October 2016 – May 2017 Mountain Lions in Virginia Reports | Old Dominion Wildlife

October 2016 – May 2017 Mountain Lions in Virginia Reports

June 1, 2017
Are there mountain lions out there?

Are there mountain lions out there?

Request for Information

In addition to posting reports in the comments section of this Virginia wildlife blog, please also send them to John Lutz who is actively monitoring eastern mountain lions in Virginia and West Virginia and writes:

The native, wild, free-roaming eastern puma, cougar, mountain lion, panther nor their offspring have NOT left the valleys and hills, of wild, West Virginia, despite the ridiculous claims of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife People, who are and have claimed, the lion is ‘extinct’ in most, if not all states, east of the Mississippi River. If anyone has (2016) data on 1 of these big cat’s presence across West Virginia (WV), please contact, epuma@frontier.com


The following are mountain lion sightings and reports I’ve received from readers of this blog over the past several months:

Johnny Lutz writes on 10/06/2016:

Reports of big cats, have increased during 2016. Most recent sightings have been in Virginia and Pennsylvania. On August 30th, received a report at (304-749-7778, of a likely mountain lion, (long tail seen) crossing State Route 55, going uphill just west of Star Tannery…#2) report along Rt. 211 near Luray, ‘lion loped across road’, seen by a westcoast hunter, visiting family…

Laurie W. writes on 10/17/2016:

6700 egypt rd.i was on my way to work this morning i saw a big black cat run a cross the road with very long tail i think it was a cougar iwas on rt.249 east toward rt 33 to west point va. 10-17 2016

V.C. writes on 10/27/2016:

hello, I live in ararat va and believe I may have spotted some kind of big cat. 2 or 3 months ago while riding atv a large animal went across trail in front of me about 100 feet. i only saw rear of animal but it was brown with long tail and thought at the time it moved like cat. the tail was slender and rather darkish.

this week my wife and I were riding near same area and we saw same animal crossing our drive maybe 150 feet away. I got a better look of the animal maybe 24-28′ TALL with long thin tail, darkish. also body was rather thin. the body appeared to be approx. 36″ long with tail of about 22-25″ long. we have discussed this much… she got best look at it and said it wasn’t dog, it is the same animal I saw before. neither of us got look at face but we both asked what kind of animal is that?

Monica writes on 12/19/2016:

I haven’t seen one but I know of other ppl that have on and at the foot of Turkey Cock Mountain in Va. Ppl say they are not around here but my friends are hunters and know what they saw. I’m glad to see others that have seen them. I would love to see one. I have seen bears foxes coyotes and bob cats.

Mike M. writes on 12/26/2016:

I am part of a security team at a 15 acre compound in Mclean, VA. We are located by the Fort Marcy park. Today is Dec. 26th, 2016. Over the last 3 weeks, several members of our team have reported to have seen a large cat approximately 85-100lbs, tan in color, stalking them while doing our nightly patrols. We have seen them both outside of our fences as well as inside our property. Tracks have been found as well, and after referring to internet, they belong to a mountain lion. Our CCTV operators have also confirmed these sightings on the monitors. There was even one occasion last week, where 4 members of our security team had eyes on the cat at the same time. Nobody was close enough to get a cell phone picture in the dark, and as they approached it from all angles, it was able to cross Chain Bridge Rd and enter Fort Marcy park.

Martha H. writes on 3/04/2017:

Today, 4-March-2017, I was working in my vineyard in Essex County, VA along the Rappahannock River. Suddenly my 3 dogs started barking and took off toward the marsh. I looked up to see a large, tawny cat running along the field line next to the marsh. I was afforded a view for a few seconds before it disappeared back into the marsh. It was WAY too big to be a domesticated cat, I’m confident it wasn’t a bobcat… I think I remember seeing a tail. I’m really pretty sure it was a cougar. In addition to this, a year or so ago, I had another sighting of a very large, tawny cat on my pier. It quickly disappeared into the marsh. I have a biology degree, have taught biology for decades and have participated in wildlife research…which is simply to say that I’m pretty confident that I saw what I think I saw!

Ryc S. writes on 3/30/2017:

We were camping down in Goshen Va (near the pass)a few years back.
We had spotted raccoons earlier, and when it got dark, we spotted a set of glowing eyes about 60ft away.

I grabbed my blind German Shepherd, and walked towards the eyes.

Turned out to be a Mountain Lion. I was literally two feet away from it, she stood up and my heart was pounding. My dog new something was there, and evidently her presence was enough to deter the lion.
I turned to look at how far from the fire we were, and the lion jumped off to my left.

I bumped into a ranger the next morning at the gas station. He didn’t believe me. Not really sure what he thought I saw, but at two feet, it’s kinda hard to mistake a raccoon for a mountain lion.

Ted M. writes on 4/09/2017:

I believe I have video of Mountain lion in my back yard in Leesburg VA. Taken at approx 7:30pm on 12/31/2016.

Editor’s note: Followed up on 6/01/2007. Will post video/commentary when possible!

