Once again, a new panther thread.

Thread starter #61
I saw 5 different ones this week, and one was black with full coat that was prime. That was one purty critter.


100 years ain`t far enough back for me. Early 1700s would be more like it.
Nic, I can loan you a dozen really nice offset jaw canine traps and a choke stick if you want to try to catch that black one. I would like one alive, maybe get Ben to find a place for it at Chehaw.....way back when, we donated a couple of canines to the park when it first got its zoo.
 
#62
Thank you. I am a student of Aldo Leopold and am of a firm belief that all ecosystems are complicated to the extent that it is hard for humans to easily understand them fully. My true passion are the longleaf / wire grass savannas of both the upper and lower coastal plains of the deep South. The interaction of the animals and plants along with the fungi and bacteria are truly astounding. The whole nitrification of the soil along with the interaction of periods of drought, fire and flood just fascinate me with ever single life form having a role to play. It is that way with all ecosystems and our wet soil systems are so important and yet so ignored by everyone. You all have been seeing the effects of mismanagement on a grand scale this year in south Florida. I look at each ecosystem as a complicated tapestry and when you start removing threads randomly and adding threads randomly you are bound to destroy the tapestry and its pattern. Just look no further than our eastern hardwood forests with the removal of the American Chestnut. The crash of deer and all other animals that relied on that one tree to make it through the winter. The fertility of the streams were altered, the whole forest changed in nature with oaks and sweetgums becoming some of the more dominate trees...oaks are good, we all know that, but we all know they are not reliable for mast every year and on bust years we see the effects....chestnuts on the other hand always had bountiful mast crops and they drove the forest cycles. The forests and wetlands of south Florida will never be the same, but we should not just say "oh well" and go on about our business. Predators are always the best indicator of a system, the proverbial canary in the mine, and if you create a healthy ecosystem predators will not have that huge effect on the prey base....at first it always seems that it does, but in reality it does not. When the sportsman is used to an artificially high game base, they naturally do not like predators being reintroduced...but in the long term it helps, just look at the changes in Yellowstone and the natural return of the beaver since the wolves have returned. A true sportsman realizes this. I hunt to be part of the environment, the success of my hunts are never measured by how much game I harvest...it is measured by the whole experience....the birds and animals I see...the flowers....the sounds and yes, it would be so much more if in fact I saw a panther track a bear track or a wolf track...just knowing I am not the only creature looking for prey.
We did not "reintroduce" the coyote in GA. It came here on its own...if you consider it a coyote. As for its impact on deer, I wish they would take more. We have too many deer as it is. As for quail...interesting fact. The Albany Quail Project originally started by Auburn and now under the guidance of Tall Timbers would disagree with you. It is the most extensive study on wild quail ever done....anywhere, with thousands of quail with radio transmitters and hundreds of nest cams, their conclusion is that our "coyotes" have a positive impact on quail populations. Coons and possums are the number one and number two culprits on raiding nests, up to 80% of the nests being destroyed in some areas of the study by those two animals. The study found that the higher the number of "Coyotes" and bobcats the more successful hatches, why you ask, the nominal predation on birds by these two animals were outweighed by their preying upon the coons and possums and with more coyotes and cats, you had more quail. Back to the deer. You must not have been deer hunting very long in GA. When I started deer hunting, there were no coyotes here...but, there were also very few deer. If you saw a doe, which you couldn't shoot by the way, it was the talk of the deer camp, and I am talking about in SOWEGA, which is the best area to hunt deer now. The deer population grew, with these wild canines whose populations grew at the same time, quiet frankly, beyond the carrying capacity. If you ever see a browse line in the woods, there are way too many deer. I have lots of wild canines on the land I own, and I have lots of deer. The problem comes with objects that concentrate deer, feeders, food plots, etc. These concentrate deer predators. I have seen our deer season go from ...not being able to harvest deer in certain counties, and a one buck limit in the others....to now where the limits are more than the majority of hunters can take in a year. At one time or other every state in the union had bounties on cougars...that is not the case any more. I have hunted them....I was not paid to do so, I paid a lot to do so, they are really good eating (many mountain men of old preferred its meat to all others...it is just like veal) . He does it on the show because it is legal and I imagine he likes the meat. As for houndsmen being hired to hunt them, yeah, just as they are in Fla. it is to put collars on them and study them. I know a few houndsmen that make some good money doing it, the guide I hired did that during the off season. Panthers would not be an invasive species here, they were here originally, GA had a bounty on them. They were extirpated, so if they show back up, they are a natural part of our environment. The whole state of GA is considered part of the historic and natural range of the Florida subspecies of Felis concolor. By definition, invasive species is something that did not occur naturally or evolve in a certain local. Panthers were here before we were and they were here until the last century.....on a regular basis, not the rare young male looking for females. Interesting you would say 2 legs in talking about invasive species....all white people would fall in that category, and arguably so would all natives, they did not evolve here.
Don't go interjecting logic up in here. :) I have all the accounts on my bookshelf also from the first white explorers of the southeast. Back when the woods were absolutely full of panthers and wolves, not to mention hungry Indians, they were also slap full of deer, turkeys, elk, bison, and other game. I wonder how that could be? :) I think some folks can't see that the wolves and panthers aren't the problem. We are. Panthers, wolves, "coyotes," and deer have lived together for hundreds of thousands of years. The balance didn't get out of whack until we arrived. If predators are decimating the deer in an area, it is because there is already a major problem of some kind in that area. People generally don't like competition.

