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Cougar photographed in central Wisconsin spotted in Rusk County, heading north

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outdoors Ellsworth, 54011
Pierce County Herald
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Ellsworth Wisconsin 126 S. Chestnut St. 54011

EAU CLAIRE - The state DNR says a cougar photographed in Juneau and Jackson counties a month ago has apparently headed north. A camera on a trail near Hawkins in Rusk County photographed a cougar on November eighth. And DNR ecologist Adrian Wydeven says the animal's markings and spot patterns appear to be the same in all three pictures.

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The cougar was spotted near Mauston on October 16th, and at Pray in Jackson County four days later. Wydeven says the animal has been traveling on an average of three-point-eight miles a day. And based on its travel patterns, the cougar may be in Price County or the Flambeau State Forest this week.

Hundreds-of-thousands of deer hunters will hit the woods starting Saturday, and the DNR reminds them that the cougar is a protected species. That means it can only be shot in self-defense or to prevent another person from being harmed. But the DNR says that's not likely - even though it is possible. The agency also asks hunters to report any cougar sightings. The DNR has an observation form for rare mammals on its Web site.

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