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Kansas hunter's camera catches mountain lion on prowl

On his motion-activated camera, an archery deer hunter found several images of what appears to be a mountain lion in north central Kansas on Oct. 19. It could be the fourth verification of mountain lions in the state in three years.
On his motion-activated camera, an archery deer hunter found several images of what appears to be a mountain lion in north central Kansas on Oct. 19. It could be the fourth verification of mountain lions in the state in three years. Wichita Eagle / Courtesy of Caleb Mahin

WICHITA — A north-central Kansas archery deer hunter has added to the proof that mountain lions are roaming Kansas.

Caleb Mahin, of rural Courtland, found several images of what appears to be a mountain lion on a remote-controlled camera he had placed near the Republican River in Republic County.

Matt Peek, Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, examined the photos and thinks they show the fourth confirmed mountain lion in Kansas in the past three years.

The first was shot near Medicine Lodge in 2007. Before that, it had been more than 100 years since a wild mountain lion had been confirmed in the state.

Another was photographed by a hunter last fall. The third confirmation came when a radio-collared cat wandered into Kansas from Colorado this spring.

Mahin admits he was just lucky to get photos of what appears to be a rear view of a mountain lion.

He's one of thousands of hunters and wildlife watchers who place the motion-activated cameras afield, often over bait piles and other things that draw animals to the spot.

"It's just always entertaining to see what pops up or goes by the camera," said Mahin, 25. "You get big bucks, bobcats. Last year I got a shot of two does standing on their hind legs boxing over a corn pile."

On Oct. 18 he placed the camera where he had planted a food plot near the river. He returned a few days later and pulled the camera's memory card. After hunting another location he viewed the card that evening at home.

"I couldn't believe it. I did a real double-take," he said of when he looked at the first image. "One of the guys I live with was upstairs and I hollered at him to come down so he could make sure I was really seeing what I was seeing."

Read more of this story at Kansas.com

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