*And I agree 100% that our "coyotes" are pretty much identical to the same small variety of wolves that Bartram, Lawson, and many others described being common in the southeast back in the 1700s. *
 
#63
Don't go interjecting logic up in here. :) I have all the accounts on my bookshelf also from the first white explorers of the southeast. Back when the woods were absolutely full of panthers and wolves, not to mention hungry Indians, they were also slap full of deer, turkeys, elk, bison, and other game. I wonder how that could be? :) I think some folks can't see that the wolves and panthers aren't the problem. We are. Panthers, wolves, "coyotes," and deer have lived together for hundreds of thousands of years. The balance didn't get out of whack until we arrived. If predators are decimating the deer in an area, it is because there is already a major problem of some kind in that area. People generally don't like competition.

*And I agree 100% that our "coyotes" are pretty much identical to the same small variety of wolves that Bartram, Lawson, and many others described being common in the southeast back in the 1700s. *
I agree, humans do way more damage. Hunters that take the backstraps and dump the carcass, poachers, and traffic, kill a good percentage of the population. Then you add the natural predators on top of that.
 
#64
You do that, and every little piece of property in SWFLA that is not owned by the state will be subdivided, with the exception of some of the older ranches. Also a decent chunk of the land owned by the state and the feds down there that is not being subdivided is there only for the panthers. The texas cougars are closest genetically with the eastern cougar....which always had a genetic interchange with the Fla. panther. Strange though. I understand that on the ranches in the area there is still a decent deer population. I only see this on another forum I am on with a number of deer hunters who hunt ranches in panther areas. I also see some decent deer harvested on them. But then again, the ranches are on the only decent deer habitat down there and are burned on a regular basis for stimulating grass growth, and this also stimulates forbs and legume growth. The ranches tend to be more xeric in nature which is better for the deer.....


Umbrella Species....
Their presences protects everything from the Snipe to the Possums.Most of all High Dollar Real estate.
As far as Dinner Island...
I've hunted there a fair amount , I got rid of a lot of them Hogs, Me and my Pards.
First year of Small game and hogs , The Browning Auto 5 came out to play....



Bout 2 years later you could' nt buy a hog , same year I had a Panther at 15 ft, Shotgun , Sawgrass.
He thought he was hiding in the hog tunnels..He forgot about his long twitching tail sticking out.
Could have shot him 5 times.
I tried to take a picture instead.
Cats took some of them hogs , but Cubans in 4x4's took a bunch as well...Me too..
 

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Nicodemus

FREELANCE ADMINISTRATOR
#65
Nic, I can loan you a dozen really nice offset jaw canine traps and a choke stick if you want to try to catch that black one. I would like one alive, maybe get Ben to find a place for it at Chehaw.....way back when, we donated a couple of canines to the park when it first got its zoo.


Might take you up on that after deer season and the Frontier Festival. Thanks, Jay.
 
Thread starter #66
Umbrella Species....
Their presences protects everything from the Snipe to the Possums.Most of all High Dollar Real estate.
As far as Dinner Island...
I've hunted there a fair amount , I got rid of a lot of them Hogs, Me and my Pards.
First year of Small game and hogs , The Browning Auto 5 came out to play....



