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View Full Version : Cougar Photographed in W. NH



erugs
08-21-2012, 03:06 PM
Although this event happened in May, the story is in today's UL with a photo. Interestingly, the photo was taken by a hunter searching for dropped antlers with his 35 mm camera. Film! Imagine that. He did not identify himself as he doesn't want to be hounded by people, including Fish and Game.

The link: http://www.unionleader.com/article/20120821/NEWHAMPSHIRE03/708219874

(Moderators: if you feel this should be linked to the long cougar thread, please do so)

marnof
08-21-2012, 03:30 PM
Although this event happened in May, the story is in today's UL with a photo. Interestingly, the photo was taken by a hunter searching for dropped antlers with his 35 mm camera. Film! Imagine that. He did not identify himself as he doesn't want to be hounded by people, including Fish and Game.

The link: http://www.unionleader.com/article/20120821/NEWHAMPSHIRE03/708219874

(Moderators: if you feel this should be linked to the long cougar thread, please do so)

Wow. That looks almost like taxidermy to me. Very motionless and posed, almost staged. Not that I doubt a cougar might be seen in that location--it just looks very static. Nice photo, though.

sardog1
08-21-2012, 03:48 PM
It might be a picture of a cougar. It might be a picture of a live cougar. It might be a picture of a live cougar in NH. It might be a picture of a live cougar in NH, taken by the guy Mr. Harrigan spoke to. But then again, it might not be any of these things. The shot at F&G suggests to me that there's more cat-and-mouse here than cat. And the population of NH residents who have seen cougars in the West AND in New Brunswick has to be a very small one.

marnof
08-21-2012, 06:30 PM
The shot at F&G suggests to me that there's more cat-and-mouse here than cat. And the population of NH residents who have seen cougars in the West AND in New Brunswick has to be a very small one.

Even more so, a population of said anonymous resident hunters (with noted experience) that carry film cameras (no metadata) on shed hunting forays. Probably more rare than the cougar! :D

DougPaul
08-21-2012, 06:55 PM
Even more so, a population of said anonymous resident hunters (with noted experience) that carry film cameras (no metadata) on shed hunting forays. Probably more rare than the cougar! :D
The metadata generally includes date and time, the location less often (depends on the camera model and accessories). In any case, it is easily changed (or forged).

Film may actually be harder to forge/fake than digital images...

And as sardog1 notes, the scene or meta-info (when, where, etc) can be faked for either imaging modality.

Doug

marnof
08-21-2012, 07:33 PM
The metadata generally includes date and time, the location less often (depends on the camera model and accessories). In any case, it is easily changed (or forged).

Film may actually be harder to forge/fake than digital images...

And as sardog1 notes, the scene or meta-info (when, where, etc) can be faked for either imaging modality.

Doug

Now which would be easier to disprove? Lack of any data or name just makes it...well..mysterious.

It reminds me of the "Most Interesting Man in the World" commercial for Dos Equis. He was photographed by Bigfoot. Stay thirsty, my friends! :D

Chip
08-21-2012, 10:33 PM
Good on erugs for posting the picture.

I'm no conspiracy theorist and I'd love for the pic to be local/current/true: but a body, scat, hair, kits in a den etc is what "they" need now.

Red Oak
08-22-2012, 07:28 AM
Good on erugs for posting the picture.

I'm no conspiracy theorist and I'd love for the pic to be local/current/true: but a body, scat, hair, kits in a den etc is what "they" need now.Ditto all of what chip says here.Congrats Erugs on posting this photo first also.However[and I may eat my shoe on this],this photo screams fake to me.The exact pose of "said" cat with its tail in a relaxed position while it looks in "said" photographers direction?The odd clumps of hair barely visible but strange for this time of year.Has this cat been hanging out in the rockies recently.Looks like a stuff job to me but a very,very good one.I believe even if the photographer hunter/outlaw bandit/whatever got the drop on the cat, he would have at best got a pic of a cat that size going very fast in the other direction.Looks like my classic Cali cat caught in a trap for trophy status legal or not and brought out here.[east coast]
Great post though for this area and worthy of its own thread imho.

Maddy
08-22-2012, 07:43 AM
Don't know if this pic is real or not. I am not an expert.
If I was lucky enough to get a pic of a mt lion, I doubt I would report it. The story is pretty much the same and it always goes back to the same old, same old. A released family pet or the local golden retriever out for a stroll.

