Spotted my first cougar…

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25-ish years ago my Dad and I camped one memorable October weekend on the upper Klick at Stinson Flats. The river was running somewhere between mocha and latte, which might explain why we had the place to ourselves. An hour or so after dark we heard something outside the tent. Next morning we found kitty prints the size of hamburger buns next to ours where we took our waders off.

My story was at Leidel.

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Life of the Party
Weird s#it happens on the Klickitat. It's been that way for years. If there was a dry side of the Olympic peninsula, the Klickitat would be it.

Klickitat Ape?



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I was mushroom hunting on the east side of the cascades years ago by myself in the late spring. I was following a small game trail that opened up to a clearing next to a creek. As I approached the clearing I saw a large black animal laying down in the grass sunning itself no more than 20 yards away. I immediately stopped and stood quietly as I did not want to spook it. I could only see the back half of it as the front was obscured by brush. It caught wind of me and quickly stood up and looked in my direction before doing a 180 and silently slinking away. Jet black, sleek short coat, body, head and tail of a cougar. Easily over 100 pounds and maybe 6 plus feet in length. I distinctly remember the smallish head relative to the body. I’ve left that area alone ever since. I’ve only told a few people about that encounter because it sounds crazy, but that’s what I saw. And no it was not a bear.


Just Hatched
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Very jealous! I've been crossing paths with a big lion on a ridge I hunt birds on. Kills, scrapes, nice tracks when it snows. He's big enough to bring down cow elk in deep snow. Four, maybe five years, and I'm still waiting for my first look at him. Cool animals.


We've got one up on Mill Creek Rd in Walla Walla between the fire station and Kooskooskie. Have seen it on the hill behind the house, caught it on trail cam once, and saw it in the front yard about 2 months ago. Shocking how big they are.
Had a friend who used the Kiawanis camp for a family reunion/retreat. Walked out onto a porch early one morning to find a Coug starting down at them from nearby tree.

Heading up over mountains in NE OR one evening and had a large, tawny creature come down off the bank and cross the road in just a split second. The color instantly had me thinking weird deer, and then a fraction of second later all the other pieces fell into place. Head to tail it seemed almost as long as the lane was wide. Only needed 4 or so steps to cross the entire and disappear into the other side.

Also in the Blues, once came across a sick kitten. It was laying down in the middle of the (dirt) road. When we got to the next place with a phone they called it in to a wildlife resource. I don't remember who exactly, but they apparently came and collected it.


I prefer to call them strike indicators.
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I've seen two in the wild - one flashing across 101 by Kalaloch and the second one flashing by as I was headed up Barr Road Extension (back then it was a dead end road) on the way to our house. A few days later I walked down to McDonald Creek to see if I could spot any pink salmon. I did in fact find a pink salmon hen lying on the shore with her belly ripped open and FRESH tracks of a mountain lion. The "hair on the back of your neck" thing is real. I didn't see the lion but I'm pretty sure it was very nearby. I was up the hill and out of that canyon very quickly.