Bout 2 years later you could' nt buy a hog , same year I had a Panther at 15 ft, Shotgun , Sawgrass.
He thought he was hiding in the hog tunnels..He forgot about his long twitching tail sticking out.
Could have shot him 5 times.
I tried to take a picture instead.
Cats took some of them hogs , but Cubans in 4x4's took a bunch as well...Me too..
If y'all want more you are more than welcome to ours. A while back some brain child got the idea of let loose some Russian boars, now a lot of our piglets are stripped like a Eurasian wild boar. Makes for a meaner critter. Up near Macon, just about all of them are that way. How is the deer hunting in Hendry Co. That is where the guide outfit I am looking at hunts, they have lots of pictures of Seminole subspecies whitetails. They say no high fences all native deer. I think they have access to 70 k acres of Ranch land for hunting.
 
#68
There have been panthers/cougars in Georgia all along. I know people who are now in their 80's that confirm it. I knew people that would now be over 110 years old that told me of first hand accounts. I know people who have seen them within the last few years and many who have seen them over my 43 years. I have seen them in Baldwin, Wilkinson, Washington, Jones, and Twiggs counties. I have immediate family and friends who have seen them cross HWY 57 in the Balls Ferry area on more than one occassion. (Laurens/Wilkinson/Johnson counties all converge there.)
There are people in THIS thread who mentioned seeing them in both Putnam and Washington counties in GA. (not just the one mentioned in Washington Co., FL)

All of those sightings were in middle Georgia. I can't personally speak for north or south Georgia, but I've heard reports and would bet they are statewide in underpopulated areas.
I also just remembered them being mentioned in a video at the Okefenokee park in Folkston as living there. That was probably 25 years ago....and my memory could be wrong, but I have never been to the Everglades so it couldn't have been there.

I guess EVERYTHING I just said will be considered bologna since I also have personally seen them in all black and not just the usual tan. Apparently that pigmentation is "impossible" and puts me in the same group as people that see little green men, the loch ness monster and bigfoot. Oh...and the dead cotton mouth just outside of Cades Cove, TN.
Whatever.....I'll believe my own eyes and first hand witnesses like my Grandmother, great-uncle, close family friends, and Nicodemus (above) over the so called experts.

On another topic mentioned in this thread: I remember in the 80's GADNR releasing coyotes in Bartram Forest WMA in Baldwin county. I knew people who worked there at the time and personally saw one. It was small and quite pitiful looking compared to all the coyotes I see regularly these days. I never heard where they "imported" them from, but they were brought in.

Slightly off topic: What about the Emus that were illegally released some years back? I also saw one of those over 30 miles from where they were released. I seriously doubt they were all captured or killed, but also doubt a breeding population survives.
 
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Thread starter #69
There have been panthers/cougars in Georgia all along. I know people who are now in their 80's that confirm it. I knew people that would now be over 110 years old that told me of first hand accounts. I know people who have seen them within the last few years and many who have seen them over my 43 years. I have seen them in Baldwin, Wilkinson, Washington, Jones, and Twiggs counties. I have immediate family and friends who have seen them cross HWY 57 in the Balls Ferry area on more than one occassion. (Laurens/Wilkinson/Johnson counties all converge there.)
There are people in THIS thread who mentioned seeing them in both Putnam and Washington counties in GA. (not just the one mentioned in Washington Co., FL)

All of those sightings were in middle Georgia. I can't personally speak for north or south Georgia, but I've heard reports and would bet they are statewide in underpopulated areas.
I also just remembered them being mentioned in a video at the Okefenokee park in Folkston as living there. That was probably 25 years ago....and my memory could be wrong, but I have never been to the Everglades so it couldn't have been there.

I guess EVERYTHING I just said will be considered bologna since I also have personally seen them in all black and not just the usual tan. Apparently that pigmentation is "impossible" and puts me in the same group as people that see little green men, the loch ness monster and bigfoot. Oh...and the dead cotton mouth just outside of Cades Cove, TN.
Whatever.....I'll believe my own eyes and first hand witnesses like my Grandmother, great-uncle, close family friends, and Nicodemus (above) over the so called experts.

