Cougar




www.richwooders.com
Mountain Lion
Sightings,
West Virginia
Mountain Lion sightings continued around West Virginia, with people reporting sightings or evidence of a
Mountain Lion. If you should see a mountain lion consider yourself lucky and enjoy the moment.
But be sure e-mail us your sighting.
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I am curious?

(#115)
Sept 30, 2013

It seems to me that you're a non-hunter and probably one of the people behind the hidden reintroduction program you're involved with. I know it's all about lowering the deer numbers down to nothing! Yes I have pictures of cougar tracks on my property in West Virginia, but I am not stupid enough to tell you where so that you can track a study how well your released cougars are doing in the wild. All I know is that the cougars that everyone is seeing are not the true eastern cougar! So technically you're allowed to shoot any you see without worry of federal jail time! It's an evasive animal and what they are doing is probably illegal!!
A Chechile

Webmaster's Note!
Just like elk, it seems that mountain lions are slowly returning to their historical range, in limited numbers. There is a lot of controversy among some hunters, who insist that their state wildlife department or a preservation group has imported mountain lions. One fact is clear; before any state or preservation group imports animals across state lines they must have proper permits. I know of no documentation to support such claims. The coyotes are largely to blame for declining deer population in some area; this has created a debate among some deer hunters about predator control. The eastern cougars are listed as endangered species and are rare in the eastern States and I believe no hunters would ever jeopardize hunting license or jail time by shooting an endangered species and most biologists now believe there is no real difference between the western and eastern cougar. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, declared the eastern cougar extinct in 2011 and recommended that it be removed from the nation's list of endangered species, where it has resided since 1973 but I believe the eastern cougar is still on the nation's endangered species list. And believe me; I would not shoot a mountain lion in West Virginia, they are too rare and I don't think it's legal to take a Cougar still in West Virginia. It's not recognized as a game species. State laws govern hunting and killing animals not protected by federal law. Contact a Game Warden or West Virginia Division of Natural Resources to find out what laws apply for cougars.


Dots on the map represent each mountain lion sighting

(#114)
Sept 11, 2013

I was back road touring as I do often and was on Back Mountain road headed toward Clover Lick when a mountain Lion ran across my path - then he/she stopped in the woods at the top of the hill and I stared forever in amazement. It had a long tail, it was gorgeous. I did not know they were in the area - so was excited to see your info. I have seen so many map dots in those woods that I LOVE. Have not been to Ridgewood.
Connie V.Russell

Webmaster's Note!
I have never been there either, to Ridgewood. Does the dots on the map represent each mountain lion sighting in WV. I like to see the map.


Mountain lion or a big Bobcat.

(#113)
June 09, 2013

This pic was taken with a game camera, I think a mountain lion or a big bobcat.
Thank You Cora Moose
Mountain lion or a big Bobcat.

Webmaster's Note!
Definitely not a bobcat, it's a mountain lion no doubt about it.


Possible cougar sighting

(#112)
June 07, 2013

My husband and I are living in Bluefield, part time and were driving to our home in Greenville, SC. We are living at the base of East River Mountain and have already had a bear and a copperhead snake. Just before making the turn, to go to the highway where the East River Mountain tunnel is, we were stunned to see a cougar, cross running across the road. I came to the internet, to verify what I had seen, and there certainly is no doubt! This happened this morning about 10 am.
Leland and Robin Tucker

Webmaster's Note!
There has been possible cougar sighting before in this area of West Virginia and Virginia.


Mountain Lion Sighting North Mountain close to Gerrardstown, WV.

(#111)
March 10, 2013

When returning home on North Mountain close to Gerrardstown, West Virginia we saw a mountain lion crossing the road. It had a long cat tail and was golden yellow.
Anne Shearin

Webmaster's Note!
There has definitely been a few around the Eastern Panhandle. I hear more folks are seeing them and several sightings in Hardy County. They say the few that turn up around in West Virginia have escaped from irresponsible owners or the western cougar that are here have migrated. I have only seen one Coyote in the Eastern Panhandle and Black Bears but have not seen a mountain lion/cougar but that doesn't mean they aren't present. Some mountain lions sightings are actually domestic cats which have reverted back to a wild state or Coyote and bobcats are most likely to be misidentified as a mountain lion.Domestic Feral Cat
It would be easy to identify a full-grown mountain lion in the zoo, but not so easy to identify a full-grown mountain lion roaming the wilds. At first glance a Domestic Feral Cat might look like a very large mountain lion from a distance to the untrained eye.


Eastern Cougars

(#110)
Jan 31, 2013

First off ... great site. I saw a mountain lion back in 1985 while bow hunting with my little brother near Old Stony Dam in Grant County. We were walking out of the woods on an old logging trail near dusk. We spooked some deer that were off to our left that were well out of safe shooting range. When we turned to continue walking a large, completely black mountain lion ran across the logging trail about 40 yards in front of us. We stopped and watched it disappear and then we both looked at each other without saying a word, both of us couldn't believe what we just saw. Two things I remember most was its tail seemed to be as long as its body and that it didn't make a sound as it ran through a very dry and noisy woods. Afterwards, I wondered if it was us or the mountain lion that spooked the deer. I grew up in WV and spent my youth hunting in Tucker/Grant counties. I've seen a black bear twice while bow hunting and a bob cat while squirrel hunting. The bobcat's tail was very short and its body was significantly smaller. Nobody will ever convince me that there are no mountain lions in WV.
Respectfully,
James A. Bergstrom

Webmaster's Note!
Mountain lions aren't supposed to exist within West Virginia, but many hunters and wild life officials know they're here; the controversy is whether the mountain lion are natural to this State or whether the cats that are here have migrated.


Eastern Cougars

(#109)
Jan 15 2013

I have spent countless hours and even weeks in the mountains backpacking. I have seen several mountain lions especially in Pocahontas County and on Dolly Sods. I tracked and watched one black cat for two years. I called her Pandora because of her nature. (Not sure male or female) One evening at dusk she laid in a tree over top the railroad tracks back about 5 miles from any road or houses. I saw her again in camp one night she jumped out of a tree a few feet from me. I got a really good look at her but no pictures. Dolly Sods is another area I spent a lot of time in and saw a brown mountain lion there. They are illusive and they do not like people. (Go figure) But spending lots of time in the mountains increases the chance one might be spotted. I talked with DNR about the one in Pocahontas County and he said the mountain lion travels frequently and that it pattern of behavior includes miles then it may move on. His explanation kind of explained why after two years she disappeared. I do not care who does not believe me it is irrelevant as I know what I saw and have been tracking them for 20 years. The biggest controversy anymore is not whether the mountain lion exists in West Virginia it is whether they are natural to this State or whether the cats that are here have migrated. There is talk that they are being taken off the endangered species list.
Lucy Kirby, MS

Webmaster's Note!
In March 2011, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declared the eastern cougar extinct, and the agency recommended that it be removed from the endangered species list. They concluded that cougars are seen occasionally in the East, no evidence exists that they are the subspecies known as eastern cougars. I believe some of these cats are surviving members of the eastern subspecies and all cougar in the eastern United States should be protected by federal law.


Doddridge County Black Panthers sighting

(#108)
11/27/12

We live in Doddridge County, about 24 miles from Harrison & 16 from Lewis County. Our community in this county is called Porto Rico and we a-but the I.L.Morris Family trust property which contains about 15,000 acres of nothing. All in all, there's at least 20,000 acres out here of little to no activity. I first saw the black panthers about 4 years ago on the first day of deer gun season. I was coming home from work (I worked for the sheriff's office at the time as the humane officer) and in the apex of a sharp "S" turn on route 18 south, saw a HUGE cat with two smaller ones running across the bottom of the field approx. 100 yards away from the road. The tails were as long as the bodies and I suddenly felt like I was watching an episode of Wild Kingdom.....it made the hair stand up on the back of my neck. Practically everyone on this road has seen them at least once. I've seen them twice more on our farm, one neighbor saw one right outside her backdoor, and they've been seen crossing the road, slinking across fields, etc. We've also heard them "scream" right before dawn. Believe me; we are not hearing a fox, rabbit, or bobcat! Most generally they are seen this time of year. I have to wonder if this is because of the hunting activity making them move more than they generally would. A few years ago, a recently retired DNR officer admitted to me they are here, but that is not the DNR's "official" statement. We have one roaming around out here right now that is upsetting the livestock every night. My dairy goat is so terrified; she has taken to hiding in our back yard, glued to the privacy fence during the day, and hides with the horses each night. We're hoping to get a pic with the game cam.....they ARE here and I think the population is growing.
Mary Daggett

Webmaster's Note!
I am highly skeptical of Black Panthers sighting, most reports are actually big black domestic feral cat sightings or sighting a Black Mountain Lion and this is a rare event. Contrary to popular belief, there are no black panthers in USA. Occasionally, a Cougar/Mountain Lion will be gray, dark brown, cinnamon which can appear almost black and, even more rarely, solid black mountain lion. They are so unexpected that it's common for people to initially mistake them for panthers.


Taken with a game camera - Coalwood, McDowell County, West Virginia

(#107)
9/12/12

Game Cam
This pic was taken with a game camera around 9:30 am in the Coalwood area of Mcdowell County.
Thank You Billy Rose

Webmaster's Note!
This cat looks like a bobcat in many ways, tipped ears, and tail is short. At first glance a bobcat might look like a very large mountain lion.


The sighting was in Parsons WV.

(#106)
9/1/12

The sighting was in Parsons WV. My boyfriend and I were driving past the Fernow Experimental Forest along the river when we both saw something run across the road about 100ft ahead of us. I immediately became excited. So we speed up to the spot where we saw it and started examine the wooded mountain side. If any of you have ever visited parsons I'm sure you know what I mean when I say mountain side. The mountain we saw the lion on is named McGowan Mountain. Anyways the cat had rum across the road from the left and went off the road on our right. So I had the best view in the passenger seat. Suddenly see it. This tan creature hunched down in the bushes beside the road. Then it darts about 15ft up the hillside but still only about 25ft from us. Then I see it's Face. I yelled it's a cat. Not knowing what to call it at first. Then the cat starts pacing back on forth watching us. It's was well camouflaged and didn't make a sound as it moved. It was so hard to follow it with your eyes. Then the mountain lion went around a tree I could see its tail whip around the tree and it started up the mountain. I could see its back and shoulders as it went up the mountain then I lost it and haven't seen it since. But we are positive that we saw a mountain lion. We had several clear unobstructed views of it and I have to say it was beautiful.
I hope these cats will continue to call our acres of uninhabited forests their home.
Cheney Allman

Webmaster's Note!
Other sightings reported from the McGowan Mountain vicinity and Otter Creek Wilderness, This is for the people who don't know, the town of Parsons is the county seat of Tucker County, West Virginia and the Fernow Experimental Forest is a research forest in Tucker County, West Virginia. If you think you have seen a mountain lion, or cougar in McGowan Mountain vicinity, you are not alone.


Sighting Blue Ridge Parkway Va.

(#105)
7/25/12

I ran across your site and wanted to send in my story. In 1999 a friend and I were riding on the Blue Ridge Parkway couple miles from the Peaks of Otter near Bedford County when a mountain lion jumped out in front of our car. It was in Sept. and about 3 or 4:00pm in the afternoon. As I drove around a sharp turn on the mountain, the road went through a section of rock cliffs. The mountain lion jumped off a large rock right out in front of my car in the middle of the road. I slammed on the brakes and it strode on the road about 10 feet from my car. I have heard lots of stories, but was shocked to see one in person. I've been hunting for 20+ years and bagged 75+ deer, foxes, coyotes, turkeys, etc... And I have seen mountain lions in zoos etc... And it was definitely a mountain lion. I would say that it weighed about 150+ pounds, it was light brown/tan, darker on its back/top, and stood on the road for about two long minutes, looking back up the mountain like it was waiting for a cub, or another lion. It was beautiful, its long tail was dancing in the air, it was walking back and forth across the road, and it seemed to be anxious to leave, but still looking hard up the mountain. It then took a long stride across the road and jumped nearly 10 feet up straight up a large rock cliff, then up the rocks through the mountain into the laurel. We were still sitting there shocked. I had turned off the car, so we both got out of the car to see where it went. We took about 4 or 5 steps across the road and then realized it was still there up high on the rocks. Then it yelled VERY loudly at us! The hair on the back of my neck stood up, we both instantly froze and calculated the short distance back to the car... I am not sure who made it back to the car first, me or my friend, but I bet I beat him! We stopped and told a forest ranger near the lodge, but he said there are no mountain lions in Virginia and didn't believe us. I'll remember that afternoon the rest of my life.

Tom Hahn

Webmaster's Note!
Without physical evidence, photos or expert confirmation, most reports are viewed with skepticism by forest ranger. If you think you have seen a mountain lion, or cougar in Virginia, you are not alone.


Sightings may actually be sightings of a domestic feral cat

(#104)
6/25/12

Hello my name is Suzanne, I just moved outside city towards country. Much to my surprise I walked out my back door to tell my cousin who was sweeping my carport, and out corner of my eye I seen something turned n looked to see the rear end with long tail of a very large cat and called 911 because he/she was coming toward my cousin and carport till I walked out it slunk down and stayed we went in and police called back n said they would send dnr no one came no one called back.....spoke with neighbors and they said "thank god someone else has seen this, a mom and cub I don't want them killed and there are dairy farms all sides. Who do I call? Police said there is nothing like I described in this area but yes there is... I am not the only one who seen them and our smaller wildlife has disappeared compared to what it was three weeks ago including a large ground hog who I would watch every morning is gone for last 2 weeks.. Please let me know what I can do.
Suzanne Jones

Webmaster's Note!
Big domestic feral cats are out there and this sightings may actually be sightings of a feral cat with kittens and they are one of the top threats to West Virginia wildlife, so live trap them and have them taken to a shelter and don't forget Feral cats and kittens can hurt you if you are not careful.


Mountain Lion Sighting Randolph County

(#103)
6/11/12

Hi, we own a cabin in Randolph County not too far from the Tucker County Line. Our little "community" is bordered by the Monongahela National Forest along one side. Approximately 2 years ago (summer of 2010); I was taking a remote back road to our place. I was traveling with one of our dogs. We stopped, where a national forest road goes off diagonally down the mountain side, for a potty break. We were above the forest service road with our backs facing it. After a few minutes I heard something land on the forest service road below us. My dog was on leash. We both turned to look and I could not believe my eyes. There below us was a large animal, yellow-brown in color with a long uniformly thick tail. The ears were relatively short but erect. The animal moved from a crouching position in a drawn-out "cat stretch" and in one bound covered about 20 feet or more down the mountain side to disappear into the underbrush - almost noiselessly. I would say the overall body length was around 4 feet and the tail was almost as long as the body. It was very graceful in its movements. My dog, who is usually very eager to chase after deer, showed absolutely no desire to pursue this critter. She just watched with her head cocked at an angle. For a long time, my brain refused to accept that this was a mountain lion - but in retrospect, nothing else looks like this or moves like this. BTW, I am a trained scientist, a geologist with a master's and most of a PhD in geology, and a registered professional geologist. I try to make the most careful observations that I can - by training and habit.
Rich Miller
Vienna, VA

Webmaster's Note!
If you think you have seen a mountain lion, or cougar in West Virginia, you are not alone.


Cougar in West Virginia

(#102)
6/5/12

On 06/05/12 I and my two cousins were cat fishing at Hanging Rock in Springfield, WV in Hampshire County. We were packing up to go to another place to fish around 1230 am, my one cousin was the first up the bank when me and my other cousin came up about two minutes later he was standing with the car door open an giving us the stop sign with his hand, I ask what can he said you see them eyes he had his head lamp shining on it. My other cousin turned his head lamp on because it was brighter and we could only see eyes we stood there about five minutes watching it and it didn't move it was in the grass and brush on the lower cliff side. We got curious to see what it was our first though a bobcat, it finally got up and moved and we knew what it was a mt. lion, tannish color with white belly about 6 to 7 feet length an what we guesstimated at least 100 pound long tail black tip then it was gone took off down away from us. I know the experts say they don't exist around these parts but we know what we seen and it wasn't a bobcat I've seen plenty of them to know what a bobcat looks like and was definitely not a dog. Lot of people don't believe they are around but my theory is just because you don't see it don't mean it doesn't exist, that was my first time as well as my two cousins first time seeing one. Seen plenty of them to know what a bobcat looks like and was definitely not a dog. Lot of people don't believe they are around but my theory is just because you don't see it don't mean it doesn't exist, that was my first time as well as my two cousins first time seeing one.
Thank You. Jeff Paugh

Webmaster's Note!
If you think you have seen a mountain lion, or cougar in West Virginia, you are not alone.


Big cat sighting

(#101)
5/16/12

Good afternoon, I was on the phone with my mom last night and apparently she has a big cat of some type. She was probably about 50 yards from the animal. It was black with a thick, long black tail that drugs the ground and flips up once in a while. It was during daylight hours in the early morning and she watched it crawl into a small ravine type ditch that is very dense with underbrush and large bushes. She says it was a panther but from what I have read that might be unlikely. It was not a cat, she is in a rural area and in fact some of her stray cats have gone missing that hunt near the area where she saw the animal. She is in the town of McWhorter between Lost Creek and Jane Lew and has plenty of wooded lands with abundant wildlife and water for miles. I do not doubt that she saw something that was not a dog, not an overly large house cat. But was it a black mountain lion or panther?
Thank You. Lewanna Warner

Webmaster's Note!
Many Black Panther sightings may actually be sightings of a feral cat. As long as there are irresponsible pet owners who throw cats out for some selfish reason instead of taking them to the shelter there are going to be feral cats, to sum up, feral cat could be assumed to be much bigger than it is when there is no object to compare its size to.


Mysterious jet black coat

(#100)
4/24/12

I do not have a photo but I thought it would be of help if I informed you of a recent sighting. It must have been two summers ago, maybe September when my sister, grandmother and I spotted a group of two cubs along with their mother resting under the shade of a tree in our backyard. It is a quiet, solitary setting but we were still amazed to only been less than a football field away from them. The following summer, last summer, in mid-august my sister and I were just finishing up feeding the horses when I felt like I was being watched. When I turned to go back to the barn for my sister I saw an oddly large cougar, and it had a mysterious jet black coat. It was perched on a fallen tree watching us for what must have been ten minutes before turning and vanishing into the trees. Oh, we are in Thornton of Taylor County.
Jadyn Phillips

Webmaster's Note!
What's so mysterious about a black cat? Maybe a feral house cat or maybe somebody's pet out for a prowl. Seriously you did not think it was a mountain lion.


Mountain lions were native to West Virginia

(#99)
4/17/12

I just found your page. I am a middle school art teacher in Greenbrier County. When I was a child living up Simms MT. Road on the western end, I was topping over a hill on a friends farm. At the bottom of the hill about 100 yds. away I saw a large mountain lion. It was blond in color and its tail was about four feet long. It was standing sideways walking towards cattle troughs which was attached to a fence at the edge of some woods. I was about nine years old and I figured it had escaped. My daughter wanted to do a paper in her high school science class on indigenous animals of WV and tried to do it on this animal and the teacher would not accept it. He said if any on tried to present him with evidence he would call them a liar. She ended up having to do another animal.
Mark Cline

Webmaster's Note!
I have no idea why she couldn't use this animal. Mountain lions were fairly common in West Virginia when early settlers moved into the area, and two cougars captured in Pocahontas County in 1976. The Scuttle Butt that I have been told was the eastern mountain lions, were exterminated decades ago but that doesn't mean they aren't present... Mountain lions, cougars, panthers, pumas, catamount, are some of the names for this great cat that are listed as endangered species and are rare in the eastern States.


WV Cougar Sighting

(#98)
4/1/12

Last night we had a cougar out back of our home which is in a sub-division. There is however an open field out back. I'd let our dachshund out to potty and she ran from the back patio and in a very brief time she was barking like crazy. I got a flash light and shined it out into the thicket. I could see eyes and they turned from me and headed up the hill a little ways. I couldn't get my dog to come back in and she was inching her way back towards the weeds where the cat was. As she kept moving closer toward the weeds, I could see the cougar weave its way like a cat back towards my dog. I screamed and yelled and finally the dog came back up to the house. The cougar stopped at the grass line. The cougar had however reached out at my dog and put about a 2-3" gash in her back and a puncture wound on her lower rump that sent us to the veterinarian emergency office for about a dozen staples in the laceration. They of course couldn't identify the culprit but thought the clean laceration was indicative of maybe a cougar or any animal with a very sharp claw. I saw how it moved and heard it. My husband saw it as well as it moved farther from the house. We live in Berkeley County, WV and are about a mile outside the city limits of Martinsburg.
Lisa Brooks Fausey

Webmaster's Note!
Might not be a Cougar, "Bobcats" may be to blame for pet laceration, they are not that uncommon, especially if the subdivisions includes field of tall grass and neighboring wood and there are many huge feral cats out there.


Cougars

(#97)
3/29/12

At approximately 1145 pm on the night of 03-27-12 I spotted a cougar on Bingamon Road in Marion County. I had too good of a look for anyone to say it was anything else. As I came around a turn I saw his hindquarters going over a slight bank. It then proceeded to climb upon a large tree that had been cut and all branches skinned from it. It was tan with a black tipped long tail the dipped slightly after it left the hindquarters. It stopped and turned to face the car (prior to running off). My headlights were full on it. I have been riding horses in this area most of my life and never dreamed I would ever actually see one. What a sight!
Thanks, Kimberly Rice

Webmaster's Note!
These large, powerful cats are shy and avoid humans, you could live, your entire lifetime in Cougars country and never see one. Consider yourself lucky.


County Road 13 outside of Davis, WV. Cat Track

(#96)
3/20/12

I live in Maryland. My son and I camp frequently in West Virginia. We camped off County Road 13 outside of Davis, WV last year- 2011. Our camp was an open space next to an old fire road across the Red Run. We have a large cooler which is too big to hang in the trees. We put a strap around the cooler and have a motion detector behind the cooler under our truck. During the night the detector went off and our dog was barking. We blew whistles and shouted. With all that noise we heard whatever it was go back into the woods. The next morning I went over to the side by the woods and there was a puddle and mud. I took a picture of a 4 inch track in the mud. It was not a bear, dog, coyote or bobcat. It was definitely a cat track and it would have to be a mountain lion. We now have motion cameras with infrared to put in the camp so we can see what comes in the camp.
Gina Mason

Webmaster's Note!
We need more hidden outdoor cameras, Infrared motion detection cameras for cougars monitoring.


Mountain Lion Sighting

(#95)
2/23/12

Hello. My name is Mark Christian. I live in Culloden, WV. My girlfriend and I had been visiting her grandmother in Chapmanville, WV in Logan County. On our way back home from Logan County, on Corridor G, approximately 7 miles from Chapmanville toward Lincoln County, a mountain lion was crossing the road in front of us and nearly caused us to wreck. It took us quite sometime to figure out exactly what it was, but after learning that mountain lions had been sighted in this part of WV in several different locations............there is no mistake. It was a mountain lion of considerable size. Just a word out to those travelling Corridor G., beware things crossing the road, it appeared as if out of nowhere.
Sincerely, Mark Christian

Webmaster's Note!
We have seen an increase in mountain lion sightings, and we expect to see future increases in mountain lion sightings and encounters.


Wild Cat in Huntington West Virginia.

(#94)
2/15/12

Hi, My name is Diane and I live with my in-laws in Huntinton West Virginia (Seneca Ridge Townhomes). Right beside the town homes is a huge valley and while I was looking out my window I saw this huge cat with a really long tail. I looked up wild cats in West Virginia and saw a puma (Mt. Lion) and the mystery cat fit the description better than any other. This one had a little white tip on the tail, I figured it could be possible. We seem to have deer out here every night... like 7 of them, but now we haven't seen any in months. I have never seen one before but it was huge and kind of concerned me a little seeing as how I have a two year old.
Diane Asmus

Webmaster's Note!
The "Wild Cat in Huntington West Virginia" might not be a puma, Huntington generate quite a bit of false alarms, but this shed light on another cat problem, the exploding of feral cats.


Caught by a Game Cam

(#93)
2/9/12

This was caught by a Game Cam in Webster County WV is the story on facebook but after researching it I'm seriouly doubting it but Nice Pic
Submitted by: Scott Caltrider
Game Cam

Webmaster's Note!
You think right! Nice pic! Almost all Texas hunters use deer feeder and this is more consistent with Texas, it would be neat if it was taken in West Virginia, but the photo doesn't look right so I'm skeptical of this photo and would like more information on it.


The Quest Eastern Cougar

(#92)
2/2/12

Hi, I thought your readers might be interested in my new book, The Quest For The Eastern Cougar I would appreciate it if you could let the readers know about it. I have attached the book jacket for your review and a photo from the inside.
They can buy it at BN.com
Sincerely, Robert Tougias
The Quest Eastern Cougar

Webmaster's Note!
We have seen an increase in mountain lion sightings, and we expect to see future increases in mountain lion sightings and encounters.


Large Animal Run Through My campsite

(#91)
1/24/12

Greetings - I came across your site when researching hunting in WV and would appreciate your response to my experience. Here's my story, In June of 2008, I floated the trough section of the south branch of the Potomac in Hampshire County, West Virginia. In the later afternoon, I set up my camp on the bank across from "eagle rock". Shortly after my camp was set, a very large thunder storm came in, the lighting was very close. I retreated to my tent to remain dry but was very concerned for my safety. As I watched the rain come down, I saw a very large animal run through my campsite. After a few more seconds and a few more loud bangs of thunder, the animal ran back through my campsite, stopped at another loud crash and ran in a very small circle, and then ran in the direction that it came from. It was very similar in color to the brown of a whitetail deer but it had a large long tail - all brown. It seemed to be about size of a large dog. Immediately, I suspected that it may be a mountain lion when I returned home, I found some pictures of mountain lions on the web and was even more convinced that the animal was a mountain lion. I spoke with some people from the area and they reported that there have been other "sightings" in the area. What do you think; could this have been a mountain lion? Would a very close, loud lighting storm drive a mountain lion into this type of activity? A response would be appreciated.
Lowell McDonald

Webmaster's Note!
I cannot say, but you definitely saw something, large dog or coyote crossed my mind. I don't think there are any big cats that would be out in a large thunder storm.


Cat Tracks in Boone County.

Cat Tracks in Boone County.


(#90)
12/17/11

I found your sight when I Googled Mountain Lion sightings in WV. In September 2008 I was bear hunting a old reclaimed mine site between Prenter and Orgas with a friend and his dad. My friends dad walked out a four wheeler path and found a large mud hole that was starting to dry up. He found what seemed to be a large cat track it was about 6 inches across and was sunk down in the mud about 2 inches. I did not think to walk out the road and take a picture of the track but I wish I had. We believe it was a cat track because there were no claw marks in the mud, if it had been a dog track it would have had claw marks seeing how far it was sunk down in the mud.
James Sutphin

Webmaster's Note!
That track you found could be a mountain lion or a big dog or left by coyote?


Mount lion sighting, Lizemores, WV Clay County on 12-4-11.

(#89)
12/4/11

We was coming home from coon hunting at about 1 in the morning, and we looked down the road and seen something walking. We disregarded it for a minute, until we got close. It stood about 3-4 foot tall will a long tail, it was tan, black tipped tail. It circled our truck then it kept walking up the road. Definitely not a bobcat, I've trapped and killed bobcats. There was no way this was a bobcat. We have been seeing tracks in that general area.
Bryan Burkhamer

Webmaster's Note! Quite hard to identify mountain lion at night and the animal made no attempt to hide his apprehension and it circled your truck, could be a canine mutt.


Presley Ridge in Laurel Park WV, Harrison County.

(#88)
Sun, Nov 13, 2011 at 1:20 AM

I found your sight when I Googled Mountain Lion sightings in WV. I saw one today 11/12/11 at Presley Ridge in Laurel Park WV, Harrison County. Walking through the woods while Geo-Caching earlier today when the sound of a large animal jumping out of the tree line startled me, I turned expecting to see a deer when I was shocked to see a very large cat about 60 yards from me. He turned and ran away from my direction and I turned and ran the other way. After getting back to my car and calming down, I realized it had to be a mountain lion, it was larger than the bobcats I have seen at the Stonewall Jackson Resort Golf Course and the color was a dark yellow, goldish color, the tail seemed to be longer than its body and curving down and back up again. It moved very quick and was larger than my Australian Sheppard. After checking out your sight I'm relieved that I am not the only person whom has seen such a sight.
ROGER and CRYSTAL HAMRICK

Webmaster's Note!


Not a first-hand sighting, so post/do not post at your discretion.

(#87)
11/7/11

My husband and I recently bought property in Great Cacapon, WV. It is rugged land, at the top of a mountain. As we went this weekend (11/6/2011) to visit, I took this photo on Rock Ford Road. After we went home, I emailed the man from whom we bought the land and asked him about the sign. He lives right there close by and is an avid hunter. This is what he had to say: About a month ago when Stan (the dog) and I were heading through the mountain, overlooking a stream bed I seen two large cats, they appeared to be in good condition, at the time I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me. I have seen a number of bobcats up here, they are rare to see even though they are plentiful. These did not appear to be bobcats and my thought at the time were mountain lions, but not sure if even I would believe that one. From time to time there are sightings but to my knowledge they have never been verified. That's what I know, Rick. Bobcats get up to 35 pounds and usually appear pretty scraggly."
Alert
Lori Andrews

Webmaster's Note! It is not inconceivable that a mountain lion could be out there, but the bobcat is the only resident "big" cat. However, It would be easy to identify a full-grown mountain lion in the zoo, but not so easy to identify a full-grown mountain lion roaming the wilds.


Braxton County Mountain Lion.

(#86)
10/20/11

My buddy and I were on a hunting trip in 2005 near Heaters WV in Braxton County. We were driving down a dirt road to go back to the house we were staying at and were shining a light into the woods (NOT SPOTLIGHTING!!! JUST LOOKING!! NO RIFLE INVOLVED!!). We saw a small group of deer's eyes glowing about 50 yards away just standing in a clearing in the woods. We stopped to count them and as I moved the light down closer to us there we two eyes looking directly at us that were a slightly different color. The eyes were closer together and completely concentrated on us with a concentrated stare. The animal seemed to be watching the deer from the woods also and when it's concentration switched to us it slowly got up from a crotched position and started to follow right below the ridge of the hill as to stay hidden from the deer. As the light hit the body of the animal we could see that it was a big cat with a long thick tail that hung down low. It was hard to tell at night but it seemed to have a dark red tint to it's fur when the light hit it. The complete confidence of the cat's stare and gait sent chills through my body. Both of us in a whispered yell said "A mountain lion!!" and I started to frantically roll the window up. The feeling I got as the cat stared at me was a fear that I have only felt a few other times in my life when I thought that I was going to die. It was a feeling of being prey to a predator and it was truly spine tingling. Within a few seconds the cat's eye's disappeared into the woods and I have never seen anything like it again. To this day I get the chills walking outside at night in that area. People that say to me that there are no mountain lions in WV don't know what they are talking about. There is a lot that goes on in those woods at night.
Jeff Conrad

Webmaster's Note! If you think you have seen a Mountain Lion in West Virginia, you are not alone and a lot of people are still very much afraid of the dark and fear those woods at night and only a few can enjoy the woods at night. I got a lot of respect for the Wild West Virginia hills and those Wild West Virginia nocturnal animals.... Be careful of the woods at night, never go in them alone.


Check these mountain loins out, tell me what you think.

(#85)
10/17/11

http://www.wchstv.com/newsroom/iwitnessphotos/10021400286.shtml
Lonnie lldfarley

Webmaster's Note! I would love for this to be true that they were taken outside of Elkins WV, there is no denying the animals are mountain lions and they are beautiful creatures and sometime they are exotic pets, the idea of keeping large exotic cats is not crazy to some people, unfortunately they are less afraid of humans, wild mountain lions are primarily nocturnal animals that occasionally are active during daylight hours, its hard to believe that these photos were taking outside of Elkins WV of wild mountain lions.


Picture of a cat.

(#84)
9/01/11

Thought you might be interested in a picture of a cat I got on a trail camera this weekend in Upshur county about 4 mi from Buckhannon in the Truby run area. The date & time on camera is incorrect, It was actually taken about midnight on August 27, 2011.
Richwood
Keith

Webmaster's Note! I've seen mountain lions up close; definitely not a mountain lions, its small feet and skinny tail look like a feral cat. It's not a fox, it has feline hind legs. Most mountain lions sightings are actually domestic cats which have reverted back to a wild state, so that's what I'm thinking, though it is a very nice looking photo from a trail camera.


Are your Eyes Playing Tricks on you? Marshall County WV.

(#83)
8/24/11

We was wondering if you have gotten to look at the picture we sent you yesterday if you could please write back and let us know if we really seen a mountain lion.
Richwood
thank you
Angel Galentine

Webmaster's Note! It's hard to tell from this picture, but it looks sort of like a bush. Are your Eyes Playing Tricks on you?


Report a mountain lion sighting in Braxton County, WV.

(#82)
8/17/11

A few months ago around the beginning of July 2011 I was traveling home from NC. it was around 10 pm and I was driving out my home road in Tate Creek, WV and about 10 feet in front of me I saw something walking in a crouched position across the road, it was light tan in color and had a long skinny tail. When it got to the edge of the road it leaped into the woods and disappeared. When I got home I told my husband that I thought I just saw a mt. lion and he didn't believe me at first but when I described it to him he said that does sound like a mt. lion. There was no mistaking to me what it was because I was so close to it and it was moving slowly.
Linda Young

Webmaster's Note! You are not alone, unconfirmed accounts of mountain lion (tracks and sightings) continued to be reported in Braxton County.


Mountain Lion sighting

(#81)
8/1/11

August 1, 2011. I am visiting Cass, WV. While driving east on WV 66, my nephew and I spotted what had to be a mountain lion crossing the road. There was no place to pull over and it was gone over the side of the mountain before we could get a picture. It was dark gray, about four or five feet long, and had a very long tail. It was definitely a big cat. It was not a dog. It was not a fox; not a raccoon or anything like that. It was a big cat with a long tail.
Jerome Kay
Visiting Pocahontas County from Portsmouth, Virginia

Webmaster's Note! Most mt. lion are essentially reddish and light brown to tawny in color but occasionally, a Cougar/Mountain Lion will be gray, consider yourself lucky.


The Problem Might Be You:

(#80)
8/1/11

I would be very excited to see a mountain lion on our property in the mountains of S.W. Virginia. We use to have lots of bobcats; I got very excited each time they showed up around our home. We live in an isolated area. Now they are all gone. Many Coyote's have taken there place. Which I don't like! It would break my heart to know of someone trapping the mountain lion that was sited in West VA. Why can't people just leave the few wonderful animals that are still out in the wild? Just leave nature alone! Mountain lions and cougar's use to be plentiful in VA. and W. Va. now they are completely gone. Apparently, they have been gone in our area for about 50 years. Now the bobcats are gone. Man is the reason, and there trophy minds!
Thank you for reading my opinion,
Beth Honeycutt

Webmaster's Note! The Problem Might Be You: These animals are secretive and don't like the presence of humans, however there have been known cases where large Coyote populations have affected the number of bobcats in the area and lost habitats for small animals, rats, mice, squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits, birds will greatly reduced or eliminated bobcats from an area. Bobcats are nocturnal animals and only a few West Virginia residents ever actually see a bobcat in the wild. They live in the mountains in small caves, under overhanging rocks and hollow trees and kittens will stay with their mother for their first year and are preyed upon by coyotes, foxes and large owls. The activities of man have eliminated some bobcat habitat and many bobcats are killed by cars on the state's roads each year.


Handle an encounter with a mountain lion:

(#79)
7/31/11

Hello:
We have a farm off of Three Churches Hollow Road about 30 minutes outside of Romney. Last weekend I was walking in the woods (which I have done for the past 30 plus years) with my three dogs. As I looked to the right of the trail about 30 to 40 feet away was the LARGEST cat I have ever seen (except in the zoo).It was draped over a log which was a bit off the ground, so that I could clearly see its' face, front legs, and forward body. It was larger than my Belgian Sheppard (he weighs about 85 lbs), uniformly tan, had a round face (which looked too small for its body), round, small ears, and white on the front paws. (I know what a bob cat looks like and this was not a bobcat.)It took me a while to process that this was not a very big house cat. Then I thought the local hunters had dragged back a stuffed animal to play a joke on me! When I noticed an ear moved and that the eyes were darting between me and the dogs, who were running around in the woods on the other side of the trail chasing a chipmunk.I stood there for a long few seconds and just watched the cat. Then I slowly backed-up, called the dogs, and returned to the cabin about a mile away. When my husband and I returned to the same location about 15 minutes later the cat was gone.I am sure this was a mountain lion, perhaps a female because of the smaller size. But the behavior seemed strange to me...just lying there and watching.Should I be concerned for the dogs or horses? Is there a better way to handle an encounter with a mountain lion? I'd appreciate any comments.
Thanks.
Janie Stopford

Webmaster's Note!Mountain lions are rather secretive, consequently, most people are unaware of their existence, is the largest member of the cat family living in those mountains and a glimpse of one of these magnificent cats would be a highlight of my day. But you need to take precautions to protect you, children and pets from an accidental encounter. Do not hike alone. Make noise to avoid surprising a lion and keep children close to you at all times. If you do encounter a lion, do not run. Talk calmly, avert your gaze, stand tall, and back away. Unlike with bears, if attack seems imminent, act aggressively. Do not crouch and do not turn away. Lions may be scared away by being struck with rocks or sticks, or by being kicked or hit. Lions are primarily nocturnal, but they have attacked in broad daylight. They rarely prey on humans, but such behavior occasionally does occur. Children and small adults are particularly vulnerable. Report all mountain lion encounters immediately!


I also believe there are cougars around.

(#78)
7/8/11

I live in Pulaski Co. VA. April 2009 I saw a bobcat at 2 minutes after noon-time on my land adjoining Jefferson Nat'l Forest. I was shocked. The cat was carrying a dead rabbit in its mouth so I assume it had cubs nearby.Was a VERY windy day and the direction was in my favor, not to mention the noise in the trees masking any noise I may have been making walking about. I was in camo standing in a thicket when I thought I caught site of a deer to my right. After just a second I realized it was not a deer and thought (due to the strange movement) it was someone's dog. Looked like maybe a boxer? Then within a couple more seconds I realized it was a large cat and stood still and didn't move. It came within 20 yards of me following the stream and I actually thought it was a cougar because of its size until it turned uphill away from the stream and I saw the short tail. I was almost completely tawny. Front legs making faster steps than the longer and more powerful looking hind legs.My husband said it was one in a million to have seen that cat. I feel lucky indeed. After it was gone I walked the stream looking for prints but found none. Once my husband got up there later in the day he walked up the stream and found the remains of a squirrel entirely eaten except the tail and one hind leg just the same as my large tabby cat finishes them off when he's able to snag one.I also believe there are cougars around. I know several folks who have seen them. One was my grandfather in the 60's on our land and one landowner nearby saw a black cougar in late 50's.Maybe one day I'll be so lucky! A farmer up the road found a deer carcass in a tree several years ago, but it COULD have been a bobcat. One I saw was nearly same height as my 70 lb. lab!! Just not as "thick".
Thanks for your site, I like it,
Brenda

Webmaster's Note!
There's a lot of people who don't believe mountain lions still live up in those mountains but I also believe there are mountain lions around.


Mountain Lion sighting?

(#77)
6/27/11

Hi, June 2011 in Mineral County. The Burgess Hollow road is closed to thru traffic at this time, but the other end comes out on Allegany Front not far below the scenic outlook. I just walked out on my front porch and sat down. (The time is 12:43 AM.) I am use to deer being in the front yard, so when I saw a movement I did not think anything of it. It was the color of a deer but as I continued to watch I realized it was way too low to the ground to be a deer. The light on our front porch is out, so I only had the sodium light from our garage in the distance to see by. This animal slowly walked down through the yard. It was the length of a very large deer but no higher than a fawn. It went down in the woods reappeared and in an instant the back end was in the light it had a long tail almost to the ground. This of course was no Deer! I have no proof or picture but it is my guess it was a mountain lion. I have researched these cats before and remembered your site. Just thought I did let you know the location I sited the animal.
Saundra Thomas

Webmaster's Note!


Mountain Lion sighting in Leon, Mason County?

(#76)
5/25/11

My husband and I were outside this evening May 25 2011 at 10:00 pm when we heard what we sincerely believe to be a mountain lion in Leon, Mason County between Buzzard Road and Manilla Ridge. It was doing a lot of low sounding vocalizations - growls and similar sounds. It lasted less than a half hour. Not a single dog in the neighborhood would bark including our own! My husband had been around one when he was a teenager and was very sure of what we heard. Needless to say my husband will be getting up with me when I leave for work while it is still dark out in the morning. He will not let me call DNR because he says they will not admit mountain lions exist in West Virginia or that they are actually reintroducing them in our state. I am a city girl from Charleston and have handled a lot of wildlife sightings and interactions but this is one that unnerves me the most!
ELIZABETH VANSICKLE

Webmaster's Note!


Mountain Lion story, Hurricane West Virginia

(#75)
Thu, Apr 28, 2011 at 2:27 PM

I looked over a couple of stories before I emailed you just to make sure it was ok for me to do so. I don't have a picture but my father has seen a mountain lion on several occasions and I heard it one night.My dad use to like to go up to his building a bit away from our house at night time and read the paper or magazines for some quiet relaxing time I suppose. He said he wasn't scared of it except for the first time he saw it, just because that was the last thing he thought he would see. He always said that as long as he didn't bother it he didn't feel like it wanted to bother him. The mountain lion always maintained a similar path from off the hillside, past the building to the creek to drink and back and he said really all he could do was stare in awe how beautifully graceful and smooth" is what he said. I think in all he had seen it around 5 or 6 times.I being a teenager at the time thought yea dad, whatever and would just go on my way as soon as he was done with his story, I had more important things to do then. But one night my sister and I were coming home, late mind you, past curfew. We knew we were going to be in trouble but we wanted to try and avoid it that night by creeping in quietly. Billie, my sister, had already made it in and I was probably about 500 or so feet away from my house when I heard this "scream". Instantly the hair stood up on the back of my neck and I just knew it was that mountain lion. I was so scared by then that I have to say I don't think I've ever ran that fast, nor did I care if I was in trouble anymore. That was the last thing on my mind. I ran in the house yelling for my dad saying," It's here!!! Its here!!!" He was wondering what in the world I was talking about so he went to check it out but by then he/she was gone.Sorry for no pictures but that's my story. By the way that was in the woody part of Hurricane West Virginia. If you would like more detailed info on where it was at just email me back anytime.
Best Regards,
Traci Luikart

Webmaster's Note!


Possible mountain lion sighting in Finger Lakes region.

(#74)
Apr 13 2011

In early April, 2011, I believe I may have seen a mountain lion in our huge Connecticut Hill Wildlife Management Area about 10 miles southwest of Cayuga Lake, and Ithaca, New York. It was too big to be a feral cat (which are common here), and definitely not a dog/coyote shape. It had that low to the ground movement, and crossed the road into the brush before I could figure it out. The librarian at our local school said that he heard one (quite different from a bobcat which we also have here), and then several hunters have reported sightings at the Newfield Town Hall according to the clerk Ms. Crance. She also mentioned that it might be a Fisher Cat, but they do not have that cat form. I did see some online that were closer to this one, so I guess that possible. Here the thing, it really looked gray, like medium-dark. It was a couple hundred yards maybe, so it could have looked darker due to the distance, but it was not tan, black, or spotted.
Emily R Clay

Webmaster's Note!


90 percent of the "woman screaming" sounds are only hoot owls

(#73)
Wed, Apr 27, 2011 at 7:36 AM

Just a note about people hearing mountain lions screaming like a woman. I don't doubt there are mountain lions in WV. Over my 67 years I have seen 3 "things" that could have been mountain lions. Problem was to far, to fast and to dark. In my childhood days I had heard people talking of the screams heard out in the forest at night. As a boy it frightened me. My father a well known hunter and fisherman in his younger year. In his younger years he even worked in the woods, yes he packed sugar through the woods for money. Said he had quite a few customers. He Took me out in the wood on several occasions so I could hear the "woman" scream. We got to hear the 'woman" scream on several occasion. Even got to watch some as they were screaming. Only it was no woman or mountain lion. Just hoot owls. I would have to guess 90 percent of the "woman screaming" sounds are only hoot owls. That sound, even knowing what it is still raises the hair on your neck when you first hear it.
Dulcimerman

Webmaster's Note!
We call the Barred Owl the hoot owl and the "screaming lady when we heard the sound of the screaming woman from the owl" they can sound like a woman screaming but the usual call is a series of eight accented hoots, with a downward pitch and if you have not ever heard mountain lion, you are likely to confuse it with another species that sounds like a woman screaming. Many people have been frightened by noises they heard, not knowing it was only an owl. Some owl sounds will raises the hairs on the back of your neck but if you've ever heard majestic mountain lion scream, you are unlikely to confuse it with an owl. I agree with you that 90 percent of the "woman screaming" sounds are owls or another woodland species of animal.
Barred Owls


Sighting of Mt Lion, Levels, West Virginia 4-9-2011

(#72)
Sat, Apr 9, 2011 at 3:46 PM

I have a farm and live in the outskirts of Levels, WV in a valley about a 1/2 mile above the South Branch of the Potomac River.On Friday April 9, 2011 around 11:30 a.m. I was working on the stalls in my barn when I heard 3 unusual cries. I thought something had happened to the horses I had just turned out into the field so I went to the barn door and looked to where they were standing. They were eating their hay. However, a short distance away slowly walking up the mountain was a mountain lion. No question in my mind what I saw. He walked very slowly and purposely up the mountain giving me plenty of time to study him. He had a large cat head and a tail that curved toward the ground and then up. He was a little darker in color than my yellow lab.Unfortunately I did not have a camera with me so therefore no picture. After viewing the pictures on your site I have no question of what I saw on Friday. You ask for reported sightings--wanted to let you know there was a sighting in Levels WV.In addition about 2-3 weeks ago my husband was up late reading when he heard what he thought was a woman screaming. He came to where I was sleeping to be sure I was o.k. After he woke me he told me about what he heard. The next night he heard the same thing.Then on Monday (4/4) or Tuesday (4/5) in the evening we were in our kitchen playing cards when we heard a loud cry which at the time we tried to convince ourselves was an owl; however it really didn't sound like an owl. We have several dogs and after the cry they all started barking, acting very agitated and were hard to calm down. After my sighting on Friday the 9th I now firmly believe it was the mountain lion causing the disturbances the last couple of weeks.I called DNR on Friday 4-9-11 around 2 p.m. and explained about my sighting. The lady told me the managers will be in later and would call me back. However, so far no call back.How concerned should I be for the safety of myself and my animals. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
C Pietra
Levels WV Hampshire County

Webmaster's Note!
Lions most dangerous when protecting their young, lack of natural prey, sick and unable to hunt normally they will start substituting livestock, pets, possibly people. And if you get too close to their territory they could become a threat to you. My answer to you and the one I live by is humans have a much bigger chance of being killed on our highways than to worry about a mountain lion attack and treat them with respect and keep a proper distance. Make sure children and pets remain close to you and in your sight at all times. People rarely get more than a brief glimpse of a mountain lion in the wild. ... They are normally nocturnal and don't really see humans as prey and avoid people quite well but will obviously be super protective of her kittens, or cubs so that alone is a scary thought if you were to come across Mountain Lion with cubs?



Did you mean: Mcelroy creek in Tyler County

(#71)
Mon, Apr 4, 2011 at 4:01 AM

Hello, In the spring of 2009, a good buddy of mine and myself were musky fishing a remote section of Mc Elroy creek in Tyler County, West Virginia in our kayaks. Kayaking allows you to move through the water very stealthy. It was just like any other day fishing my buddy was about 35 yards from me and conversation was at a minimum due to the concentration of fishing. There was a steep hill to my right side with multiple rock ledges and over hangs. I heard all kinds of commotion, as I looked up and caught a glimpse of something brown moving up the hill. My first instinct was that it was a deer. My buddy started frantically waving and pointing up the hill. At that time I seen a huge cat and when I say huge I me enormous climbing straight up a pine tree. There was no mistake that it was obviously a Mountain Lion. As my mind was registering what I was seeing, I heard something else and to my surprise coming out from under a rock ledge 3 little cats about the size of a house cat but only really long tails and obviously a bigger build than a house cat. The little cats scurried up the hill as the momma watched from above. We watched the cat for about a half an hour perched up in the tree and all of a sudden it was down the tree and gone. My friend and I were totally amazed at what we had just encountered. When we made it back in from the trip I contacted a buddy of mine that works for the DNR and told him what we had saw, he said there had been quite a few reports of large cats in the area. Then came the response, that it was a bobcat or a fisher. I know what I saw and my buddy knows what he saw and we both saw a mountain lion.
Steve


Webmaster's Note!
Did you mean: Mcelroy creek in Tyler County


I found your site after googling lion sightings for Huntington, West Virginia

(#70)
Tue, Jan 4, 2011 at 10:31 PM

Hi, I found your site after googling lion sightings for Huntington, WV. I was driving northbound on 64 Saturday night, January 1st when I saw something in the road ahead, it was raining and dark out and I saw a huge thing laying in the left lane right under the exit 8 sign that hangs over the road, I thought it might be a deer but as I got closer I saw it and it looked like a lion, it's body was long, at least 4-5 feet, it had a really long tail, small head, it was tan in color, all this while going about 55mph in the dark and rain but after years of seeing road kill, I've never seen ANYTHING like this. I was so shocked that on my way back going southbound on 64 I was looking for it across the road and amazingly was able to see it again, and it honestly looked like a female lion that you see at the zoo, I couldn't believe it. I'm not from West Virginia and I have no knowledge of what lives or doesn't live here but I know that whatever that was, it wasn't anything I've ever seen before, after searching online for DNR numbers, Highway Patrol, etc. the only person I could make contact with was the Huntington P.D. who said they would alert patrol but I don't know what ever became of that. I searched Huntington chat forums to see if anyone else saw it, there were quite a few cars on the road that night and I know other people had to have seen it also, I just would like to know what it was. Anyways, I just wanted to share my experience, West Virginia is beautiful but I will definitely not be exploring it without some serious protection from now on.
Lacey Kingston

Webmaster's Note!


Cougar Sighting Near Paint Creek Road, Kanawha County WV

(#69)
Mon, Jan 3, 2011 at 10:34 AM

Dear richwooder.com
I have always been suspect of most mountain lion claims, however not totally considering that I have only seen one coyote in my life (oddly enough near my residence in suburbia South Charleston). Add to the fact that I am an avid hunter and fisherman. Anyways, just this past Christmas Holiday season, on December 23rd, I was traveling late that night on the Turnpike (or early morning) enroute to Oakhill , WV to pick up my friend for an early morning trout expedition (that is another story in itself, ie a Christmas Tradition). We were going to head south towards Greenbrier Co. to fish on Anthony Creek. So as the story goes, I was traveling on the Turnpike southbound around 1:45 PM and just off the bottom the long hill before the Paint Creek Rd exit I viewed an animal off to the right of the road. This was not on the median, but more so in the Grassy area where this animal was viewed. What was peculiar about this sighting was the actual morphology of this animal. As the description goes this animal was long in its appearance and low to the ground. I would say easily 4 ft in length. The head was not "pointed" or narrow as a deer head would appear, but rather rounded as well as its ears. I could not believe what I saw and immediately before I went into an area of bad reception I called my friend to notify him of what I just viewed. Anyways, I know it is impossible to substantiate this claim; however, I can now say that I believe that it is very possible that this animal could be habituating in our GREAT State!
Sincerely
James W.
South Charleston



Webmaster's Note!


Mountain Lion sighting six miles east of Grafton on US 50

(#68)
Tue, Nov 9, 2010 at 5:45 AM

Hello,
My girlfriend and I just spent a long weekend at Tygart Lake. Yesterday (Nov 8) we headed home. About six miles east of Grafton on US 50, a mountain lion jumped from a bank onto the highway. We slowed down. The cat looked at us, turned around, and with one powerful leap, disappeared up the bank. We had a clear look at the cat at a distance of less than 100 yards. A beautiful and powerful-looking animal.
James McCune



Webmaster's Note!


Mysterious animal photo in Lahmansville in Grant County West Virginia

(#67)
Mon, Nov 8, 2010 at 2:49 PM

My family owns land in many parts of this beautiful state. We are all hunters, we love the outdoors and we know the different species of animals that our state has to offer. First off, we know the difference in Mt. Lions and Bobcats; trust me there are plenty of visual differences. I have seen PLENTY of bobcats before so I just want to clear that up. A couple weeks ago in Lahmansville WV (2 hr away from Fairmont) my uncle was hearing loud cat screams. Now, it is very hard to tell what kind of animal that is, so he brushed it off. But still kind of shaken by the loud scream, which is considerably louder than a normal house cat. Well, a week later, my Aunt was looking outside and saw this figure on the hill. When she realized and took a double take, she quickly panicked because she was watching a Mt Lion. She too, has lived in this state for her entire life, and knows what a bobcat is. This animal was with its tail was 7 to 7.5 feet long. She said its body was thick and stocky and the tail was almost 3 feet. The body was a tan color. Bobcats have pointy ears and white hair around the bottom of their faces, and short tails that look almost docked. This was clearly not what she was watching. When my uncle came home, she relayed what she had seen and he immediately decided to get his trail cam and bait it. So last week when we came in for hunting, my brother used his deer leftover carcass and they set up the camera and waited. When they checked the camera this is the pic and only pic, of course that showed up. The head is blurry and the tail is long, the only reason the tail looks fluffy is because it is in movement along with the head. The body is huge and if you can see the dead deer is laying in front of it so you can kind of get an idea of the size of this mysterious animal. When we went to the bait site, we checked to see if there was anything that was on the ground making the appearance of a tail seem longer and the three of us did not see anything dark on the ground. Bobcats tails can be long but not like a Mt Lions. There are also a lot of dogs in the neighborhood, but none to our knowledge looks like this, fyi - the neighbors dogs are Jack Russells, and labs. We contacted the DNR and they sent the picture to Charleston because they believed it to be a Mt Lion. Charleston later contacted my uncle a couple days ago and suggested that it was a FOX seriously It looks more like an eagle! So my uncle sent them a picture of a fox from the same location from the same camera, and he is currently waiting on their reply. We are in the process of trapping this and if we do I'll post our progress. Won't be until after thanksgiving that we hunt it so wait for the big news!
Brittany Harney-Moore

Photo was taken on: 11-01-2010
Photo was taken on: 11-01-2010 (Click here for enlarged image.)


Webmaster's Note!
Kind of hard to ID but looks canine to me, if the game camera photo was more definitive. I will reserve final judgments on this one until further photos is available. Domestic dogs and bobcats are the animals most likely to be misidentified as a mountain lion.


Mountain Lion sighting I-79 north near Weston, WV in Lewis County in 1999 or 2000

(#66)
Sat, Oct 23, 2010 at 8:36 PM

I saw a mountain lion while driving on I-79 north near Weston, WV in Lewis County in 1999 or 2000. It was about 2am, and I was on my way to Fairmont from North Carolina where I was stationed. I had seen about 25 deer and was driving cautiously. I was near the US19 intersection and saw a set of glowing eyes. I thought it was another deer so I eased off the gas and hit the high beams and watched the most beautiful, and chilling creature turn it's head away and leap over the guard rail and into the woods. The cat was tan with black eartips and a dark tipped tail. The tail seemed to be 4 or 5 ft long, and as big around as my arm. I got chill bumps and had to take a deep breath. I snapped a mental photograph that will never leave me.I found your website doing a search for Ohio sightings. My cousin and his wife saw a cougar in Lawrence County, Ohio this week (16-23Oct 2010) while bow hunting. It may have been responsible for killing their neighbors miniature donkey. Donkeys are used to guard sheep and goats, they will take on coyotes and dogs, but apparently no match for the big feline.
MSgt Ben Walker, USAF



Webmaster's Note!


Mountain Lion sighting in Mt. Storm mine in Tucker County

(#65)
Friday, October 22, 2010

I just found your sight and was reading about some of the other mountain lion sightings. In the summer of 1995 I was working an internship at the Mt. Storm mine in Tucker County. The maintenance superintendent and I were driving along some railroad tracks to check a power substation. We came around a turn in the tracks and were about to turn off to the station when we saw a lion and two cubs crossing the tracks about 50 yards further up. He gunned the engine and raced toward them so we might get a closer look, but when we got there they had already entered the brush and were gone. The mother appeared to be about 7 feet long from nose to tail and the cubs were just following her like you'd expect. Seeing that there was a female with two young cubs I'd have to believe that there was a male lion around at some point. It's amazing that there aren't more sightings in WV.
Scott Goodwin



Webmaster's Note!


Mountain Lions in Pennsylvania

(#64)
Friday, October 15, 2010

I was riding my Harley from outside Pittsburgh to Myrtle Beach on 19s towards 77 in the mountains when I saw a pure white ram or some type of goat eating on the side of the road when just about 100 yards past that I saw a mt. lion or cougar or something like that runs across the road. My girlfriend says it was a dog, but I say it was a big cat. It ran so fast I did not have time to even think about getting my camera out. I am a former hunter turned animal lover so I am sure I know what I saw. Can you give me more info? I checked out the DNR site but could not get any
Chopper Dave



Webmaster's Note!
Since people of all walks of life, have told me they have seen mountain lions in Pennsylvania I believe mountain lions exist in Pennsylvania, while the Game Commission says they do not and have not existed since the last cougar was killed 130 years ago.


Hampshire Co. Mt. Lion. Heard and seen

(#63)
Thursday, October 7, 2010


I was on my way out to the car and heard a big cat scream...came in the house scared and told my husband. He didn't believe I'd heard it right so he went out... He heard it three more times and said there's no doubt what it was. Mt. Lion!

Few months later
Walked out to the garage, just standing there looking out where the deer always are beside our garden fence and a Mt. Lion walked across and into the woods! No doubt what I saw! I had seen one years ago on Spring Gap Rd. In Levals WV, Hapmshire Co.

couple weeks later...
I was out building a fire... my little dog; Sasha was out with me... I heard a critter being killed, just down the bank in front of the house! Sasha took off and fearing for her I did too...When I got to the bank, yelling...It started growling!! Sasha wasn't barking, which is not normal, but she went over the bank, whatever it was growls were more intense. I was screaming for her, she came running back up, looking terrified...shacking! Again...so unlike her. My cats were out with me too... they all fled to the house. Was it the Big Cat I wondered or a Coyotehard to tell by the growl. (thinking it killed a groundhog, by the sound of it's screams) I know It wasn't a dog... It didn't run off...wasn't scared of me. It growled when I yelled. Would a coyote run. Scared me after, how close I was. The little dog went going down the bank, it could have came after her and I to protect it's kill... Yeeks. I'm getting some bear spray, the biggest one I can find. Be better than nothing, right?
Want to put up a game camera...
Lisa
Springfield WV,
Hampshire Co. (right on Mineral CO. line)


Webmaster's Note!
Most of the time it's really hard to tell what the person saw and Bobcats are often mistaken for their larger cousin, the mountain lion and when bobcats roar or growl, it is so rough and deep they are often mistaken for a mountain lion. I wonder if any of our readers know of coyote or bobcats issues near there and bobcat family will growls at each other when feeding


If you think you have seen a mountain lion in Berkeley Springs WV. you are not alone.

(#62)
Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I stumbled on your sight when looking into sightings of mountain lions and think what your doing is great. With that said I live south of Berkeley Springs in Morgan Co. I moved here in March of 2005. The day I moved in I saw very large cat tracks in the mud on the side of the house later that summer in July my husband and I were sitting on the front deck with our Jack Russell when she suddenly took off across the Rd. I looked towards her chosen direction to see a Mountain Lion leap from a large tree branch to the ground and run. There is no doubt what I saw. It leaped from a branch that was 15 ft. to 20 ft. up in the air with no problem. My Jack Russell gave chase and returned about 30 minutes later. I was quite surprised that she came back at all. I thought she was going to be dinner. That same summer I heard a deer being taken down at night in my side yard the next morning there was a lot of blood on the ground but no remains. Also my husband has a friend that raises deer in the area and had asked him if he would help thin the heard in exchange for the meat in 07. They shot 9 deer and brought them here to butcher. By the time they were finishing up it was getting dark so my husband decided to throw the leftovers out back until the next day. I have a spot light at the front and back of the house. So that night just being curious after everyone was in bed and things were quite I flipped on the back light and low and behold there was a mountain lion in plain sight about 10 yards from the house taking full advantage of the free meal. I have also heard the screams at different times throughout the years living here. I had called the DNR after the first sighting and asked if mountain lions were known to be in this area. The officer basically laughed and said I must have saw something else when I told him about it. I think it is odd that they continue to deny that they are here in the east and I wonder why. They have four legs and can walk where ever they please. People walked across this country once upon a time why does anyone think that a large cat wouldn't do the same. I also wonder if they haven't been released back into these mountains by the DNR and that just maybe cause for the denial, because if someone gets attacked they maybe liable. Not confirmed just a thought.
Thank you,
Melanie Dodson

Webmaster's Note!
The fact is we all know Mountain Lions do exist and they are camouflage experts and often one doesn't get to see the lion, so consider yourself lucky and enjoy the moment and you are right Mountain Lions can walk where ever they please. People still walk and hike across America and there are many reasons why people hike the Appalachian Trail, passes through the states of Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. There are number of possible reasons why animals can travel many miles, why not a mountain lion and the state actually has a very good terrain and habitat for the survival of these cats, so I wo not say anything else except Mountain lions are here to stay.


Cougar with 1 cub, attacked a 10 yr old horse south of McDowell in Highland Co, Virginia.

(#61)
Friday, September 3, 2010

On Sept. 3rd, we have reason to believe an adult cougar with 1 cub, attacked a 10 yr old horse south of McDowell in Highland Co, Virginia. Over last 5 weeks, 3 horse owners have had barnyard animals attacked after hearing strange screams that seriously spooked their animals during night-time hours. 2 incidents involved sounds similar to birds chirping in middle of night, which are one of many sounds or cries attributed to "discussions between an adult cougar & the offspring the mother is training".
The big cats are responsible for 3 distinct sounds or screams:
1) Terrifying screams similar a woman in severe distress...
2) what sounds like a baby crying...
3) 1, 2 or 3 chirping birds at night (indicates a mother cougar & offspring talking) or (2 sub-adult cougars talking among themselves).
If anyone is aware of other incidents with these sounds or screams, please contact us at epuma@hardynet.com or 304-749-7778 so they can be further investigated.
John A. Lutz
Eastern Puma Research Network


Webmaster's Note!



(#60)
Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My cousin was walking his three small dogs on Sept 1st on Wills creek in Elkview. The dogs were barking and he looked toward the creek and a black panther was coming out of the creek. One of the dogs ran toward it and the cat ran for the dog as well but luckily for the dog something sacared the panther. We used to see black panthers in the 80's quite frequenlty but had not seen any for many years. Our dogs have been going crazy at night and wont go anywhere away from the house and I had a dog come up missing recently.
Rachel
Sent from my iPhone


Webmaster's Note!
Some of the individuals who see what they think is a black panther turn out to be a "Fisher Cat." They are often referred to as black cats of the Appalachian Mountains. Their fur ranges in color from dark brown to black, with lighter colored fur around the face and shoulders. Fishers eat any prey they can catch and overpower, including cat, squirrels, hares, mice, small dog, and birds.


Mountain Lion Sighting... Welch, WV (McDowell county)

(#59)
Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The mountain lion sighting that I experienced is one that I will never forget. It was about 4 years ago (I was then 19 years old) in the evening hours, around 6 or 7 p.m. in Brown's Creek Hollow in Welch, WV (McDowell county). I visit my grandmother quite often on the weekends, helping her and her neighbor's around their property. This particular evening, I was feeding and putting a few of my grandmother's horses in the stable. My dog was by my side with her ears up and the hair on her back was standing on end. I couldn't hear anything, but I could see the tall green weeds and shrubs moving side to side like something was walking slowly through them. I thought it was possibly the neighbor's dog, so I thought nothing of it. My dog followed me into the stables with her tail between her legs, which was odd for her, but again I didn't expect anything.After finishing with the horses, we began our walk back to my grandmother's (the stable's are about a 1/4 mile from her house). My dog and I were walking down the one lane road and again, my dog stopped dead in her tracks, hair on end, with that same rumbling growl coming out of her. She had her eyes set on the wooded mountains and I my eyes finally landed where her's were. I came to a quit stop, scared out of mind (almost in tears), and saw a large, feline step out of the woods, off the bank, and into the middle of the road right in front of us. The mountain lion was absolutely beautfiul, but fear rose up inside of me. My dog stayed right by my side, growling. The mountain lion then stopped, sat down not even 25 yards from me. It then wrapped it's tail around the front of it's paws, looking comfortable and just stared. I couldn't move, I was frozen in fear. My dog then begin barking and jumped towards the big cat. The cat quickly stood up and lunged back towards the bank and ran through the woods. My dog didn't chase after it, she stood right by me as if protecting me. I stood there for what seemed like an eternity before making my way back to my grandmother's. I walked cautiously all the way back home, trying to comprehend what I just saw and what had just happened.After I made it back home, my grandmother was standing at the stove, smoking her favorite brand of cigarettes. She laughed and said, "You look like you've just seen a ghost". I asked her not to think I was crazy, and continued with telling her what just happened. She just looked at me and laughed. She said, "Oh, you saw 'Tom? He comes around every once in a while, but what's really scary is when you hear him screams at night", she laughs. I couldn't believe that my grandmother never told me about her sighting before, let alone naming the big cat. My grandmother passed away almost a year later, and I have not seen or heard of 'Tom' since that unforgettable evening.Recently, I have heard about more mountain lion sightings in the McDowell county area. I was trying to do a little bit of research about mountain lions in West Virginia and stumbled upon this website. I hope you enjoyed my true story; it is something I will never forget.
David Walker

Webmaster's Note!




(#58)Thursday, August 12, 2010

When I was a boy my Grandaddy would tell me a storey over an over about the time he tracked a Black Panther in Highland county VA. This was on Jackson Mountain in the 1960's. My Father and he were at Deer Camp, Grandaddy was out on his own roaming the woods when he spotted the Black Panther walking below him on a ridge. Grandaddy followed it for miles trying to get a shot at it, but every time he would get close enough it would dart off to a further distance. Grandaddy was a National Champion shooter and if he could have bagged it he would have. Dad said that night they could hear the cat screaming like a woman up in the hills around their cabin. For years afterwards Grandaddy had his eye out for the cat but never saw it again. I noticed that the sightings of Black Panthers in WV came from Pendleton County area which is next to Highland county VA. My Great grandma was born in Seneca WV in 1901; she told me when I was a boy that she was up on the hill from her families log home picking in their garden when a Mountain Lion tried to get her. She screamed for her brothers and ran for home as her brothers ran to her aid with their Muzzle Loading rifles and killed the cat, this was when she was a teen to give you a time range. My Uncle in June 1999 or 2000 saw a pair of Mountain Lions while playing golf in Burlington WV outside of Keyser WV. He said he watched them walking along a ridge for 15 to 20 minutes before they walked off into the woods.
Thanks, Josh Keys

Webmaster's Note!



A large cat in Wood County, West Virginia

(#57)
Friday, July 16, 2010 at 08:19:20 (CDT)

My neighbor recently saw a large cat in our neighborhood in Wood County, West Virginia? They took a picture of it and it looks like a mt. lion. Then, my sons came home and saw something in the weeds in front of our house. They said it was the size of a German Shepherd but had a cat face. They used a bright flashlight and got a clear look at it. Then, neighbors began seeing the cat and had not heard about it previously. It has a long tail and is grayish tan. It also was seen this past week during daytime hours by a father and son. They set the size to be roughly 90 lbs. They got a very clear look at it. They said the big cat had some sort of facial deformity. It makes me concerned due to the fact that we have lots of kids in our neighborhood. I called the DNR and they kind of made fun of me. I would love for someone to trap this big cat.
Jill Carden

Webmaster's Note!
Some folks suggest that odd cat-like creature maybe a fisher. In poor lighting they might seem bigger then they really are. Sightings of fishers are becoming more common in West Virginia and fishers are amazing creatures?