I might post it here for us to enjoy.
I would most definitely share it with the wildlife docs that I have regular contact with.
Thanks for posting the photo, E Rugs. I did enjoy it and sent it off to the powers that be to see what they might think of it.
Their knowledge base is much greater than mine. I have discussed mt lions in NE with one of them previously and they do believe we have them but no breeding population quite yet. The best is yet to come.

marnof
08-22-2012, 08:20 AM
I agree with Red Oak's observation about the posed nature of the photo. To sneak up on such a wary animal, to a mere 50 feet, and have it say "cheese" while you take your last exposure and change film--that's an amazing feat of photography. I doubt I could bear to remain anonymous had I accomplished that. Maybe the photographer will come out of the woodwork and shed more light on his experience.

Chip makes a good point too, about forensic evidence. Sadly, since so much time has elapsed since the sighting and the reporting, it's much more difficult to obtain.

nartreb
08-22-2012, 04:18 PM
This happened in May, and the Union-Leader hasn't found the time to get a decent-quality print of the photo? So maybe they aren't too interested in checking their sources.


The photo on their website looks like it went through a fax machine (i.e., low-resolution, low-contrast copy) and then somebody tried to restore contrast and sharpness after scanning it to a computer. The result just looks unnatural, and could also be a good way of hiding details that might give away a fake.

erugs
08-22-2012, 04:37 PM
I think we have good reason to be skeptical about this photo and the story in this case. I wonder how much fact-checking went on at the UL's editor's office.

JacobH
08-22-2012, 06:37 PM
Googling "Cougars" yields... how should I put this... "interesting" results. Mountain lion isn't much better it brings up a bunch of pictures of Macintoshes...

gaiagirl
08-22-2012, 07:54 PM
If this is the best that people who swear they are here have, then I am curious how anyone could wonder why the vast majority of the scientific community is skeptical.

Quietman
08-22-2012, 08:29 PM
This is a zoomed in view from the original picture in the article, no I didn't retouch it. When did cougars learn to smile for the camera?:rolleyes:

3989

skiguy
08-22-2012, 09:52 PM
Although this event happened in May, the story is in today's UL with a photo. Interestingly, the photo was taken by a hunter searching for dropped antlers with his 35 mm camera. Film! Imagine that. He did not identify himself as he doesn't want to be hounded by people, including Fish and Game.

The link: http://www.unionleader.com/article/20120821/NEWHAMPSHIRE03/708219874

(Moderators: if you feel this should be linked to the long cougar thread, please do so)

It's really unfortunate that the city folks whom post this kind of stuff just donot realize we see stuff up here like this all the time in the North Country. So what's the big deal?

sardog1
08-22-2012, 11:50 PM
It's really unfortunate that the city folks whom post this kind of stuff just donot realize we see stuff up here like this all the time in the North Country. So what's the big deal?

"Stuff like this" being what? Alleged cougar photos? Guys with an ax to grind about the people who enforce the law in the woods? There's a long history of scam photos of cougars. I happen to be one who believes there are some actual cougars in NH. But this particular story raises the hair on my neck for a different reason. (BTW, the moose and bears in my yard would take exception to being called city folk.)

Maddy
08-23-2012, 08:25 AM
Sandra Picard, one of the commentators wrote that she "saw one on the side lawn a couple of you years ago and didn't bother reporting it as they would have categorized her as a loony lady". It seems that all too often, this is the end result.

This pic was supposedly taken with the last shot on his film, and he did not have time to reload to take more.
We have no knowledge of the kind of kind of camera he used, and if it might be a relic. Perhaps it doesn't have a date/time stamp. He very well might have been doing exactly what he said he was doing, photographing antlers. I know a woman who lives out in Wyoming, and she for sure post pics of shed antlers that she has photographed. She also makes jewelry with them. I own one of her pieces. It's quite nice.

He is at odds with F&G for any number of reasons. It could be something as simple as fishing without a license and getting caught, or countless other infractions. Some people just plain dislike law enforcement and it doesn't take much to get them going.

The pic looks fuzzy, much like some of the ones I have taken recently of Molly which I trashed because she looked so weird.

Maybe it is a fraud, but I think chances are just as good that maybe it's not.
F&G claims to be "interested" and wants to investigate further. That could mean just about anything.

This seems to be just one more mixed up report and commentary about mountain lions, who are for sure out there in NH, unaware of all the ongoing debates about them here in NE, and the veracity of the sightings.

I have a strong suspicion that as some point in the future, there will be a breeding population, and much like what happened in Boulder,( The Beast in the Garden), one of them will have some unsuspecting person for lunch, and the debate will be resolved.
There was much division in Boulder prior to this happening, and the writing was on the wall, in big bold letters! I ofter wonder if history is not beginning to repeat itself here in our very own neck of the woods.