On another topic mentioned in this thread: I remember in the 80's GADNR releasing coyotes in Bartram Forest WMA in Baldwin county. I knew people who worked there at the time and personally saw one. It was small and quite pitiful looking compared to all the coyotes I see regularly these days. I never heard where they "imported" them from, but they were brought in.

Slightly off topic: What about the Emus that were illegally released some years back? I also saw one of those over 30 miles from where they were released. I seriously doubt they were all captured or killed, but also doubt a breeding population survives.
I am confused, are you saying Nic believes there are black panthers in GA? As for the canines in the thread, they were here in the late 70's was no reason for anyone to release them, I was making good money with people paying me to trap them all over GA. In the 70s when they started showing up they were treated as invasive species and they were not protected in any way, no season nor limit, just like it is now. There was even talk for a short while about the state putting a bounty on them and beavers...it never happened though. Some were released in fox pens....but I was being referred out by the DNR in the late 70s to trap them....they were everywhere outside of the mountains.

Back to the cats....thousands have been killed in my life time in the US...not a single black one though, nor is there a single record of a black one EVER being killed, going back to colonial days, but wouldn't it stand to reason that if everyone that sees them all the time and they are black...why would there never have been a single verifiable one photographed, killed or captured in the whole of the western hemisphere? If you in fact saw a black big cat, it was an illegal pet leopard or jaguar which got loose...not a native cougar. We were talking about black canines when Nic said he saw one recently by the way, not panthers.
 
#70
I am confused, are you saying Nic believes there are black panthers in GA? As for the canines in the thread, they were here in the late 70's was no reason for anyone to release them, I was making good money with people paying me to trap them all over GA. In the 70s when they started showing up they were treated as invasive species and they were not protected in any way, no season nor limit, just like it is now. There was even talk for a short while about the state putting a bounty on them and beavers...it never happened though. Some were released in fox pens....but I was being referred out by the DNR in the late 70s to trap them....they were everywhere outside of the mountains.

Back to the cats....thousands have been killed in my life time in the US...not a single black one though, nor is there a single record of a black one EVER being killed, going back to colonial days, but wouldn't it stand to reason that if everyone that sees them all the time and they are black...why would there never have been a single verifiable one photographed, killed or captured in the whole of the western hemisphere? If you in fact saw a black big cat, it was an illegal pet leopard or jaguar which got loose...not a native cougar.
If I read post #57 correctly he saw one. Maybe it was sarcasm?

About the coyotes - I'm not saying the ones that GADNR released at Bartram in the 80's were the first ones here.....just that it was the first I know of them in this area. Heck maybe they had trapped them in other parts of the state and just released them onto the WMA. I know that during the same time they did that with several alligators. For years anytime someone reported a gator in the area it was trapped and released into the "state fish ponds" out there.
Panthers: As far as records from colonial days...how many kept records then? I have absolutely no good explanation for why there are no verifiable photos or carcasses. The only thing I can think of is their limited number and reclusiveness.
The only story I've heard of one being killed: I was told of one that pulled a young man out of his tent in a saw-mill camp and drug him off screaming. The other men grabbed lanterns and guns and gave chase. They first found the man alive and not terribly injured....and then the cat up a nearby tree and shot it. My great uncle was part of the group. This would have been in the 20's or so. I have absolutely no way to confirm his story, but he was not they type that is always telling some wild story. He told this after my grandmother mentioned seeing one walk across the yard.....she was in her 70's at the time and had never seen one before. No, neither of them drank....nor do I.
As for seeing them all the time - I have seen them more than once, but it was in the same general area and usually several years in between sightings. The sightings I reported people seeing on HWY 57 near Balls Ferry were all the normal tan cats and all within the last few years.
I know many people who have hunted and fished all their lives and never seen one and most never will I'm sure. I also know people who are outdoors a lot and have never seen in the wild a bear, bobcat, bald eagle, skunk, a white or hi-ball deer, and even a few who've never seen a fox squirrel. As for fishermen....I know some who have never seen a sturgeon. You'd also be surprised how many people have fished in Georgia all their life and don't know what a bowfin or chain pickerel is. It all depends on where you happen to be fishing or in the woods I guess.
What I saw was not a leopard (the head is shaped noticeably different) or a jaguar which also has a differently shaped head and heavier body. What I saw and what others have described to me had the body but appeared to be about 3/4 the size of a mountain lion. Maybe there is a tiny population and they are a separate species and not just a color variation?
Maybe SOME eyewitnesses are seeing tan panthers in low-light conditions and they looked black?
I hinted at it in my other post, but I have seen several on here before about the range of cotton mouths not extending into North GA and above. I, my father, and my son all saw one dead on the road to Cades Cove outside of Townsend, TN around 2008. It wasn't a copperhead or water snake. I showed pictures of it to a few rangers at Sugarlands and they were shocked and said it was the first they had seen.
Again....I'll trust my own eyes and accounts of people I trust. I wonder how many people don't tell anyone because they get stuck in the bigfoot/alien category?? Perhaps I shouldn't have mentioned the black ones at all as it apparently discredits any other posts I'll ever make on here.
 
