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cougars in illinois


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And here I thought this was going to be about some older hotties with money. Tim, Shame on you for teasing me.


A couple years ago, two friends of mine were walking their dogs just north of Danville when they kicked one up at close range, both being sportsmen and knowledgeable outdoorsman, I trust their opinion. Later it was stated that a fellow in Hoopeston had in his possession a couple of big cats and before the police could get to him, he was able to let one go. Haven't a clue if the latter story is true.

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At about this time last year I posted "animal tracks " in the "Off the Hook" forum, after taking pictures of what seemed to be cougar tracks along the Vermilion river near the Big Bend conservation area. Since then I have shown the pictures to a couple of fellows that do alot of hunting out west. Both of them immediatly asked where I got the picture of the mountain lion tracks. In my post , the photo on the left is a cougar print taken from the internet. The print on the right was taken by me. I have lines drawn from one to the other comparing the toe placement. Both fellows told me I was comparing a right foot to a left foot. They both seemed quite sure of themselves. I wish I would have cleared some of the debris off of the print I took the photo of. It would have been easier to see. There have been many reports of big cats in the area over the past ten years or so mostly from along Covel Creek west of Ottawa, the Starved Rock and Matthiessen Park area, and in and near Catlin Park. I have spoken to a number of people in the area who have seen them a number of times including a park ranger who actually saw two of them together at the edge of the park. I also talked to an officer who has seen them late in the evening along the roadside. He says he expects he will have video of one someday as his car is now equiped with a mounted camera. I did not state this in my last post, but the reason I became interested in the big cats is because I saw one in 2004 about a month before the one was found shot by an arrow. It was just before daybreak and was crossing the road in front of me not more than half a block away. It went down the trail I was going to take, to get to a fishing hole. I decided to fish elsewhere that morning and have been a bit edgy about fishing alone in the early or later hours of the day ever since. I have seen two bobcats in the area in the past. This was no bobcat. I would put it close to 125 to 150 pounds. I have little to no doubt that they are alive and well in our state.

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Make room for bear spray on your lanyard.


Speaking of bear spray, a bear was spotted in putnam county a number of times two years back. It was later found wintering in a culvert. It was captured and I believe was moved to somewhere in Wisconsin. Last year a number of people along with the county Sheriff spotted a mother bear and two older cubs. As far as I know they are still at large.


I work in Deer Park Township. Early in the year ,a fellow I work with, and a farmer in the area stopped two guys in a truck that were acting suspicious. It turns out that they had some sort of tracking device. They said they were trying to locate one of three wolves that were missing from a pack they were tracking. I believe they called it the Mid Illini Pack or something of thet nature. I have spotted what appeared to be wolves at least three times over the past few years. They were much larger animals than the many coyotes I have seen. I almost always carry pepper spray when I am out alone just because of a few eppisodes with dogs.

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