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Old 10-01-2016, 10:51 AM
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Default Once again, a new panther thread.

http://www.newschannel5.com/news/loc...nessee-to-stay

I always assumed when these cats recolonized Georgia it would be from the South up with panthers from Florida. It looks like we might get colonized from the North down with cats from out west. What the article linked leaves out is that the DNA evidence was from a female from South Dakota. If, in fact, there is a female in Western Tennessee it will not be long before North West GA starts to get recolonized. There have been a flurry of unconfirmed reports of cats in that part of the state this year already. Two things work in favor of the colonization from north to south. One, western female cougars will disperse further than Florida Panthers will. Two, there are not as many obstacles as there are for the Florida cats, namely the Caloosahatchee and the I-4 corridor to hinder the dispersal. In the past it was thought that the Mississippi river would prove to be an obstacle for eastern expansion, it appears they just crossed up north at some point in time during the winter when the river was frozen and followed the river corridor south. I guess the Mississippi barrier theory was based on Texas cats as opposed to the relatively new Black Hill population of cats that has proven to be a rather wander lustful group. A young Black Hills male was hit by a car a few years ago in Connecticut. And NO, these are normal colored cats and not black.
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Old 10-01-2016, 07:42 PM
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I lived on the Caloosahatchee up until 4 years ago. There are plenty of cats north of the river and probably quite a few in North Florida. The population in South Florida was supplemented with cougars from out west several years ago. I saw one cross US 27 north of Moore Haven back in 2010.
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Old 10-01-2016, 07:47 PM
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Come to think of it, I saw one in Washington County Florida a few years ago but the Game and Fish Commission biologist said I was mistaken. There wasn't any in the panhandle.
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Old 10-02-2016, 12:42 AM
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I lived on the Caloosahatchee up until 4 years ago. There are plenty of cats north of the river and probably quite a few in North Florida. The population in South Florida was supplemented with cougars from out west several years ago. I saw one cross US 27 north of Moore Haven back in 2010.
Yeah, those texas cats helped out a lot. I know of males making it north of the Caloosahatchee, one got killed in West GA a few years back, there hasn't been a female confirmed north of there for a goodly number of years though. All the ones found north have been young males that apparently found a spot on the north bank of the river they could navigate. If it was back in the 90s when you saw the cat up in Washington Co. it could have been a number of Texas cats they were experimenting with in the big bend area, a few of the males explored a goodly bit of GA. with one being captured just south of Columbus GA.
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Old 10-09-2016, 11:19 AM
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Friend of mine Roy McBride was one of the folks that helped catch and release the Texas cats in Florida.
He has a Ranch near Chanidi (spl?) Peak in far West Texas, bet that's where a lot of them came from.
He's also the Hounds man that catches all the cats down here in the Glades for radio collars ect.
We got Hundreds of them , not many deer and no hogs..but lot's of cats.
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Old 10-09-2016, 06:12 PM
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You got a bunch of big snakes down there too!!!
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Old 10-11-2016, 07:10 AM
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Friend of mine Roy McBride was one of the folks that helped catch and release the Texas cats in Florida.
He has a Ranch near Chanidi (spl?) Peak in far West Texas, bet that's where a lot of them came from.
He's also the Hounds man that catches all the cats down here in the Glades for radio collars ect.
We got Hundreds of them , not many deer and no hogs..but lot's of cats.
If they are getting rid of the hogs...bring them on. The hogs are ruining our habitat....
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Old 10-11-2016, 07:41 PM
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Once your Hogs are gone they ain't gonna start climbing trees for squirrels.....
You got a deer Feeder...
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Old 10-12-2016, 06:01 PM
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Actually we have too many deer in areas....you can go into the woods and literally see the browse line in places. From what I have read about how many deer they take a year to the size of their territory, taking of deer would not bother me at all. I see as many dead deer on the road a year on one four mile stretch of Philema Rd. in Dougherty and Lee Co. than the number every study I have read says they take in a year. I see an average of almost one hit every week. We actually have some areas in the State where not so long ago the population was estimated at almost 100 per square mile....that is absurd. The habitat in Southwest Florida is not prime deer habitat, saw grass and piney flatwoods are not the best habitat for deer. I imagine the carrying capacity has never been real high there. Of course I might be wrong...but oak filled river bottoms abound throughout south GA. mixed with agriculture is prime deer habitat. Having hunted deer out west in cougar territory I did not see any problem, actually the deer population is growing. The whitetail population is actually expanding rapidly into western cougar territory and it could cause problems with the elk population due to that brain parasite that whitetails carry. The problem in Florida with deer isn't panthers, it is land practices, development and water management problems.....From what I hear, once again, no first hand experience, the private ranches in panther country have abundant deer on them or at least populations that warrant people paying big dollars for hunting rights. I remember hunting deer in the early and mid 70s and it was a big deal to see a deer track, let alone harvest a deer, and this was in places that are known for quality and numerous deer now.

