Ghostwalker: Tracking a Mountain Lion's Soul through Science and Story

Ghostwalker: Tracking a Mountain Lion's Soul through Science and Story

by Leslie Patten

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What does it feel like to be a mountain lion?

Ghostwalker aims to empower the reader with that kind of knowledge. When the author encounters mountain lion tracks near her home outside Yellowstone National Park, she begins a journey to learn about these elusive, unseen animals. Personal tracking stories provide a framework as the author delves deeper into the heart of lions. What is the impact of hunting mountain lions? What happens when wolves and grizzly bears are added to the mix of top predators? How do mountain lions navigate urban-wildlife interfaces? To answer these questions, Patten interviews biologists working in Yellowstone National Park, Panthera's Jackson Teton Study, and various studies around the San Francisco Bay Area. She also conducts dozens of interviews with professional trackers, houndsmen, as well as spokesmen from the Mountain Lion Foundation and The Cougar Fund. Patten explores the ancient lore­—who is the cougar that is the “Sasquatch” of Mexico—and learns how to successfully trail mountain lions to obtain amazing photos. Travel along with the author as she discovers the secret lives of America's largest wild feline.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780692163856
Publisher: Far Cry Publishing
Publication date: 10/01/2018
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 302
Sales rank: 305,229
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.68(d)

About the Author

Leslie Patten has an extensive background in horticulture, along with a life-long interest in the natural world. She is the author of The Wild Excellence: Notes from Untamed America and BioCircuits: Amazing New Tools for Energy Health along with eBooks on gardening. She presently lives in a small cabin in northwest Wyoming, volunteering her time at the Buffalo Bill Museum of the West. Her blog can be seen at

Table of Contents

Introduction by Harley Shaw, Cougar Biologist


Chapter 1 - The quiet rapture of observation

  • The Jackson Hole sighting
  • My first lion track
  • Lions of the Pleistocene
  • Legend Rock

Chapter 2 - Broom riding and human meddling

  • The Onza
  • Ben Lily
  • Aldo Leopold - At the Crossroads

Chapter 3 - A language without tongues

  • Toni Ruth's Yellowstone Class
  • Maurice Hornocker
  • What is a Scrape

Chapter 4 - The Twenty Million Acre expanse of wonder

  • Jackson, Yellowstone, and Home East
  • What a Kill looks like
  • The Bathroom trapper

Chapter 5 - Clues from beyond the visible

  • California trackers
  • When you find a fresh kill

Chapter 6 - The Houndsmen

  • F51 and her kittens
  • I meet Rod Bullis
  • Houndsmen turned Advocats
  • Dogs in Wolf Country

Chapter 7 - The Deadliest Journey

  • Cougar kittens
  • Death of a disperser
  • What Porcupines, guns, and highways have in common
  • dispersers east of Yellowstone

Chapter 8 - The Zen of mountain lions

  • Counting cougars
  • Yellowstone's cougar studies
  • The social structure of lion communities - The governors of fiefdoms

Chapter 9 - Bound in an Urban Forest

  • Introduction to the Bay Area and Research Studies
  • Margaret Owings and Proposition 117
  • Cutting edge research in Santa Cruz
  • Whole Puma Health
  • Looking at California's lion mortallity holistically

Chapter 10 - Great things begin in the tiny seed of small change

  • Sharon Negri
  • Preventative methods
  • The cougar fund
  • The culture of state game agencies




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