Baldwin writes on 4/14/2017:

I saw a big cat crossing the back road in front of me near Nottoway Falls in Lunenburg county. Pretty sure it was a panther, not a cougar at all. Long body, big head, it filled over half the road in length. I am sure of what I saw, those who know the area can attest to lots of tree cover and plenty of deer. It was on The Falls road in a bottom near the old Marshalltown store.

Kathy writes on 4/27/2017:

I was born and lived in Grundy Va when I was a child and I saw and heard numerous black panthers but this was 30 years ago I don’t live there now but I have family who does and it’s a very rural area lots of wildlife I’m sure there still there. I live in McDowell County in WV now and I’ve seen several black panthers in several different parts of the county and in mercer county I’ve seen a few brown or fawn coloration of mt lions and several black panthers in recent years. They’re still here.

Angel F. writes on 4/27/2017:

I live in Snow Creek area near Turkey Cock Mountain and I have had people come to my house and swear they saw a Mountain Lion near our home. I, as well as my husband, daughter, and brother in laws are all avid hunters, and just yesterday my brother in law says he saw a mountain lion in fields below our home. I am constantly in the creek and woods and have not personally saw any, but my dog will not go with me into the woods near the house. He constantly looks into the woods and sniffs. There are others in the neighborhood that have seen a mountain lion near by as well. I’m beginning to think there must be some truth to it.

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17 Responses to October 2016 – May 2017 Mountain Lions in Virginia Reports

  1. Peggy R
    July 14, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    1665 Pilkington Road

  2. Peggy R
    July 14, 2017 at 8:33 pm

    In the afternoon on July 11 my husband and I saw a large dark beige/brown animal with a very long bushy tail, longer legs similar to a coyote and a round head run across our orchard and driveway from one cornfield to the other. Not a deer, not a dog, not a cat nor a bobcat! We have seen mountain lions/pumas before both in zoos and in the wild in Utah and believe that is what we saw despite the DGIF claims that there are none in the east. We also saw the same kind of animal on our farm several years ago here in Hustle, Va. In Essex County.

    It moved too quickly to get a picture so this sighting will go the way of others as “unsubstantiated”.

  3. Deborah Stinnett
    September 5, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    I live in Bedford County, VA. On Saturday, September 2nd, I was driving on the gravel road very near my house. A large cat came from the right side of the road and walked in front of my car – roughly 30 yards ahead. I saw it very vividly because it was not in a hurry at all. I know with certainty that it was a large cat – I estimate around 70 lbs. Once it crossed the road, I could not spot it in the woods. I wish now I would have looked in the trees more since that is where it probably went.

  4. Jonathan Wade Dale
    September 16, 2017 at 5:51 pm

    I believe I just saw a mountain lion in Haysi, VA

    Tan with white underbelly, large with cat like face.

    It was 10pm.

  5. Frankie
    September 28, 2017 at 11:47 am

    If there were cougars there would be trail cam footage by now . Do you know how many trail cams are out there? A lot. People are seeing bobcats and coyotes or even large house cats . People believe that there are cougars and believe that they saw a cougar because they want to believe cougars are out there. They want to believe they saw a cougar because it’s the more interesting thing to believe and makes a better story. They aren’t here .

  6. Johnny Lutz
    October 6, 2017 at 1:55 pm

    If anyone has been able to get a legitimate picture of an alleged cougar-mountain lion-puma, (all 1 and the same eastern American Lion), known for well over 150 years, to inhabit most states, east of the Mississippi River, we would like to hear from you at epuma@frontier.com Our base of operations is located in Grant County, WV, but we have traveled extensively across the Appalachian Mountains from Waycross, Georgia to Bangor, Maine, seeking ‘REAL’ sightings. We are well aware of the 100s, if NOT the 1,000s of fake sightings and pictures being circulated on the internet…..We publish a Tri-yearly newsletter, “Eastern Puma Network News” within a reasonable time frame of 1st of March, July and November…..USPS Mailing Address: Eastern Puma Research Network, P.O. Box 313, Maysville, WV 26833

  7. Johnny Lutz
    October 6, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    Over the last 18-months, multiple large cats with sweeping extended tails have been reported across Virginia from the Eastern Shore of Virginia, Maryland and Delaware to the Alleghany Mountains…..

  8. dena chocklett
    October 14, 2017 at 10:47 pm

    I live in bedford county near jeters mountain We have very secluded wooded land with a creek running through. The banks of the creek are very steep and the trees are so dense it always looks dark. I saw a large cat on the edge of our mowed land and the wooded land. What I noticed was the long thick tail. I did not research this until my orange tabby disappeared. He was a big cat 21 lbs and loved to hunt at night. I had no idea the cougar or mountain lion was rare here. I know it was not a coyote or bob cat. Just saying. I spotted him around 6:10 am

  9. Robert Quesinberry
    October 23, 2017 at 4:13 pm

    I live about three miles east of hillsville va, in a rural wooded area. About 9 A M on october 22 I was pilling up some brush in a wooded area near my house. I saw a very large cat about the size of a medium size dog with a long sweeping tail about 50 feet from me passing through the trees. He saw me and slowly moved off. The woods are rather dark, but what I saw appeared to be black.

