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The Tomahawk Leader is a state and national prize-winning weekly newspaper serving the scenic Northwoods area in and around Tomahawk, WI.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2002 8:46 pm 
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People in the Tomahawk area are again reporting cougar sightings. There have recently been two reports, one of two cats near County Road S and a sighting of a single cougar off County Road E.

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) receives about 50 reports of cougar sightings each year, with the Tomahawk and Rhinelander areas being particular hot spots for those sightings. The number of reports and the fact that they are concentrated in certain areas leads us to believe that there are indeed cougars around Tomahawk.

Still, none of these reports has been confirmed with photographic evidence or well-defined tracks. We’d like to see someone get a good photograph of a cougar or at least get a good footprint.

DNR wildlife specialists suspect that many people who say they spotted a cougar were in reality looking at a bobcat. Unlike cougars, bobcats are known to exist in northern Wisconsin with a population of about 2,000 animals in the state.

Bobcats are less than four feet long, with pointed, tufted ears and tails about five inches long. Bobcats can weigh up to 50 pounds and resemble a large housecat. A cougar is much larger, up to six or seven feet long, with a thick rope-like tail nearly as long as its body. The coat is a tawny color and the tail has a black tip.

Cougars were indigenous to Wisconsin at one time, but are believed to have been driven away or killed off by man more than 100 years ago. In the 1800s, cougars were seen as a threat to livestock and bounties were paid for their skins. The last confirmed wild Wisconsin cougar was shot near Appleton in 1856.

The nearest known cougar population today is in Manitoba, Canada. But, northern Wisconsin and Minnesota do offer suitable cougar habitat, with large tracts of undeveloped wilderness and an abundance of deer, the big cats’ favorite meal.

We know quite a few people who say they’ve seen a cougar in the area. Some of them we trust would know a cougar if they saw one. We believe there are cougars, at least one or two, living around Tomahawk.

Yet, we’re puzzled that there is still no concrete evidence of their presence. Not a single cougar has been hit by a car, shot by a hunter or treed by hunting hounds.

If more people carry cameras with them into the woods and pay attention to animal tracks, we think it’s only a matter of time before the cougar’s presence in northern Wisconsin can be confirmed.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2002 7:16 pm 
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what's your point?? just wondering.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2002 9:09 pm 
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If indeed they exist, some of these cats may have been released after being kept as illegal or in some cases legal pets. It would be nice indeed if our state was sufficiently restored ecologically to attract a steady, viable population of cougar, but with human development expanded more and more, that is not likely.

Look at all the "Big Foot" sitings across the country, yet not one bit of evidence. Right in there with the UFO culture.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2002 7:41 am 
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The sad part of the whole situation is that when you talk to anyone from the dnr they just brush it off and tell you that it must have been something else. A few years ago my wife saw one cross our back yard and a neighbor saw it in his driveway. When I talked to people from the dnr they asked if I had any proof. I told them that I had heard it and there were tracks by the Spirit river. They just brushed it off as not knowing what we saw and never bothered to check the tracks. There is no doubt in my mind what it was but because we are not dnr trained observers they will not believe anything unless you drag the dead body in and drop it on their desk. :D

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2002 10:33 am 
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As an alumnus of Penn State, I would suggest that those "cougar" sightings might indeed be the advanced contingent of "Nittany Lions" showing up in Wisconsin in advance of the October 5th meeting in Camp Randall with the Wisconsin Badgers. Perhaps Coach Alvarez should be notified that a number of "scouts" have been seen in Wisconsin so that he can take the necessary precautions.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2002 10:40 pm 
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"We’d like to see someone get a good photograph of a cougar"

My husband and I have both seen a cougar in the Muskellunge Lake area. (not far from you Marty)
But unfortunately the big cat did not stick around long enough to pose for a picture. It certainly was a beautiful sight and would like to be lucky enough to see one again.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2002 6:29 am 
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If the DNR says it ain't so then for sure cougars must be roaming our north woods. Case in point deer population numbers over past years.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2002 11:04 am 
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It seems to me that certain parties are waiting for an attack to happen, My parents live on Bay Mill Rd. in Tomahawk and have spotted the cougar.
There are many small children who walk in that area. If a deer doesn't threaten a cougar, would a small child? :roll:


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2002 8:42 pm 
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ODDS BODKINS!! I thought I spotted an old Cougar on Hwy 86, but on closer inspection it turned out to be a Mustang. I hope nobody mistakes all those Impalas I`ve seen in the Tomahawk area for deer this hunting season!


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2002 10:09 pm 
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If you can't get a picture of the animal, take a picture of the "track". OR dig out your old scout handbook and brush up on how to make a plaster cast. If you can't get the DNR to deal with either of those things, then atleast you have some props for your campfire stories! ;)


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2002 10:25 am 
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Did anyone else hear about the dead cat they found out on 86 west that at first they thought was a bobcat and it turned out to be a baby cougar that got hit by a car?My husband heard this at the mill is it true?


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2002 5:38 am 
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There is a house in the middle of every forty acres now. More and more people, and more and more houses, mean more sightings of animals that have not been seen in a long time. The cats and wolves used to have hundreds of acres without humans. Also the large deer population has helped the predators. Nature has her way and humans have ther way, most times they are vastly different. CWD is only one example. Predators cull the weak first. Most humans take the biggest and strongest.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2005 8:13 pm 
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Does anyone know who found the Baby Cougar on 86 because I know who hit it. He got out and looked at it but was afraid to call it in because he had been drinking. My wife and I saw the cougar, a full grown one by our house near the Mill 5 or 6 times and at first glance they look like a deer but as you get closer you see the round head and long thick tail. Our last sighting was about 2 years ago and it seem it stays in one area for a while and then moves on. All of the times we saw it were at night and within a 1 month period.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2005 9:25 pm 
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I actually saw what you are talking about and it was a very young bobcat. No idea what happened to it.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2005 9:52 pm 
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In respect to the sighting near the H overpass, we have a flock of sheep near there and we came up with two missing a couple months ago without any explanation.

By the way, has anybody heard about the guy up in Iron County that was stalked and eaten by 4 wolves? They found his boots and shredded clothes and his gun scattered about after him being missing for a couple of days. There were tracks around the items, contrived to be four wolves. With a gun and all, wouldn't you think at least one of them critters would have been found dead near the scene as well.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2005 11:16 pm 
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I have never heard of a documented death from a wolf attack in the wild in North America. However, it is common every year to read about people killed by domestic dogs. Why do people fear attack from wolves more? A mystery.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2005 10:22 am 
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Ah-ha another urban legend takes root. I am sure if this had any truth in it we would have heard it on the news. :roll:

<small>[ February 09, 2005, 09:22 AM: Message edited by: Old Scout ]</small>

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2005 12:56 pm 
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Yes, it would have at least been put out by National Enquirer and the headlines would have been straight from the superstitions of the european dark ages: "Devil's companions devour northwoods hunter"

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2005 2:21 pm 
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Actually, it WAS on the news. Paul Harvey, to be exact. He doesn't lie to us, does he? He said the guys shoes were size thirteen. Big Guy-bad wolves.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2005 4:20 pm 
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Quote:
He said the guys shoes were size thirteen.
Yikes! If wolves aren't afraid of Bigfoot we're all doomed. Run away! Run away! :D

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