Chip
08-23-2012, 09:42 AM
I have a strong suspicion that as some point in the future, there will be a breeding population,

Me too. I wonder what will be required to prove that though? A pregnant female won't be enough as that could have happened elsewhere, so even kits in a den probably won't be enough. That debate will be the next leg of the journey.


and much like what happened in Boulder,( The Beast in the Garden), one of them will have some unsuspecting person for lunch, and the debate will be resolved.


That'll only prove a big hungry cat eats things, though. That could've happened in CT with the one from out west that was killed.

marnof
08-23-2012, 09:56 AM
Good points. It could really go either way. Photographs, of mountain lions, people hanging from cliffs, or Bigfoot, are just that: pictures on paper or a screen. Until actual evidence is collected (like the dead cougar struck by some city slickers in their fancy SUV just minutes from my house), people are free to believe anything they want to. Pictures and stories are entertaining, (and are potentially embarassing without backing evidence!) but DNA is real evidence that scientists can use to either prove or disprove their theories. Lacking evidence like that--the tangible stuff--it's not a big deal, just great fodder for conversation. :D

I found a beautiful shed antler from a moose last October, and I was carrying a camera, too. I saw some great rubs, lots of sign everywhere, even a moose print in bear scat. But if I had gotten that close to a mountain lion I would probably would have left my own scat at the scene, and not gotten the photo. :D

Regarding the CT cat: it looked very healthy and probably found the abundant deer down here very tasty.

Maddy
08-23-2012, 10:40 AM
Me too. I wonder what will be required to prove that though? A pregnant female won't be enough as that could have happened elsewhere, so even kits in a den probably won't be enough. That debate will be the next leg of the journey.



That'll only prove a big hungry cat eats things, though. That could've happened in CT with the one from out west that was killed.

In the Boulder case, there had been strong evidence that the lions were in the area. Farm animals and other family pets had been gutted in a very lion specific way, but the debate raged. Many did not want to acknowledge the threat. It all escalated as most things do. Sadly you might say the lion had the last word. He set the record straight, no doubt about it.

I found this article. It's quite good and makes reference to the Boulder incident documented in The Beast in the Garden.
http://www.cougarnet.org/deer_draw_cougars_ever_eastward.htm

I agree with Marnof. I think if I ever saw one while hiking, I would not stick around to get a pic but would do my utmost to back up and get away without running.

Jason Berard
08-23-2012, 12:43 PM
Regardless of the veracity of this particular photograph, if you look at a "dots map" of confirmed sightings outside of their established range since 1990 (easy to find online), it looks like it is a matter of "when" not "if" they will be back here in large enough numbers to have the Northeast become a part of the "established range". I have heard one expert say she thinks that will take 10-20 years.

Maddy
08-23-2012, 01:19 PM
Regardless of the veracity of this particular photograph, if you look at a "dots map" of confirmed sightings outside of their established range since 1990 (easy to find online), it looks like it is a matter of "when" not "if" they will be back here in large enough numbers to have the Northeast become a part of the "established range". I have heard one expert say she thinks that will take 10-20 years.

JASON... the wildlife folks I work with said the same thing. :cool:

Fitz
08-23-2012, 03:21 PM
I find the stance of the cat in the photo kind of interesting. It reminds me of my house cats when I surprise them. They crouch down a bit and move along the floor.

Chip
08-24-2012, 11:48 AM
Follow up article (http://www.unionleader.com/article/20120824/NEWHAMPSHIRE0301/708249984). Doesn't say much more, similar to what's been said here. There is info that the pic and story might be 5 years old though.

erugs
08-24-2012, 12:04 PM
Follow up article (http://www.unionleader.com/article/20120824/NEWHAMPSHIRE0301/708249984). Doesn't say much more, similar to what's been said here. There is info that the pic and story might be 5 years old though.

Thanks, Chip, for posting John H's story. I bet he was embarrased to learn the photo had been taken that long ago, and one or two more people might not have switched to digital at that time. I believe they are here. I've heard of visuals from several different sources who I totally trust. One included two kittens in Coastal Maine.

marnof
08-24-2012, 12:25 PM
So, people (in Officialdom -- is that a suburb of Concord?) who want actual scientific proof (ooh--scary:eek:) are Doubting Thomases. Hmmmm. :rolleyes:

I mean, I see the comeback of mountain lions as less a matter of faith, more a matter of science. It's not the attitude I would expect from an objective journalist.