, which DOES have a smaller pad than the front track (middle pic)
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Panther Tracks
Listen to what these guys are saying about Cougar sightings/sign in Louisiana.Two years ago,while camping on Bodcau WMA in one of the primitive campsite,I am absolutely sure a Panther approached our camp in the early hours before daylight.Do not try and preach how LDWF tries to convince all that these animals arent in the state,because i didnt believe it either until i had this encounter.First off,no i did not see the animal.I had slept in the back of my truck bed that night,and was awakened by a low throaty growling in the thick area behind the camp area.I lay there and listened for nearly 45 minutes.My stepdad,who was closer to the edge of the woods in a tent was also woken up.He told me the next morning that while this thing paced back and forth from one side of the campsite to the other he quietly had his 45. in his hand and was prepared to fire shots if it came closer.My Mom was shaken up so bad the next morning she refused to sleep in the tent the rest of the week we stayed.We did not find any tracks in the thick area we heard it in the next day,but it only came close that one night.This was not a Bobcat{unless he weighed 200 pounds and had laryngitis}or a hog.Lots of local people said they werent surprised and i wasnt the first to mention such an encounter.I dont know what more proof their is short of someone getting gutted in the woods one season.I know trailcams have picked them up as well.Funny how the LDWF biologist looked puzzled when i reported it to him upon his drive thru of the campsite.The bad thing is when these cats get you,you may never even have time to reach for a gun,as there very quiet,calculated and can stalk you unseen.Not trying to scare anyone,but be aware there are animals you may not be aware of in Louisiana that are dangerous.And yes,i will shoot and ask questions later if i encounter one.
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Wow
Wouldn't it suck to cross paths with one on the way to the stand in the dark.
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I Wonder?
Wonder what would happen if a cougar sighting was confirmed and the animal rights army found out we were hunting in the same area?????????
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Cat?
I live on 18 acres in Bayou Blue. Last Fall I found a dead goat at the back of my property. The neck was eaten all the way to the bone, and all of the intrails were gone. There is no one who lives near me that has goats. I still don't know where it came from. About 3 days later I was coming in from work at 4am and saw eyes across my pond as my headlights past. The eyes were about 1 1/2' off of the ground. I could not tell what it was. Whatever it was didn't hang around long enough for me to get a good look at it. We have been hearing alot of screaching at night around the property. Again I can't tell what it is. It kinda makes you wonder.
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CC is right
every one needs to remember that there aren't any cougars or panthers out here, just big "BOBCATS", and remember we can take one a year. so if ya see a big BOBCAT. Shred'em
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Black Panther
A black panther was seen about 14 years ago in the northern area of Tangipahoa parish, by more than one person.

I also have been victim to walking in the woods early morning and hearing something BIG that was closing in on me--was a cow. Yep I can LMAO now, but it wasn't funny the moments prior to realizing it was a cow.
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365
365 is on the correct "trail". Some of our guys saw 1 in Caldwell Parish 2 or 3 years ago in the Castor Swamp.
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It is true
I have hunted on and around red dirt for 16 years and not only have seen a cougar but have also been tracked by one on the way to my stand and once in my stand it growled and I will never forget that sound for as long as I live. needless to say my flashlight stayed on until the sun came up and when I got down with pistol in hand I saw it's tracks in my tracks on the way into the stand. They are there but mostly stay away from humans.
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panthers
I have no doubt there are a handful of panthers in the state. However I believe so many don't believe the stories because of some of the stories. For instance, there IS NO SUCH THING AS A BLACK PANTHER. The big cats that exist in a black color phase are the jaguars and the leopards, not panthers.

So people are telling others they saw something that doesn't exist anywhere in the world and thats why people that actually do have sightings aren't believed when they report a true sighting.
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True Henry
There are black Jaguarundis that live in Mexico and extreme South Texas, but they rarely get over 20 lbs. They once had a historic range in Louisiana, but I agree: Panthers/Cougars/Mountain Lions/Pumas are all one species--a LIGHT BROWN cat the color of a deer with a long tail.
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Henry Wiggins
You are right about the fact of there being no such thing as a Black Panther. But there are large cats ( jaguars & pumas as you stated ) that have black coats that fall under a common used term Black Panther. Though it is not a panther when the someone says Black Panther everyone can visualize what he/she is talking about.
