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Oh My Lord!

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
I posted as an aside in the Thread Stopper thread, that dh and I were doing a mild hike today, that made me uncomfortable because while we were out in this isolated forest/park, there was a lightening storm that was one ridge over moving towards us (we did get rained lightly on by the end of our walk).

I mentioned I had to go find an audio file as we heard this sound - loud, repetitive and not that far off in the distance - like on the other side of the river we were walking near. A sound dh thought at first that it was a child crying, and I thought it was an upset bird, but not like any bird I'd ever heard. When, as we walked, we heard it more clearly, dh realized it wasn't a child, and after we left for home, mentioned he'd heard that cougar's have a sound like a child crying.

I just listened to 7 wav files of cougar calls, one of them is the sound we heard..just like a child crying. My lord, that is the closest I ever want to be to a cougar not in a zoo.
post #2 of 24
Wow that is scarey to know that you were that close to one. Even if you didn't see it. I have also heard that they can sound like a woman screaming also. Glad nothing major happened on your outing
post #3 of 24
-sounds scary indeed!
post #4 of 24
OMG, would that realization ever elevate my blood pressure! Glad you are safe!

We have had a sighting of a cougar on the outskirts of town here within the past month or two, about three blocks from the junior-senior high school! And several sightings out near the casino parking lot out of town a couple of miles. I wish that critter would leave the area!
post #5 of 24


They are such beautiful creatures but so scary at the same time!
post #6 of 24
Thread Starter 
I was not prepared for this possibility at all. I think all future hikes when the area is surrounded by uninhabited remote area, we will have a walking stick or something with us. I won't approach any of our future hikes on such trails in the same way, believe you me!
post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 
go here and click on cougar wav 6 to hear what we heard.
post #8 of 24
That is a SCARY sound!
post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 
You aren't kidding...we heard it at least 6 times or more during our little hike.
post #10 of 24
Oh that is scary Pat!
post #11 of 24
How interesting!!

I mean, I know that cougars have attacked humans in the past, but generally if you respect them they will leave humans alone. Unless of course it's a mother protecting her kits. But yeah, it would certainly be disconcerting to know how close you were without even knowing it!
post #12 of 24
Wow! Pat - that would have been scary knowing that you were out there with this creature.

I was privileged enough to see one of these in the wild in Colorado when we were driving through the outskirts of a small town. I just couldn't believe my eyes and had to take a second look just to be sure. It was striding majestically along a small rocky outcrop and was just the most magnificent thing I've seen in natural surroundings. I was happy to have the skin of a car around me though!

It was being kept company by the local sherriff who was tracking it in his car til it left the area. It was amazing.
post #13 of 24
Years ago my BF hiked a portion of the Appalician trail by himself. A female mountain lion followed him for approx a mile! She was on a cliff above him. He just kept walking slowly and finally she quit following. Yup - he was scared!
post #14 of 24
WOW! Very unsettling to know you've been that close, unawares! Thank God you didn't accidently meet up with her!
post #15 of 24
Thread Starter 
I did some reading up last night...the dept. of fish and wildlife is supposed to report all sightings and incidents on their website, post a bill passed this April called the Kretz Cougar Bill, but I could not find where such listings are on their website last night.

There are supposedly about 2,500 cougars in this state, with a number of them supposed to be in Eastern WA. But this area, many uninhabited, forested acres fits the kind of area a cougar would live in...anyhoo, next time we go to this park to hike, which will be later this summer, we will ask the park rangers about it. I don't know how far a cougar cry would carry, so don't know how close it would have been, but we honestly can't think of anything else, since that wav file matches what we heard. I'd not go hiking with just a camera and as relaxed as we were, if I knew that it was possible to encounter a cougar. The description of this park area lists bears and bobcats, not cougars, so it will be interesting to have a chat with one of the rangers...I do want to ask about this!
post #16 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by twofatcats
OMG, would that realization ever elevate my blood pressure! Glad you are safe!

We have had a sighting of a cougar on the outskirts of town here within the past month or two, about three blocks from the junior-senior high school! And several sightings out near the casino parking lot out of town a couple of miles. I wish that critter would leave the area!
That would wig me out a bit..you should go listen to that wav file I posted the address for (wav number 6 of cougar calls), it will give you goose bumps!

ps we were in Federation Forest - 619 forested acres way past Enumclaw, WA
post #17 of 24
Remembering what they taught us in camp (way back when but in the Cascades), a cougar's cry can carry quite well.

I do know that there are, or used to be places in and around Enumclaw where problem cougars are living out their lives captively without becoming a danger to humans.


I walk my dog in the mountains here, about a 10 minute drive away.
My worries are bear, rattlesnakes, skunks, and the occasional bull moose or bull elk during rut.
post #18 of 24
Thread Starter 
Hmm...I wonder if that was it. Federation Forest is 18 miles southeast of Enumclaw on State Hwy 140...thank you, now I don't feel so "out there" with what we think we heard, and feel safer about doing the longer hikes there
post #19 of 24
Holy schmoly! I just played that wav file. You should have seen my three cats tear around here like wild animals, growling and alert!
post #20 of 24
Thread Starter 
Yup..it's more eerie than the other wav files of cougars which are angry sounding cougar yells and growls.
post #21 of 24
When I was growing up, my family used to take a lot of vagabond holidays, loading up the VW bus (and later the RV).

We camped very remotely in the Cascades, the Rockies, the Blues etc.
My stepdad taught us about cougars and what they sound like, he always told us that if we hear a baby crying, or a woman screaming sound, chances are pretty good that the cat was probably not very close and that those particular cries have two purposes.
One purpose was for the cougars to 'hook' up in breeding season,or for the male to announce their pressense to the resident female, and the other was to warn off any would be interlopers from their range.
He said in both cases, the cats are generally too preocccupied with other cats to worry, or even care about humans.

The time to worry is when you hear the low, growling, chuffing roars, because bass sounds, even though they carry well, are generally out of a human's range of hearing unless they are close.
post #22 of 24
I just listened to the file - it freaked Jamie and my husband out! That's scary, but I would imagine a stalking cougar would remain silent, i.e., it's the ones you don't hear that you have to worry about.
post #23 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlyn
<snip>The time to worry is when you hear the low, growling, chuffing roars, because bass sounds, even though they carry well, are generally out of a human's range of hearing unless they are close.
If you lsten to one of the wav files - ?maybe the last one, it is of the most chilling, low, serious rumbling growl.

DH still wonders with all the ridges/trees between this park and enumclaw, and how the sound became louder as we moved towards the part of the park parallel to the White River, if this is not a captive cougar but one out and about. We will be asking them if there was anything else that could sound like that, that they know of in the park, and mention all of this to them.
post #24 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat
I just listened to the file - it freaked Jamie and my husband out! That's scary, but I would imagine a stalking cougar would remain silent, i.e., it's the ones you don't hear that you have to worry about.
One heck of a sound isn't it?
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