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Mountain lions and foals???

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  • Mountain lions and foals???

    Has anybody had experience with mountain lions hanging around your pastures? Or problems with mountain lions and your foals?

    About 5 days ago, I was pulling out of the driveway of my pasture, about 5' from Bravo's pasture, when a print in the earth caught my eye. I got out and looked very closely and thought, Dang, that's a large cat. Not having a lot of experience with cat prints, I wasn't positive. But I knew it wasn't a dog and the print was about the size of my hand.

    I've been on foals watch and sleeping with my pregnant mares for the last 3 nights. In the middle of the night, 2 nights ago, I was awoken by a thundering noise. It was my entire mare band running full steam down the hill from one end of the pasture to completely the other side, 150 acres. I thought it was incredibly odd and again the thought of a mountain lion crossed my mind. I always sleep out with my mares when they're due and have never heard them running around at night.

    So today, I'm driving up the road, about 1/2 miles from the pasture, and walking right up the side of the road, is a large cat, small mountain lion, about 60-75 lbs. It's too big to be a bobcat but seems too small to be a full grown mountain lion.

    So now I'm freaking out!

    The good news is, there's a lot of game out here. I daily see rabbits and deer. There is also a farm right next door who raises sheep and they have lost them in the past to predators. So I'm thinking these other animals would be much easier pray than a baby with a mare guarding it.

    There's a 4,000 acre ranch behind me and the owners have told me if I ever had problems with predators, they would hunt and kill them for me. Would you have these guys go after this mountain lion and kill it? I hate to kill anything that's not bothering me but I'm afraid if it starts bothering me, I'll lose a foal over it. It's not like a mountain lion bothers you 1/2 way. If they're hunting something, they're going to be fully intent on killing it.

    Thoughts anyone? This is new territory for me. My son told me he saw a mountain lion a couple years ago, but it didn't hang around.
    Last edited by misita; Jun. 11, 2008, 07:12 PM.
    Chris Misita
    www.hiddenvalleyfarms.net Home of Bravo and Warrick!
    To dare; progress comes at this price. All sublime conquests are, more or less, the rewards of daring.
    Victor Hugo

  • #2
    We dont have Mountain Lions but we have coyotes to watch for. Most are not brave enough to come up close to the barn/house cuz we have dogs, but they are down by the river. I dont let the foals down in the big pastures due to that.
    www.spindletopfarm.net
    Home of Puerto D'Azur - 1998 NA 100 Day Test Champion
    "Charcter is much easier kept than recovered"

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    • #3
      www.lgd.org
      Nothing says "I love you" like a tractor. (Clydejumper)

      The reports states, “Elizabeth reported that she accidently put down this pony, ........, at the show.”

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        I have a golden retriever and a lab something or other; possibly some kind of hound something. Maybe I should put them in the mare and foal pasture?

        I have coyotes too and 2 years ago saw a pack of three crossing the pasture, but they moved along.

        One day I was working out there and something made me turn around. On the top of the hill was a coyote just sitting there watching me.
        Chris Misita
        www.hiddenvalleyfarms.net Home of Bravo and Warrick!
        To dare; progress comes at this price. All sublime conquests are, more or less, the rewards of daring.
        Victor Hugo

        Comment


        • #5
          not really the same -- lgd's have been bred for 100's of years to guard/protect -- not to chase, hunt, retrieve,........ and they are really sweet dogs too
          Nothing says "I love you" like a tractor. (Clydejumper)

          The reports states, “Elizabeth reported that she accidently put down this pony, ........, at the show.”

          Comment


          • #6
            A girlfriend of mine has a pair of those shaggy white dogs (cant think of the name for them) and they dont have issues. Those dogs are super protective of the horses, etc.
            www.spindletopfarm.net
            Home of Puerto D'Azur - 1998 NA 100 Day Test Champion
            "Charcter is much easier kept than recovered"

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            • #7
              no mountain lions here but coyotes yes. i do not put my foals out at night until they are around 3-4 months and large enough to kick a coyotes butt, with mommas help. they are in stalls during the day. i have never had a problem during the day. i do hear them at night though, and they are very close. they will not pick on an adult horse that is up and grazing and other wise healthly. i would be freaking out if we had mountain lions.
              www.camaloufarms.com

              ride it like you stole it! "ralph hill"

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              • Original Poster

                #8
                What do you think of the Anatolians? I have tons of foxtails in the summer and I know with all that hair, the other breeds would be harder to keep clear of them. I see they listed the Tibetan Mastiff. What of the Mastiff?? They'd be easier to groom.

                And yes Maxxtrot, I'm freaking out because I think this guy has been hanging around at least all week, maybe longer and I just didn't pick up on it.

                Here, in Sonoma County, Ca. it's been illegal to hunt mountain lions for a long time. I don't know the specifics because I haven't really paid attention. But the last year I was hearing complaints about the large mountain lion population. You see, I'm probably only 5 miles (nothing for a mountain lion) from Lake Sonoma and the rumor is the rangers have been taking them out quietly because their numbers are increasing too much.

                I personally don't know anything. These are only rumors I've heard. This is my first encounter with a predator sticking around. And that scares me with 2 foals due anyday and 1, one week old filly.
                Last edited by misita; Jun. 11, 2008, 07:13 PM.
                Chris Misita
                www.hiddenvalleyfarms.net Home of Bravo and Warrick!
                To dare; progress comes at this price. All sublime conquests are, more or less, the rewards of daring.
                Victor Hugo

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have heard great things about the Anatolians. My sister had a new born foal taken by a pack of coyotes years ago. I'd be going a little crazy if I was in your shoes, misita. Jingling like mad that the big cat moves on and does no harm.
                  Mary Lou
                  http://www.homeagainfarm.com

                  https://www.facebook.com/HomeAgainFarmHanoverians

                  Member OMGiH I loff my mares clique

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                  • #10
                    What about getting a donkey or two. My aunt has those and the bobcats don't mess with them anymore! They're easy keepers too.
                    Smileys, the internet's botox

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Delaney, that's a great idea. How funny you mention that. I was actually thinking about it about a month ago and saw 2 for sale, close to me for $300 each! That didn't even pop into my mind until you said that!

                      I was thinking about donkey's because I have chickens and I didn't want my chickens killed.

                      Could I put a couple donkey's in my mare and foal pasture?
                      Chris Misita
                      www.hiddenvalleyfarms.net Home of Bravo and Warrick!
                      To dare; progress comes at this price. All sublime conquests are, more or less, the rewards of daring.
                      Victor Hugo

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Yes, I think so. I just recommend them for horse situations because they can live with your pasture, eat their food, and double as a guard. That's a lot easier then a dog that you have to house, feed, and train. My aunt actually has two sister mini sicilian donkeys. I find them just as protective, but for a big herd to protect you may want to get full size ones.
                        Smileys, the internet's botox

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          dogs

                          Originally posted by misita View Post
                          I have a golden retriever and a lab something or other; possibly some kind of hound something. Maybe I should put them in the mare and foal pasture?

                          I have coyotes too and 2 years ago saw a pack of three crossing the pasture, but they moved along.

                          One day I was working out there and something made me turn around. On the top of the hill was a coyote just sitting there watching me.
                          big cats love dog meat, don't sacrifice your dogs. get the DNR, don't you have rangers out there, natural resources with the state? they will trap or kkill any threats. with the drought all over and fires and all, cats are on the move. and then there's the issue when young lions are looking for their own territory. I have read where the wild mustangs have actually hung out in parking lots in Reno and other places because of the threats to the foals.
                          and while a lion may not take on a mare, if the mare is foaling, or if the lion gets to her foal, it could be disaster.
                          and those big dogs that people have told you about, the ones who are bred to protect, are good.
                          but I'd call the state today, and get someone out there.
                          and yes, you do have to have them trapped or killed or they will feed on your animals, altho the sheep next door are easier targets.

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Okay. I won't take our pets out there. I'm sure your right. They'd just become prey. Our dogs, all they know how to do is beg for food, pets, and whine to come indoors when it's too hot or cold.

                            I'll call fish and game right now.

                            It was terribly scary seeing that cat on the road. Less than a mile from town and 1/2 mi. from my horses! It made me even more nervous that I was able to drive up quite close to him, probably 100 yards, before he even saw me. Then he ran off. So obviously he's getting used to hearing the traffic from the freeway.

                            Edited to add: I just called Fish and Game and left a message. Hopefully they'll get back to me shortly.
                            Chris Misita
                            www.hiddenvalleyfarms.net Home of Bravo and Warrick!
                            To dare; progress comes at this price. All sublime conquests are, more or less, the rewards of daring.
                            Victor Hugo

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Interesting thread as we recently saw one within 200 yards of our house. It was around 200 lbs and in the waterway behind our house. My husband thought it was our english mastiff so he used the scope on his rifle to look closer and about fell out of his chair when he saw what it was. The boys tried to run it down, but couldn't catch it for a clean shot. Anyway, what we found out was that in our area they are protected. So fish and game won't even admit that they are here, BUT, if you think you have one around they will set traps to try to get it. If you see one and must kill it, be sure that it is 'in close proximity to your home,' specifically stated from the fish and game warden that doesn't even admit that they are here.

                              My point being, check your laws closely as they fiercely protect them here when they won't even admit they are here. I keep my newborn foals in paddocks close to the barn until they are fast and sturdy on their legs and we also have two large mastiffs that keep all critters, coyotes, and cougars, I'm sure, away from the barn area. Also have some faith in your mares, they are very keen and very protective and I would be surprised, given as much easier prey is likely available, that they would ever come after a horse....but, who knows when it comes to those predators.

                              Good luck and I feel for you............I fear as much for my kids as I do my horses and we don't allow the kids to wander from the house once we are close to dusk.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                and they kill humans too

                                Originally posted by misita View Post
                                Okay. I won't take our pets out there. I'm sure your right. They'd just become prey. Our dogs, all they know how to do is beg for food, pets, and whine to come indoors when it's too hot or cold.

                                I'll call fish and game right now.

