I could not get the camera out of the pocket quick enough! These cougars were fast!, however, I did get a good close visual. Read my story.....
There were 6 of us on a dirt bike day-ride in Algoma District, Northern Ontario (precise location undisclosed to protect the location).
I was the lead biker on my Honda 4-Stroke (quiet) and was ahead of the other riders. The timing of this encounter could not have been better! I was coming out of a gully (thick bush on both sides) on a rocky narrow dirt-trail, then ascending a pebble-rocky hill (thick bush on both sides). At the top of the hill, the trail forked 90 degrees abruptly to the left. I crested the hill and made the sharp 90 degree left turn, and there they were; right in front of me, 15' away, not one, but 2 Cougars, backs to me, but on a 45 degree angle.
These were not wolves, not Coyotes not Fishers, not Lynx, these were Cougars!
Long, low and tremendously long tails that I will visually remember for the rest of my life! These cats were huge and yet, still at an age somewhere between a Cub and full-grown adult.
Here is a description of what really distinguishes the difference between any possible mistaken for a Wolf , Coyote, Fisher or Lynx. First, these cats still had spots on their coats, Secondly, they had tails longer than any Coyote or Wolf that I've ever seen and I have seen many Coyotes and Wolves over the years. Thirdly, their bodies were lower, longer than a Coyote or Wolf, and finally, their acceleration was quicker than any K-9, Wolf or Coyote that I have ever encountered; 2 significant leaps and both of these cats vanished into the bush, almost like they had spring-boards attached to their legs. Phenomenal! You would need a live helmet cam to catch any footage, of which I have since purchased.
On the following day, I sent an email to the MNR via their website. The response sent back, which I believe came from Peterborough, was that of a likely Fisher encounter.
There was no opportunity to take photos of footprints due to the rocky-based trail with no sand or mud to identify tracks. The surrounding terrain was mountainous with a river within 200' proximity.
If you would like to see a visual of what I encountered, click on the site link below, its the Michigan Cougar Site. The front page has 2 photos of Cougars. The cats I came upon were a blend of the two, where the spots were still pronounced, however, the coat colours were closer to the Cougar photo on the left.
I have not returned to this remote bush location.
There have been various reports of sightings throughout Algoma District and the Upper Peninsula in Michigan. A farmer in Detour Michigan has game camera photos to prove Cougar existence in our region. (Verified by the Michigan DNR to be authentic)
If you've had a cougar encounter, please feel free to contact me and share your story.