Finding Mountain Lions | High Sierra Topix  

Finding Mountain Lions

A place to explore the natural setting (geology, flora & fauna), people, constructed infrastructure and historical events that play and have played a part in shaping the Sierra Nevada as we know it today.
User avatar

Finding Mountain Lions

Postby InsaneBoost » Tue Oct 06, 2015 6:46 pm

Are there any areas to actually find Mountain Lions? Obviously they're cats so it's probably more a matter of luck or them finding you, but are there areas where there are higher chances of seeing them? I believe someone was going to do photography in the Lee Vining area and was worried about them?

Are they more around the Eastern Sierras?

Not necessarily want to go hiking out just to find them, but definitely would like to photograph them (yes I have pro gear, I'm not shooting with a point and shoot). Trying to find some areas I might have a better chance of seeing them vs. others.

Thanks



User avatar
InsaneBoost
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 222
Joined: Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:49 pm
Location: Fresno
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Finding Mountain Lions

Postby rlown » Tue Oct 06, 2015 7:11 pm

like any animal, they live where their food exists. In this case, near rodents and deer (cats and dogs), and generally at a lower elevation than you think.

http://mountainlion.org/FAQfrequentlyaskedquestions.asp

I'd suggest taking pics of marmots and pika. they are much more friendly. :)
User avatar
rlown
Topix Junkie
 
Posts: 5328
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 5:00 pm
Location: Petaluma and Wilton, CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Finding Mountain Lions

Postby RoguePhotonic » Tue Oct 06, 2015 7:48 pm

I've never seen them despite looking hard in locations I knew they lived. I have had an older guy tell me that he has been doing stuff in the outdoors for 60 years and he has only seen a mountain lion once. He told me if you see one enjoy that moment because you may never see one again for the rest of your life.

Generally in the high Sierra region the only location I have consistently heard people mention seeing them is around Florence and Edison. Up Bear Ridge and around the Hooper Lake area.
User avatar
RoguePhotonic
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1665
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:52 am
Location: Bakersfield CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Finding Mountain Lions

Postby Shawn » Tue Oct 06, 2015 9:53 pm

I've seen Mountain Lion tracks (in the snow) above Mineral King - but never the cat itself.
User avatar
Shawn
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 795
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2005 9:56 pm
Location: Paso Robles, Ca
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Finding Mountain Lions

Postby robow8 » Tue Oct 06, 2015 10:10 pm

I was at Hamilton Lake in August, and a guy came in later in the evening. Said he was at Tamarack Lake, planning to spend the night there. Was getting some water, and got up after he was done and there was a mountain lion behind him. Not sure how close. Freaked him out, so he hiked to Hamilton.
User avatar
robow8
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 134
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2013 5:17 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Finding Mountain Lions

Postby AlmostThere » Wed Oct 07, 2015 7:58 am

A lady over on Backpacking Light forum has a long thread where she posts pictures of the mountain lions that frequent a trail behind her property, which is up in the foothills - she set up a motion-activated camera and gets shots of bobcats, lions, deer, coyote and other critters all the time.

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin ... ost=901244

which is to say, I think your chances increase if you find a trackway and spend time sitting and waiting. Or setting up a game cam.
User avatar
AlmostThere
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1758
Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 4:38 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Finding Mountain Lions

Postby InsaneBoost » Wed Oct 07, 2015 8:44 am

They are lower than I thought, that's interesting. Makes sense why you hear about them being in the foothill areas a lot. I guess it explains why I rarely see them :lol:
User avatar
InsaneBoost
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 222
Joined: Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:49 pm
Location: Fresno
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Finding Mountain Lions

Postby maverick » Wed Oct 07, 2015 10:02 am

Remember reading a story of a SEKI Ranger being stalked by a mountain lion on the top Elizabeth Pass. Visibility was low because of the low clouds, the ranger called for a chopper, which arrived just in time, because the cat was within 20 feet of the ranger, fortunately the sound of the chopper scared off the cat. Later the park bioligist said, that usually lions do not stalk/attack adults, but the cat may have beiieved the ranger was injured due to the red backpack.
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
User avatar
maverick
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 8029
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Finding Mountain Lions

Postby SSSdave » Wed Oct 07, 2015 4:13 pm

Decade ago posted the below thread of a close encounter two of us had with not one but 2 huge mountain lions. Made the local newspapers. Did contact the local INF biologist who related there were a few lion pairs along the Eastern Sierra canyons.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=748&hilit=+lion

snippet:

...Well we quickly reach the spot and walk the 15 feet from the trail to the brink of the embankment where we can peer over the edge down towards the creek. My friend peers over just a moment before me and does not see anything so blurts out something. Suddenly a mere dozen feet directly below behind a modest sized sagebrush, two big mountain lions turn their heads suddenly up towards our noise and instantly explode down the slope into the very dense green trees that totally hide the snow swollen raging creek. Immediately both of us were blurting out how those lions were huge! They bound down the very steep rugged slope into the green mass in mere moments with huge leaping bounds. We were all WOW and WOW for quite some time as we continued up the trail.

Another year during fall was walking out behind Convict Lake behind the aspen groves and saw a couple recent mountain lion kills of deer.

Despite all the people about the larger Eastern Sierra permanent streams at lower sagebrush elevations, there are actually considerable zones along such streams where few people ever go and lions likely seek such places where riparian growth and brush provides thick cover. Also those lower riparian areas often have more deer especially before and after summer. I could look at a topo of any of the big streams and quickly point out places the big cats might be about.

David
http://www.davidsenesac.com/2015_Trip_C ... les-0.html
User avatar
SSSdave
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1965
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2005 11:18 pm
Location: Silicon Valley
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Finding Mountain Lions

Postby rlown » Wed Oct 07, 2015 4:17 pm

still about where their prey is. Dense stuff, deer (other stuff), water, shelter. not much different than us.
User avatar
rlown
Topix Junkie
 
Posts: 5328
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 5:00 pm
Location: Petaluma and Wilton, CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Finding Mountain Lions

Postby oldranger » Fri Oct 09, 2015 9:22 pm

Maverick

I may have related a story about a ranger being followed by a mountain lion near Elizabeth Pass in cloudy conditions some time ago. A helicopter was not sent though and it is unlikely one would be sent under those conditions.

Mike
Mike

Who can't do everything he used to and what he can do takes a hell of a lot longer!
User avatar
oldranger
Topix Junkie
 
Posts: 2164
Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2007 9:18 pm
Location: Bend, Oregon
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Finding Mountain Lions

Postby markskor » Sat Oct 10, 2015 11:22 am

Finding mountain lions?
These are not cats you can find in any specific location...too broad a hunting range. They find you. Yes they are out there but unseen...actually this drought might make sightings more frequent - considering food and water issues today.

Personally, over my "limited" backpacking career, have only seen two (three actually).
Once, near the Ahwahnee meadow, a pair of rather small cats came slinking by...smelling the herb?

Then last year, coming down the Snow Creek switchbacks on a 100º day, saw a full grown beauty about 2/3 of the way down. There's a small arch recess, west of the trail about 100 yards away and up, where a small stream pools - dark rock streaks - off-trail. He was lounging in the water, in the shade...I remember the motion of the tail - just like some contented house cat. He wasn't going anywhere in that heat - probably smarter than I.
Mountainman who swims with trout
User avatar
markskor
Founding Member & Forums Administrator
Founding Member & Forums Administrator
 
Posts: 2047
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2005 5:41 pm
Location: Mammoth Lakes
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Next

Return to Sierra Nevada History / Natural History & Setting



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests