Thursday, September 16, 2010

Bushcraft - Central Texas Style - A Field Guide to Texas Mountain Lions

One of the most important parts of practicing bushcraft is knowing the hazards you may face when spending time outdoors. While chance encounters with extremely dangerous wildlife are usually quite rare, there will come a time when it may happen. A working knowledge of the wildlife you may encounter will allow you to be better prepared to handle such a chance encounter should it occur.

With the advent of the increased urbanization of wildlife habitat and many more people spending an additional and significant amount of time involved in outdoor activities, the possibility of a chance encounter with dangerous wildlife becomes more of a risk.

Here is an excellent field guide on Texas mountain lions to help you be more knowledgeable about one such possible hazard. Here is a brief excerpt from this excellent field guide:

“The mountain lion (Puma concolor), also known as cougar, puma and panther, has been an integral part of the Texas fauna for thousands of years, as evidenced by the paintings and pictographs of Native Americans and the fossil record.

Lions were once common throughout Texas, but since Anglo settlement, they have mostly been confined to isolated and rugged areas of the state. Lions now appear to be moving back into historic habitats where they have not been documented for well over a hundred years.

It is increasingly more important for range and wildlife managers to be able to recognize lion “sign,” in order to monitor populations in a given area. Lions are solitary, secretive creatures. This guide attempts to provide field people with a working knowledge of the mountain lion. It is not intended for the experts, but rather for laypersons in order to provide them with the basics of lion behavior, allowing them to interpret the traces left by the animal.

Mountain lions are controversial animals that often evoke love-hate feelings on the part of humans. Whatever one’s perspective, however, mountain lions are fascinating and little understood animals that play an important role in the Texas ecosystem. The mountain lion is adaptable and can be found thriving in hot deserts, wetlands and high mountains.”

This field guide is available in a secure download here:

A Field Guide to Texas Mountain Lions

Image Source: A Field Guide to Texas Mountain Lions

The habitat of mountain lions is not limited to Texas by any means and they occur in areas ranging from the extreme southern parts of South America to areas as far north as British Columbia in Canada.

Got field guide?

Staying above the water line!



Anonymous said...

I've seen tracks twice in my lifetime down here in south Texas, but never the animal that fits the tracks. My brother has though - said the experience was a real thrill.

Very solitary creatures, yet curious about people.

russell1200 said...

Texas used to get jaguar too! But sightings of them are rather rare now I gather.

riverwalker said...

To: anonymous

I have tracked one through a dry creek bed on a friend's ranch just north of my location. Didn't see it but it probably saw and heard us. We weren't using any dogs at the time.

I know they are out there but if they don't want to be seen...

Thanks anon.


riverwalker said...

To: russell 1200

Haven't seen any jaguar but have talked to a couple of guys that will swear they have seen a black one in our area...seems doubtful though. They are pretty scarce even further south...



Anonymous said...

mountain lions are perfect ambush predators

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