                                It was terribly scary seeing that cat on the road. Less than a mile from town and 1/2 mi. from my horses! It made me even more nervous that I was able to drive up quite close to him, probably 100 yards, before he even saw me. Then he ran off. So obviously he's getting used to hearing the traffic from the freeway.

                                Edited to add: I just called Fish and Game and left a message. Hopefully they'll get back to me shortly.
                                good. and be careful. remember, over here on the east coast we're often reading about calif. joggers getting killed by lions in the mountains. and there was that woman in canada a few years ago riding with her 2 sons and a lion grabbed one of the sons off of the horse, a child, and the woman got off, sent the other kid for help, horses fled of course, and the woman fought the lion and saved her child--she was dead or dying when help arrived, and lion still there.
                                and call your sheriff. get them out there to see the lion today.
                                and call those people who offered to kill for you, the ranch behind you. don't tell them to kill it, just ask them to come over and tell you what to do. (then if they kill it you won't be held responsible.)
                                and be careful.
                                don't send any well fed portly canines out there, please.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  This sounds absolutely crazy but about a month or so ago, my husband and myself saw what looked to be a huge cat walking out of the woods on the corner of our property and across two fields. At first we couldn't work out what it was..clearly a cat of some kind but huge and golden in color. It hung around for a good 15 or 20 mins so it wasn't like we just got a quick glimpse.

                                  When I came into the house and went of line to see what it was we actually saw, I was shocked that when a photo of a mountain lion came up....that was it...exactly. In this area you don't see them.

                                  I have been terrified to keep our foals out over night but can't keep them in forever and my daughter to likes to go jogging up through the woods, needless to say doesn't jog up there any more.

                                  Haven't seen it since and I'm hoping and praying that its was passing thru.


                                  Crazy, I know....but I'm pretty sure that's what it was.
                                  www.trevelyanfarm.com
                                  Follow us: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Tre...1609022?ref=ts
                                  Breeders of Sport Horses & New Forest Sport Ponies

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                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Charger, where are you located? In Ca.? They're protected here too but I think you can kill them if they're a threat to livestock.

                                    My husband is a sheriff (Sonoma County Sheriff's Dept.) for 27 years. I'll talk to him when he gets home.

                                    Yes Cloudyandcallie, I've heard about all the mountain bikers being attacked by mountain lions. Now also, there has been a coyote problem in Southern Ca., attacking young children right in their backyards. But I'm 500 miles N. of that.

                                    I guess the bottom line is we're encroaching on more and more of their lands and, with all the protection laws, they've been multiplying unchecked for a long time.
                                    Chris Misita
                                    www.hiddenvalleyfarms.net Home of Bravo and Warrick!
                                    To dare; progress comes at this price. All sublime conquests are, more or less, the rewards of daring.
                                    Victor Hugo

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      you are right

                                      ri
                                      Originally posted by misita View Post
                                      Charger, where are you located? In Ca.? They're protected here too but I think you can kill them if they're a threat to livestock.

                                      My husband is a sheriff (Sonoma County Sheriff's Dept.) for 27 years. I'll talk to him when he gets home.

                                      Yes Cloudyandcallie, I've heard about all the mountain bikers being attacked by mountain lions. Now also, there has been a coyote problem in Southern Ca., attacking young children right in their backyards. But I'm 500 miles N. of that.

                                      I guess the bottom line is we're encroaching on more and more of their lands and, with all the protection laws, they've been multiplying unchecked for a long time.
                                      right. too many people moving up in the mountains, and then the protected lions mutiplying. oh great, well get your husband, who is probably toting a glock, and has the shotgun in the back, to monitor the situation. if the lion has been hanging around for 5 days, he's serious, and if he is a female with young, she'll be taking down something soon. they are beautiful but dangerous. and no longer fear humans. we don't have the coyotes yet, but just near us as our former congressman years ago imported to hunt them with dogs, and they escaped from the "pen" where they held them (coyotes smarter than white male congressman) and they clean up small dogs cats birds etc. heading our way though.
                                      so be careful. take gun with you at all times. take husband and husband's gun with you. get DNR there. best to say not that animals are threatened, but that the cat "got within 100 ft was it? of you" if humans are threatened, they'll trap or kill the cat. (years of reading "outdoor life" as a child).
                                      good luck. please we don't want post here that you or horses or foals or dogs got eaten by the lion!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by misita View Post
                                        Could I put a couple donkey's in my mare and foal pasture?
                                        My mares and foals are "in town". It's a small town. My lesson horses are out where the coyotes roam. I have a mule and two donkeys, though I may find a lease situation for a donkey or one of the mules. Last week we found a raccoon that had been pesky stomped into the dirt out in the pasture. I am guessing Chaos, the mule, did not tolerate him. I have a 39 year old pony out there, so I feel better knowing she's protected by someone. I'm not sure how they are with newborn foals? But mine have been good with the goats and horses.
                                        Maria Hayes-Frosty Oak Stables
                                        Home to All Eyez On Me, 1998 16.2 Cleveland Bay Sporthorse Stallion
                                        & FrostyOak Hampton 2008 Pure Cleveland Bay Colt
                                        www.frostyoaks.com

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