  10. Mark Walker
    November 8, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    About 3 years ago I lost my dog near Flint Hill Virginia.I was staying at my cousins place on the Eastern Edge of Shenandoah Park near the base of Mount Marshall. I went to the neighbors to see if they had seen my dog and during the conversation I joked about worrying that he (the dog) might get eaten by a Mountain Lion if I didn’t find him before dark. The neighbor than told me that a month before, they had seen a Mountain Lion in the field in front of their house slowly walking along the wood line. They had no doubt what it was, light colored, about 3 feet tall, long tail.At first they couldn’t believe it but said there was no question it was a mountain lion.

  11. Alison L
    November 11, 2017 at 10:23 pm

    They have been in Fauquier county VA for years. Mother and baby killed all of my geese. Have been seen and heard plaster casts of tracks taken nov 2017. The tracks were 30 from my house and 15 feet from my car. They are here and the authorities know it. Bobcat my butt A bobcat doesn’t have tracks four inches wide!!!!

  12. Cecile Beverage
    December 4, 2017 at 3:18 pm

    December 4, 2017 – My two sisters were visiting my mother today at Elm Park Estates, in Roanoke Virginia, across from Tanglewood Mall. They had walked her down the hall and out of the window, both saw a huge tan (too big to be a domestic cat) lion looking cat walking across the sidewalk. It was tan with a long tail and a black face about 70 or 80 pounds. They have contacted the Forestry Department and the Roanoke county animal control. They both know what they saw and it wasn’t a fluke. There are mountain lions around.

  13. Darlene
    December 13, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    Today’s date is December 13,2017. So, last night I opened the kitchen door to let my German Shepherd out. My deck was still pretty covered from all the snow we had this week. I noticed everything on the deck was tossed around and thought there was no way the wind blew it around that bad. Even a large tarp had been pulled off a mattress & box-springs set that I had tucked in all the way around to ensure they were secure from the weather. The huge umbrella to my patio table had been moved from one side of the deck to the other. What I noted most were the huge paw prints that were larger than my son’s hands and my son is a really big man. The prints left imprints all the way through the snow and to the wood. This morning I let my dog out, who by the way weighs over 100 lbs. He spotted the paw prints and investigated them leaving his own prints behind that barely made an indentation in the snow and were about 1/4th the size of these huge paw prints. There was also a set of smaller paw prints identical to the larger ones. So I’m thinking mama and baby out looking for food. Now what kind of mama and baby I’m not sure. I did take pic’s and intend to hand them over to the right people. Though I’m up a bit in the country I’m still only 3 miles from town and a rural area. I’m thinking folks need to know we have at least 2 big cats on the prowl.

  14. Leighton
    December 17, 2017 at 12:23 am

    I have seen a big black cat that looked like a black panther Virginia . It’s Body was almost 3ft in length and tail close to the length of its body it was about out 24 inches tall. Ran out in front of me while I was drive between Highland and Bath county Va.

  15. Bo Mundy
    December 18, 2017 at 8:05 am

    on 12/17/17 I was coming home from fishing at the Cowpasture River around 4:15pm with my family. On the way home on Deerfield Valley Rd. about 3miles from Rt. 250 in West Augusta county I saw what I thought was a bear coming out of a stand of pines headed to a pond close to the woods. I stopped on the road to get a good look and to show the kids & my girlfriend. I told my son to get my binoculars out of my hunting backpack. The all black animal was approx. 120yards away slowly walking to pond dam and sat down. We had a good 4minutes to take turns looking threw the binoculars at it. We all said that’s no bear at all. The animal looked to be at least 80-100lbs (at least) then it made a quick run back towards the woods. It was obviously A very Large cat to all of us at that point, there was no mistaking that. I’ve hunted all my life since I was 10years old. I’m 41 now and I’ve never seen what I saw on Sunday evening. Four of us viewed the animal for 4-5 minutes. It was shocking to see.

  16. Jessica Fritts
    January 11, 2018 at 1:30 pm

    I seen one today in Ravenswood I couldn’t belive it has to look twice went to grab my phone to take a pic and the cat slipped around the coner of the house be 4 I had time hope it comes back so I can see it again and get a picture so cool

  17. Melissa
    January 12, 2018 at 9:43 am

    Approximately 5 years ago I was getting on the Blueridge parkway at the end of 220 in Roanoke. I was headed up to Floyd county.
    The 2 cars ahead of me came to a stop and right when I was wondering why they stopped I saw a mountain lion in front of the first car crossing from one side of the road to the other. It moved slowly at a normal pace and was huge! The folks in the other 2 cars along with me watched it cross the road and slink up the bank and into the woods. There was no mistake this was a mountain lion. I now wish I would have taken a picture with my cell because I didn’t realize they were “extinct” in VA!

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