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Bigtex

Need Help In Central Texas.........

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Guest

Also interesting about this, and thanks for the shots, is the fact that those racks are still intact. Typically it seems hunters take the antlers. So.. here we have some. Do you see a lot of remains intact with the antlers ? That brings us to mortality questions.. I suspect overgrazing and severe winter starvation is not an option? So then preds.. cougar, bear, wolves, feral dogs, coydogs, bobcat....

or the big guy. If there is significant twisting of necks and legs that there is an interesting factor. Thanks Big Tex. Good luck with healing up quicklike. Appreciated. I would not expect fullsized bucks to get taken out by many predators.. lion exception. I am guessing you have no wolves there.. but times might be changing.

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Bigtex

In my opinion, all are predator kills, and most can be atributed to normal predation; however, some are just plain weird the way they are twisted, with many dislocations, and these might be something else. Also, the antlers are always there, if male in rut. The areas where I find these are remote, and I always leave the kills "as is" so I can observe any future changes. If the antlers disappear, I know a human has probably been by and taken them, but that rarely occurs.

Within my main hiking area in central Texas, aka the Texas Hill Country, the large Predators at work include many Coyote (the bigger hybrids), and I've seen two wolves (no doubt), several Cougar, Bobcat, and one black Jaguar. I reported the Jaguar to the Game Warden, and he says they are making a come back to their once natural range - great news.....NOT!

Picture of a common Coyote deterrent used in Texas, and the print of a young lion that was hanging around our house for a while, until our 2 cats went missing.

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norseman
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Tex,

At your "kill site" did you notice a den?

Males of any predator species generally have large hunting areas and they tend to eat where they killed it. But a female with young would attempt to take the kill back close to the young.

Just a thought.

Also, wtih the high number of kills in the area, there had to be some scat around. Where you able to identify any?

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Guest

Thanks again BT, and Norseman brings up an interesting point. I am not surprised about the wolves, but a BLACK jag goes a long way regarding the black panther sightings. Any interesting scat of significant dimensions ? pushing 3 in or better? You got a lot going on down there!

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Bigtex

Hey Norseman, thanks for the post.......there are two Coyote dens in the area, separated by about a mile. However, never find any kills or bones around those. The Coyote's have an unmistakable pattern of eating their kill, and the majority I would attribute to those based on the observed aftermath. I do find scat often.......appears to be 'normal' dog size to very large poo, and all usually containing a combination of hair, bone, plant, and insect material. Odd picture below of what appears to be a cow leg bone (it was big & heavy), very fresh (hours), and no sign of the rest of the cow anywhere in the area.......found this on a night hike, no chew marks either.

In another area, and several miles away, there are many caves along what I call the ancient shoreline. There is one main creek, with deep ravine, that cuts through town from the surrounding hills to the river, and this is the main corridor that the larger animals use to get in and out of town undetected. These creeks and ravines go all through our small town, and most are loaded with bones. There is one a block from my house, and I could go down in that ravine, and follow the maze of others out of town, get deep in the hills, and never be seen. Also, and along this main hidden highway, there are places that look like a buldozer has gone through, with twisted & broken branches 8+ feet off the ground.......and a few pics of those.

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Guest

Very nicely done Big Tex. Earlier on you mentioned black jaguar. Is there quite a bit of talk about them locally? I know that is not something you likely want to confront one on one. I know that typically they do not attack.. but the potential

is rather a bit too exciting. Also have wolves come on the scene recently? I double checked and noted you saw the black jag.. wow! Thanks for comments, I really enjoy your work on this thread. Interesting notes you are making as well on the predation and the questions about the veg.

Edited by treeknocker

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Bigtex

I had talked in more detail about the black Jaguar in the old forum. I only mentioned it to the Game Warden, and few others. The Warden didn't seem the least bit surprised or concerned, but warned me to stay out of that area, and I have. Jaguar's are the 3rd biggest large cat, and must be taken seriously. I did a search on 'Black Panthers in Texas', and found a story that took place in the early 30's, North of Houston (Big Thicket area) where a Maneater had killed seven people, it turned out to be a black Jaguar, and was eating the 8th victum when it was finally shot......creepy. The one I saw was in a Cave, and I'll hike out there this week, and take a picture of the cave.

People see the cougars all the time out here, and is no big deal. They get reported in other States, and they seem to go crazy about it.....just normal stuff in Texas, and no big deal. Now, if people start getting jumped, it will be a big deal, but there seems to be plenty of natural prey and pets to go around. In fact, our big ole tomcat Marley, aka KeeKee 6, has not been seen for over a week, and am sure he has been eaten by something, just like the other 5 we have had......they just don't last out here.

Here are some good track photos, and of real interest to me is the 'little guy' running around in my area. The third 'babyfoot' print picture was found in another location, and weeks apart. The other print photo was around 14", going up an incline, with toes scrapping downward as it lifted/pushed for the next step.

