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Need help IDing strange critter in the lower Appalacian foothills

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posted on Jul, 10 2013 @ 10:11 AM
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reply to post by MarioOnTheFly

More than once... eh, this is getting pretty much into completely unsubstantiated and unprovable stuff I like to avoid. But, if readers will take this in that light...

Several years ago, my kids and a neighbor saw something they could not explain. They all claimed it looked similar to a deer from a rear-quarter angle as it ran off, but it was black with a white stripe down it's back. We laughingly have referred to it as a "skeer" (skunk-deer). I have always assumed it was a misinterpretation of something much more mundane (kids have imaginations, the neighbor is a bit of a city-slicker out of her element), but this animal does have similarities to the descriptions I heard back then.

Again... I cannot substantiate this; it was during the time when I was driving a truck and away for days and sometimes weeks at a time. This time I am here and can do an investigation. She is heading out to feed now and she will come get me if she sees anything unusual today. We have clear skies and wet ground, so if it decides to show up, there will be tracks.

TheRedneck




posted on Jul, 10 2013 @ 10:13 AM
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reply to post by reluctantpawn

Can you find any pics she could look at? Thanks.

That range is in my area. I'm pretty darn close to Tennessee (the smell keeps reminding me of that
)

TheRedneck



posted on Jul, 10 2013 @ 10:30 AM
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Originally posted by TheRedneck
Are there black deer? I've never heard of one.


Yes, there are black deer. Just like albino and piebald deer, they are rare.




posted on Jul, 10 2013 @ 10:33 AM
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I read the discription as one of two:

Wild Boar-take the gun, if it's that big.

Nutria-large beaver type critter. I saw my first and only about 3 years ago. I had no idea what the thing was for days. Asked everyone I knew if theyd ever seen a Arnold Schwartz-a-Rat. It was only the size of my car tire, but driving down a dark hi way it looked to be the size of a moose.



posted on Jul, 10 2013 @ 10:37 AM
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reply to post by TheRedneck
 


Try these. en.wikipedia.org...(animal) Well out of it's usual range but possible. A marten looks similar but is smaller. It too is out of it's range. en.wikipedia.org... There is also a possiblility if mink or weasel but both are smaller animals.



posted on Jul, 10 2013 @ 10:45 AM
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reply to post by LeatherNLace

The motto of ATS is "deny ignorance." You just denied my ignorance. Thank you!

I showed my wife that picture. She looked at it a minute and said, "A little bit taller, but yeah, that's it."

I have honestly never in my life heard of a black deer, and neither had she, but obviously they do exist. I believe you have solved the puzzle.

Except for what is killing rabbits and squirrels... that is not a deer. I'm back to thinking human on that one. If so, it's time for me to go hunting.


TheRedneck



posted on Jul, 10 2013 @ 10:47 AM
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If it trotted, with no noticeable tail, it was probably down and could very well been a coyote/wolf with the mange or something else like that, or maybe a large fox or badger. The trotting image tends to rule out bear/boar, which would have been my first guess. I bought a trail cam for my property, both to catch thieves and to try and catch the big cat in the area. They are pretty cheap and pretty easy to use. Try getting a couple and setting them up where they are covering the others blind spots. Also put them on video in case something is running you might see it as opposed to a blur.



posted on Jul, 10 2013 @ 10:48 AM
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reply to post by reluctantpawn

Too small... this was a large critter.

I think we have the answer, though. Thank you, and thanks to everyone who posted.

TheRedneck



posted on Jul, 10 2013 @ 10:55 AM
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reply to post by tnhiker

Well, the property is pretty big (about 90 acres mostly wooded), so it really isn't feasible to put the whole thing under surveillance. But I have been toying with the idea of a solar-power CCD setup. I'd like to get it set up to use my wi-fi, but I don't think I can cover that entire area with my network.... at least on a reasonable budget.

I might try and get a stamp to save the video to a USB or SD card... either would be hardy enough to likely survive if trampled by a critter. I know my mountain and anything out of the ordinary will be spotted soon enough, if not by me, by a member of my family or a neighbor; that's just country life. I could move a portable CCD around as needed.

TheRedneck



posted on Jul, 10 2013 @ 11:30 AM
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What mountains? Which state? Which country? Bears differ by location. There are even black bears in Florida. I don't think the black bears eat meat, and deer don't kill rabbits, a big foot child might? Set a trap, or organize friends to go hunting together. Photograph the dead animals, tracks, and the sighted animal. Keep a journal of the sightings and events of dates and time. I have a baby deer, not so small, who appears at 4:00pm every day on scheduel to eat my tomatoes and drink out of my fountain. Even snakes have a territory and show back up. Good luck, this sounds a bit unnatural and scary.



posted on Jul, 10 2013 @ 11:33 AM
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Try Googling Black Wolf. I saw one once a few years back and thought I was losing my mind. It was taller than a dog and the back legs were more muscular. The legs again were more muscular than a deer and it was black. It was too thin to be a bear. I drew a picture of it and shoved it into a drawer at home. I didn't know that black wolves existed. It wasn't until I saw a Discovery show several months later that I saw the black wolf. I was relieved that I hadn't lost my mind. They are rare, but our area (upstate NY) is part of their territory.



posted on Jul, 10 2013 @ 01:21 PM
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reply to post by frugal

Between Chattanooga, TN and Huntsville, AL.