Most recent WV confirmation was at Gaudineer Wilderness area of Monongahela National Forest

(#56)
Tuesday, June 08, 2010 at 08:19:20 (CDT)

With the ever increasing #s of cougar/mountain lion reports across the east, I would like to hear from persons who experienced similar events 20 to 40 or more years ago. Most recent WV confirmation was at Gaudineer Wilderness area of Monongahela National Forest
John A. Lutz
Maysville, WV.

Webmaster's Note!




Spring Valley in Wayne County WV. (Daylight Cougars)

(#55)
Date: May 19, 2010 9:13 AM

I have seen 2 cougars in the last 2 months in Wayne County WV. 1 was on left Fork Buffalo and 1 were at the pond by Spring Valley-Walkers Branch Bridge. 2 nights before seeing the 1 on Buffalo my family listened to something killing something up on the hill behind my house you could hear the breathing around something in the mouth and screams like a dying rabbit so I do not know only heard it but I saw the cougars in daylight May 15-2010
Tom C

Webmaster's Note!
Cougars are awesome beautiful creatures and something they are exotic pets in West Virginia, unfortunately they are less afraid of humans, wild cougars are primarily nocturnal animals that occasionally are active during daylight hours. If you seen 2 cougars in the last 2 months in Wayne County WV. during daylight hours they sound like exotic pet that escaped or someone dumped.


I live in Braxton County on Upper OBrien near Wilsie

(#54)
Date: May 1, 2010 3:48 PM

I Always took mountain lion sightings around here with a grain of salt until I saw one myself about 3 years ago. I was driving home from work around 3pm and it crossed the road, jumped the creek and looped across a hay field to the woods. At first I thought it was my neighbor's choc. lab, then my brain told me that was no dog. It was dark colored and over six foot long from nose to the tip of the tail. I would estimate that it weighed well over one hundred lbs? They are around. I like knowing that they are.
From the mountaintop, Mark Mcvicker



(#53)
Date: Mar 7, 2010 7:40 PM

Took photo in Kanawha County just out of Clay County on 3/7/2010, also seen tracts of a cub.
Is this a mountain lion track

From: Jay Carper

Webmaster's Note!
That track you found could be a mountain lion or a big dog or left by coyote?


Google maps to locate all known points that mountain lions are seen

(#52)
Date: Feb 16, 2010 3:43 PM

You should use google maps to locate all known points that mountain lions are seen would be pretty interesting, just use nearest town or county and then embed it into your site. Pretty interesting reading some of the stuff on your site.And as far as a black panther, I doubt it, but I have family Here in Elkview WV, just 13 miles away from Charleston and back in the early 80s they have seen black ones, and heard the screaming like a woman sounds. They told us as kids to not to go into the woods if we heard such a sound.I have not heard any stories of them since the early 80s and I hunt around this area all the time and have not spotted anything. So I am sure that they are not to fond of human culture, because this place has of course grown in population. Well keep up the good work, would just like to see location pinpoints on a map I am sure that would be pretty interesting to actually see.
Good Day!

Webmaster's Note!
Thank you for your suggestion on how to make our site more efficient. I agree that we should begin using an Google maps system to locate all known points. Maybe in the near future I can upgrade to Google maps system .


I have had a couple sightings and heard what I believe were two lions mating.

(#51)
Date: Jan 26, 2010 12:27 AM

I live in Alexander, WV near the Upshur/ Randolph line I have had a couple sightings and heard what I believe were two lions mating. My first sighting was in 2000 I was riding my 4 wheeler on bear camp road I saw an animal jump off the road into the woods when I got a little closer I found a deer with its throat mutilated and its hind quarter partially devoured its head was all matted with leaves and blood. After looking at the carcass and noting the fresh blood in the rear flank I decided it best to move on. Upon driving a little more I came upon a field and I saw a cat run through it over the hill. I am quite sure that it was not a house cat that took down the deer and I saw no bullet hole so I am sure it was a mt lion.When I was a child it was in August just before the first day of school probably 1997-8, my dad came in and told me to open the window. when I did I heard something that sounded like a woman and a baby just raising hell scream in and squalling then I hear a lower more gutter all sound not really a growl but definitely feline. My cat was going crazy all bowed up and hissing. My dad said he had not heard that since he was a child but it was a mt lion and I believe it. Soon the sounds came together and then within 5 minutes I heard a fearful hiss and growl and timber crushing and then nothing.I also saw a cougar cross the road in front of me last winter I have no doubt that it was something else a deer does not have a 3 ft tail and cat tracks instead of hooves. They have always been here and probably always will be and I am glad for that
Joe S.

Webmaster's Note!
A lot of guys and gals might say that you are right, they have always been here. So do I.


Someone stated it was clearly a Bobcat

(#50)
Date: Jan 10, 2010 11:28 PM

There is a picture someone posted of a "big cat" on 10-3 and someone stated it was clearly a bobcat well I believe they clearly don't know what they are talking about. if u click on the links to the pictures of the mountain lion on page 02 there is a picture of a mountain lion in the almost the same stance as the one pictured on the trail cam. You can see the structure is extremely similar as is the dark ears and thickness of the body and tail. Open the link and place the pictures side by side. It is a mountain lion not a bobcat.Also I am have a photography background and if u take a look at animals photographed that have shiny black fur or just plain black fur u will notice with a flash often it will shine white in places as the ears did in the trail cam probably due to the flash.
Vicki Parks

Webmaster's Note!
Mountain Lion or Bobcat
You can make up your own mind about the cat in photo #1, but it looks more like a bobcat than a mountain lion.



(#49)
Date: Date: Oct 15, 2009 10:59 PM

My husband and I were taking a walk two years ago at Cranberry Glades on the Richwood side following Cranberry creek and a black panther came from the left onto the path in front of me towards the creek. I stared at it and it stared back at me and then quickly went back up the hill from where it came.
It was wonderful to see such a creature. My husband was behind me near the creek and did not see it but he saw the cat prints in the snow. He has done a lot of hunting out west and at first he did not really believe me until he saw the prints in the snow. It was early spring.I am an RN and I had a patient from the Richwood area and he also saw the Black Panther and stated no one believed him and we were really happy to talk with each other about it. We both saw it clearly with no doubt as to what we saw.Thank you
Melodie Spencer

Webmaster's Note!
In the glades a young panther or mountain lion was caught in a trap in the late 50's by Ed Buck (outdoorsman and high school biology teacher at RHS) some believed it was a hoax, but the panther or mountain lion was displayed in Richwood City Hall. Unconfirmed sightings and sounds continue to be reported from the Cranberry Glades West Virginia. Tracks and scat were observed in the Monongahela National Forest as recently as 1981, but no positive confirmation was made but that doesn't mean they aren't present.Sighting a Black Mountain Lion is a rare and unexpected event. So unexpected that it's common for people to initially mistake them for panthers. Contrary to popular belief, there are no black panthers in USA. Occasionally, a Cougar/Mountain Lion will be gray,dark brown, cinnamon which can appear almost black and, even more rarely, solid black mountain lion. Most are essentially reddish and light brown to tawny in color. The Scuttle Butt that I have been told from reliably people was a Black Cougar/Mountain Lion was sighted in the woods of Flag Pond Tennessee in 2007 by the Hensley and Shelton boys. So if you think you have seen a black cougar, or mountain lion in West Virginia or Tennessee, you are not alone.


How does that clearly look like a bobcat?

(#48)
Date: Oct 14, 2009 10:03 AM

I have a question about the photo posted on 10-8 which was taken on 10-3 in Preston county.
How does that clearly look like a bobcat? What are the distinguishing characteristics that u see that make u convinced it is not a Mtn. Lion? I am not seeing them :)
From what I can see, the animals tail extends far longer than a bobcat, Also the ears are small and rounded, representative of a Mtn. Lion, they do not have the tell tale tufts that bobcat ears commonly have. As well the body looks too long and tall to be consistent with a 30 lb. Bobcat, but more consistent w a larger cat.
Is that a salt block in the background? If so that cat is def too big to be a Bobcat.
Please reply to my email and let me know what you think. I would really appreciate a response as I am truly curious and know much about Identification of these two species. I have also seen many tracks and sign of the big cats in Garrett County, MD and Preston Co. WV and the vicinity but everyone still denies their existence.
Thank you,
Todd Grubb

Webmaster's Note!
Hi Todd that is a bobcat, in my opinion. These big cats can range from 30 to 40 inches in length and can weigh anywhere from 10 to over 40 pounds, with males usually larger than females. Mountain lions range from 6-9 feet in length and weigh between 80-275 lbs. This cat does not have the long heavy legs or the large feet like a mountain lion. Mountain Lion heads are relatively small compared to their bodies, in this picture of the big cat, the head does not seems out of proportion to the shape, or size of the body?
Mountain Lion ears are rounded, and the back of the ears are solid black to dark gray and this cat ears are not solid black or gray. Mountain Lion tail 21 to 35 inches; carried low with curl at tip 5 to 6.5 inches; carried close to the body. The tail in the picture is not close to the body? Really I saw no size measure that indicated it was bigger than a bobcat... The camera is closer to the cat, and that is what makes the cat look bigger and the salt block in the background is far away from the camera so it will look small in the picture.


It was just recently photographed in Preston County.

(#47)
Date: Oct 8, 2009 9:27 PM

Hello, I am attaching a photo that my friend's son got with his traill cam. What do you think? It was just recently photographed in Preston County.
Shelley Mitchell
Photographed in Preston County.

Webmaster's Note!
This cat clearly looks like a bobcat; bobcat has distinguishing characteristics from the mountain lion and domestic cat.


I have heard about Cat sightings all my life growing up around Racine in Boone Co.

(#46)
Date: Sep 1, 2009 9:30 AM

Hello, was doing a bit of research this AM on a large cat sighting that I had on Fri. Aug 28th 2009 @ 1330hrs? While riding ATV's in Indian Creek, Racine, W. Va. (Boone Co.) my friend on the lead ATV pointed out what appeared to be a large squirrel in a small tree adjacent to the gas well road which we were riding on. After getting closer to the animal, I realized it was a small cat of some kind. I turned off my ATV and watched the Cub walk slowly down the hill side from atop the ridge. While watching the Cub I noticed movement @ 30 feet from the smaller cat. That is when I saw the big cat. Cannot be 100% sure about the color, just know is was pretty dark. The tail looked to be around 3 to 3 1/2 feet long. The cub on the other hand seemed to be a reddish brown color. Looked to be around 20 lbs. My buddy came back to check on me and we both left pretty quick after seeing the larger cat. When we got up to the gas well, two other guys were already up there on ATV's and asked us if we heard a Cat scream. Told them we did not hear it, but saw it. I was listening to my IPOD and my buddy had his ATV running.
I have heard about Cat sightings all my life growing up around Racine in Boone Co.
Submitted by: Jarold C. Leffel (Jerry)

Webmaster's Note!
I remember back in 70's. My aunt Velmar - in Van West Virginia heard a cat scream, a couple of miles away from Massey Energy, Mountain Top Removal operation in Boone County, West Virginia and her description: it is not a roar sound or anything else close to it; it is more of a piercing cry and she actually did not like the sound. I have seen mountain lion, and am an avid fan of this large cat. .... In my experiences, and have only heard a scream twice. .... It's almost like a high pitched woman's scream so I think one possibility is that the sound was a mountain lion and I believe my aunt did hear a mountain lion in Boone County that cold clear October night, she was born and raised in those West Virginia hills when mountain lions was free to roan anywhere they want . I listening to stories when she was growing up in West Virginia and she heard that similar sound many time when she was growing up. She said Bobcats also may do this eerie scream and the long-eared owl but the long-eared owl are uncommon in West Virginia and they do not make that totally disturbing eerie scream like the mountain lion.


I'd never heard of a black mountain lion. I believed the only large black cats were in Africa

(#45)
Date: Aug 23, 2009 7:24 PM

This happened in approx. 1988 or '89....in Lincoln Co., on route 34 near Harvey Creek. It was nighttime, I was driving alone, and I passed what I thought looked like a cougar-sized black cat on the top of a wood-pile just at the side of the road....I had traveled right past before I did a kind of mental double-take! I looked for the next place to turn around and drive back ( the road at that time and late night was relatively lightly traveled ).
Upon getting back, whatever it was gone...which wasn't surprising to me. I cannot say, as many can, that I definitely saw a cat ( vs. a large dog ), so I would not be writing, except for the fact that, at that time, I'd never heard of a black mountain lion. I believed the only large black cats were in Africa somewhere...hence, I thought I must've mistaken a large black dog for a cat. But since reading on your site the numerous other sightings, and that black mountain lions in fact exist, well....I'm no longer so certain I was mistaken! While I'm writing, I might as well mention that, 6 or 7 years ago or so, my daughter, driving the same road in her car, again at night, as the rest of the family followed separately, believed she'd seen a cougar cross the road in front of her and slink under the fence of a horse pasture/farm several miles up the road from place mentioned above...she also only had a fleeting glance, but was struck by not only the catlike movement, but especially by a long tail. We phoned the people there when we got home, but they'd gone to sleep. Days or probably weeks later, we had occasion to speak with them and suddenly remembered the cat sighting, and told them of it. They said that in fact they have seen a mountain lion several times already, when riding or working in the hills above the pasture. For what it's worth. Thanks for the interesting and useful page.

Submitted by: Tom H.

Webmaster's Note!
Occasionally, a Cougar or Mountain Lion will be gray, dark brown, cinnamon which can appear almost black and, even more rarely, solid black mountain lion. Some people call them panthers; this cat is known by more names than just about any other mammal! Most mountains lions are essentially reddish and light brown to tawny in color.



Eastern Puma Research Network in Grant County of WILD, Wonderful West Virgina

(#44)
Date: Aug 20, 2009 4:18 PM

As Director of the EASTERN PUMA RESEARCH NETWORK in Grant County of WILD, WONDERFUL WEST VIRGINA, we thoroughly enjoy your revised website featuring mountain lions. We can say with certainty the big cats are definitely back in the Mountain State, or perhaps the question should be "Did they ever leave"?
Judging from the number of sightings pouring into our office near Maysville on a weekly basis, we would say "They have been here since time began" and have NO plans on leaving with the huge deer herds, excellent habitat cover and ample fresh water supply.
The most recent confirmation of sightings occurred near Mt. Storm in February 2006, when the tracks of an adult cougar and cub were found and identified along the CSX RR tracks going into the Mount Storm Power Plant.
Another pair of confirmed tracks were found in late August 2007 north of Onego along Roaring Branch in western Pendleton County.
We recently obtained a full report from the family of Botanist George Rossback Sr, of Wesleyn College in Buchannon, who along with a student found and followed tracks of a mountain lion in the Wilderness Area of the Monongahela National Forest in June 1998.
We will soon send you copies of his official report and pictures of the cougar tracks he found and had identified.
The most recent sightings reported this 3rd week of August 2009, are along the Greenbriar Rail Trail in Pocahontas and Greenbrier Counties of southeastern West Virginia. 2 of the multiple reports came from medical students at the College of Osteopathic Medicine in Lewisburg.
After repeated showings of History Channel's Monster Quest series since December 12, 2007 of our documented reports, we received over 7,500 responses for additional information of actions of the big cats and what safety measures should be taken by witnesses.
As long as people do NOT run from a cougar, puma or panther, witnesses should NOT be overly fearful of a big cat. The primary secret is NOT TO RUN FROM THEM. Such a action triggers an instinct in the big cat, making them think you are 'prey', which can lead to serous consequences.
On 2 occasions and without any forms of protection, I have been within 15 feet of a cougar in the wild. In neither case, did the puma show any hostility or approach me.
If anyone does come upon a cougar/mountain lion or black panther in the wild, when camping, fishing or hiking, the primary thing to remember is NOT TO RUN FROM IT. Its best to keep looking at the cat, while slowly, very slowly back up & try to get a tree or any object between you & the animal. Any object makes a good barrier.
We would ask anyone seeing a big cat in West VA, to please contact us at 304-749-7778 or e-mail us at: epuma email hardynet.com
Thank you for your time,
Sincerely,
John A. Lutz, Director
Eastern Puma Research Network
HC 30 Box 2233
Maysville, WV 26833

Submitted by: John A. Lutz/Eastern Puma Research Network

Webmaster's Note!
Mountain lions are solitary animals and lots of country out there in those hills and hollows of West Virginia and the mountain lion reports keep rolling in here, so I think there are a few mountain lions in those hills and hollows. If you should see a mountain lion consider yourself lucky and enjoy the moment.
But be sure e-mail us your sighting.


I can remember hearing the Panther scream. It sounded like a woman screaming.

(#43)
Date: Aug 17, 2009 4:17 PM

When I was a young child my uncle lived in Wirt County, WV and I can remember hearing the Panther scream. It sounded like a woman screaming. Also my Dad lives out Strange Creek in Braxton County and my brother seen a Black Panther on his way to work one night. He said he would never forget it. He said it was just standing in the middle of the dirt hollow road. Then it took off running. Love your sight, hope you can prove this. I grew up in WV my whole life. I went to college and the professor was from Kansas, some of us told him about the big cats. He thought we were full of it.
Love the site, Thanks

Submitted by: Cynthia Lawson

Webmaster's Note!
Mountain lions are known for making a sound very much like a woman screaming in fear and you are not alone many people heard the eerie scream of the mountain lion and sighting a Black Mountain Lion is a rare and unexpected event and so unexpected that it's common for people to initially mistake them for panthers. Contrary to popular belief, there are no black panthers in USA. Occasionally, a Cougar or Mountain Lion will be gray, dark brown, cinnamon which can appear almost black and, even more rarely, solid black mountain lion. Some people call them panthers; this cat is known by more names than just about any other mammal! Bobcats also may do this and the long-eared owl but the long-eared owl are uncommon in West Virginia and they don't make that totally disturbing eerie scream like the panther or mountain lion.