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Old 10-12-2016, 06:09 PM
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Jay, there`s plenty around here to support a big predator. Heckfire, those tagged cats that came up here out of the Osceola National Forest ate more dillers than anything. It would be a big help just to thin the hogs out some.

I`d love to see it, but then, I`m a Disciple of Leopold. I suspect you are too. I know Ben is as well.
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Old 10-12-2016, 06:22 PM
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Jay, there`s plenty around here to support a big predator. Heckfire, those tagged cats that came up here out of the Osceola National Forest ate more dillers than anything. It would be a big help just to thin the hogs out some.

I`d love to see it, but then, I`m a Disciple of Leopold. I suspect you are too. I know Ben is as well.
I too am a disciple of Leopold as you well know. Every study, from Florida to Colorado has them at the most taking around 23 deer a year in a territory that ranges from 50 to 150 square miles....as you know Philema Rd. takes more deer a year than that within 1/2 mile on either side of the county line. On the subject of the cougar populations that developed around 2000 in N. Dakota, Nebraska and S. Dakota....I was thinking that it might be the wolves pushing them out of their established territory...especially the females which are not known to really disperse far from their natal homes. It was within 10 years of the wolves taking up residence just west of all three of these breeding populations of lions. Studies are showing that wolves will hunt down and kill lion cubs...whereas lions will kill solitary wolves, especially female mountain lions. I just wonder....the time frame makes me think.
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Old 10-12-2016, 08:03 PM
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1.4 deer per square Mile pre Cat...most likely .4 deer now.
Hogs are slap gone. Deer are scared. Radio collars show the deer have become more Daylight orientated because Cats feed at night.
Interesting experiment the NPS Ect..al..have did here.
I think it would not hurt your Georgia herd at all but we've got them basically trapped below the Caloosahatchee river...Hundreds of them.
Like Brim in a Farm pond..
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Old 10-12-2016, 08:40 PM
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1.4 deer per square Mile pre Cat...most likely .4 deer now.
Hogs are slap gone. Deer are scared. Radio collars show the deer have become more Daylight orientated because Cats feed at night.
Interesting experiment the NPS Ect..al..have did here.
I think it would not hurt your Georgia herd at all but we've got them basically trapped below the Caloosahatchee river...Hundreds of them.
Like Brim in a Farm pond..
I actually think it would help our herd. With our milder winters, the ticks seem to be worst than I can remember. White tailed deer evolved with cougars, sadly most haven't been exposed and humans are the ones that drive deer behavior now. You are right, deer would move more during the day, and probably they wouldn't use food plots as much or feeders....which I have a problem with them anyhow....the numbers you used for deer predation is about right, works out to around 23 a year if you are looking at a 50 square mile territory . There are plenty of areas, if not most of the areas, in central and south GA that have populations of deer >23 per mile squared.....I wish a few females would make it above the Caloosahatchee...there are a number of old woodsmen on this board that would love nothing more than to see a panther track in the wet mud. I can remember coming across a panther track on the banks of the Flint years ago...at the time I did not know about the texas cats...sure enough a texas cat followed the flint river according to the tracking studies I have seen....that was a huge thrill to me and when I found out why, I must say, I was a little disappointed. I would happily trade you a hundred deer per