We have black bears almost exclusively here, including sightings less than a mile away meaning this is a part of their territory. Black bears are typically shy and timid around humans, but if threatened (or especially if their cubs are threatened) they will attack and can be pretty ferocious. They are, like all bears, omnivores and will eat both flora and fauna. It is rare, however, for a black bear to go after small fast game like a squirrel or rabbit or even a deer.

But this wasn't a bear. We ID'd it just above as a rare black deer. I just still don't know what is killing the little critters.

TheRedneck



posted on Jul, 10 2013 @ 01:23 PM
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reply to post by mistressofspice

Ummmm... I actually thought of that and there is a story behind me thinking of that, but we ruled out wolf pretty quickly. The story is pretty long and involved and for another time and place, sorry.

Thanks for replying.

TheRedneck



posted on Jul, 10 2013 @ 01:26 PM
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Reading this put a lump of fear in my gut!

Around here we get those "mountain lions" or "cougars" sometimes. Now people swear they don't come down this far into the low country but as someone born and raised here I (my mother, father, grandparents and dogs) disagree, so do other farmers.

We have never seen one for more than a second, go figure
but you can't miss the screeching they make (if it IS a mountain lion/cougar ) it'll raise the hair on your neck. I can hear one now and then from inside my house that has to be a football field (the back yard corn field size) away.

We heard them the most when we had chicken houses (the big ones). Finally after the terrifying shrieking we decided one night to get in the car and go look and the dogs came. These were two huge Rotties. They freaked, ran into the bush the shrieking was coming from like they were going to rip something apart and came and jumped back in the truck whining with their tail between their legs after a bit of screeching and scared barking. Right when they left the bush (think sawgrass but taller, can't remember what you call it) we saw a flash of a thin black catlike thing and that's all we got.

From that point on, we 'ignored' the shrieking. Now that I live on the old farm I still hear it like I said about a football field away but only now has it started again -ocasionally-. Trust me it's not two cats fighting either. This is a blood curdling screech.

Did you ever hear anything like that?



posted on Jul, 10 2013 @ 01:46 PM
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reply to post by TheRedneck
 


My own cat surprised me recently. She's just your average, normal sized cat. I was going outside one day and saw her walking up beside the house dragging a dead squirrel. I didn't have time to fool with it then, but when I got back the squirrel was beside the door. Its head missing and as neatly severed as if it had been done with a knife. Yes, she's a physo little kitty. But, that aside, the small critters does almost sound like a cat of some sort doing it. I've seen a few big farm cats that would catch a rabbit from time to time as well.

I know you have solved the one with the black deer.

But did you know bobcats also come in black...



Melanistic Bobcat Caught



posted on Jul, 10 2013 @ 01:53 PM
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Deer will kill other animals. There was an instance somewhere in Great Brittan where all of these animals were being found mauled to death. A lot of people blamed it on an unknown cat species. It was later discovered that it was (I can't remember) either sheep or cows that were mutilating the animal. The show was on the Discovery channel and they explained why these animals do this, although it is rare.



posted on Jul, 10 2013 @ 02:11 PM
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reply to post by kimish
 


I think I remember that one.

If I recall right it was the local deer that were doing it and they were killing some kind of ground nesting bird (and the chicks).

They set up cameras and found the deer would come in at night, smash the birds with their hooves and chew on the dead birds.

If I remember right, they discovered the reason. For some reason, the deer were not getting enough minerals in their normal diet there - so they were making up for it by doing that. They put out some salt and mineral blocks and the deer stopped attacking the birds.

If I'm guessing right, there are likely some cattle in the surrounding area of the OP so even if the deer there were not getting minerals and salt from their normal diet I'm guessing they could go to the mineral blocks set out for the cattle.



posted on Jul, 10 2013 @ 02:24 PM
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reply to post by ValentineWiggin

Oh, yeah, we get the occasional mountain lion. They sound like a dying woman screaming. The first time I heard one I thought it really was a woman dying! My dad told me what it was.

The three most dangerous animals we have are, in order, wild boar (which are plentiful 20 miles away on another ridge, but so far are not here luckily), mountain lions (rare as I said), and black bears (very dangerous if starving or threatened). That list of course does not include the most dangerous critter on the mountain: me.


Mountain lions have never come out of the mountain or near the house (which is actually inside the tree line). They rarely even come through at all. Scary critters; it doesn't surprise me that the Rottweilers came running for shelter, but it does surprise me that both survived.

Haven't heard one in a while though.

TheRedneck



posted on Jul, 10 2013 @ 02:26 PM
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reply to post by Frogs

Wow, never heard of a cat just slicing off a head and leaving it lying before. I'm learning a lot in this thread!

We do indeed have bobcats, not common but also far from rare. Maybe that's what it was.


TheRedneck



posted on Jul, 10 2013 @ 03:19 PM
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reply to post by TheRedneck
 


Yeah - she's a strange, little cat that way. Of the presents she leaves, (lizards, mice, frogs, birds and now a squirrel). I usually find them one of two ways. I find the back half intact but the front missing (thus far only frogs have been left this way) or the whole thing with the head missing but neatly severed (everything else she leaves for me this way).

I dunno what she does with the heads. I'm probably happier that I don't know.






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