DEER LAKE, Wash.— A hunt for a cougar near Deer Lake ended Tuesday after dogs helped search the area for two weeks. Houndsmen and their six dogs came up empty after scouring wooded areas in Stevens Co. near the most recent cougar attack.
The hunt began in late July when a cougar attacked a horse and was spotted near a Stevens County camp. The horse had to be put down because of his injuries.
A houndsman and his dogs searched every day for two weeks until their cougar hunting license expired. Bart George and his specially trained hounds tracked the cougar through a five-to-ten mile radius. He also set out tree-cameras in hopes of getting a picture of the animal. An image would have given George a better idea about what he was dealing with. The tree-cameras will stay in place through the winter.
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George thought the cougar was a full-grown male tomcat. He based his prediction solely on the damage done to that horse, but by the end of his hunt he believe it was a female cat. The female cats are typically lighter scented, which may be why his hounds had a harder time tracking the cougar according to George.
The houndsman and his dogs will only relaunch the hunt if the cougar shows aggressive behavior again.