Home Current News News Archive Shop/Advertise Ridecamp Classified Events Learn/AERC
Endurance.Net Home Ridecamp Archives
[Archives Index]   [Date Index]   [Thread Index]   [Author Index]   [Subject Index]

[RC] Cougars - Roger Rittenhouse

When I lived in Tellico Plains, I rode all over Starr Mtn, my main training 
trails system.

Omni knew every mile and once on a trail we were going 'that way'.

A nice ride in the fall, we were trotting  a trail in the 'boggy' area, when I
saw a 'big black dog' in front of us about 300 feet.  Omni kept on going until 
got close enough for me to see the bushy tail and the pointed ears. 
The cat just looked at us and kept going on the trail, I was going to turn 
but I figured it would move on rather then mess with us. So the boy antsy to get
going trotted on down the trail not phased at all. I did see the cat a few more
times  in the woods and on trail in front of us  but far enough away.
I guess it was about 90 pnd  a very large dog but lean and sleek. 

A week later we were on the Mtn again, this time we were on the trails that  go
though wild hog/pig community. We have seen pigs many times and he was not
concerned with them. This time we were trotting fast and cantering on a speed
trail when 2   or 3 pigs running full bore, came along side us in the woods and
cut in the trail in-front of us then crisscrossed back to the woods and trail. 
just kept on going. I asked  - yes talk to my horse-  what was that all about. I
did not look back to see WHY these  pigs were running. :)

Came around a turn at speed and there was a BIGGER kitty, all black- I guessed
this was the male and the other was female. We were way to close-  100 feet? The
cat made a sound ?? and trotted off at ease. 
We went on down the trail. Saw the pigs again but they were in the woods 

Of course I know why we had a 'run with the pigs' that day  :) Omni thought it
was great to race the pigs.

Both of the cats  were very nice looking and in good shape - pig dinner?

Horse was so well trained nothing  phased him over the years. 

I never saw the cats again but I heard them scream at night -- like a woman
getting beat up, very eerie.

A few weeks later I was on a trail I saw the body of the small cat, someone shot
her. I assume the male moved on or was shot. 
My error was contacting the fed rangers  to report the sighting. They wanted 
details. I always wonder if they shot her or a local did it . I did tell the
postman  yea DUH :). But anyone who knows the sound of a big cat knew they were
up there. 

I wish had my camera.  

Roger R

Ridecamp is a service of Endurance Net, http://www.endurance.net.
Information, Policy, Disclaimer: http://www.endurance.net/Ridecamp
Subscribe/Unsubscribe http://www.endurance.net/ridecamp/logon.asp

Ride Long and Ride Safe!!