DOUGLAS COUNTY, Wash. - Images of almost a dozen cougars congregating in one spot were captured by a Wenatchee hunter on a private ranch in a remote part of Douglas County.
"I was pretty tickled," said Brad Thomas after stumbling across a still image of eight cougars feasting on a dead animal.
Cougars don't usually roam in packs and experts say the images Thomas caught on-camera are ones humans don't often get to see.
"I sent them to my friends and I'm amazed how far those pictures have gone," said Thomas who also sent them to a local US Fish & Wildlife office.
The outdoorsman didn't know what to expect when he bought remote cameras and set them up on an old cattle trail.
"I see deer, I very seldom see a bobcat. I've never seen a cougar so I never expected to see a cougar," said Thomas.
Wildlife officials say its normal for cougars to go where deer and other animals gather for the winter. The agency says the snapshots appear to be two female cougars with their litters. US Fish & Wildlife biologists say large cougar sightings in the Moses Coulee region are rather unusual.
"When I retrieved those pictures which is about 9:45 a.m. in the morning because I have a picture of me walking away from the camera. 15 minutes later a cougar came down the trail, he probably saw me 100 yards away," explained Thomas who unknowingly had a close encounter with a feline.
Normally the remote cameras would come down in the spring, but Thomas plans on keeping them up for a little while longer, determined to accomplish one goal: "Once the deer leave, odds are the cougars are going to leave. Then maybe I can get a bobcat picture," said Thomas who has been waiting two years for that snapshot.