Mountain Lion extremely thin.

(#42)
Date: Aug 8, 2009 11:11 AM

My friend and I were leaving the Barnum area of the north branch of the Potomac just below the Jennings Randolph dam. We were driving on BARNUM RD about halfway between the river and ROUTE 46 A mountain lion was crossing the road about 25 yards in front of us. When it saw us it hurried across the road, but when it got almost to the top of the 8 to 10' bank it stopped and looked back at us. By this time we were right beside it, about 10 yards away. It was an adult cat and looked somewhat emaciated. This seemed strange because it was toward the end of spring- beginning of summer and food should have been plentiful in this area. There is no question that it was a mountain lion, We got a very good look at it for about 20 seconds at about 10 yards. We are both avid predator hunters and are very familiar with these animals. This sighting occurred at about 4:00 pm spring 2007
Submitted by: Eric Short

Webmaster's Note!
It possible that this could be a pet mountain lion, either escape or let loose.


Mountain Lion sighting in Elkins, WV.

(#41)
Date: Jul 31, 2009 9:19 PM

I grew up in Richwood, but now live in Elkins, WV. My three children and I have recently had several sightings of a mountain lion and her kitten. Her kitten came upon my deck off my bedroom and woke me up several nights in a row. Each time, I'd look and try and figure out what on earth kind of cat it was. It was the size of a bob cat, but had a long tail. We were eye ball to eye ball, and it was not afraid. Then, one night, my 15 year old son, Joe was walking his old 14 year old dog. He looked up..7:00 pm and there was the big momma mountain lion. She was not afraid of him and just turned her head and watched him while he ran away. Then, I looked out on my patio and there she was sauntering across the basketball court and into my flower garden. Her paw prints were much bigger than my hands. All of us have seen the kitten many times. Once recently it was chasing a small deer and the next night a rabbit. The DNR dismissed the report saying it was probably a house cat. I assured them this was NO house cat, but rather a cat around 120 lbs is my guess. They asked for pictures. We've set up a wildlife camera and hope to get pictures to post soon! Kimberly (Shiflet) Short-Wolfe .
Submitted by: Kimberly Short

Webmaster's Note!
It is not inconceivable that a former pet mountain lion could be out there, but the bobcat is the only resident "big" cat. However, It would be easy to identify a full-grown mountain lion in the zoo, but not so easy to identify a full-grown mountain lion roaming the wilds.


Mountain Lion sighting in Mineral County and Allegany County Maryland

(#40)
Date: Jul 12, 2009 7:44 PM

I've been seeing the same mountain lions for the past couple of weeks. I live very near this gully, with my girl friend. I know why they are out there; it's full of life all day long, rabbits, coons, possum, and deer. Plenty off food and a water source not too far away. For a long time this area, Mineral County and Allegany County Maryland, have denied that this animal even exists here cause of tree hugging tourist, I'm a Maryland resident, I used to hunt, but I've been tracking animals since I was 9. These tracks are too big to be my dog! The scat and animal carcasses out there tell me that if it is my dog he's a hunger little animal. Something to add to your list of sightings', I should have pictures for you by next week.
Submitted by: Maryland Resident

Webmaster's Note!
It is not inconceivable that a former pet mountain lion could be out there in that gully, but the bobcat is the only resident "big" cat in those counties and those animal carcasses out there. Could this be the work of bobcats? Maybe a coyotes or wild dogs? They feed primarily on small mammals, birds, rabbits and squirrels. However, when the opportunity is presented they will eat larger animals including deer. It would be easy to identify a full-grown mountain lion in the zoo, but not so easy to identify a full-grown mountain lion roaming the wilds. We receive other reports of mountain lions, cougars, and even black panthers in the northwestern part of Maryland. We tried to confirm the presence of eastern cougars in the northwestern part of Maryland, but were not able to do so but that doesn't mean they aren't present.


Panther Watch, Catlettsburg, KY

(#39)
Date: Jul 11, 2009 11:47 AM

This summer a black cat was seen by my neighbor in early afternoon. The cat ran so fast she didn't really know what she had seen till she approached her son's pig pen and found the three 200-pound pigs slaughtered with claw marks to the bone. I tried contacting local news media but they were not interested, and I suppose they did not believe me. When I found your website, I thought you would be interested in this sighting in Catlettsburg, KY.
Submitted by: Gloria Floyd

Webmaster's Note!
Sighting a Black Mountain Lion is a rare and unexpected event and so unexpected that it's common for people to initially mistake them for panthers. Contrary to popular belief, there are no black panthers in USA. Occasionally, a Cougar or Mountain Lion will be gray, dark brown, cinnamon which can appear almost black and, even more rarely, solid black mountain lion. Most are essentially reddish and light brown to tawny in color.


Mountain Lion, too large to be a domestic cat

(#38)
Date: Jul 10, 2009 6:55 PM

Just returned from climbing at Seneca Rocks but on Tuesday night we were traveling into Elkins WV on Hwy 33 just as it opens into the 4 lanes and there was a large black cat running in the short grass at the side of the road. It wasn't in a hurry so we had a lot of time to see it. It was far too large to be a domestic cat and had a large long full tale. The cat was all black. We were traveling at supper time but there was plenty of light. I have spent over 25 years in the area on vacations but have never seen anything like this.
Submitted by: Brad Christian

Webmaster's Note!
Large house cats can be mistaken for Mountain Lion in poor light or at a distance. Many of the reports turn out to be dogs or large house cats.Sighting a Black Mountain Lion is a rare and unexpected event and so unexpected that it's common for people to initially mistake them for panthers. Contrary to popular belief, there are no black panthers in USA. Occasionally, a Cougar or Mountain Lion will be gray, dark brown, cinnamon which can appear almost black and, even more rarely, solid black mountain lion. Most are essentially reddish and light brown to tawny in color.



(#37)
Date: Jul 6, 2009 9:41 PM

I was driving north on I-77 at WV mile post 61.1 on 7/6/09 and looked over to see a large (200 lb) black cat climbing down the hill/cliff near the roads edge on the south bound side. I had a good view of the cat for several seconds before I past it. It appeared to be after a dead animal in the ditch. Really an awesome animal. Really surprising since it was around 11:00 am.
Submitted by: Dwayne Atkins

Webmaster's Note!
Could there be a mountain lion roaming on I-77 at WV mile post 61.1. Sure there could be. It is not hard to find mountain lions for sale on the internet, though it is illegal to possess one in some state? So it is not inconceivable that a former pet mountain lion/panther could be out there and contrary to popular belief, there are no black panthers in USA.


Possibly heard a Mountain Lion or other large cat - in Boone County WV.

(#36)
Date: Jun 8, 2009 11:51 PM

I live about four miles south of Danville in Boone County. Over the Memorial Day week end my 13 year old son and I were camping out for the first time together in our new camping hammocks. We had planned to camp somewhere on the mountain behind our house. Unfortunately or perhaps fortunately after hiking around for a long time trying to find three trees suitable to hang the two hammocks close together we found that in our hurry to get going I had neglected to pack one of the two hammocks. I had two tarps, two sleeping bags and two insulating pads, two of everything, but only one hammock. Thus we were forced to return home and it was to late in the evening to hike back to where we had found suitable trees to hang close together.
Nevertheless we already had our hearts set on trying out hammock camping for the first time together. So rather than giving up on the idea we camped in the yard. My neighbors yard in fact since I don't have suitable trees in my yard. We set up the hammocks and tarps and had the sleeping bags ready just as it was getting dark. Then went into the house for snacks and TV time and went back out about 11 p.m. to go to sleep. Now I had hammock camped out the previous evening by myself at a different spot on the mountain behind my house, not far above the barn behind my house.
About a half hour after going out to sleep I heard a loud hissing sound from the woods, which seemed to be coming from about the same area where I had camped by myself the night before. The dogs up and down the 'holler' were barking and whatever it was made the loud hissing sound about 6 times. My son never said anything but it certainly made the hair stand up. About a half hour later the same sound was heard again repeated several times again. I called out to my son to ask if he had heard the sound, but he was sound asleep. Again some time later, perhaps another 30 minutes, I heard the same sound yet again - but now it had moved off to the west. I would judge that it was now coming from 200 or 300 yards further west on the same mountain side. After that I never heard it again and fell asleep myself.
I can only describe the sound as sounding like a cat hissing. But it was much to loud and of a deeper tone to be a common house cat. I thought perhaps it could have been a bobcat or perhaps some kind of bird. I searched around on the internet for various nocturnal animal recordings, birds, bobcats, skunks, possums etc. The only thing I found which was even close to the same sound, and the recording I found which is very nearly identical in sound, duration of the sound and tone of the sound was a recording of a panther hiss, which is linked below. I have been told that bobcats can make a hissing sound but none of the bobcat recordings I found was anything near to the sound I heard.
So, panther, mountain lion, or something else I can not say as I did not see what creature made the sound. I only know that it was nearly identical to the panther hiss sound clip I found on the internet, which is linked below.
http://www.soundsnap.com/node/85435
What ever it was, I was glad I did not hear it the night before when I was camping alone in about the same area from which the sound at first appeared to be coming from. And the third time I heard the sound, after it moved westward, it would have been coming from about the same area where we would have been camping had I not forgotten the hammock. Though I think the sound was lower on the mountain from our intended camping spot. As this spot was high on the ridge and a rather difficult hike in day light I would not have wanted to hike out in the dark as I think would have been likely to have happened had we been camped there. I think the sound would have been loud enough to have awakened my son and he would have wanted to return home. And if he had not awakened from the sound, it may well have frightened me enough for his safety that I would have wanted him some place safer that out in the woods, only wrapped in fabric shelter.
David Walker

Webmaster's Note!
The Scuttle Butt that I have been told was the eastern mountain lions may be extinct from West Virginia and no breeding populations have been positively identified within the historic range since the 1920's. Unconfirmed sightings and sounds continue to be reported from the mountains of West Virginia. Tracks and scat were observed in the Monongahela National Forest as recently as 1981, but no positive confirmation was made but that doesn't mean they aren't present.


Black Panther in Roane County, WV.

(#35)
Date: May 25, 2009 12:52 PM

I am a committee Chairman for a boy scout troop and on Tue May 19, 2009 me and my three son had just got back from a boy scout meeting it was about 8:30 p.m in my garden was a Black Panther this was a first for me I had never seen anything like this before I do not know what it would do or what it would attack if anyone knows e-mail me back at br549wjr @ yahoo.com I have farm animals and I am missing a pet cat right now.
William Rhodes
Walton, WV.

Webmaster's Note!
Mountain lions are typically very elusive, so most sightings last only a few seconds and the wild mountain cats are shy and avoid humans in fact, most people never see this animal in the wild.... You and your three sons are very lucky to have seen this animal.
Black Mountain Lion is a rare and unexpected event and so unexpected that it's common for people to initially mistake them for panthers. Contrary to popular belief, there are no black panthers in USA. Occasionally, a Cougar or Mountain Lion will be gray, dark brown, cinnamon which can appear almost black and, even more rarely, solid black mountain lion. Most are essentially reddish and light brown to tawny in color.



Mountain Lion, or possibly a Cougar.

(#34)
Date: Sunday, May 24, 2009 at 10:44:40 AM

Hello,
My name is Ian Thornton and I live in Huntington, WV. I was traveling up Merritts Creek Road last night around midnight when I drove past what I believe to have been a mountain lion, or possibly a cougar. Granted I did not spot the animal until I was pretty much passing it, it was just walking along the side or the road. This is not a real busy road and is encased in wooded areas on both sides. Now I did not get a great look at the animal, but it was much too large to be any dog and not tall enough to be a deer. Its movements strongly resembled that of a cat, but I had no way to turn around and investigate further. I would say there is a 95% chance that it was a big cat of some sort. I found this website this morning and thought I did write. Are there any other steps people take after a sighting? I am just not sure if I should contact authorities or not the animal was only about 2 miles away from populated areas, like a public pool just down the road. Thanks for your time.
Ian

Webmaster's Note!
It is clear there are thousands of residents who often mistake native bobcats for mountain lions despite a difference in size and the animals most often mistaken for cougars are coyotes, or large domestic dogs or cats. So if you are not 100% that it was a mountain lion and it was just walking along the side of the road I would not contact authorities, it's probably a canine.
Saw a mountain lion sitting on a wall watching the deer.

(#33)
Date: Sunday, May 24, 2009 at 10:44:40 AM

I am a mountaineer security guard at Hawks Nest State Park. On April 4, 2009 at 4:30 am, I saw two deer in a field; I turned on my light and saw a mountain lion sitting on a wall watching the deer. When I turned on the light it left. Two days before a lady saw a mountain lion at the park overlook bathroom area around 9:00 pm. She reported the sitting to one of the maintenance men at the park.
Dana Redman
Hico, WV.

Webmaster's Note!



Large Black Panther in Tucker County West Virginia.

(#32)
Date: Apr 20, 2009 10:40 AM

On Friday, April 17, 2009 at approximately 6:30 PM I was driving westbound on WV 93, with my wife, just into Tucker County I think, when we saw a large black panther in the road way. Initially from further away I believed there was a small bear in the road. As we approached I slowed to a stop about 50 yards from the animal. I noticed it was too lean to be a bear and the thought of a very large dog crossed my mind. I decided it was too large to be a dog and as soon as it began to move, it's magnificence was revealed. I realized it was a large black cat. It moved like a lion and had a long tail that extended from the end of it's back almost to the ground. The cat was black, I would not have been as surprised if it had been a fawn or tan color. It moved from the road into the woods down a hill and we lost sight of it.
From: Jeremy Pelter

Webmaster's Note!
Sighting a Black Mountain Lion is a rare and unexpected event. So unexpected that it's common for people to initially mistake them for panthers. Contrary to popular belief, there are no black panthers in USA. Occasionally, a Cougar/Mountain Lion will be gray,dark brown, cinnamon which can appear almost black and, even more rarely, solid black mountain lion. Most are essentially reddish and light brown to tawny in color.



I saw a Mountain Lion in Morgan County.

(#31)
Date: Apr 11, 2009 8:11 PM

I just came across your website and I'd like to share my experience with you.
I have lived in Berkeley Springs (Morgan County) all of my life. I never dreamed that we had Mountain Lions in our area until I actually saw one.
It was in 1999 and I was on my way to work one morning. When I got down to the US Silica plant, I passed the large pond area and on the right side of the road I saw something brown laying by the road (RT 522). At first glance I thought it was a deer that had been hit by a car but as my car got closer I realized it had a long tail. I slowed down as I neared it and realized it was a Mountain Lion! It was huge with a tail that looked to be at least a 15 to 18 inches long.
When I got to work I, of course, told everyone. And, of course, no one believed me. When I left work I decided I'd go home and get my camera to prove to everyone that I was telling the truth but when I passed the spot where the animal had been, it was gone. I suppose it may not have been dead when I saw it...maybe just stunned or unconscious from being hit by a vehicle.
I was never able to prove this sighting but I KNOW what I saw! This was NO bob cat! This was a VERY large, light brown colored cat. It was probably as long, as I am tall and it had a very long, very thick tail. It was DEFINITELY a Mountain Lion.
April Dailey
Berkeley Springs, WV.


BLACK PANTHER SIGHTED ON ROUTE 19, HICO WEST VIRGINIA!

(#30)
Date: Apr 1, 2009 7:56 AM

On April 1st, (not a prank) we were on our way to work coming from Fayetteville towards Summersville, when a Black Panther was spotted. Yes, a panther. A few vehicles stopped to look. I didn't realize what it really was till I had past and it stepped out of the dip in the median. It was crossing onto the opposite of U.S. Route 19 and onto Smailes Branch Road.
I was not sure what it was until I made it to work, as unbelievable as this was. My co-worker also had seen it. For black panthers being nocturnal, it was about 7:45 A.M. what a sight! This justshows how amazing God's creation is!
From: Samantha Dickinson

Webmaster's Note!
I talk to an old fellow in Hico West Virginia in the 1990s, I think his name was H.C. Willis, World War II veteran seen a mountain lion at dusk in the neighborhood of U.S. Route 19 and Smailes Branch Road in the late 1990 at Hico West Virginia. So if you think you have seen a panther, mountain lion or cougar in Hico West Virginia area, you are not alone.


I have a question.. Can Cougars or Mountain Lions be Whites in color?