Thread starter #71
If I read post #57 correctly he saw one. Maybe it was sarcasm?

About the coyotes - I'm not saying the ones that GADNR released at Bartram in the 80's were the first ones here.....just that it was the first I know of them in this area. Heck maybe they had trapped them in other parts of the state and just released them onto the WMA. I know that during the same time they did that with several alligators. For years anytime someone reported a gator in the area it was trapped and released into the "state fish ponds" out there.
Panthers: As far as records from colonial days...how many kept records then? I have absolutely no good explanation for why there are no verifiable photos or carcasses. The only thing I can think of is their limited number and reclusiveness.
The only story I've heard of one being killed: I was told of one that pulled a young man out of his tent in a saw-mill camp and drug him off screaming. The other men grabbed lanterns and guns and gave chase. They first found the man alive and not terribly injured....and then the cat up a nearby tree and shot it. My great uncle was part of the group. This would have been in the 20's or so. I have absolutely no way to confirm his story, but he was not they type that is always telling some wild story. He told this after my grandmother mentioned seeing one walk across the yard.....she was in her 70's at the time and had never seen one before. No, neither of them drank....nor do I.
As for seeing them all the time - I have seen them more than once, but it was in the same general area and usually several years in between sightings. The sightings I reported people seeing on HWY 57 near Balls Ferry were all the normal tan cats and all within the last few years.
I know many people who have hunted and fished all their lives and never seen one and most never will I'm sure. I also know people who are outdoors a lot and have never seen in the wild a bear, bobcat, bald eagle, skunk, a white or hi-ball deer, and even a few who've never seen a fox squirrel. As for fishermen....I know some who have never seen a sturgeon. You'd also be surprised how many people have fished in Georgia all their life and don't know what a bowfin or chain pickerel is. It all depends on where you happen to be fishing or in the woods I guess.
What I saw was not a leopard (the head is shaped noticeably different) or a jaguar which also has a differently shaped head and heavier body. What I saw and what others have described to me had the body but appeared to be about 3/4 the size of a mountain lion. Maybe there is a tiny population and they are a separate species and not just a color variation?
Maybe SOME eyewitnesses are seeing tan panthers in low-light conditions and they looked black?
I hinted at it in my other post, but I have seen several on here before about the range of cotton mouths not extending into North GA and above. I, my father, and my son all saw one dead on the road to Cades Cove outside of Townsend, TN around 2008. It wasn't a copperhead or water snake. I showed pictures of it to a few rangers at Sugarlands and they were shocked and said it was the first they had seen.
Again....I'll trust my own eyes and accounts of people I trust. I wonder how many people don't tell anyone because they get stuck in the bigfoot/alien category?? Perhaps I shouldn't have mentioned the black ones at all as it apparently discredits any other posts I'll ever make on here.
Read post 61 and then post 65 we were talking about canines. I offered him some traps to try to catch a black one, we both want one alive. As for the records, you would be amazed at the records that were kept on hides collected and sold and the bounties paid out for panthers in the south during colonial times....They were very specific because the Colonial governors were penny pinchers and the hide trade was huge in the southeast. The hides were sent back to England and ships masters also kept track. Any unusual hide from any animal would bring top dollar and would be noted. But with all that being said, there is one record of a melanistic phase jaguar killed in South West Louisiana in the early 19th century....that is all. Jaguars during historic times ranged as far east as extreme west LA. I know Nic's power has been out for the past few days, he lives down here where we had all the tornados and I know he has not had power...hopefully when he gets on he will clear it up for you. I still do not understand why the state would be releasing canines, by the end of the 70s they were encouraging everybody to kill everyone they saw. There was even talk on putting bounties on them. At the time I spoke up on this at the public hearings back then. Now I would be against it.
 
