Cougars? Who's seen one?

I saw one about 15 yrs ago while in a sled running up the Nooksack between Nugents corner and Deming. It was out on a gravel bar drinking from the river in the early morning, when it saw us it turned and ran. There was a large back eddie between him and the woods, he launched himself into the eddie,swam across it and scamper into the woods. It was very cool to see.
1 for me about 25 years ago in eastern washington. However, I have seen sign on top of mine after doubling back on my route. I worked for DNR for quite a few years in the northeastern half, surveying and in forest practices and have seen alot of animals ,but like others have voiced, if you send time in the outdoors, they have likely viewed you without you ever noticing.


I have seen one the highway between Eniat and Chelan just past the tunnel there is a valley before you crest and see the lake. It was on a full run and crossed the highway in front of the truck but that was 25 years ago. Last year I found a cougar kill but have not seen the male that lives in the valley i hunt. The week after I found the kill I saw a white truck in an area that is posted so I waited out by the road to see what was up. They were setting up sensors looking for the cougar and told me the farmers dog had chased it up a tree more than once in the front yard of their house. I showed them the picture I had taken and they stated that coyotes would have scattered the bones.
I haven't seen one in person but up by my cabin on the far eastern side of Okanogan County, I've seen paw prints and I encountered a kill back along tiny creek tucked in a little canyon. Needless to say, I didn't hang out there too long...


Active Member
I saw a large one about to cross the highway at the southern tip of Glacier National Park in a misty rain in 2010 on a trip with my family. In the misty air its fur was amazingly orange in color. It looked us right in the eye before retreating back into the woods. Coolest sighting ever in my experience, even if it was from the family car.


Joe Streamer
Last summer while on a long hike-in fishing excursion deep in eastern WA BLM land, I hiked in on a jeep track without incident. After fishing half a day, I hiked back out on the same path. In a narrow canyon there was a fresh crow kill with cougar tracks all around. I never saw the cat, but it was a tense hair-raising few minutes walking out of that canyon.

Greg Holt

Active Member
Here's a "this happened to me" story":

While bowhunting in a fresh snowstorm near Loup Loup 15 years ago, I came upon some deer beds just below a timber patch freshly evacuated, with debris flung up onto the surrounding snow. I checked inside the timber immediately above the beds and confirmed cougar tracks. I decided to head back downhill to the truck since these deer were obviously spooked now, but the finger ridge I chose to use ended in a cliff, so I returned to the main hillside by backtracking, and ran smack into an adult cougar at about 30 feet, ears back, tail twitching, sizing me up. Since I was camo'd head to foot, cover scent, gloves, face mask, I was pretty sure he didn't figure me to be human.

I put an arrow on the bow to make myself feel better, waved my arms and spoke loudly while appearing as large as possible. After 30 seconds or so, he changed body language from predator to disgust, turned and vanished in less than two seconds. I waited then backtracked myself to discover that he'd been alonside my trail for 1/2 mile--right about where I left the deer beds. He could have taken me any time, I'd never have seen it coming.

I was turkey hunting in Eastern Washington some years back and came upon a deer kill fresh enough that the stripped hind quarters were still twitching and shiny wet--we didn't stick around to see whether the killer was pleased at the interruption...

We're seldom as alone as we think...
i find their tracks in mine about 4 times a year, seen 2 in woods, you gotta remember you are higher on the food chain and if you dont act like it he wont treat you like it.
Seen one to close for comfort many a years ago in the rain forest back when you could drive much deeper in. Ever since I look backwards a lot more often when in the woods.
Saw one about 10 years ago in the Forks airfield. Kind of thought it was some sort of canabalism since it was running, grabbed a domesticated cat one shake and took off!


Active Member
I was in Nevada a few years ago. One afternoon I saw some elk and deer in this area, but they were along way off. The next afternoon I hiked to a vantage point where I could see the animals from the prior afternoon. Sure enough the deer started showing up. Several nice bucks. I noticed some movement and in the timber and saw a cougar walking the edge of the timber. It was really interesting watching the cougar try to stalk the deer and the reaction from the deer when they figured out something was not right. When the cougar was ready to leave he just vanished. Later had a legit 30" mule deer bed down 150 yard below me. One of my most memorable afternoons in the outdoors.

Alex MacDonald

that's His Lordship, to you.....
Here in Leavenworth, we had a cougar problem two years ago, and the forest service closed the hiking trails on the eastern part of Ski Hill going over into Freund Canyon. A farmer on the Chumstick finally shot it. I've seen four, three in Marin County in Ca, and--get this--the last one in DOWNTOWN SACRAMENTO!!! We were driving to a bicycle club ride on New Year's Day, and were all meeting at the South parking lot on the grounds of Sac State. I turned onto the University grounds from H street, and made a right turn onto the Arboretum area, and the cat was sitting underneath a tree, catching some rays!! There's a long bike trail/pathway along the American River, which runs from the foothills by Folsom lake all the way to the Sacramento River, with plenty of wildlife. The cougars follow the deer down the Parkway.