Dead deer prompts concerns over possible mountain lion

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A dead deer found Tuesday near Honey Rock Dogs Boarding Kennel prompted concerns from some residents that a mountain lion may be living in the area near the kennel.

But, Randy Hampton, spokesman for the Colorado Division of Wildlife, said a mountain lion may not have been the culprit in the deer’s death. However, he added that there’s a good possibility some are around town.

The deer was found Tuesday morning by the kennel’s owners, Ed and Shannan Koucherik, and was picked up by DOW personnel near the intersection of 12th and Rose streets.

Hampton didn’t rule out the possibility a mountain lion was involved, but said there were no tracks or other signs that a lion killed the animal.

“We could tell if there were some tracks and things like that,” Hampton said.

The deer was the second found dead in northern Craig in three weeks, but Hampton said the other incident appeared to involve dogs.

Despite that, a lion still could be in the area, Hampton said.

In the winter, the animals become more prevalent in lower elevation river valley areas as they follow herds of deer and elk.

“Because communities are located in these same areas, mountain lion sightings and reports do increase this time of year,” Hampton said.

If a mountain lion is spotted around town, residents are encouraged to call the DOW office in Meeker at 878-6062, or the Colorado State Patrol.

“There are mountain lions around the Craig area, undoubtedly,” Hampton said. “If one behaves aggressively, if one makes a habit of being in town, we’ll respond.”

The DOW didn’t have any figures on how many mountain lions could be in the area, citing the reclusive demeanor of the animals, and that their home territory is vast.

“It’s impossible to guess with any kind of accuracy how many lions are in a particular area,” Hampton said.

Hampton said mountain lions are generally nocturnal and usually out between dusk and dawn.

“If you’re out during those hours, be alert,” Hampton said.

Comments

dennis collins 3 years, 12 months ago

hmm, lions huh ? well while i don't have a real problem with the deer, a lion would be a different story. i'd have to dispatch that rather quickly and waiting till DOW drove up from meeker wouldn't be quickly. maybe just call the sheriff and have tim come and shoe it away.

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Colette Erickson 3 years, 12 months ago

Wow - just the thought of this should make the anti-deer contingent gleeful. What a Christmas present!

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GanjaGuru 3 years, 12 months ago

HHMMmmmm smells like an anti- deer plot..maybe spread the word the deer are attracting lions....people get scared and now we can kill them...that's how I would do it..Merry Christmas

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rhammel 3 years, 12 months ago

Well, I think the people who are afraid of cougars should just pack up and go to a metro area,wherre it is safe from wildlife. And what should happen if a wolf is spotted within our community? All hell will break out.

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GreyStone 3 years, 12 months ago

Just stop leaving the lion food around town then the lion might not come to town to eat.

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Nadja Rider 3 years, 12 months ago

Anti-deer plot - you are joking right??? If you have an excess of deer around town, it's going to attract predators. It doesn't take a rocket scientist - or in this case a biologist - to figure that out. The deer are already half tame and some are sick, so very easy pickings. And all you folks who think the deer are so cute to have in town, you better not complain about the predators now and want them removed. Remember they were here first and just doing what they do naturally. In the end it looks like mother nature will take care of the deer problem.

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