• Cochise County is a great place to get out in nature
  • The area is teeming with unique wildlife
  • A new large cat has been spotted in the Huachuca Mountains

Hiking in Cochise County

There's nothing like getting out in nature and Arizona offers a lot of trails to explore. With the wonderful weather and hundreds of beautiful places to hike, the lure of the great outdoors is always calling.

Before you strap on your hiking boots and fill that water bottle, take a moment to consider some of the wildlife you might encounter along the way.

jaguar spotted in Huachuca Mountains in Arizona
Image via YouTube User Jason Miller Outdoors

Cochise County Spots a New Big Cat

There's nothing quite like taking in the fresh air and scenic beauty of the Huachuca Mountains. Only a short drive from Sierra Vista, most trails are easy to navigate, and a suitable place to take kids and pets.

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While you're enjoying the fresh air, you might want to double-check your surroundings. You never know what you might encounter along the way.

jaguar spotted in Huachuca Mountains in Arizona
Jason Miller captured the jaguar on one of the trail cameras he maintains in the Huachuca Mountains. // Image via YouTube User Jason Miller Outdoors

Recently, a local wildlife enthusiast named Jason Miller checked the trail cameras he'd installed in the Huachuca Mountains. He was thrilled to discover he'd captured a rare jaguar on video last December.

jaguar spotted in Huachuca Mountains in Arizona
Jason Miller has captured a lot of wildlife on his trail cams, like this Mountain Lion. //
Image via YouTube User Jason Miller Outdoors

Wildlife experts at Arizona Game & Fish compared the spots of this big cat to other jaguars spotted around Arizona and confirmed this one is unique. The big cat is the first time a new jaguar has been documented in the United States since 2016.

The New Jaguar is Exciting News for Arizona

A new jaguar sighting is great news for the species. Wildlife conservationists are excited about the encounter on video that confirms the large cat is here in the Huachucas.

jaguar spotted in Huachuca Mountains in Arizona
Photo of the Huachuca Mountains. // Val Davidson/Townsquare Media

Jaguars move through their territory in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona and Northern Mexico.  The jaguar is considered endangered, so spotting a new individual is exciting news for the species. According to Arizona Game & Fish, this information will help protect the animal and other members of the species.

jaguar spotted in Huachuca Mountains in Arizona
A closer view of the big cat captured by Jason Miller. // Image via YouTube User Jason Miller Outdoors

An Important Hobby

Jason Miller, the man behind the trail cameras, has captured a plethora of species on his cameras all around Cochise County, but this new Jaguar is by far the most exciting. This is a hobby for Jason, but not one he can imagine giving up anytime soon.

Check out this video from his YouTube channel, Jason Miller Outdoors. You can't help but catch Jason's excitement as he marvels at this thrilling discovery.

How Do We Know this Jaguar is Unique in Arizona?

Experts at the Center for Biological Diversity compared images of other known jaguars with this new cat, dubbed Cochise by Jason.

The Center for Biological Diversity explains on its Facebook page that, like human fingerprints, a jaguar's spots create a one-of-a-kind pattern that helps identify individuals.

When compared with photos of previously known cats, it was determined this jaguar had never been documented before now.

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