Hunters spot cougars near Woodville

Published 1:38 am Saturday, November 5, 2016


WOODVILLE — Over the past 20 years on 400 acres in Wilkinson County, hunters have reported at least four cougar sightings — the most recent of which was last week.

Wilkinson County resident Leonard Allred said a hunter reported seeing a cougar last week while hunting in Wilkinson County.

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“This cat walked out and sat in the road about 75 yards from him,” Allred said. “It shook him up, because he didn’t have nothing but his crossbow with him.”

Hunters on the property first reported cougars approximately 20 years ago, Allred said. Hunters laughed off the first sighting, thinking the hunter had made a mistake.

Since then, at least two more cougar sightings, one with a cougar and two cubs, have been reported on the property, Allred said.

Hunter Matthew McGraw said a cougar showed up last month on a game camera on property he hunts in Wilkinson County.

“You can definitely tell it’s not a bobcat, because it’s solid blond and has a longer tail,” he said.

McGraw said it is the first cougar he has seen, but said he has heard cougar screams before in the area.

The sighting was on property off Sam Leake Road approximately three miles north of Woodville.

McGraw said he’s heard hunters in nearby St. Francisville, La., talk about spotting cougars “all the time.”

“They’re here for sure,” he said.

Allred said he has also heard reports of cougars near Thompson Creek in Jackson, La.

While wildlife officials have not confirmed sightings in the past, McGraw and Allred say there is no doubt cougars are in the area.

“I’m 82 years old, and I’ve been deer hunting for 70 years,” he said. “I don’t need somebody to tell me what we’ve seen.”