Spooner is NE of Minneapolis and south of Duluth in the northwestern part of the state. This is the first modern confirmation of a cougar in Wisconsin, with the exception of the Chicago cougar, which passed through the southern edge of the state last winter.
Cougar treed west of Spooner.
Published: Thursday, March 5, 2009 1:04 PM CST
Cougar treed west of Spooner. People in areas around Spooner, Trego, Minong and Springbrook have reported seeing them for generations, big cats with long tails dashing across country roads or salking through the forests like a shadow. This week the first verified cougar in Northwestern Wisconsin was treed by bear hounds just west of Spooner after hunters began chasing it near Casey Creek. Department of Natural Resources biologists would like to dart and collar the animal, estimated at around 130 pounds to determine its health, monitor its movements and possibly find out where it came from through DNA samples. If the cougar is successfully captured it will be released back into the wild.
Published March 05 2009 http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/event/article/id/114131/
DNR confirms mountain lion spotted near Spooner
A dog hunter contacted a conservation warden Tuesday after the hunter pursued an adult male mountain lion into a tree Monday. A team of DNR biologists and dog hunters treed the mountain lion Wednesday but failed in their capture attempt.
A team of DNR biologists and dog hunters treed, but failed to capture the mountain lion seen in this photo on Wednesday. (Matt McKay / Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources)
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources today is investigating the confirmed sighting of a mountain lion in the past week in Burnett County, west of Spooner.
A dog hunter contacted conservation warden Dave Zebro on Tuesday after the hunter pursued an adult male mountain lion into a tree Monday. A team of DNR biologists and dog hunters treed the mountain lion Wednesday but failed in their capture attempt.
Biologists hope to find the animal to take a blood sample and put a radio collar around its neck before releasing it back into the wild.
“With a blood sample we can do a DNA test to determine information about the origin of the animal,” wildlife biologist Ken Jonas said, “and using a radio collar, we can determine where this cat is traveling.”
Jonas said the group is trying to use the minimum amount of immobilization agent necessary to capture the cat. He said, “we would not want to see the animal fall from a tree or be harmed because of our actions. The mountain lion’s health is a primary concern.”
Mountain lions are listed as “protected wild animals” in Wisconsin, which means a permit would be required from DNR before someone could kill one. The public is encouraged to contact the DNR office in Spooner at (715) 635-2101 if the animal is seen. DNR officials also are asking the public to leave the animal alone.
The last known wild mountain lions, also called cougars, catamount or puma, in Wisconsin disappeared during the early 20th century. Despite reports of cougar sighting around the state over the years, none have been documented as wild cats since the early 1900s.
The first confirmed sighting of a mountain lion in Wisconsin was January 2008, when one was spotted near Milton. That animal later was killed in a suburb outside of Chicago.
There have been several instances of captive cougars in Wisconsin escaping into the wild before recapture or disappearance. Mountain lions have been documented in Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri and Illinois, the DNR said.
For some more great photos visit this forum.