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cat
i agree that there are probably cats that are black that people see and call them panther, but i disagree that there can not be such thing as a black panther.the black trait is due to melanistic, a high concentration of melanin. the opposite would be albino a lack of melanin. It is an extremely rare case but i think it is possible
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Florida Panther Society
According to the Florida Panther Society there has been no evidence of a Florida Panther ever being spotted that was black. They also state that the existing Species of Panthers is less than 100. This includes the southern states (Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, & Georgia). But according to all of the posting of Panther spotings I would have to say that there number is pretty much off. So if this is the case I believe that not every animal in the woods has been seen by humans. There could be a possibility of a panther being black that has never been seen. Who Knows??????
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florida panther
bird hunter, not sure if you know,but the florida panther is not the same thing as a regular panther/cougar. it is considered a subspecies, and is very rare, less than 100. Normal panther numbers are much higher than that in the u.s especially in mountainous regions.
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Panthers and Wolves in Sherburne!!
Back in 1985 me and my brother worked/lived near Krotz springs, sometimes after work we would ride the gravel roads in Sherburne just looking for deer.One evening while driving down the northern rd.that goes back by the R/R tracks we rounded a bend and saw what at a distance looked like a doe standing broadside looking at us but when it took a step we both realized what it was,WOLF!, it ran into the woods as we accelerated towards it,we stoped where he entered the woods and scanned the area hopeing to see him again,after about 1 minute we both spotted him in the ferns,he had crossed the bar pit turned 180deg.facing us at about 35 yards,as soon as we made eye contact with him he knew it and was gone in a flash!...I will never forget how his eyes looked right through me!...I have killed several coyotes and know what they look like!,this thing was the size of my 2yr.old german shepard!!
Around 1994 me and a co-worker was driving north on the levee road in Sherburne just south of the lower camp ground when I rounded a curve and saw what I thought was a deer deer standing on top the levee but then it started turning circles and hopping like no deer could ever do!, IT WAS A PANTHER CHASING A ARMADILLO!!he was so focused on catching the armadillo he didn't notice my truck until I got within 150 yrds.he ran down the levee crossing about 40 yrds in front of me,ran along the side of the road 20-30 yrds. right in front of my truck then jumped into the woods... this was during the summer,week day around noon,he was deer colored and 7 feet head to tail! 120LBS EASY!!!
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Sightings
I know of some confirmed sightings in Pearl River and in Pine,La.Someone in Pine caught one on his trail cam.I will see if I can contact him.
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BIRD DOG
Please post a picture if you can,there was a trail cam picture of a panther in the woodville paper last year but you could barely tell what it was.
All my life I've heard people saying they've seen "BLACK PANTHERS" or know someone that has....I call BS on this!!,there's no "Native" spicies of large Black Cat,Puma,Couger,mountain lion,Florida Panther,Eastern Panther,etc... in the US!, the only exception would be a melanistic cat and that would be 1 in a million!,so I guess everyone must have seen the same BLACK PANTHER?.BS!!
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!!!!
must be the same 2 I seen them in Woodville about 10 years ago.Unless it was 2 very big a$$ house cats!
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big cat
I have trail cam pics of a big cat weighing in at atleast 150lb range. They were taken at a deer camp off of hwy 16. This cat is black in color, and will have pics posted soon.
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Florida Panther
I use to hunt in a club in St. Helena parish about 10 years ago. I'm not sure if i believe him or not, but there was a guy who came back to the camp one evening screaming like a little girl swearing he just saw a panther. we all figured he got bored on the stand and started drinking too early. I had forgot about it until reading this post. i did a little research and found out that the "Florida panther" is native to Louisiana, although currently, the only known range is a small portion of south Florida. A report was done in the early 80's on the Florida panther, here's the site: http://myfwc.com/panther/pdfs/recovery_plan.pdf

There is a confirmed sighting of a cougar in Louisiana, which could be easily confused witha panther if the person doesnt know the difference. Here's the site; http://www.easterncougarnet.org/southeast.html

Hope this helps.
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Panther
Most of the cats seen are cougars. They're all the same--cougars, mountain lions, panthers, pumas, etc. There is a black cat that was once native to Louisiana called the jaguarundi, but it only weighed 20 lbs max. Anyways, what they are is most likely cougars. THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS A 100 POUND BLACK CAT NATIVE TO AMERICA. All that say they saw a 100 lb black cat are doing an injustice to the credible cougar sightings across the state--they're the color of a deer...
