How To Hunt Bobcat
A bobcat has amazing instincts and adaptability in order to hunt it’s prey and survive. Bobcats are elusive predators with incredible ability to stay out of sight much like a scout sniper.
To be successful, a bobcat hunter needs a great deal of patience and perseverance.
Compared to other game, bobcats are rarely seen, so finding them can take a great deal of effort, but knowing the basics of bobcat movement can significantly improve the odds of a successful hunt.
Bobcat habitat varies extensively from forests and mountainous areas to semi-deserts and brush land. A habitat dense with vegetation and lots of prey is ideal. Bobcats are remarkable hunters, stalking prey with stealth and endurance.
Normally solitary and territorial animals, females never share territory with each other. Male territories, however, tend to overlap. Territories are installed with scent markings and territory sizes are extremely various – commonly 25-30 square miles for adult males and about 5 square miles for females.
Dens: Each bobcat may have several dens, one main den and several auxiliary dens, in its territory.
- Main den: Usually a cave or rock shelter, but can be a hollow log, fallen tree, or some other protected place. (Also called the natal den)
- Auxiliary dens: Located in less-visited portions of the home range and are often brush piles, rock ledges or stumps. These are also called shelter dens.
Mating season: Late winter, but throughout the year is possible.
Gestation: 50- 70 days. Kittens are usually born around early spring.
Litter size: 1 – 6 kittens.
The kittens begin eating solid food at around two months and begin learning to hunt at 5 months. When they are between 8 and 11 months, the kittens are evicted from their mother’s territory.
How To Call A Bobcat
The key to being successful is scouting an area known to hold bobcat numbers. Use trail cameras and good old fashioned scouting by looking for tracks, scat or a fresh kill. Search for brush piles, dense low-lying vegetation or a water supply – any habitat that attracts small prey. Bobcats will feed on a variety of prey, but rabbits, squirrels, birds and mice make up the vast majority of their diet when plentiful. If you spot excessive activity of small game such as these, you know you are searching in the right spots.
Once you have scouted an area and found evidence of bobcat in the area it is time to plan your hunt. I recommend to make as many stands to call from to increase your range. Be sure to be well concealed and have a vantage point with the wind in your face for best results. Calling is best when there is little to no wind and first light and dusk are going to be your most productive times to call the keen predator.
Prey in distress calls work best for calling in a bobcat. Start calling quietly then put a little more volume into it with each call. Some predator hunters will call non stop and others will mix it up and call for few minutes with pauses in between. You will have to find what works best for you. When it comes to bobcats you must be patient. A fox or coyote will generally respond within 5 to 15 minutes, but a bobcat may take 30 minutes or more. Be sure to scan the landscape carefully for any movement as a bobcat will normally approach cautiously and be difficult to see.
Hunting bobcat is the ultimate challenge for predator calling. This type of predator calling will test your skill, dedication, shooting ability and patience as a hunter. Do not expect to kill every time you make a stand but being prepared and following these key steps will greatly improve your odds of meeting that challenge.
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