Lions in the Blufflands

Lions in the Blufflands

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Inside the Cougar Den: Lions in the Blufflands

A Wildlife Documentary by Lisa Loucks Christenson

 Publisher: Loucks Studios, Inc.

Recorded over years of field research beginning in 2005 and is still in progress.

*do not purposely approach a cougar

* do not try and outrun a cougar

* do NOT, even with the encouragement of law enforcement, bring your dogs

* stand it down — they will usually retreat, if not be prepared - they will come from the front or back, or at your sides. In thick grass they will be closer than objects in your mirror 

 

 

 
Inside the Cougar Den: Lions in the Blufflands

A Wildlife Documentary by Lisa Loucks Christenson



On January 1, 2013, Lisa began her ninth year on her Lisa's Bald Eagle Documentary™

For nine years Lisa has seen and heard cougar in the Whitewater Valley, nestled in SE Minnesota while on her various wildlife documentaries. She has documented their vocals, scat, tracks, including both video and photos, plaster casts and more.



7/7/13, Sunday, 18:45,

Year Nine, Lisa’s Bald Eagle Documentary
The newly-fledged, 12 week and 6 days old, immature eagle from Nest 1, Dwight Piccalo, #20 of 21 eagles from this pair in nine years is sitting on the sandbar by trail I broke yesterday, calling out to his parents.

I heard something in the grasses behind me. Then the yowling. Cougar stalking problems, again! I can hear two. Mom and cub? Male and female? Mating calls? Walked away from noise of the river, felt uneasy. Why can most of us believe in seeing red flags, but never the angels waving them?
I could imagine both, the flags and the angels warning me: get out. NOW! Second cougar yowled, he was close, but I couldn’t see him in the thick brush and grass. Every movement I made I knew could trigger a launch. His. I wondered if I should dive in the river, swim downstream. Water was running high, 8-15 feet deep, snags, down trees, and flood brush, weaved into whirlpools spinning all through the strong current.

I knew I had to walk out. The vocals, deeper than cougar by river, screamed out in front of me. I snapped the safety off my mace and held it out. I knew I didn’t have very good odds, but I had to try.

. . . Colored like the sunset of that evening, the cougar raced past me, crashing through and folding the grasses on my main trail; lifting and descending like a flock of wild turkeys escaping a predator in the spruce grove.

As the cougar bolted up the bluff––its presence suspended only by my shock––I noticed the individual hairs on the long tail that shot skyward each time it’s feet hit the ground. The lion kept running, heading in the direction towards the den I found last winter, one that was a cougars.

*Documentary tracked in Plaster of Paris, for evidence purposes only. Onward. God help me.” ––Lisa

7/7/13 two cougars, both vocals recorded, one sighting came in on Lisa on the Whitewater River. Officials were notified.

7/19/13, Lisa found cougar tracks.

7/20/13 tracks were cast in Plaster of Paris, the rest of the story in still in progress.

*Animal leaped at me again, dust on plants gone, cougar hair. Left. This was a small cougar?

Told by law enforcement, and CO to bring my German Shepherds with me when out in the woods. I refused. Told them I will not risk their lives for mine. Dogs get ripped up. No one believes a female outdoors photographer, guess I am to stay home and bake cookies. Threat was real, but ignored by CO, Sheriff...

I prayed. Told God, “No one wants to believe the cougars are here, and stalking. They would not even acknowledge my footage. If you want them to believe me God you’ll have to bring them here.”

I left for my safety. 

A few weeks later my husband wakes me to watch the news. An attorney in Rochester just had a mother cougar and two cubs in their yard.

 

Reports of a mother cougar and cubs — on the news. 

Said another prayer, “thank you God for bringing them out, maybe they’ll believe the attorney. Still, someone is going to get hurt.”

Later:

Cougar attacks Great Dane, dog is put down — on the news, confirmed by contacts

Prayed again, “Lord, help the family who lost their dog.”

 

 

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