DNA Reveals Dead Arkansas Mountain Lion’s Origin

Mountain Lion Hunting
DNA Reveals Dead Arkansas Mountain Lion’s Origin
Arkansas Game and Fish Commission
Arkansas Game & Fish Commission

Arkansas -(Ammoland.com)- A mountain lion that was killed in November by a deer hunter east of Hermitage in Bradley County is almost certainly the same mountain lion that was sighted in southern Marion County in September. In this case, the probability of these two mountain lions with the same genetic profile is one in 182 trillion.

AGFC biologists received the DNA results this week from the Wildlife Genetics Laboratory in Missoula, Montana. The DNA revealed that the mountain lion most likely originated in the Black Hills breeding population of Wyoming and South Dakota, according to the lab results. “The mountain lion traveled from Marion County to Bradley County in about six weeks before it was killed. That shows you how far a mountain lion can travel in a short period,” AGFC Large Carnivore Biologist Myron Means explained.
The lab investigated the potential origin for the mountain lion using the lab’s database which includes mountain lion samples from populations in South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, Oregon and Florida.
The profile obtained from the Bradley County tissue sample matched the hair sample collected from the mountain lion hair found on private land in southern Marion County. The distance between the two areas is about 180 miles. The male mountain lion is a new individual to the lab’s DNA database.
The Bradley County hunter was on private property when he shot the mountain lion and reported the incident to wildlife officers. It was the first time a mountain lion has been killed in Arkansas since 1975 in Logan County.
Mountain lions – also known as pumas and cougars – lived throughout Arkansas until about 1920. The AGFC offered bounties and hired trappers to control predators during 1927-29. At least 255 wolves and 523 bobcats were killed, but no mountain lions were taken.
Nine sightings of mountain lions in Arkansas have been confirmed in the last five years, although a breeding population has not been verified. A number of mountain lion sightings in Missouri, Oklahoma and Louisiana also have been confirmed in recent years.
A mountain lion was killed in Montgomery County in 1949 and another in Ashley County in 1969. In late 1998, a team from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock observed tracks, feces and a deer kill from a free-ranging mountain lion across Hot Spring, Garland and Pulaski counties.


  • 7 thoughts on “DNA Reveals Dead Arkansas Mountain Lion’s Origin

    1. it is my belief that if you talked to enough people in each of our states, you would find that there are mountain lions in almost each and everyone of them! it is also my belief that the reason that our game and fish commissions do not want us to think they are a problem, is not only do these cats eat deer, raccoons, and rabbits, THEY ALSO EAT PEOPLE! AND WE ARE A LOT EASIER TO CATCH!

    2. years ago, the Arkansas game and fish were trying to figure out why the deer herd in st.francis forest , near Marianna,arkansas, was going down hill! when they investigated, they found out that it was mountain lions eating them, that was causing the population problem! if that is not a “BREEDING POPULATION” I don’t know what is!!

    3. If I remember correctly, the story went that the lion was stalking or about to attack a deer hunter who shot in self defense. Also, by reporting it to the AGFC, he’s not exactly keeping it as a trophy. This is the only case of a big cat being shot in Arkansas that I know of. Nobody is hunting mountain lions in Arkansas.

    4. We live in Bradley county Arkansas very near Felsenthal NW refuge. We have seen a number of wild animals. We enjoy & respect them from afar. After all, we moved into THEIR territory!! My husband has indeed seen a mountain lion crossing the road ahead of his truck early one morning. I have seen Black Bear, coyotes, fox, turkey,hogs and of course plenty of deer. Even though we were raised in hunting families we do not shoot wild animals just for a trophy or from fear. Only deer for food. (and that is very seldom)
      I do not ever wish to come face to face with a mountain lion, black bear, coyote or wild hog. But I know it is a possiblity living here. I will always respect their territory & retreat if possible & fight for my life if I have no other option. Please, wherever you live; respect wild life, take only what you need for food and not just for show. Most of all; try to enjoy these wonderful creatures God gave us from afar and leave them be.

    5. Though coyotes, mountain lions, Bobcats, black bear and other wildlife native to the LOs Angeles county area on occasion end up in urban areas, CA law prohibits killing them. Residents are required to notify the CA Game and Fish Commision who will then come out and relocate the animal. These beautiful animals were here long before man’s activities reduced their natural hunting areas and need to be legally protected, not shot and killed and exhibited as trophies. They are endangered it is in the best interest of everyone involved to enact laws protecting these beautiful creatures who play a vital role in controlling the wild ungulate population such as deer which left uncontrolled damage foliage, affecting the landscape and even the course of rivers.

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