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Finding Mountain Lions

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Finding Mountain Lions

Postby InsaneBoost » Tue Oct 06, 2015 5:46 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



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Re: Finding Mountain Lions

Postby rlown » Tue Oct 06, 2015 6:11 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. :)
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Re: Finding Mountain Lions

Postby RoguePhotonic » Tue Oct 06, 2015 6:48 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.
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Re: Finding Mountain Lions

Postby Shawn » Tue Oct 06, 2015 8:53 pm

I've seen Mountain Lion tracks (in the snow) above Mineral King - but never the cat itself.
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Re: Finding Mountain Lions

Postby robow8 » Tue Oct 06, 2015 9:10 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.
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Re: Finding Mountain Lions

Postby AlmostThere » Wed Oct 07, 2015 6:58 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.
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Re: Finding Mountain Lions

Postby InsaneBoost » Wed Oct 07, 2015 7:44 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:
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Re: Finding Mountain Lions

Postby maverick » Wed Oct 07, 2015 9:02 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.
I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Finding Mountain Lions

Postby SSSdave » Wed Oct 07, 2015 3:13 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
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Re: Finding Mountain Lions

Postby rlown » Wed Oct 07, 2015 3:17 pm

still about where their prey is. Dense stuff, deer (other stuff), water, shelter. not much different than us.
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