Category Archives: Cougars

My long-running discussion on local cougar sightings, which seem to be increasing despite U.S. Fish & Wildlife’s 2011 declaration that Eastern cougars are extinct. Previously they were an endangered species.

Midfield Takedown

It’s no secret that Mother Nature can be a cruel, unmerciful witch, capable of administering unimaginable pain and suffering while snickering at weepy, bleeding-heart sentimentality. Nature lovers moored in reality accept the good with the bad, of which there is plenty to go around. The following tale about an unfortunate encounter between a maturing fawn […]

Still Antlered?

Early afternoon last week, post-snowstorm … Wednesday, I think. The phone rings. It’s Killer, my buddy. He gets right to the point. “I guess your buck may still have his horns,” he reported, basing this assessment on reliable second-hand information he had received from an old friend and hunter who lives in Bernardston. “Andy saw […]

Cougar Crossing

Noontime Saturday. Sunny. I’m running a fever indoors as the outdoor thermometer is forecast to drop. Sitting on a burgundy leather wing chair near the dining-room woodstove, I’m pulling on tall, green rubber boots with aggressive treads for a trip out back to the dogs under icy conditions. No reason to take another tumble like […]

Petersham Cougar Confirmation

Although it seems like old news by now, really, it’s not that old. Plus, there’s an exciting new “breaking” element, which, frankly, is not all that surprising. First, a little background. On the morning of June 28, 2016, Petersham horse owner Anne Marie Zukowski went out to feed her 16-year-old German Hanoverian named Summit and […]

Conway Roadside Chase

Retired state Environmental Police Officer/administrator and practicing raptor rehabilitator Tom Ricardi of Conway phoned last week and left an interesting message well after I had already launched into a piece on the Patriots’ scintillating Feb. 5 Super Bowl LI win — that record comeback for the ages from which Pats fans are still tingling to […]

Claw Scars Stir Speculation

With bowhunters sitting in their treestands these days, one of them, Steven Curtis of East Colrain, pulled into my driveway noontime Saturday. Meeting for the first time, he wanted  to share color trail-camera photos of a claw-scarred deer other hunters in adjacent stands may soon become acquainted with …  pondering  the possibilities. This doe, probably […]

Spatz Responds On Cougars

The autumnal equinox is here, landscapes and backyard maples are sporting that familiar early-fall tinge and, yep, cougar feedback from high priests is alive and well. It didn’t take long for Cougar Rewildling Foundation (CRF) President Chris Spatz to chime in on last week’s column titled “Cougar Rewildling Could Happen Here.” Actually, there is probably no one on earth more eager for  […]

Cougar Rewilding Could Happen Here

Like yesterday, I clearly remember the day it was brought to my attention: June 11, 2011. The breakfast alert came by email from old friend and valued source John McDonald, the former MassWildlife Deer Project Leader by then working as a wildlife biologist out of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s (USFW) Hadley office. Yes, […]

Bears, Coyotes And A Little Tease

The Beldingville bears just keep on giving in this, a week that has thus far offered ideal morning weather for bottomland rambles. So, of course I took robust, refreshing walks through familiar riverside habitat each day, doubling the normal distance to extend the splendor of a cool north breeze, bright blue sky, and sparse, white, wispy clouds […]

Quabbin Rattlers, Crown Point Cat

If you thought that rattlesnake controversy snuggly coiled around Mt. Zion, a secluded Quabbin Reservation island targeted for future viper stocking, had slithered off to some deep, stony crevice called Devil’s Den, think again. The dustup is alive and well, with many opinions on both sides of the issue. Illuminating that fact are two unexpected, […]

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