I have many 100's of photos, and several posted on the new forum, were posted on the old forum.......my appologies for the duplications:)

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masterbarber

That first coyote looks like he has been eating well

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Guest

This is just fun. Thanks again. Any comments on the wolf situation ? How long since you first noted their presence ?

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Guest vilnoori

Very nice prints there. The first one looks like there is a big gap between the big toe and the other toes which is quite interesting. Do you carry a little dollar store tape measure around so you can lay it beside a track to document the length? ;)

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Bigtex

Yes indeedy Masterbarber......well fed, well fed pets too:(. These are what are often referred to down here as hybrids, a mix of Coyote & Mexican (Red) Wolf. The Wolves I've seen have a similar color, but longer legs, bigger feet, wider head, and a longer mouth, but have only seen two of those, many tracks.....they seem to be very stealthy.

And just for you Treeknocker......hiked over to the Jaguar cave, and just got back. I always hike to this cave from the top side heading down, as it is on the cliff face near the top. There is a shaft on the top side that goes down to the cave, and I always throw a rock down there to let anything know in the cave that I am coming. It was a situation like this, with the rock being thrown, that flushed the Jaguar out of the cave. I heard a commotion, looked over the edge, and saw him haul ass down into the ravine. I turned around, and slowly, carefully went back the way I came, as the Jag had looked over his shoulder at me while running, and appeared to be circling back around.

There's an ancient wall on top, goes for many miles, and is 9 feet tall, and 4 feet thick in some places. It is a defensive position, from some long ago culture......this is quite interesting for sure, but more suitable for a different forum. Pic's : 3 pics of Wall & Ancient Shoreline, shaft on top down to cave, trail down to cave, the Jaguar Cave, and looking down in the ravine.

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TKD

Yes indeedy Masterbarber......well fed, well fed pets too:(. These are what are often referred to down here as hybrids, a mix of Coyote & Mexican (Red) Wolf. The Wolves I've seen have a similar color, but longer legs, bigger feet, wider head, and a longer mouth, but have only seen two of those, many tracks.....they seem to be very stealthy.

And just for you Treeknocker......hiked over to the Jaguar cave, and just got back. I always hike to this cave from the top side heading down, as it is on the cliff face near the top. There is a shaft on the top side that goes down to the cave, and I always throw a rock down there to let anything know in the cave that I am coming. It was a situation like this, with the rock being thrown, that flushed the Jaguar out of the cave. I heard a commotion, looked over the edge, and saw him haul ass down into the ravine. I turned around, and slowly, carefully went back the way I came, as the Jag had looked over his shoulder at me while running, and appeared to be circling back around.

There's an ancient wall on top, goes for many miles, and is 9 feet tall, and 4 feet thick in some places. It is a defensive position, from some long ago culture......this is quite interesting for sure, but more suitable for a different forum. Pic's : 3 pics of Wall & Ancient Shoreline, shaft on top down to cave, trail down to cave, the Jaguar Cave, and looking down in the ravine.

That would be a very cool place to put a game cam!

A black jag in the US would be something very note worthy.

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Guest

I agree TKD. Thanks BT, beautiful photography. Looking foward to sharing some ideas with you regarding methods. Today I got a call

from a private party who thought they had a cougar around. So I visited.. two sets of eight foot leaps in the tracks which measure 3x4 in the snow.

Thats approximate. The tracks are not huge but still.. we get black panther reports in the northern states but hey, I could not image that they are black jags. I would guess low light on cougar silhouettes.. Anyway this is the second time the landowners KNOW of the cats presence on their property.. but I hear that sometimes things go bump in the night lol. The black jaguar must have been an incredible rush on seeing that dude bolt out the door of the cave. Any tracks from him you think since that day? (Pardon if you mentioned that & I might not have seen it. Great weekend to you :)

Edited by treeknocker

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Guest

BigTex:

I feel like an idiot, but I've forgotten the "basics" of your work in your area...could you give us a "Cliff's Notes" version of the history of your work in this research area to date? Any actual sightings? Trace evidence (hair, scat)? Other than your many photos, have you done any documentation of your findings?

Lastly, IIRC you had shifted your research area slightly not too long ago. Do you revisit your original area (esp Kill Zone 1) these days at all?

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Guest

A condensed history would probably be a good idea, 'tex. Especially as new members come along and once the archive comes online (if it does), your research threads will contain a massive amount information. It'd be great to have a summary version to help members new to your thread "catch up" to the latest updates.

Mulder: while I don't know if he's been back since then, we're pretty sure that the first kill zone was a body dump for roadkill. Once 'tex called the local government, the bodies just stopped showing up.

BigTex: I love the photos. The wall and the cave remind me of our first meet up, walking around the several hot spots around town. Which also reminds me, do you have any pictures of that HUGE cedar tree, where several of the branches were twisted and tucked under each other? To me, that was really impressive stuff.

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