#72
Read post 61 and then post 65 we were talking about canines. I offered him some traps to try to catch a black one, we both want one alive. As for the records, you would be amazed at the records that were kept on hides collected and sold and the bounties paid out for panthers in the south during colonial times....They were very specific because the Colonial governors were penny pinchers and the hide trade was huge in the southeast. The hides were sent back to England and ships masters also kept track. Any unusual hide from any animal would bring top dollar and would be noted. But with all that being said, there is one record of a melanistic phase jaguar killed in South West Louisiana in the early 19th century....that is all. Jaguars during historic times ranged as far east as extreme west LA. I know Nic's power has been out for the past few days, he lives down here where we had all the tornados and I know he has not had power...hopefully when he gets on he will clear it up for you. I still do not understand why the state would be releasing canines, by the end of the 70s they were encouraging everybody to kill everyone they saw. There was even talk on putting bounties on them. At the time I spoke up on this at the public hearings back then. Now I would be against it.
I see that I was wrong about what Nic said after seeing some posts in other threads as well. I hope that power outage is all he's having to go through after the storms. We'll keep everyone down that way in our prayers.

I can't say how many coyotes were released @ Bartram back then or why. I do know that 3 people who worked there at the time told me they were being brought there. My brother was one of them and I spent many hours out there over 2 summers as I was too young to stay home alone while my parents worked. (Have you ever seen banded water snakes eat floating catfish food? They did out there!) All this time we thought the coyotes were brought from out west, but they could have been from other parts of the state or who knows where. I did get to see one of them back then and it was much smaller and skinnier than what we see regularly now. It looked quite sad with a dark brown scraggly coat and not much larger than a fox. The workers said that all the ones they saw looked like that.
I personally didn't start seeing coyotes in numbers until around 1990, but that may be more about the woods I frequented compared to other places. Now they look nearly as big as a German Shepherd and more wolf-like. I guess a good diet of small animals, fawns, and the occasional calf helps. State pastures border my hunting land and Bartrams is across from it. I hear that they lose calves to coyotes from time to time along with some goats.
 
#73
After reading for a bit I thought I would chime in.

1st - There are big cats of all sorts in Florida, Georgia and many other states.
2nd - They contribute to the decline of native species e.g. deer, hogs and other mammals.
3rd - Whether brown, black or a pretty shade of pink it doesn't really matter.
4th - How and when they arrived here doesn't really matter.

The fact is their here to stay and will continue to populate as long as the state government(s) protect the species like the bears in Florida.

The bears are overpopulated and have attributed to the decline of deer and hogs throughout Florida and will continue to do so as long as the state(s) listens and is in bed with PETA and other groups. I've seen the hog and deer populations decline near the Wacissa River in North Florida over the years while the bear population explodes.

Like the cats & bears, the pythons in Southern Florida have decimated the local wildlife including deer & hog populations.

This is the same story with the yotes as well all over Florida and elsewhere.

In addition, to say that someone wants to control the deer population in Georgia is puzzling. After reading threads on GON for the last 2 years it appears the deer numbers are down historically. If deer numbers are up in your area then good for you but that is not the general consensus.

When it's all said and done, unless you live in the areas that have been affected by the cats, bears, and pythons you really can't identify with the people that have and to say you know more than them because of what you read that the state spews out is ludicrous. Like Last Minute, I've lived in central Florida where years ago my dad would go to large cattle ranches and count 100 or more deer in one field at a time. Now those numbers are drastically lower. Not only because of predation but also human predation.

The fact is no one needs large predators as us humans generally control what's here already.

Be careful what you wish for... Florida is an example.
 
Thread starter #74
After reading for a bit I thought I would chime in.

1st - There are big cats of all sorts in Florida, Georgia and many other states.
2nd - They contribute to the decline of native species e.g. deer, hogs and other mammals.
3rd - Whether brown, black or a pretty shade of pink it doesn't really matter.
4th - How and when they arrived here doesn't really matter.