(#29)
Date: Feb 14, 2009 8:08 PM

I have a question.. Can Cougars or Mountain Lions be Whites in color? In November, I saw what I thought was a snow white panther. I woke my daughter up to make sure I wasn't seeing things. She also saw it.. It was a huge cat.. So I'm not sure what kind of cat it was, but it was beautiful.. It didn't seem threatened by us.. It got up and walked back up in the mountains.. I have also watched black panthers come down when its very quiet out, on sunday mornings. I live in Logan County..
From: Shawn

Webmaster's Note!
Albino cougars have been reported in the USA but I' haven't seen one or pictures of a white mountain lion, they are known by many different names. A few are: cougar, catamount, puma, panther, American lion, West Virginia mountain screamer, and the Indians had their own name for the mountain lion as well, devil cat or the Appalachian Devil's Cat, Ghost of the Appalachian, and Forest Cats of Appalachian.We do completely rule out the possibility that a white eastern cougar or panther is out there in Logan County West Virginia, but if they are, we ca not understand why a white eastern cougar or white panther has not been shot or killed by a hunter. We do not completely rule out the possibility that a cougars/mountain lion/panther or two may be roaming around out there in Logan County.Mountain lions are typically very elusive, so most sightings last only a few seconds and if the white cat didn't seem threatened by you and got up and walked back up in the mountains it sound like a "quite friendly cat" that had been raised in captivity. Domestic dogs and bobcats are the animals most likely to be misidentified as a mountain lion in West Virginia and I have seen many white canines.


Some Paw Prints of Interest

(#28)
Date: Feb 11, 2009 3:42 PM

Hello, I'm writing in that I found large paw prints in the snow a few weeks ago during the very cold snap in WV. We live in Marlowe (Falling Waters) about a mile from the river. These prints were so large I could put my fist inside them!!! so I took pics with my cell.It looks like cougar prints are the only ones I found on line that are similar. It was mentioned it could be a large dog only I don't think there are any in this neighborhood. The back yard is a deer run so possibly the cat was tracking dinner? I've attached the photos for you to check out. I'd appreciate any feedback you can give. One photo has a leaf that is about 4" long on top of the print so you can use that as a reference. The stride was about 27-37" as well.
Hope to hear back from you.
Jill Speelman

Webmaster's Note!
A large paw print with no claw marks - indicated it was a possible mountain lion print. Unfortunately, the mobile phone, camera's pictures not very good quality and we could not confirm whether or not it was Mountain Lion or Cougar or canine.


That track you found on the trail left by coyote or a big dog.

(#27)
Feb 9, 2009 3:48 PM

We found this print while hiking on Wildlife Trail at Dolly Sods. While going down the trail it was not there, we spotted on the return, maybe 3 hours afterwards.

Canine or Feline track

Webmaster's Note! It is clear there are thousands of residents who often mistake the tracks of coyotes and large dogs as Mountain Lions but the track you posted looks to me like a canine print.. A track in soft dirt spread out more and may look bigger from one in regular dirt. Animals tracks 3 to 4 inches Mountain Lion; no claw marks | 2 to 2.5 inches Bobcat; no claw marks | 2 to 3 inches canine; claw marks.

Mountain Lion Near the Silica Mine on Rt 522, Morgan County West Virginia

(#26)
Date: Jan 21, 2009 9:58 PM

Just found this website. Last year my wife and I were returning home to Berkeley Springs WV in Morgan County. Near the Silica Mine on Rt 522 a large mountain lion was literally leaping across the road in front of our car. It was extremely large with a long tail, probably 4-5 feet at least. This was not even close to a bobcat. Not only us, but two cars behind us also completely stopped and watched this graceful cat. It was an experience The lion continued up towards Cacapon mountain.
Sincerely,

Terry and Marsha Moore

Webmaster's Note! There have been several Mountain Lion/Cougar sightings in Morgan County West Virginia since June 2003.

Cougar Sighting Paw Paw Tunnel near Paw Paw WV

(#25)
Date: Jan 20, 2009 9:49 PM

Hi, I'm a 47 year old professional and have spent a great deal of my free time in the woods, hunting, fishing, biking and hiking. In Sept 2007, I was on a bike trip along the C & O Canal and at 8:15AM I was coming out of the Paw Paw Tunnel near Paw Paw WV when a mountain lion crossed the trail in front of me within 125 feet. He was trotting and I could easily identify his large size, color, long tail, stockiness and head and the graceful movement. I know what deer, bobcat, fox, bear and every other animal look like because I've seen them all hundreds of times in the woods. This was definitely a mountain lion. I was doing a search on the internet and found your sight and was excited to see that a man named Chris Sparkman had sighted one in Paw Paw about 9 months before my sighting. I've been trying to find him on Facebook, so we could talk about it.I don't care that all the so called experts say they don't exist. I know a mountain lion when I'm within 125 feet of one. I would have gotten track impressions if I had thought that no one would believe me, but I was frankly pretty scared of it and got out of there asap. As for people who want photographic proof, this animal wasn't sticking around long enough for me to even get my camera out.

Submitted by: Rob Watt

Webmaster's Note! There have been several mountain lion sightings in Paw Paw Tunnel area since June 2003 where others have reported seeing the mountain cat . I've had nearly a dozen people tell me about their sightings but they didn't want their sighting published on the web.

Mountain Lion sightings In the summer of 2007 and 2008

(#24)
Date: Jan 17, 2009 11:09 AM

In the summer of 2007, two friends and I were going fishing above Cheat Bridge in Randolph Co., WV. We were near the end of the road at Beaver Creek (about 6 miles below the old logging town of Spruce). An animal sprang up on the bank from the road about 40 yards away. I first thought it was a bobcat but then I saw the long tail and the reddish color of the cat and realized that it was not a bobcat. It was a young mountain lion about 50 -60#. My fishing buddy saw it and we agreed that it was a young mountain lion. In August 2008, a friend and I were in Ohio Co., WV on Harvey Rd. about a mile from West LIberty when I saw what I thought at first glance was a deer. It was about 75 yards away in a meadow. A second look revealed to me that it was an adult mountain lion, 100-125#. The long tail was a dead giveaway. My friend also saw it and we had about 30 seconds that it stood and looked at us. The camera was in the back seat but I was too stunned to reach for it. Later we heard a report of a deer kill close to Cabella's. The deer was killed by a farm pond and the owner saw the tracks of a mountain lion in the mud around the dead deer.

Submitted by: Dave Marshall
Fairmont, WV

Webmaster's Note!
These large, wild mountain cats are shy and avoid humans. In fact, most people never see this animal in the wild.... You and your friends are very lucky to have seen this animal on two occasions in the wild...... They said wild mountain lions had always been there in the Allegheny Mountains Wilderness but in other parts of West Virginia most are thought to have escaped from private compound or been let loose by those keeping them as pets. On most sighting their no way to determine if a Mountain Lion was always wild or had been let loose in wild when someone happen across a mountain lion or cougar

.
Lewis County family Claims two Cougars attacked and killed their horse at Churchville, WV.
(#23)
Date: Jan 3, 2009 9:23 PM

Cougars attacked and killed a horse
FW: pics, From: Lisa Campbell

From: Kimberly Rush
Here are some pics of a horse that at least 2 Mountain Lions attacked and killed last Friday in broad daylight right along the road and across from houses.
Kim

From: Julia Spelsberg
Hello,
Someone I work with had her horse killed last week (December 26, 2008). These are some of the pics. Is it possible that this was done by a mountain lion. this would have happened in the Churchville area of Lewis County, WV.

From: Katrina Posey
Subject: Mt. Lion Suspect in Killing of boys Horse in daytime
Please read this and click on the link to look at pictures, one of the pictures is a picture of a ladies hand and the paw print. Does this look like Mt. Lion to you?
Submitted by: James Denney
Subject: Horse Is Killed By Predators (Lewis County)

Webmaster's Note! The photo, submitted to The Richwooders site by a third party, and we could not confirm whether or not it was killed by mountain lions. The dead horse which appears to show deep slash wounds to the head and a powerful bite to the neck. It is always possible a Mountain Lion could come thru, and killed 3-year-old horse. The Scuttle Butt that I have been told was the eastern mountain lions, were exterminated decades ago but that doesn't mean they aren't present. We believe people in Churchville and the surrounding area need to be aware that definitely it's a possibility that there are mountain lions that come through this area.

Alleged Mountain Lion sighting at Abram's Creek -- Grant County
(#22)
Nov 19, 2008 6:54 AM

Hello Richwooders! I am the owner of Abram's Creek Lodge and Campground in Grant County, WV (www.abramscreek.com).
Last Wednesday early morning, at 1:30am 11/12/08, a cabin user (cabin #2) at the Campground in Grant County stepped out of his cabin at 1:30am to use the rest room. He heard a noise in the tree area in front of his cabin and turned his flashlight onto the area from which he heard the noise.
He said he starred straight at a beige colored mountain lion eyes, the animal complete with a huge bushy tail. He said they looked at each other for a very long several seconds before the mountain lion darted and ran into the darkness. The head of the mountain lion stood below his waist (about 2 feet high) so perhaps a medium sized younger male or female. Again, his certainty of the sighting is 100% according to him, as he had plenty of time to stare at the animal and take it all in.
The sighting was by a local Grant County man named Trevor who is 100% certain of the creature sighting. He says that he knows a bobcat from a mountain lion, and this was no bobcat. Trevor and his wife has been inhabiting cabin #2 for several weeks in exchange for performing labor (exchange) at the campground.

Submitted by: Vince Lombardi
Grant County West Virginia

Possible sighting of a mountain lion in Putnam County WV
(#21)
Date: Tue, October 28, 2008 3:38 pm

Hello! I just want to say how much I appreciate your website. I have found myself landing on it numerous times, whether researching ramps, bobcats, or mountain lions! I live in Putnam County, and one of my students who lives on "Redhouse Hill" which is rural and beautifully mountainous, with many ridge top roads populated by picturesque farms, told me he had seen a mountain lion. I was skeptical, but questioned him about the description of the cat. I thought it might have been a bobcat, but his description sounded more like a puma/mountain lion! Thanks for maintaining this website. I hope to visit Richwood in the near future!
Patty

Submitted by: PATRICIA WOLFORD
Putnam County West Virginia

Cougars seen
(#20)
Date: Fri, October 3, 2008 11:58 am

I saw Two (2) adult Cougars on Spruce Flat Rd. in Buckeye. They were on the hill across from my house and close enough to see with the naked eye; but I still grabbed my binoculars to get a great look at them.

Submitted by: Dorothy Lane

Submitting this "report" of a possible Mt. Lion
(#19)
Date: Fri, September 5, 2008 3:15 pm

Hey...First, Let's Go Mountaineers since the 'Eers are about to dismantle the ECU Pirates (providing the game is not cancelled due to the hurricane/tropical storm). Anyway, I am submitting this "report" of a possible Mt. Lion anonymously because I think many people, especially where I live, would think that I am crazy. But here goes...
My wife and I bought a house in the Whitehall area of Marion County in the summer of 2002. That autumn, my wife and I were sitting on our back porch which faces a "wooded area." I use the term "wooded area" because it would be hard to characterize the area as woods or forest - more like a strip of trees about one hundred yards wide that separates our house from the neighbors who live on the hill above us. It was late in the afternoon and my wife said she thought she saw a large dog like a golden retriever walking in the woods about ten yards above where the tree line begins. As the animal continued walking, it walked in front of trees which allowed us to give some perspective to its size. Also, because it was walking towards us, the closer it came the more clearly we could see its features. First, as it walked towards us it became clear that the animal was a cat and not a dog. Second, when it walked in front of several trees (big tulip poplars), it was pretty clear that the cat was bigger than a golden retriever and it had a long tail. My wife and I watched the cat walk up the hill through the woods and disappear at the crest of the hill (which is where our neighbor's yard is). The weird thing about this is that we live in a fairly populated area where I never thought you would see a mountain lion, if that was what it really was (maybe a bobcat with a longer tail than normal?). Despite the location where we saw it, and the fact that we have never seen it since, my wife and I are 100% certain that the animal we saw was a VERY large cat (at its closest it was only about thirty yards from us) that was bigger than a golden retriever yet had a coat that was similar in color.

Black Cat Sighted in Preston County
(#18)
Date: Sat, August 30, 2008 9:52 am

I live in Preston County, on the border of Maryland. Yesterday August 29, 2008 I was driving on a country road called Cranesville Road that leads to Oakland Maryland when a large cat all black ran across the road in front of me. It was about 80lbs. I am guessing (the size of my German shepherd dog). The tail was as long as the body and was thick, it's back feet were large. I did not see much more than that, it was booking across the road, 2 leaps and it was gone. I know it was no domestic cat, due to the way it moved and the size.
Sue Maund.

Puma sighting in Greenbrier County
(#17)
Date: Tue, August 19, 2008 9:13 pm

About 10 yrs ago, my friend and I were coming from the Coleman Cliffs area in Frankford, W.V. It was night, and as we were going toward town, a rabbit ran across the road with a mountain lion chasing behind. It was beige, had a long tail, and cub like ears. I didn't tell anyone because I knew I would be called a liar. But I know what I saw! I am a college graduate and I work for AFLAC. Today, my friend, who lives in Ronceverte, told me that he heard a horrible scream that seemed to have come from a cat. His incredibly mean doberman, turned tail and ran up to the house. This dog runs from nothing, but it did today when it heard that scream. I was wondering, have there been anymore sightings in Greenbrier County? Thank you and have a nice day. If you have any questions for me, my name is Alice Hanna and my number is (304) 000 - 0000.

Webmaster's Note! The Scuttle Butt that I have been told was the eastern mountain lions, were exterminated decades ago in Greenbrier County but that doesn't mean they aren't present... Are you aware that there have been big cat sightings in other counties around Greenbrier County. The Eastern puma is known to occur: Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia.
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Refuges in which the Eastern puma is known to occur: Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge, Cross Creeks National Wildlife Refuge, Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge

Bobcat vs Mountain Lion
(#16)
Date: Sat, August 16, 2008 9:13 am

Hello.. my name is Jennifer and my husband Zach has a field camera posted in our field in Triadelphia WV (A community in Ohio County). We were shocked to see this photo b/c we usually only get to see deer, on this camera! : ) Can you please help us try to identify this animal? We are kinda leaning towards a cougar/mt.lion... seems to have too long of a tail to be a bobcat. ?? any help you may be to us is appreciated.
Thanks for your time,
Jen ~
Picture temporarily unavailable
Webmaster's Note!
That is a great picture of the cat. Good Job on the pic. ... This cat clearly looks like a bobcat, "but I'm not 100% sure but we need more pictures". Be SURE to note its tail - a "bobcat" tail (6-8") is a bobcat. Mountain lions have VERY long tails and bobcat with faded spots could be confused with mountain lions.
Bobcat vs Mountain Lion

General Information Eastern pumas are reddish brown-tan in color. They have white fur on the belly and under the chin. Black markings are apparent behind the ears, on the face, and on the tip of the tail. On average, they weigh between 65 to 130 pounds and grow to be 6 ft in length. Many eastern pumas have an upward turn or kink at the end of the tail and a swirl or cow lick in the middle of the back. Puma kittens are pale with spots and have rings around the tail. They lose their spots and rings at approximately six months of age.
Current Listing Status: Endangered
Date Listed: Jun 4, 1973


I became aware that It was a mountain lion.
(#15)
Date: Sun, June 15, 2008 11:41 pm

I live in Boone County, West Virginia and back around the fall of 2006, one night I went walked outside to get the cat and put him in for the night. When I walked out side to find him my cat came running at me, and he never runs, he is a pretty big cat and doesn't run much at all. So when he came running at me I figured there was another neighbor hood cat outside after him so I walked around the corner of the house and soon realized there wasn't another cat. Then I look above my building on the hill side and saw a large bodied animal. At first I wasn't sure what it was, I Could see a long tail and as I said before a large bodied animal. Then after it I guess you would call it growled at me I became aware that It was a mountain lion. I know the sound of them because I do research on the internet of different animals. The sound that mountain lion made is nothing like you would ever imagine, It made the hair stand up on the back of my neck and it scared me. Then It took off up into the woods and I could hear it going around the side of the mountain and up the hill.

Submitted by: Zachary Harris
Boone County,West Virginia

Four States, WV. Mountain Lion Sightings.
(#14)
Date: Tue, May 27, 2008 10:45 am

Hi My name is Brandi, I live in Four States, WV. I'm 30 years old and scared to death for the safety of mydaughters. One month ago my mother Celestine was taking my daughter Addie to baseball practice and had herfather in the car with them.. They seen this animal coming out of the woods and she thought it was a big dog or fox from the distance, until it got closer to her she stopped her car and this big CAT came out in front of herand she said oh my goodness it's a mountain lion and her dad said it sure is and she said it walked in front ofher car as slow as it could go and just looked at her like it wasn't scared. She said it went up and stretched outon a log and just looked down and than went on it's way my daughter who is 8 years old says I've lived here in Four States for 8 years and have never seen one of those well her grandfathers looks at her and says AddieI've lived here for 73 years and I've never seen anything like that before so they went on to practice and whenshe got home she called the DNR and they laughed at her told her to get a pic of it or show some kind of a signthat there is one near.. She told them that she wasn't gonna go hunting for this big cat that it's there responsibilityto go look for this thing.. Well Last night May 26,2008 I went to take the garbage up to the end of the drivewayand I made it as far as the sidewalk when I heard sounding like a cat growling and I said oh God that's not alittle house cat.. So I ran in the house told my husband to get his gun that there is a cat out here and it isn't nolittle one either is a big one so he gets his 22 pistol and thinks I'm messing with him he comes outside with me tosee what I was scared off I was shaking.. So I make it back to the end of my sidewalk when we hear it againI told my husband your on your own buddy I'm gone I ran back in the house he looked at his gun and said I have the wrong one for this one that's a big ole kitty.. and the dogs barked and was ticked off all night.. I was gonna call the DNR but I was afraid that they wouldn't believe me either since they didn't believe my mother.. What Can I do to convince them that this is not a fake call and that we did see and hear it.. Is it gonnatake someone to be killed or hurt by this thing for them to come and check it out and not laugh at u?

