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Author Topic: Cougar population in WA state over time?  (Read 3232 times)

Offline bigmacc

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Re: Cougar population in WA state over time?
« Reply #15 on: June 11, 2018, 08:04:09 PM »


In the Methow its just a matter of time before what happened in North Bend starts happening in the Methow, only with more frequency I,m afraid. With more and more people moving there, more people using the valley for all kinds of recreation(cross country skiing, hiking, biking, birdwatching etc.) its going to happen and with less and less deer being available its a perfect storm for some horrible encounters with humans, they have to do something to reduce the cougar numbers in that valley. I have to agree with Wolfbait, its really not a big deal seeing them anymore, 20 years ago and more it was a real rarity and kind of neat to see one, if you were lucky you might see one every few years or even more, maybe every 5 years or so. Now they are common, about 50 deer per year are killed by each cat folks,  50 deer per year :bash: :bash:

Offline Special T

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Re: Cougar population in WA state over time?
« Reply #16 on: June 11, 2018, 09:58:11 PM »
Cross country snow skiiers!

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Offline HighlandLofts

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Re: Cougar population in WA state over time?
« Reply #17 on: June 17, 2018, 08:17:25 PM »
I just googled Washington state cougar population, two of the sites that I clicked on said there are between 1,900 and 2,100 adult cougars in the state.

I've seen trail cam pics of female cougars with three kittens.
So how old does a cougar need to be to be considered an adult?

I'd day two years old, that's when mama kicks them out and gets knocked up again.
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Offline bigmacc

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Re: Cougar population in WA state over time?
« Reply #18 on: June 17, 2018, 09:30:34 PM »
I just googled Washington state cougar population, two of the sites that I clicked on said there are between 1,900 and 2,100 adult cougars in the state.

I've seen trail cam pics of female cougars with three kittens.
So how old does a cougar need to be to be considered an adult?

I'd day two years old, that's when mama kicks them out and gets knocked up again.

I think 2000 cougars is way way low, for crying out loud I have friends that live in Snohomish and they are seeing them around town, Lots of security cam pics have been posted, I have relatives that live in Darrington who are seeing them, I have a friend who was just up Robinson creek over in the Methow and they seen what you described(4 cats traveling together). Its just my opinion but I think those estimates are conveniently(for the state) about 1000 to low.. :twocents:

Offline Special T

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Re: Cougar population in WA state over time?
« Reply #19 on: June 17, 2018, 10:09:21 PM »
Probably 2k 2 year old adult males.

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Offline Gringo31

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Re: Cougar population in WA state over time?
« Reply #20 on: June 17, 2018, 10:13:32 PM »
Good questions...

When I was a aspiring to get a degree in Wildlife at WSU I thought I recalled a guesstimated population of 4K.  I was in school when they changed the hound laws.  I recall them talking about harvest rates and (trying to remember correctly) but it was just over 200/year.  The odd/interesting part was that harvest rates stayed the same after hounds were removed.  I'm curious if anyone knows total harvest numbers over the years.  I'm sure it wouldn't be hard to find. 

I would venture to guess that the age of cougar harvested has decreased dramatically. 
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Re: Cougar population in WA state over time?
« Reply #21 on: June 17, 2018, 10:23:50 PM »
Iím pretty sure the harvest increased since the outlawed hounds.
Iíve seen claims stating itís because the population increased.

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Offline jasnt

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Re: Cougar population in WA state over time?
« Reply #22 on: June 18, 2018, 05:09:07 AM »
If boot hunters can harvest as many cats as the hounds man did the population is quite high
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Offline Gringo31

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Re: Cougar population in WA state over time?
« Reply #23 on: June 18, 2018, 06:18:38 AM »
Quote
If boot hunters can harvest as many cats as the hounds man did the population is quite high

I've thought that, but why didn't the hound guys get more?  How many hound hunters really were there?  Here are the numbers best I can find starting with 1997.  I seem to recall 208 being used and I'm guessing 1996.  I also recall it being within a couple cats different from the year prior when they had hounds. 

I'm a little confused with some of these numbers they have categories like depredation and other take so....?

Anyway, I tried to put these on a sheet...

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Offline Gringo31

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Re: Cougar population in WA state over time?
« Reply #24 on: June 18, 2018, 06:20:20 AM »



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Offline bullcanyon

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Re: Cougar population in WA state over time?
« Reply #25 on: June 18, 2018, 06:22:56 AM »
Been running a pile of trail cameras for over 10 years and had one cougar on camera up until 2 years ago. Now we're seeing multiple cats in several areas. I have a pair on camera 400yds from my back door. I know that's not scientific facts, but it is my first hand observation.

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Re: Cougar population in WA state over time?
« Reply #26 on: June 18, 2018, 07:56:46 AM »
Depredation and public safety are usually hound hunts. Its the hunts conducted with wdfw authorization to deal with some of the problem cats.
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Offline jasnt

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Re: Cougar population in WA state over time?
« Reply #27 on: June 18, 2018, 10:11:47 AM »
Canít really go by the numbers harvested to get an idea how many cats there are because of quotas.  Most cats are taken in the snow which many areas donít get till just before late season. Quotas are so low that those areas close right when the cat hunting is getting good.

This is just my opinion but I bet if the department dropped the quotas completely we would harvest 5x the quotas the first year.
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Offline bearpaw

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Re: Cougar population in WA state over time?
« Reply #28 on: June 18, 2018, 10:27:43 AM »
I just googled Washington state cougar population, two of the sites that I clicked on said there are between 1,900 and 2,100 adult cougars in the state.

I've seen trail cam pics of female cougars with three kittens.
So how old does a cougar need to be to be considered an adult?

I'd day two years old, that's when mama kicks them out and gets knocked up again.

I think 2000 cougars is way way low, for crying out loud I have friends that live in Snohomish and they are seeing them around town, Lots of security cam pics have been posted, I have relatives that live in Darrington who are seeing them, I have a friend who was just up Robinson creek over in the Methow and they seen what you described(4 cats traveling together). Its just my opinion but I think those estimates are conveniently(for the state) about 1000 to low.. :twocents:

They don't really know what the population is, all they can do is estimate based on age and harvest data. The last estimate I heard from a WDFW manager was between 3000 to 4000, I don't know what their current estimate is, they may not have a current estimate? With the new director and current commission I have to wonder if quotas will be reduced further.  :dunno:
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Offline wolfbait

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Re: Cougar population in WA state over time?
« Reply #29 on: June 18, 2018, 11:04:03 AM »
I just googled Washington state cougar population, two of the sites that I clicked on said there are between 1,900 and 2,100 adult cougars in the state.

I've seen trail cam pics of female cougars with three kittens.
So how old does a cougar need to be to be considered an adult?

I'd day two years old, that's when mama kicks them out and gets knocked up again.

I think 2000 cougars is way way low, for crying out loud I have friends that live in Snohomish and they are seeing them around town, Lots of security cam pics have been posted, I have relatives that live in Darrington who are seeing them, I have a friend who was just up Robinson creek over in the Methow and they seen what you described(4 cats traveling together). Its just my opinion but I think those estimates are conveniently(for the state) about 1000 to low.. :twocents:

They don't really know what the population is, all they can do is estimate based on age and harvest data. The last estimate I heard from a WDFW manager was between 3000 to 4000, I don't know what their current estimate is, they may not have a current estimate? With the new director and current commission I have to wonder if quotas will be reduced further.  :dunno:

Like the wolves, the public will more then likely have to manage cougars, leave WDF&wolves completely out of the picture. :twocents:

 

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