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Two Lions Near Lily Lake Trailhead

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Re: Two Lions Near Lily Lake Trailhead

Postby tbaileymd » Tue Sep 18, 2012 7:07 am

On September 4, four of us are pretty sure we saw one from the top of the first gully on Little Bear. It was down the other side of the gully, about 50 yards down. It was still dark, and it was just at the edge of our lights.

Re: Two Lions Near Lily Lake Trailhead

Postby lordhelmut » Tue Sep 18, 2012 8:33 am

fleetmack wrote:I saw the biggest bear I've ever seen in CO near (exactly?) the same location you describe in mid-July. We also saw a heard of Elk that day and several deer. That place is a haven for wildlife! Glad we saw all this after we woke from camping for the night rather than before! My pictures won't do it just, but nonetheless:

https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/s720x720/528026_609557265570_985520585_n.jpg
https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/524189_609558034030_477792460_n.jpg
https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/s720x720/553796_609557644810_1014428813_n.jpg


Fleetmack - that first pic, albeit blurry, almost makes it look like a Grizz. Wasn't the last known Grizz in Colorado down South? Long shot, just wondering......

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Re: Two Lions Near Lily Lake Trailhead

Postby abqben56 » Tue Sep 18, 2012 8:40 am

lordhelmut wrote:Fleetmack - that first pic, albeit blurry, almost makes it look like a Grizz. Wasn't the last known Grizz in Colorado down South? Long shot, just wondering......


Deep in the South San Juan wilderness, 33 years ago, an old female. Craig Childs has the details in one of his books, The Animal Dialogues, if I remember.

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Re: Two Lions Near Lily Lake Trailhead

Postby jdorje » Tue Sep 18, 2012 8:42 am

I'm pretty positive every mountainous area in Colorado has two mountain lions. Once they are couple years old they are way too smart to ever be seen by humans.

They are solitary, but males and females have overlapping territories.

Part of why sheep, goats, and deer tend to congregate near trailheads and campgrounds is surely to avoid the lions.

To the original poster: the juveniles are identifiable because they have black rings on their tails. Did one or both of your lions have these?
-Jason Dorje Short

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Re: Two Lions Near Lily Lake Trailhead

Postby fleetmack » Tue Sep 18, 2012 8:48 am

I thought the same thing. I found this page:
2. Do we have grizzly bears in Colorado?

No. All bears in Colorado are black bears, regardless of whether the coat is black, brown, blond or cinnamon colored. The last confirmed grizzly bear in Colorado was seen in 1979. Since then there have been sporadic reports of grizzly bears in remote areas but no confirmation or physical evidence that they are living in the state. There is always a chance that they will disperse south from grizzly populations in Wyoming and make their way naturally back into Colorado at some point, but there is no evidence that this is currently occurring.


I'm going to chalk it up to being a brown-colored bear with a black face. It was immensely large, though... but as you can tell from the third picture, we were a ways away. Wish I had more than my cell phone camera handy at the time.

Here he is looking at us, again blurry:
https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/s720x720/598844_616207094260_1059572205_n.jpg

"I think Bigfoot is blurry, that's the problem. It's not the photographer's fault. Bigfoot is blurry, and that's extra scary to me. There's a large, out-of-focus monster roaming the countryside." --Mitch Hedberg
"Cynicism and ill-humored opinion have built a stronghold called the message board. Sweet mother of God, see a f***ing shrink, people."
--Corey Taylor

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Re: Two Lions Near Lily Lake Trailhead

Postby Dark Helmet » Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:40 am

that bear is indeed a very light-brown Black Bear...

that last pic where he is looking at the camera, while you can't see the endemic skull shape, you can see NO pronounced shoulder "hump" (whatever its called) which should be visible or at least discernible in that posture.

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Re: Two Lions Near Lily Lake Trailhead

Postby Dubdub » Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:48 am

My camera was in my pack in the back seat. I am not sure it would have made any difference if I have been wearing it on my neck. The night of the 14th was very dark with little moon. Also, the two lions were already on the run when we saw them just 10 or 15 yards in front of the jeep. I did not observe any ring around the tails. I cannot compare their size to others because I only ever just seen the two. If I guessed, I would say they weighed in the neighborhood of 140-150 pounds (after adjusting for my fishing tale tendencies). It happened quick as you might guess, we simply saw the two cats, registered what we they were, looked at each other and said some words not worth repeating...then of course we stopped and dared each other to get out and run ten laps around the jeep. There was a lot of activity that night. A racoon was on the a hundred yards from where we say the lions. We also caught a glimpse of a bull elk just off the shoulder of the highway west of Gardner. Question for those who frequent Colorado wilderness...what sort of deterrents to you carry? Thanks for the cool pictures of bears. An interesting and kind gentleman who owns the outfitting and guide store in Trinidad told me of the 26 years he has spent in the woods (80 to 100 days per year) he has seen less than 10 lions. He also gave me a handful of stories about dangerous bear encounters...he did not have any stories for dangerous mountian lion encounters. Even so, I cannot promise that I will not poop my pantalones if I ever spot another outside the safety of the jeep.

Re: Two Lions Near Lily Lake Trailhead

Postby lordhelmut » Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:58 am

Dark Helmet wrote:that bear is indeed a very light-brown Black Bear...

that last pic where he is looking at the camera, while you can't see the endemic skull shape, you can see NO pronounced shoulder "hump" (whatever its called) which should be visible or at least discernible in that posture.


Agreed, also, you can vaguely make out his pointier snout in that last shot. While an amazing animal, I'm very happy Grizz don't live in Colorado.

(Sorry to semi-hijack the thread).

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Re: Two Lions Near Lily Lake Trailhead

Postby ivorysandal » Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:14 am

I guess my previous post didn't. I wasn't sure the original post was legit, but now see it was. Were you the two guys I spoke with briefly on the ridge about 1:30 p.m. Saturday? I was hiking solo and didn't continue on because I didn't want to try the Northwest route by myself and didn't have microspikes with me for the snow/icy couloir. I was earlier wandering around in the wooded area after crossing the creek trying to find the correct trail out of the woods among the many faux ones. If the mountain lions were watching me at the time, they were probably laughing too hard to consider me a brunch possibility.

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Re: Two Lions Near Lily Lake Trailhead

Postby jdorje » Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:26 am

Dubdub wrote:what sort of deterrents to you carry?


None. Any extra weight you waste carrying anti-mountain-lion equipment is going to increase your chance of serious injury, not decrease it.
-Jason Dorje Short

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Re: Two Lions Near Lily Lake Trailhead

Postby jdorje » Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:57 am

Mountain lions typically attack by jumping on the neck of their prey, biting through it and severing the spinal cord in a single bite.

Perhaps a hiking hat or a helmet (with some neck coverage) would be the best protection.

Image

Pets are at more risks than humans, since they more closely resemble deer.

Image
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Re: Two Lions Near Lily Lake Trailhead

Postby Dubdub » Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:00 pm

Self preservation technique #54: make your friends climb in meat panchos, and wear honey for sunscreen.

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