Cougar Country: Sighting in Ashland

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife say Oregon is cougar country, and it's common to sight a cougar in Southern Oregon.

Posted: Mar. 26, 2018 5:45 PM
Updated: Mar. 26, 2018 5:57 PM

ASHLAND, Ore.- This weekend, an Ashland couple spotted a cougar in their backyard and caught it all on camera.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife say if you spot a cougar in your backyard, or while you're on a hike, you can protect youself by staring at the cat straight in the eyes, making a loud noise, and making yourself as big as possible. 

As a reminder, calling in a cougar as a nuisance won't result in a re-location. ODFW says troublesome cougars will be euthanized. 

Native to Oregon, cougars are found throughout the state. Population densities vary depending on habitat with the highest densities in northeast Oregon and the southwest Cascade Mountains.

As they were in many other western states, cougars were originally bounty-hunted in Oregon. Until the late 1960s, they were classified as predators and had no protections under state law.

Only about 200 cougars were estimated to be left when they were reclassified as game mammals in the late 1960s and came under ODFW management.

With regulated hunting, the statewide population has rebounded to an estimated 6,000 today (2015). 

To read about our coverage on a cougar in The Dalles stunned and put down last week, click here

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