Cougar sightings: how common will they be this spring?

Apr 10, 2023, 4:30 PM

OGDEN, Utah — As temperatures rise and snow begins to melt, will cougar sightings be the new springtime norm? 

For those on the East Bench of Ogden, that has been a real possibility as cougars come into the resident’s backyards. 

“It’s a cool thought to think that wildlife is right there,” said Samuel Jones. “We do see it often but we hadn’t seen a cougar until today,” 

Jones who lives in the East Bench, where his backyard backs up to the mountain, said they’ve seen cougar tracks many times before. 

“It was proof,” said Jones. Seeing video footage from a security camera validated what Jones thought he’d been seeing for some time.  

Jones was not the only one to catch the big cat on video, his neighbors did too. Jones said that he has a high-traffic deer trail that cuts across his backyard. 

Contextually, deer are the main prey of these mountain cats, and when deer move down off the mountain for spring grazing, cougars follow close behind. 

“It’s really not unusual,” said Mark Outreach Hadley, an outreach manager for the Division of Wildlife Resources. “Especially in these bench areas… they’re just basically following their food source.” 

Hadley said as the snow melts and vegetation becomes available in the higher elevation areas, the deer will move back up.

Anticipating the nocturnal nature of the cat is one of the best ways to keep your family safe said, Hadley. 

“As soon as the sun goes down in the evening, that is when cougar activity picks up.”

Meaning, if you have pets outside or even kids, don’t leave them out after sundown.

To submit a cougar sighting to DWR, you can do so through the DWR Law Enforcement app or Send a text to 847411.

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Cougar sightings: how common will they be this spring?