Submitted by: Brandi Heflin
Four States, WV

Webmaster's Note! In fact, most people never see this animal in the wild.... Four States, WV seems like it would be good mountain lion habitat. You need to show some kind of a mountain lion sign (confirmed prints, pictures, and etc.) that there is mountain lion near.. DNR gets dozens of mountain lion reports and my guess is that DNR cannot check ever visual sighting.

Mountain Lion Tracks Wallace, WV
(#13)

This picture was taken April 7, 2008 behind my home in Wallace, WV approx. 400 yards above my house. They had recently added a right-of-way along the ridge to access wells they drilled the past several months. The tracks were from a step down onto the road which is rich in clay mud. We had noticed several deer tracks and then out of the blue notced a very different track following them. Here is a couple of pictures of what we had found. We plan on retaking pictures April 9, 2008 with a coin and measuring tape to give you something to compare the size with. I measured with my hand width and then again when I returned home and it was approx. 4 inches compared to a deer imprint of only 2 inches long.

Submitted by: Denalda Bush and Brian Jett

Webmaster's Note! Although I suspect the tracks in the photograph was dog track or a forefeet of bear, not a mountain lion tract.......I'm no expert and I've been wrong before and I know for sure experts have been wrong before.
If you find tracks, measure and photograph them carefully, then consult a track field guide for identification. And consider yourself lucky to see any of the elusive cats that exist or may exist in West Virginia (bobcat, mountain lion,). These rare and elusive cats are most active at night, so you seldom have an opportunity to see one!

Mountain Lion or cougar track I suspect the tracks in the photograph was dog track or a forefeet of bear.I suspect the tracks in the photograph was dog track or a forefeet of bear. Click on image to see the enlarged version



Two Lewis County Sightings.
(#12)

I am happy to have found your site. I have had two Moutain Lion sightings. One was either 1979 or 1980 in June. My stepbrother, and I at the time were teenagers and lived at Horner WV, Lewis County was about a mile from Stonecoal Lake. We rode our bicycles with fishing poles and two dogs following to the Lake to go fishing. It was around 2pm on a weekday, hardly any traffic at all on that road during the week in the early afternoon. We were about 150 to 200 ft. from the main gravel road. I remember seeing a black animal thought was a black german shephard that may have gotten loose. Then never paid anymore attention to it for a while as I couldnt see it anymore. Then a little bit later we decided we were done fishing and would go home, about half way up to the main road we saw the black animal again, and I thought what kind of dog is that? As the ears looked really strange and small and the face seemed short just didnt dawn on me that it was a cat. The dogs were barking at it but they would not go right to it, which was odd cause they always go to a dog passing by and check it out but they would not get too close, then we rode our bikes a little faster and I could see it was cat, but couldnt believe my eyes, then it finally took off running not real fast but yet way ahead of us and it leaped up the side of the hill maybe a 8 or 10 ft jump. Of course no one believed us my dad even laughed. But it wasnt too long that others saw it and even some saw a brownish colored MT Lion. Then that fall my dad was looking at deer with his binoculars to see if they were bucks and how many points, he was very shocked as he saw the brownish colored MT Lion. Also several people that lived in the area eventually saw one or the other or both. Then in 1996 in the fall after the leaves had fallen, I was with a friend driving between Weston, WV and Jane Lew WV, it was evening almost dark, and we saw a animal at first glance thought was a large light brown dog coming to the road and my friend slammed on the breaks and it walked right in front of us in the head lights looked right at us, my friend was real excited, and myself to, as this made two sightings for me. They are definitely here in West Virginia. I am greatful others have been seeing them and are posting their sightings on your site as well. They are a beautiful Animal and are very much a part of West Virginia. Thank you,

Submitted by: B. Foster (#11)

I doubt anyone would want to believe this, but after reading all the comments on "mountain lions" I have to share what happened to me and Larry. It was late summer, (2006) around 7 in the evening, and we were on the side deck eating watermelon, watching the girl accross the road walk her lab dog, when I notice in the woods what I thought at first glance was a deer. I watched a second then realized this wasn't a deer and it was watching the girl and dog! Well it moved, I seen it was a cat and scream for the girl to get her dog in the house, she thought I had lost my mind but thank heavens she did what I screamed for her to do and ran to the house... this cat got up and started walking toward my drive, Larry couldn't believe his eyes and I said no house cat is that big at that distance! Then.. Lo' and behold the thing crossed right beside my drive and up the hill not 15 yards from where we sat on the deck and it was beyond a doubt a cougar. I never seen shoulders move like that on a big cat in person nor a tail so long! ... scared me to death but was fascinating too!... We told a few who didn't really believe us and when I told my other neighbor Dolly, she said yep, she had seen the thing at the woods edge between our yard. So no doubt about it... Mountain Lions cross our area if not living in this area!... On another note... Carlene and Sandy and all the others who have e-mailed me, I sent more pictures in to this site hope they are posted soon and hope you enjoy them! Ya'll have a happy March... and speaking of lions... in like a lamb...out like a lion!... And to those who make this site possible...THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!
Submitted by: Debbie Bond

Webmaster's Note!Hi Debbie Bond, I could have accidentally delete those pictures you send us when I accidentally deleted an entire page of emails and photos from my laptop. I will try to recover them and get them posted soon.

Tail of the creature, Kinnison Mountain WV.
(#10)

Hello, My name is Aaron. I am 16 years old and live in Putnam County, WV. I play in a bluegrass group, the Kidd Brothers Bluegrass Group (http://kiddbrothers.tripod.com). Anyway, to make a long story short, our bass player, Markel Fertig, was driving to the mountains of Pocahontas County about 6 years ago. He was coming across Kinnison Mountain, and it was around 4 a.m. in the morning. It was foggy, and his whole family was asleep. He came on a straight stretch and came upon what he thought was a deer standing in the road, but when he got closer, he said that it jumped off the road, and he saw the tail of the creature, which had to be a mountain lion.
Thanks!
Submitted by: Aaron
Fri, February 22, 2008 9:56 pm

Webmaster's Note!I've spent time on Kinnison Mountain picking ramps and hiking, but never saw any mountain lions. In fact, most people never see this animal in the wild.... Kinnison Mountain seems like it would be good mountain lion habitat. Your friend is very lucky to have seen this animal in the wild.

1993 Mountain Lion Sighting
(#09)

I just stumbled across your sight, mainly because of a conversation I had with a fellow employee in Cincinnati. He was telling me about a cousin of his in WV that said he had saw a panther there, but my friend did not believe him. I just laughed because I was born and raised in Logan WV and had also thought that stories like these were so much imagination. Until 1993, I was working for a Coal Company in Sharples WV, while riding with a fellow worker in a company pickup truck we were looking for deer and we spotted a set of eyes in the headlights about twenty five to thirty yards away, for at least a full minute neither one of us said a word, I think we were both in shock. There before us crouched down and broad side starring straight at the headlights was a LARGE black cat, and its tail was very long and switching back and forth like a house cat would when annoyed. We watch it for what seemed like a long time and then it bolted into the brush, we both looked at each other and said "HOLY S@%^ that was a Panther!". Wether or not anyone ever believes me I thought I should let it be known I now believe that Panthers exist in WV. I have saw one with my own eyes.
Submitted by: J Gore
Burlington KY

Webmaster's Note Sighting a Black Mountain Lion is a rare and unexpected event. So unexpected that it's common for people to initially mistake them for panthers. Contrary to popular belief, there are no black panthers in USA. Occasionally, a Cougar/Mountain Lion will be gray,dark brown, cinnamon which can appear almost black and, even more rarely, solid black mountain lion. Most are essentially reddish and light brown to tawny in color. The Scuttle Butt that I have been told from reliably people was a Black Cougar/Mountain Lion was sighted in the woods of Flag Pond Tennessee in 2007 by the Hensley and Shelton boys. So if you think you have seen a black cougar, or mountain lion in West Virginia or Tennessee, you are not alone.

A mountain lion sighting was reported at, Showshoe West Virginia
(#08)

We just wanted to inform you all that during our trip to the Snowshoe ski resort in West Virginia we sighted a mountain lion at a nearby field. The mountain lion was lying down in the snow. This was on January 25 at around 5:30 pm. Have you heard of any other sightings in this area? We were very excited, but we're unable to get any pictures.
Thank you!
Submitted by: Krissi Wood
Date: Sun, January 27, 2008 3:22 pm

Webmaster's Note! Along the way we have seen black bears, deer, and hawks. but I haven't heard anything about Mountain Lion sightings in this area, and I haven?t seen them, but that doesn't mean they aren't present.

This might be old news now but I know there is mountain lions in West Virginia.
(#07)

In 1990 I was at a old coal mine sight on the Gauley River rd. area in Webster county that my dad had mined out, I was there alone dropping off a flatbed trailer to be loaded with supplies in the next few days. While I was there I happened to be looking around at the stuff that was to be loaded up and I look up for the biggest surprise of my life, About 50' away there I saw solid black cat walking in a wide open area in the middle of the day with his nose on the ground. I didn't know how many goose bumps a person could have on there neck but I could feel every one of them, In shock and afraid to move I froze for a moment and the big cat never seen me and kept moving. When the big cat got out of sight I run back to my truck witch was only 50' away and got a 44 mag. pistol. A few minutes later I walked over to see that the big cat was tracking a deer and the cat track was 4 1/2 inches wide and looked to be about 6" to 7" long with the tail, a big head with small ears, black shiny hair with a long bushy tail.

Submitted by: Ronnie S
Date: Mon, January 21, 2008 11:45 am

Its tail was dragging the ground and he was bigger than Riley(our 110 lb black lab)
(#06)

After visiting your site I have decided to tell you of a sighting on a bow hunt with my 23 year old son who was 16 at the time. The hunt took place in Mineral Co. and was one of the most shocking things my son and Ihave ever had together. We got to the bow stand at daylight just off of the Potomac River and I helped him into the tree with a climbing stand then retreated back the grassy rd. to find a tree to climb some 100 yrds away. I could not find a good tree so I settled on the one close the road pulled my bow up set down and had the worstfeeling of my life. I kept having visions of my son in danger and it involved a mountain lion and no matter what I did I could not get the fear to go away. So I lowered the bow back down jumped to the ground and startedtowards my son, but when I spotted him from a distance I realiized that he was ok (at least I thought!) I felt stupid right then. I turned to go back and decided to have one last look and that bad feeling hit me again. I walked to within 5 steps of the tree and I could not believe my eyes. My son was holding his bow with an arrow noched and another in his right hand pointing down towards the ground, he was pale and shaking anddidn't even notice me. I got his attention and he freaked out and told me to run or get up the tree. When I asked him to calm down he wouldn't I knew something bad was going on this child wasn't scared of much. I got him to talk to me and I told him to lower the bow and come down to me but he wouldn't he said dad there was a big cat that came out of the river bottom and walked under the tree stand and up into the bouldersbehind the stand. So I walked up into the rocks to prove it was ok to get down and he freaked out again. So Isaid to him did the cat have big pointed ears and a short stubby tail and he said you don't understand Dad its tail was dragging the ground and he was bigger than Riley(our 110 lb black lab) so I convienced him to comedown that whatever it was, was long gone by now. I later tried to talk to the DNR about it but they said we were making it up. I don't need to have there input if they were going to act like we needed to make up storiesjust to have something to talk about. I hope this will help someone else who may have the same experience some day.
Thanks very much,
Jeff
Thu, November 22, 2007 2:07 pm

Scenic Highway 150 a mountain lion cross the road.>
(#05)

Enjoying your website, very nicely done. My name is Clyde Downs I live in Bristol TN. and I have been coming to that area for over 30 years. Myself and 3 other close friends travel to the area twice a year to hunt and fish. We are all originally from Pineville WV. but now live in various parts of the country. We?ve camped in the Cranberry area many many times as well as the Greenbrier river area and Pocahontas county. Since we?ve gotten a little older and the ground has gotten harder we have opted for a cabin at Watoga State Park the last 6 years. One of my friends, Charlie Keaton (retired school teacher), was on the Scenic Highway 150 two weeks ago and saw a mountain lion cross the road in front of him. He said he got within 20 yards of the cat before it disappeared into the woods. About 15 years ago we were camped at the head of the Cranberry. One night after going to bed we were awoken by what sounded like screams off in the woods. Later we heard movement around our campsite and what sounded like hissing. From that experience we?ve always thought that there were mountain lions in the area. Glad to hear we?re not the only ones who have felt that the big cat it here (eastern wv) having migrated to the area many years ago.

Sincerely, Butch Downs

Date: Wed, September 19, 2007 8:19 am

A Mountain lion sighted in Morgan County, West Virginia
(#04)

It happened on December 26, 2006. I was hunting in Morgan County, about 6 miles from Paw Paw, close to Detour Road. I was watching a clear spot along an old logging road, about 30 yards from my position. I fully expected a deer to appear their. It was close to dark, and an animal with a color that approximated a yellow lab appeared in the clear spot. Hoping that is was a deer, I lowered my rifle and placed the scope on another clear spot that was in the pathof the animal. When it entered my scope, I was shocked to see what it was. It was clearly a mountain lion. It continuedalong the logging road until it disappeared into some thick trees. I watched it through the scope the whole time. I wascompletely surprised, not only because I didn't think they existed in West Virginia, but also because I know them to bequite elusive. I'm from California and have spent quite a lot of time in the Sierras, Cascades, San Bernardinos, San Jacintos, and the Rockies. Mountain lions are abundant in all those places, yet I've never seen one. I did see onedead beside the freeway in the Bay Area once. Needless to say, this sighting was a treat that I will treasure forever.
Chris Sparkman
Woodbridge, VA.

Webmaster's Note!The community of Paw Paw is known for the nearby Paw Paw Tunnel. The community was named for the paw paw, the largest wild edible fruit native to America and grew in abundance throughout the community of Paw Paw and Morgan County, West Virginia. The zip code for Paw Paw is 25434.Detour Road is (County Route 18).

A Mt. Lion crouching near the road at Gormania WV.
(#03)

Hello, My name is Don Woods Jr. My wife's name is Margaret. I saw a Mt. Lion crouched down along the road at Gormania WV. about six years ago. There is absolutely no doubt that it was definitely a Mt. Lion! Margaret has seen two over the years. One about twenty years ago near Friendsville in Garrett Co. MD. And the other near our home in Leadmine, Tucker Co. WV., about three years ago. They do exist and we know many other people that have seen them. Some say maybe it was a bobcat or maybe it was a large housecat. That is all bull, we have lived in the mountains of WV. all of our lives and believe me we know the difference!
Submitted by: Don Woods

Webmaster's Note! Gormania WV. is an unincorporated town in Grant County, West Virginia, along the North Branch Potomac River. Gormania, West Virginia, is in the Allegheny Mountains range comprising the western part of the Appalachian Mountains and near the borders of Virginia, Maryland and PennsylvaniaGormania WV. zip code for the town is 26720. Leadmine, WV. or Lead Mine, WV. is an unincorporated community in Tucker County, West Virginia, in the North Area of the State and the zip code for the community is 26290. Leadmine is known for the largest trees ever cut in West Virginia, White Oak.

Mountain lion sighted in Shanks West Virginia
(#02)

It was about 7:30 a.m. November 21, 2006 when I saw it walking through the field of our neighbor. I called out to my husband to look at this, I was washing dishes and looking out our kitchen window. But he had not gotten in the room fast enough it had moved rather quickly. It was about 4 feet long and had a long tail it was tan/grey in color. Have heard of these being in our area just have never seen one. I grew up in Garrett County MD. and my great grand parents said they had seen quite a few in their day. I thought maybe you would like to know that they are definitely here in Hampshire County West Virginia as well.
Submitted by: Nedra Platt

Webmaster's Note! Shanks West Virginia is an unincorporated community in Hampshire County, West Virginia, the North Fork Little Cacapon River runs through Shanks WV. and the zip code for the community is 26761. Shanks WV. population approx: 800.

A mountain lion sighting was reported at the Hatfield McCoy trail.
(#01)

I thought you might be interested in what I saw. On 8 Nov 2006 my wife and I were riding ATVs on theHatfield McCoy trail system just outside of Pineville WV. The trail system is called Pinnacle Creek Trails. I saw a mountain lion briefly, from a distance of approx. 50 feet. My guess is that its back was approx. 2 1/2 feet high with a body in excess of 4 feet long. Upon my return to Pa. I wanted to do some research into my sighting. It was in fact a mountain lion that I saw. My approx. location at the time of the sighting was the easternsection of the ATV trail around the northern intersection of the trail 10 and 15. I saw on your web site that itis believed that mountain lions are extinct in West Virginia. I can assure you that what I saw was in facta mountain lion.
Submitted by: Ken Vandevort

Webmaster's Note! Pineville is a town in Wyoming County, West Virginia, along the Guyandotte River and the zip code for Pineville is 24874. It is the county seat of Wyoming County and population approx: 750.

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