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.
Clarification:
The Florida Panther is a cougar. The term Florida Panther is what people call the subspecies of cougar that once roamed all across the Southeastern United States.

Big black cats have escaped and been illegally released into the wild in the past and will probably again in the future. So seeing an Black African Leopard is not out of the question.
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OK OK
So according to this, there was ONE confirmed sighting in Lake Fausse Pointe State Park in 2002 where scat was found which DNA analysis confirmed contained couger DNA. There could be many reasons why this cat was there, I will not go there right now. I still say, since there has been no further confirmed sightings, this cat is no longer alive. Of all the sightings claimed, this is the ONLY ONE that I might believe as true. I think it was a pet that someone tried to take from the wild in another part of the country and let go when they realized it was not a cuddly little kitty anymore. With no other proof, I have to say that aside from exotic pets that have been set free, the biggest cat we have in Louisiana (especially south Louisiana) is a bobcat. I know Mike will disagree with me but that is OK. We have had this discussion before and kind of agree to disagree. LOL.
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Mike
Florida Panthers still roam all across the SE,US.,only they're not Black!
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.
I never said they were black! And if there are panthers here I really don't care HOW they got here (pets, always here, migrants) because a cougar is a cougar is a cougar. Whether it is a florida panther or one of south american decent or a western cougar can only be found out by dna analysis so which strain is kind of irrelevant. Quite a few scientist don't think they florida panther is distinct enough to even deserve to be classified as its own subspecies!!!

Confirmed cougars are showing up in increasing numbers all along the west side of the Mississippi River. They are expanding eastward and I hope they get here soon in numbers high enough for me to finally see one or get a trail cam pic! How awesome would that be.
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Update
I updated the photos. The old cougar track was that of the rear foot, which is different than that of the front. This new one from California is a front track--identical.
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Back
Had to bring it back...
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Heres a thought
How bout we all hunt with tranqulizer guns until we get one of these bad boys. NOT im not sayin they're real but hey.. it could happen.
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Falseriverraised
Please post the pictures of this Black Cat. There's a lot of people on here that are simply reading to much. If they spent as much time in the woods as they do on the internet reading they might as well see one of these cats.
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365
365, You can write it in caps, and put it in bold letters if you want. There are 100lb black cats in this area. I saw not one but 2 of them in Lesley MS. about 10 years ago. After telling my story on the other by cat post on this sight, I was emailed from a guy that hunted about 1/2 mile from were I saw them and said they saw them on there lease also around that same time frame. Once again you can quote Scientist and Biologist until your blue in the face. There are to many people saying that they have seen them. Do you actually think all these people are making up these stories. I dam sure aint't. As far as all you guys saying that when someone proves it to them they will then believe. Speaking for myself and everybody else here that has seen one, we don't have to prove a thing to any of you. We know what we saw and are totally comfortable with it.
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Get out of the truck!
Living in the hunter's paradise its not hard to believe in Bigfoot! I have hunted all my life and live in lower Ouachita Parish where we have an abundance of critters in our area. I have seen black panthers, cougars, and yes even wolves and otters in years past. Even a Python of 15ft in the wild. Coyotes and bob cats are all too common! It is easy to dismiss claims from a urban stand-point but you need to get out more! Oh yes we have bears as close as the mail box, but I have not ever seen one of them. Should I have? I have seen several strange large cat breeds that was not just a one time sighting and they hunted in pairs. They are here and I can only hope they curve the wild hog problem! Over the week-in I visited a hunting buddy 50 miles north. He was showing me his nice eight pointer. He said after those two large black cats with the extra long tails cam threw he had no choice but to look the other way. It paid off! I hope looking the other way works for the rest of you too! As for me, I have no choice!
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Re: Panther Proof?
It was November of 1995 the weekend after Thanksgiving.
