Chatting around the campfire A.T.T.A.C.K. XVII

Russ Thomas’ cougar shows up (almost)
By Duane Miles

Before we leap back onto this exhausting saga, here is a current cougar (almost) encounter. Just last month on the 13th I happened upon a fresh carcass of a large doe. This deer had been partially eaten in a manner consistent with cougar behavior. Various internal organs had been targeted. This favorite meal on a cougar’s menu was found in the upper Sol Duc region, not too far from where Russ Thomas encountered his cat.


While examining this carcass, one bit of tell-tale cougar involvement evidence was missing, though. The killer had not covered his prey with the customary forest debris before departing. Had I cut this animal’s dining short?


Hastily scanning the surrounding area, I chose to linger a few minutes hoping to catch a glimpse of this creature. In this process several photos were taken. When it did not appear I was relieved. Oops, I mean disappointed.


In color, the subject of the photos was quite recognizable. Not so in black and white. Hence no picture in last week’s article and no proof that a photo exists. But I do have witnesses of such an existence though. I have shown one of those photos to several women. Two of them are Lori Kelso and Renee Boling. But based on the reaction of these two and other women, it probably is best that the general public has not been shown any of these pictures. Four of the most common responses were: gross, gruesome, disgusting and sad.


I can somewhat understand gross or gruesome. But not sad — after all, this is what cougars do, usually killing a deer or elk once a week. Meat doesn’t stay fresh very long in the wild and these creatures don’t eat rancid meat like bears do.


Let’s now return to our regular broadcasting.


After conquering the threat of grave mishap, Russell Thomas safely secured a foothold on the river’s far bank. But he was safe only in the sense that he had not fallen. For would he even now still fall victim to the fangs of this pursuer? (I hope that each of you will forgive me for cutting this episode short for I am still in the midst of putting together my first book entitled “Thus Far.” It should be in print by mid-June.)
To be continued …
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