pregnant female panther to let loose in my river swamps and long leaf pine woods....We are getting bear more often now, and in south east Worth Co, I believe some have actually taken up residence now, if the verified sightings are to be believed. I think you are lucky for the cats you have...strange one man's curse is another man's blessing. To me, it has always been about the hunt, not the harvest...I only will kill a deer so that I may hunt a deer. And apex predators make my wild spaces just that much wilder.....and to me, once again, that is worth much more than just picking out the deer I want to take home for the freezer or the wall. On a side note, I get very disappointed when I do not see diamond back rattlers every now and then....I miss them, and no, I have never killed one, nor will I even though I like eating them, I just think there are not enough to harvest.
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Old 10-12-2016, 08:56 PM
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I misread your numbers on deer harvest by cats....I would agree with the .4 at least most of the studies I have seen say that. One of the reasons it might be higher is because of the pythons. I remember reading years ago, the number one food for panthers was raccoons...I just read that the pythons have about wiped out the raccoons in the Everglades and other smaller prey that the panthers actually fed a lot on. I imagine the nonpalatable invasive plants and the extremes in water in the region also has an effect on the deer. My understanding was that a few years ago there was too much water in the Everglades and huge numbers of deer drowned because they couldn't find dry land. Even with all the advances in recent years in trying to rehabilitate the everglades you have to admit, southwest Florida wild lands are out of balance, due to many reasons....not panthers. I read the tales of the old Gladesmen from 100 or more years ago, I get the impression that there were not many deer at all.....my understanding is the late 60s and the early to mid 70s were the heyday for deer down there, at least in the old magazines I have (I collect old outdoors magazines from the 30s onward) . That was when Naples was much smaller than it is now....the decline in deer, which I understand were artificially high, due to lack of water in the everglades, is now getting back into balance. There is more water going south now than there was back in the 70s, I remember riding through the everglades in the late 70s and exploring, and it was not anything like it is now or at least the last time I was there about a year ago.
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Old 12-01-2016, 07:22 AM
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UGA is conducting a 5 year study down here in South Florida on these cougars. They started out collaring 100 deer and in the first month or so 38 were killed due to predation. Of the 38 only 2 were confirmed bobcat kills the other 36 were from the cougars. Every time a deer is killed they track it and determine the cause of death then collar another deer. They are estimating to be somewhere in the neighborhood of around 180 cougars south of the Caloosahatchee and claim that a solo cougar needs a deer sized animal a week to survive. Well that explains why we went from having a hog problem to none. There are management areas down here that just a couple of years ago you could drive through and never get out of the truck and see 100 or more deer and 200- 300 hogs. This year 1 hog was taken off said area and the deer numbers are plummeting as well. The harvest reports for the Big Cypress this year are sickening. There are a lot of clubs down here pushing for a cougar season..hopefully it happens.
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Old 12-01-2016, 07:43 AM
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[quote= I read the tales of the old Gladesmen from 100 or more years ago, I get the impression that there were not many deer at all.....my understanding is the late 60s and the early to mid 70s were the heyday for deer down there,[/QUOTE]