Most hunted Russell Sage Wildlife Refuge the start not for past Crew Lake on Highway 80 and parts over to Highway 15 in Richland Parish on into the Monroe area putter city limits. I hunted on farm owned private land in Morehouse Parish on the banks of Big Lake Lafourche below the Dam. The land butted up to George Franklin Hunting Club and when a little ways above the Dam it owned then by Sidney Eppinet that owned the Start In&Out on 34 between I20 and hwy 80. The farm land was soy beans a Whitetail deer's favorite crop. It's was still dark Friday Nov 28 1995 when I arrived and got of my truck parked on the side of the dirt road it had rained that night so I was not driving down the turnrow of the bean field. I had a headlight on my hunters cap and my Remington 742 Woodmaster 30-6
My stand was right on the lake bank so I could see some of the field and both ways on the lake. Walk to where I cut through the woods to my stand about maybe 100 yards from my truck when I looked down the row in between the soybeans that were left my light hit a large black cat with yellow eyes not 30 feet from me laying there watch me. I froze keeping my light in it's eyes wasting the raffle off my shoulder holding it point the cat's direction about waste level .I didn't want to move enough to raise it to my shoulder. I accidentally moved the light for 1 or 2 seconds and heard the bean sticks shuffling I fired twice not aiming hoping it scared the cat enough to go the other way not toward me. I will not say it was a Black Panther is no Bobcat or Cougar .It's head was wider and muscled them either jaws more pronounced shorter ears wider chest the back half i could not see with the cat laying facing me. It could have been an escaped Black Jag. That's the only cat that I know looks like that one I saw no more than 30 feet away. Leopards have smaller head build, so if not a legendary Black Panther then it had to be a Black Jag,my female or it would have been a little bigger not by much though and males can be more aggressive toward people getting that close. Someone's exotic pet or attraction turned loose or escaped. It was more sighting of the same cat by hunters on the hunting club and the one who farmed the land. It was tracts found the Morehouse Parish Game Officers but not proof on the type of Big cat it was from the tracks. Much different from dog or Black bear tracks because of the retractable claws of a Black Jag. Not like house cats but Jags can pull their claws in enough where there do not show on the paw prints left in soft dirt. Bear and dogs claws show on their tracks. Cougars do not have retractable claws so yes I strongly believe from the cat I saw and the tracts it was a Black Jag female. No ever reported one missing so a dump off maybe got to big for a safe pet like most think when they see cubs not thinking about the fact it grows up . In a year already not a pet two years fully grown and knows it's not a tame pet .
That is my thoughts on the Morehouse Parish Black Panther saw it with my own eyes .
Also even a wild Jag would not lay 30 feet from a human looking at them unless it was waiting for me to walk past and attract from behind like Jags are known to do at night hunts. I am small so much easier meal then a Whitetail dear or wild hog.
Thank You and let me know your opinions all opinions
Welcome .please if you do not know the area you can Google it or type in Big Lake Lafourche Spillway or Dam it will come up either way where big like Lafourche spills into the start of Little like Lafourche when the water rises above flood level. George Franklin Hunting Club should show up on Google also. The black top turned off of onto the first dirt road to there begins off hwy 80 in Start Louisiana goes past the School it changes names once you cross little Lafourche bridge both of then it's a survey road and lake so it two bridges in less then a half mile same lake. If you cross big Lafourche you missed the dirt road turn of by two mile or a little more plus the road runs into another bearing to the right and keeps going you will not realize to on a different highway if not paying attention. That road will take you to Bastrop Louisiana and Collanston. Go far enough Arkansaw I think.
That should be enough for anyone to locate the area where I was when I saw the big cat. Oh follow the first dirt road to the end it comes out on Old Bastrop highway I think a right would point you toward Sink Creek . It's named well. It sinks and not much lives in it .The old papermill runoff ruined the creek and gave it that named. It's stories of 19 foot Aligators in Sink Creek but I have never seen a gator in that creek at all only a few mud turtles and nuetra rats.
That should do it look up the area on the map check out the other Morehouse Parish sighting and tell me what you think I saw that morning before dawn.
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Re: Panther Proof?
If there were as many cougars around here as everyone claims to have seen....there would be one behind every tree! Everyone and his momma has seen a cougar. From northwest LA to southeast LA, people claim to have seen at least 1. Funny how everyone has seen 1 but nobody has a picture of one. I would tend to believe that at least 80% of the hunting population has at least 1 trail camera and yet, still not a single picture can be produced....aside from the same old 4-5 pics that have been making the rounds in the last 15 years.
There may be 1 or 2 on occasion, but there is no way there are as many as people claim to have seen.
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