A 160-pound mountain lion was shot by a Blue Ridge, Texas man hunting deer over the weekend near Celeste, Texas.
Hunt County Game Warden Gary Miller Jr. on Monday confirmed the kill stating the man called the department to make a report so local wildlife biologists could get more information off the animal.
“Fannin County Game Warden Randolph McGee responded to the call and verified it was taken legally and wasn’t someone’s pet that had been released but was wild,” said Miller.
“It was crazy to see something so elusive and actually put your hands on one that’s been taken. They are a magnificent animal,” McGee said. “The man was a licensed Texas hunter who saw the mountain lion when it walked into his path around 4:30 p.m. Saturday.”
Both Miller and McGee said that professionally they haven’t seen or heard of a mountain lion being harvested in northeast Texas.
“Mountain lions are native to Texas, however, are rare to see or spot,” said Miller. “In my 16-years as a Game Warden, 12-years in Hunt County, this is the first I’ve heard that has been harvested in the northeast Texas area.”
The lion was an older adult male and roughly 6′ in length from head to tip of the tail.
“Everyone is scared of these things attacking people,” said McGee. “The entire western half of the United States has a heavy mountain lion population and just simply because we don’t see them around here and one is taken, it could sadden one a little bit. But it was taken legally.”
Officials believe this mountain lion could be the same one recently sighted in Rowlett and Princeton, however, they cannot be 100% certain.
The mountain lion was taken to a taxidermist in Fannin County to be mounted.