The fact is their here to stay and will continue to populate as long as the state government(s) protect the species like the bears in Florida.

The bears are overpopulated and have attributed to the decline of deer and hogs throughout Florida and will continue to do so as long as the state(s) listens and is in bed with PETA and other groups. I've seen the hog and deer populations decline near the Wacissa River in North Florida over the years while the bear population explodes.

Like the cats & bears, the pythons in Southern Florida have decimated the local wildlife including deer & hog populations.

This is the same story with the yotes as well all over Florida and elsewhere.

In addition, to say that someone wants to control the deer population in Georgia is puzzling. After reading threads on GON for the last 2 years it appears the deer numbers are down historically. If deer numbers are up in your area then good for you but that is not the general consensus.

When it's all said and done, unless you live in the areas that have been affected by the cats, bears, and pythons you really can't identify with the people that have and to say you know more than them because of what you read that the state spews out is ludicrous. Like Last Minute, I've lived in central Florida where years ago my dad would go to large cattle ranches and count 100 or more deer in one field at a time. Now those numbers are drastically lower. Not only because of predation but also human predation.

The fact is no one needs large predators as us humans generally control what's here already.

Be careful what you wish for... Florida is an example.
The deer population in GA is not down "historically" at all. It is coming off an unsustainable high. Deer hunters are complaining because they are not seeing dozens of deer a day and not the number of trophy bucks, which when I started deer hunting in GA before coyotes, and any other predator, you did not see a dozen in a whole season. As for there being large cats of all sorts in GA, the evidence would tend to show otherwise, there would be numerous trail cam photos of cats, and other photos and videos of cats for that matter, if that were the case. But alas, the only photos one sees are ones posted where "my friend took it"...and the same photo is all over the web claiming to be from just about everywhere possible. As for hogs....every single one of them needs to be killed. They do more harm to turkeys, deer, and all other native game than any of the "big" predators you apparently do not like. They out compete deer for mast and just about every other way. Hogs will destroy a ground nesting bird's nest also. They are an invasive species. As for being with PETA...most state agencies here in GA that deal with wild life are very much opposed to PETA and are not trying to further their agenda.
 
#75
The deer population in GA is not down "historically" at all. It is coming off an unsustainable high. Deer hunters are complaining because they are not seeing dozens of deer a day and not the number of trophy bucks, which when I started deer hunting in GA before coyotes, and any other predator, you did not see a dozen in a whole season. As for there being large cats of all sorts in GA, the evidence would tend to show otherwise, there would be numerous trail cam photos of cats, and other photos and videos of cats for that matter, if that were the case. But alas, the only photos one sees are ones posted where "my friend took it"...and the same photo is all over the web claiming to be from just about everywhere possible. As for hogs....every single one of them needs to be killed. They do more harm to turkeys, deer, and all other native game than any of the "big" predators you apparently do not like. They out compete deer for mast and just about every other way. Hogs will destroy a ground nesting bird's nest also. They are an invasive species. As for being with PETA...most state agencies here in GA that deal with wild life are very much opposed to PETA and are not trying to further their agenda.

Again; just going by posts on GON regarding deer numbers. Secondly, my remarks were regarding Florida and everyone's doubt that South Florida has been hit hard by large predators.

If DNR is not a friend of the environmentals then you're all lucky. Florida sure is. I've said in the past, I wish Florida was run half as good as Georgia.
 
#76
If you poured the money to Georgia DNR , They'd be waving the Panther Flag at the Court house in a day.Millions.
And don't forget about all the new Government jobs either.
Yes we are way over populated with Cats, and the Hogs are gone and the deer are way , way down.
When I first started paying attention we were harvesting over 600 deer a year in Big Cypress . Last years harvest was around 75 deer , and ONE Hog.
We're due for a Cat Crash soon. Kitten survival rates are going to plummet until everything balances out.
I enjoy seeing the Cats..it's freakin cool, but when the Cats do make it up ya'lls way your deer are going to get whipped hard.
We call Feeders.Killling Fields, Food plots will get a bunch more interesting..
It will balance out up there as well...bout 2075.
Bill Collector...Hendry County is nothing but High Dollar Leases..7 to 10 K a year. They take good care of their Herd and do have some decent Bucks. I grew up hunting there and use to know it well. Lykes Brothers is the name there.
If you ever are out in the Shipping Lanes pay attention as them 800 foot Freighters slip on by, lot's of them say Lykes on the side.
 