In the 70's South Florida had one of the largest deer herds in the nation. The everglades were busting at the seems with deer. During hunting season they would have refrigerated tractor trailers to hang all the deer in and opening week looked like Ft.Lauderdale beach on spring break. Fulltracks would come in with bucks piled high..the most I remember seeing on one buggy from one hunt was 14 bucks. It was nothing to see herds of deer. I remember one day having a herd of over 70 does walk by my stand but those days are long gone. Water Management and the Army corps came and flooded them out and lots of deer drowned or got hoof rot and just laid down and starved. If you're interested you can look up some interesting videos from the airboat club on youtube..search OPERATION DEER SAVE also if you have facebook look up the gladesman cypress page and look through the hay day albums there...
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Old 12-01-2016, 05:22 PM
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Interesting reading
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Old 12-02-2016, 06:36 AM
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Old 12-02-2016, 12:26 PM
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This morning Fox News had an article on their on-line website that might give you another thing to think about in your search for why the deer are gone.
It has a Burmese Python that had been killed in the Glades this week that had the undigested remains of three deer in its gullet.
Two fawns and a small doe. They estimated that these deer had been killed and consumed over a three week time period. (Appears like it must take a while for the python to completely digest a large meal.)
How many of those suckers are there out in the Glades??
They may be the real enemy to the deer herd.
Maybe one of you "techie" Guys can put a link to that article on this site.
Thanks,
Gary
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Old 12-03-2016, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Gary Mercer View Post
This morning Fox News had an article on their on-line website that might give you another thing to think about in your search for why the deer are gone.
It has a Burmese Python that had been killed in the Glades this week that had the undigested remains of three deer in its gullet.
Two fawns and a small doe. They estimated that these deer had been killed and consumed over a three week time period. (Appears like it must take a while for the python to completely digest a large meal.)
How many of those suckers are there out in the Glades??
They may be the real enemy to the deer herd.
Maybe one of you "techie" Guys can put a link to that article on this site.
Thanks,
Gary
I read that same article. Lets hope those Cougars and Pythons don't eventually move northward into Ga some day.
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Old 12-07-2016, 04:01 PM
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I read that same article. Lets hope those Cougars and Pythons don't eventually move northward into Ga some day.
I happen to be one person who wants panthers here.
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Old 12-07-2016, 04:08 PM
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In the 70's South Florida had one of the largest deer herds in the nation. The everglades were busting at the seems with deer. During hunting season they would have refrigerated tractor trailers to hang all the deer in and opening week looked like Ft.Lauderdale beach on spring break. Fulltracks would come in with bucks piled high..the most I remember seeing on one buggy from one hunt was 14 bucks. It was nothing to see herds of deer. I remember one day having a herd of over 70 does walk by my stand but those days are long gone. Water Management and the Army corps came and flooded them out and lots of deer drowned or got hoof rot and just laid down and starved. If you're interested you can look up some interesting videos from the airboat club on youtube..search OPERATION DEER SAVE also if you have facebook look up the gladesman cypress page and look through the hay day albums there...
I have read numerous stories about deer hunting in the glades during that time. My understanding was that the panther population in the late 60s was about what it was now, if not actually a little higher. So logic would tell you it is not the panthers that are suppressing the deer population now. My understanding was that there was no where near the water in the glades that there is now even with all the problems about not enough water now. I would also imagine the invasive plants which are out competing the native plants in a lot of areas would have something to do with the lower deer populations now. Predators alone, if they are native to the area, will seldom suppress the prey population below the ideal carrying capacity of an area. I take a holistic approach to wild spaces...they are not truly wild unless the apex predators are present.
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Old 12-07-2016, 04:17 PM
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I would love to see one in the wild...
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Old 12-07-2016, 04:19 PM
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I watched a full grown Panther with a bunny in it's mouth for about five minutes about 15 years ago just north of Eatonton, across from Rock Eagle during bow season.

Talk about uncomfortable. It was a very big cat.
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Old 12-07-2016, 07:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redneck_billcollector View Post
I have read numerous stories about deer hunting in the glades during that time. My understanding was that the panther population in the late 60s was about what it was now, if not actually a little higher. So logic would tell you it is not the panthers that are suppressing the deer population now. My understanding was that there was no where near the water in the glades that there is now even with all the problems about not enough water now. I would also imagine the invasive plants which are out competing the native plants in a lot of areas would have something to do with the lower deer populations now. Predators alone, if they are native to the area, will seldom suppress the prey population below the ideal carrying capacity of an area. I take a holistic approach to wild spaces...they are not truly wild unless the apex predators are present.
Deer and panthers have co-existed here for at least a couple hundred thousand years. We are the fly in the ointment, not the panthers.
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