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Posted on Thu, Jul 25, 2013 : 10:30 a.m.

Man claims he saw cougar kill a deer on rural property

By John Counts

Has the cougar spotted last year in the Ann Arbor area moved his hunting grounds north into Livingston County?

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Houghton_County_cougar_364578_7.JPG

This image of a cougar was captured in the Upper Peninsula's Houghton County.

A Howell area man told the Livingston County Press and Argus that he saw a cougar perform a vicious takedown of a deer on his property near Pardee Lake Sunday morning. Mike Casciani doesn't have any photographic evidence of the cougar on the hunt, the newspaper reported. Casciani told the paper he heard a lot of commotion near the back of his Genoa Township property and watched as the cougar attacked the deer and dragged it off into the woods.

The Department of Natural Resources has been notified, but is not investigating the matter due to the lack of evidence, the report said.

Possible cougar sightings were reported in the Ann Arbor area in 2012, including one on the University of Michigan's North Campus in March 2012. There is low probability of a cougar making its way into southeastern Michigan, according to the DNR. It’s possible that cougars can be confused with bobcats, coyotes and even large house cats when seen from far away, a DNR official told in a previous report.

Read the Livingston Daily article.

John Counts covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Thu, Jul 25, 2013 : 8:20 p.m.

vi┬Ěcious /?viSH?s/ Adjective Deliberately cruel or violent. (of an animal) Wild and dangerous to people. Synonyms wicked - malicious - evil - bad - perverse .......... not sure this applies.


Thu, Jul 25, 2013 : 8:14 p.m.

Hey! This is MY area. That cat has got to go!


Thu, Jul 25, 2013 : 7:53 p.m.

Is the DNR really that lame?


Thu, Jul 25, 2013 : 6:51 p.m.

"he saw a cougar perform a vicious take down of a deer on his property near Pardee Lake Sunday morning" If it was reported Sunday and IF the DNR was really interested, sending someone out that day could have easily proved or disproved the report.

Bertha Venation

Thu, Jul 25, 2013 : 6:42 p.m.

Heeeerrrrrreeeee Muffy.... Here, kitty, kitty. Oh! You naughty kittens, you've lost your mittins.... now you shall have no pie! (whad'ya mean ya ain't hungry anyway???)


Thu, Jul 25, 2013 : 6:28 p.m.

A cougar is far larger and considerably more powerful than a house cat and the people who live in the area should be concerned and banging a very loud drum to get DNR to step up. While living out west, the state had to extend a hunting season for mountain lions because they are extremely territorial and they don't discriminate - they will take your small child, right along with your dog or cat or other livestock. When they are desperate for their own turf or hunting, they become much more aggressive about where they pick their next meal. I personally find it a bit alarming and the locals should too. Wake up DNR@

Dave Bass

Thu, Jul 25, 2013 : 5:50 p.m.

Must be a damned big house cat!


Thu, Jul 25, 2013 : 7:05 p.m.

I've heard stories of house cats bread with wild cats to make these rather large cats that have to be fed raw meat to keep tame. It was rumored to be around the Cement City area. At this time of year there are several small fawns that could easily be taken down by one of these cats.


Thu, Jul 25, 2013 : 5:19 p.m.

I have heard the best place for cougar hunting is Las Vegas, NV.

Bertha Venation

Thu, Jul 25, 2013 : 7:04 p.m.



Thu, Jul 25, 2013 : 4:58 p.m.

Whats the big deal? Unless we have a rash of children disappearing into the woods, its just a big cat. People are much more likely to die from driving drunk or being hit by a drunk. The only thing to be happy about is that we have not managed to kill all of them off yet... but im sure someone is scrambling to issue cougar hunting permits now.


Thu, Jul 25, 2013 : 6:32 p.m.

it IS a big deal - and when your child or grandchild is snagged off their walk to school one day, you just watch how fast you run out to pick up your hunting license.


Thu, Jul 25, 2013 : 4:43 p.m.

Yes, let's wait to investigate until there is sufficient evidence. Maybe a photo or a video of the cougar attacking someone?

Perry White

Thu, Jul 25, 2013 : 4:38 p.m.

I'm glad to see that the proper past participle "dragged" has been substituted for "drug" after my comment, but why on earth was my comment suggesting that removed? Normal journalism standards are that corrections to copy are noted, not stealthily corrected and the suggestion removed.

Perry White

Thu, Jul 25, 2013 : 6:34 p.m.

Not sure, either, but I did make a post and saw it afterwards, and then it wasn't there and there was a deleted post. Regardless, I'm glad for the correction.

Kyle Mattson

Thu, Jul 25, 2013 : 6:24 p.m.

Sorry Perry, no previous comment was removed from your username, so we're not sure what you're referencing.


Thu, Jul 25, 2013 : 4:36 p.m.

Has anybody actually brought in a cougar tracking dog in theses sightings? A well trained dog could probably pick up the sent in a matter of minutes. Dog does not get excited -- no cougar- dog excited- cougar. I don't believe the DNR wants us to know.


Thu, Jul 25, 2013 : 4:31 p.m.

no confusing a cougar for a bobcat or housecat. Weren't there any tracks to be found? Dead deer? There's evidence, if you take the time to look for it.

dading dont delete me bro

Thu, Jul 25, 2013 : 4:08 p.m.

lack of evidence? where's the deer carcass? bones? meow...


Thu, Jul 25, 2013 : 4:31 p.m.

Not to mention there has to be some tracks left in the dirt. It's not too hard to see big cat paw prints I would imagine


Thu, Jul 25, 2013 : 4:25 p.m.

Just what I was thinking.


Thu, Jul 25, 2013 : 4:02 p.m.

To the DNR Peeps: thanks for investigating the incident -- it might have been my housecat that allegedly took down the deer so viciously.


Thu, Jul 25, 2013 : 4:02 p.m.

The dnr is so full of it. About the only person who is going to confuse a bobcat a coyote or a large house cat for a cougar is steve wonder. I thought they had already id'd cougar DNA in samples taken in s/e Washtenaw n/e Monroe counties several years ago.


Thu, Jul 25, 2013 : 3:15 p.m.

"he saw a cougar perform a vicious takedown...." Never, never, never bring up the subject of age!

John of Saline

Thu, Jul 25, 2013 : 3:03 p.m.

Cougars, you say?

Craig Lounsbury

Thu, Jul 25, 2013 : 2:47 p.m.

"he saw a cougar perform a vicious takedown...." usually that's how it happens. Mother Nature ain't exactly Beer and skittles.


Thu, Jul 25, 2013 : 8:16 p.m.

Actually, I'm not sure an animal who is hunting for it's sustenance is capable of viciousness. But people certainly are.

Kyle Feldscher

Thu, Jul 25, 2013 : 3:16 p.m.

Beer and Skittles? I like your style Craig.