Thread starter #77
Again; just going by posts on GON regarding deer numbers. Secondly, my remarks were regarding Florida and everyone's doubt that South Florida has been hit hard by large predators.

If DNR is not a friend of the environmentals then you're all lucky. Florida sure is. I've said in the past, I wish Florida was run half as good as Georgia.
I just noticed you live in Tallahassee. I spent a good bit of the 70s in Wakulla Co. hunting bobcat with hounds in mainly Franklin Co. There were literally millions of acres from Perry Fla. to Panama City open to hunting for the public back then...Buckeye and St Joe land (5 dollars a year for a pass for each of those companies). We hunted with hounds there year round, you could do that for cats. We never once ran a panther...ran lots of bears but never a panther. My grand daddy, who was a life long houndsman moved there in the late 50s but hunted that region since the 30s. He said in all his years of cat hunting with hounds he only struck one panther and that was in the 40s during a field trial down around Orlando. Wakulla County was the least populated county in Fla. in the 70s and the area from Port St Joe on the coast over to Perry is still one of the least populated areas in Fla. Wakulla Co., at least the northern part, is now largely a suburb of Tallahassee. I trapped bobcats and fox in that area too until they outlawed leg hold traps in Fla. in the mid-late 70s, much to my grand daddy's displeasure (me trapping, like I said he was a life long houndsman). I never once saw any panther sign. I have seen panther sign in South West Fla. but not in N. Fla. In the 70s, if there was anywhere in Fla outside of SW Fla. that had a cat population, it would have been from Perry to Apalachicola. Out of over 10 years of me hunting cats in that area regularly, year round with hounds, I never saw hide nor hair of a panther...nor any panther sign. Must have run a hundred bears in that time...but no big cats. Even living in sowega I was still hunting Buckeye and St Joe land with hounds at least once a week.
 
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Thread starter #78
If you poured the money to Georgia DNR , They'd be waving the Panther Flag at the Court house in a day.Millions.
And don't forget about all the new Government jobs either.
Yes we are way over populated with Cats, and the Hogs are gone and the deer are way , way down.
When I first started paying attention we were harvesting over 600 deer a year in Big Cypress . Last years harvest was around 75 deer , and ONE Hog.
We're due for a Cat Crash soon. Kitten survival rates are going to plummet until everything balances out.
I enjoy seeing the Cats..it's freakin cool, but when the Cats do make it up ya'lls way your deer are going to get whipped hard.
We call Feeders.Killling Fields, Food plots will get a bunch more interesting..
It will balance out up there as well...bout 2075.
Bill Collector...Hendry County is nothing but High Dollar Leases..7 to 10 K a year. They take good care of their Herd and do have some decent Bucks. I grew up hunting there and use to know it well. Lykes Brothers is the name there.
If you ever are out in the Shipping Lanes pay attention as them 800 foot Freighters slip on by, lot's of them say Lykes on the side.
It has now been confirmed, the female panther north of the Caloosahatchee has had at least two kittens or cubs...or whatever you want to call them. They have them on a trail cam.
 
Thread starter #79
http://myfwc.com/hunting/by-species/deer/project/ An interesting study which is on going with regards to the deer population and predation in the heart of florida panther country. The level of predation does not seem as high as I would have thought. Plus it seems after the panther, bobcats are the number two predator with bears and alligators lagging behind cats. Since 2015 they keep around 100 plus deer collared with gps systems and study the mortality and its causes of the deer and publish the results each quarter. The UGA is helping with this study. They also have been running 180 trail cams and at present have over 30k images of deer in the two years of the study.
 
#80
I've seen the collared does and I think most of them got wiped out pretty quick. Harvest Data on Deer and Hog kills by hunters ahs pretty much reached rock bottom.600 Bucks and 2 to 300 hogs per year when I first started paying attention. Last years data , 93 Bucks and Zero hogs.
We only started with 1.2 deer per square mile before Cats ..
My local deer hunting is about gone.
Taylor County Fla. has 3 things..way more deer , Dry ground , and my Camp.
NPS , USFW ,and Eco groups have won. We're the Crash Test Dummy's on Panther reintroduction.
 
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