CARPENDEIT dairy farmer Ricky Bailey initially thought he had spotted a fox in his scope while out shooting a few months ago.

"It was 150-180 metres out. We had a look through the scope and it was a big cat. It was black and big and had no collars on it," he said.

Ricky was shooting on a Pirron Yallock dairy farm, west of Colac, and said he hadn't spotted a cat this large.

"It was the same as a full-grown fox but not quite as deep in the chest but just as long," he said. "When you held it up in the air by the base of its tail, its legs and head was hanging down on the ground. You see a lot of cats around dairies, but not that size."

He sent this picture of the dead cat to the Weekly Times after Pirron Yallock was named as an area where large cats had been sighted.