2011
12.18

Cougars in the Hole

Today was a sad day for the Green Bay Packers blowing their winning record, and to the Chiefs?! Really?!?!?! It was sad. After the game it was time to find some wildlife because I will be working for the next three weeks straight to take advantage of the christmas rush. There was not much going on in the elk refuge so I headed to antelope flats looking for the gigantic deer again. I found them but then heard of something much more interesting. Cougars. Or rather their tracks in the snow along Gros Ventre Road along the river. I headed out to find them and saw one of my photographer buddies already scoping them out. At first we were not all certain that it was a big cat but then I pointed out that the animal used the EXACT same track for the rear paw as the front. It was amazing how precise it was. This is knows as shadow stepping and no other similarly sized animals in the park shadow steps. It could be none other than a cougar. Possibly a big male from the size of the track. It was an exciting find and hopefully one of us gets video or photographs of the cougar.

A new show has come out by National Geographic. It is called American Cougar and it was filmed right here in Jackson Hole or more specifically the Gros Ventre Wilderness. I went to the primer of American Cougar last week where the filmmakers and scientists answered questions and talked about cougar research and conservation. American Cougar is playing now on the National Geographic Channel and I highly suggest you see it. It is a very mysterious animal not likely to be seen or heard unless it wants to. This makes it very difficult to evaluate the health of the population which means studying it is vital to its survival.

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