Cougar (Mountain Lion, Puma, Florida Panther)
The Cougar is the second largest cat in the Americas after the Jaguar. It is also known as the Mountain Lion, Puma, or Florida Panther. Cougars are slender and agile members of the cat family. They are the fourth largest of all cats with adults standing between 60-76 cm (2.0 to 2.5 ft) tall at the shoulders, with an average body length of 2.4m (8 ft) long from nose to tail. Males are roughly one and a half times larger than females and typically weigh between 53-100kg (115-220lb) while the females only weigh between 29-64kg (64-141lb). The head of the Cougar is round with erect ears. Its powerful forequarters, neck, and jaw serve to grasp and hold large prey and it has five retractable claws on its forepaws and four on its hind paws that assist in clutching their prey. Cougars have large paws and proportionally the largest hind legs in the cat family. This physique allows it great leaping and short-sprint ability. Cougar are plain in color but can vary greatly between individuals and between siblings. Their coat is typically tawny, but ranges to silvery-grey or reddish, with lighter patches on the under body including the jaws, chin, and throat. Infants are spotted and born with blue eyes and rings on their tails whereas juveniles are pale, with dark spots on their flanks. They lose their spots into adulthood. The cougar can run as fast as 55-72 km/h (35-45 mi/h), but is best adapted for short, powerful sprints rather than long chases. It is adept at climbing, which allows it to evade canine competitors. Although it is not strongly associated with water, it can swim. Cougars can be almost as large as jaguars, but are less muscular and not as powerful. The cougar is on average larger and heavier than the leopard. Despite its size, it is not typically classified among the 'big cats', as it cannot roar, due to the absence of the specialized larynx and hyoid apparatus.
Cougar is believed to have the largest range of all terrestrial mammals in the western hemisphere, extending from Yukon in Canada to the southern Andes of South America. A highly adaptable species, the cougar is found in every major type of habitat in America.
Cougars mainly hunt white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, moose calves, and bighorn sheep. They feed on a wide range of available species and also prey on birds and small mammals, like beavers, snowshoe hare, ground squirrel, and coyote. Cougars normally cover their leftover kill with undergrowth, or fallen leaves and twigs for later consumption, and will sometimes scavenge, eating prey killed by other animals.
Cougar meat is very tasty. It has a mixed taste of pork/ham and chicken. It is lean and light in color.
The Cougar is solitary by nature, though mothers and cubs live in a pride, and adult males and females only meet to mate. It is elusive and nocturnal, mostly sighted either at dawn or at dusk. The Cougar stalks its prey to within two or three great leaps, and then launches a blinding charge. Cougars camouflage well, often remaining hidden when approached. Usually the only sign of the presence of these rarely seen animals are paw tracks and tail-drag marks in the snow or mud. A male Cougar with an expansive home range usually tries to breed exclusively with females within his territory. Although they most commonly breed in the winter Cougars may mate during other seasons as well. Males are often killed in territorial fights. Females reach sexual maturity at two to three years of age and their gestation period lasts 90 days. They give birth to a litter of one to three kittens, and have as many as six, but no more than three usually reach maturity. The female finds a sheltered spot such as a cave or a windfall in order to give birth. The kittens are born with their eyes closed, but they grow quickly and their eyes become fully open by the end of the second week. The female weans her young after four to five weeks of age before they start eating solid foods. They remain with their mother for 18 to 24 months during which time they learn hunting skills. Females usually do not allow the male to approach the kittens as he may kill them because he does not recognize them as his own offspring. When a resident male is killed and a new male arrives in the vacant territory, he may kill all the kittens that he finds because they are not his offspring and to encourage the female to cycle again in order to produce his offspring. The Cougar's lifespan in the wild is estimated to be 8 to 13 years. Cougars produce a variety of vocalizations, which include low-pitched hisses, growls, and purrs, as well as chirps and whistles.
http://ihunt.com/blog/recipes/fried-cougar-steaks - Fried Cougar Steaks
http://ihunt.com/blog/recipes/cougar-stuffed-meatballs-cheese - Cougar Stuffed Meatballs with Cheese
You must select a state from the menu above to view regulations.