Bobcats can be one of the most challenging predators to hunt. But with proper strategy, they’re not insurmountable!
Bobcats are a native species that lives throughout North America. They typically inhabit forests, brushland and semi-desert regions.
Bobcats are cunning hunters with keen eyesight, hearing and scent sense. Their range extends across much of North America as well as parts of Canada and Mexico.
They are highly adaptable creatures, yet they may become extinct from areas where human activities have significantly altered their habitat. This includes parts of Midwestern states where intensive agriculture is decreasing suitable habitat.
Bobcats typically reside in “rabbit-tat,” which are dense brushy areas, riverbanks fringed with heavy vegetation, places where forests meet farm fields or other open spaces that provide cover for rabbits, rodents and insects. These habitats can range from dense brushy areas to riverbanks surrounded by heavy vegetation or places where tree lines meet forest edges.
Bobcats often spend their days hunting in these remote areas, where they can stalk their prey without being noticed. This makes it possible for you to sneak up on them while they’re hidden, though patience is required.
Once you locate this type of habitat, it is time to investigate the area to see if bobcats are using it. This can usually be done by watching for their tracks in snow, mud or dew.
In addition to tracks, you should search for scats. Scats are small pieces of fur left behind by bobcats as they run or walk across the ground.
Bobcat scats are an excellent way to confirm the presence of bobcats in an area and can differentiate between males and females. You may also use their urine as a tracking tool by placing its scent on items like rocks, logs or plastic bags.
Bobcats will mark their territory with droppings, urine, claw marks on trees and paw prints. Additionally, they vocalize, giving squeals, yowls, hisses and other noises to attract mates or alert others of danger.
Bobcats can travel up to 20 miles per night during breeding seasons in search of a female partner. They possess an advanced scent gland system which allows them to detect the scent of their prey but rarely attack or bite it.
Bobcats typically create distinct territories that change according to the season and availability of prey. In wintertime, their ranges can expand up to 40 square miles; during the summer months their ranges may be as small as 16 square miles.
Bobcats can be notoriously difficult to track down, but with proper scouting, stand selection and calling technique you can hunt them successfully. The most effective way to locate them is by developing the habit of calling consistently in designated spots that have been identified through your research.
Bobcat calls that mimic rabbits or rodents in distress are the most effective. Examples include cottontail, jackrabbit, and woodpecker distress calls.
Many bobcat hunters have had success using this type of call to draw in bobcats. Other predator calls that work well with bobcats include fawn in distress and mountain lion in distress.
Bobcats also respond well to a howler-style predator call. This type of call imitates an animal in distress and can be made using either a mouth call or electronic game signal.
Bobcat hunters typically use this call during the day to attract bobcats, but it also works well at night for nighttime hunting. Additionally, this type of call can also be employed to draw in coyotes, foxes, and raccoons.
Bobcat hunting with a howler call is an ideal option, as it can be adjusted to produce various sounds depending on air released. For instance, you could adjust it to produce either a meow, scream, or cry depending on how much air is released.
It is essential to remember that bobcats do not respond as quickly to predator calls as coyotes or foxes do. Instead, they may take up to 30 minutes or more to investigate the call.
Additionally, it’s essential to keep the volume of your predator call down. While it may be tempting to let it ring out loudly, excessive noise could easily push the cat away from you and into another area.
Bobcats can be highly suspicious animals and will investigate every move you make and sound you produce. Therefore, it is essential to keep the volume down while in their territory.
Once you’ve identified the ideal spot, be sure to set up 50 to 100 yards downwind of your predator call. This will give predators a chance to circle around and hear your call before they decide whether or not to investigate it further.
Bobcats are common throughout the southern United States, yet they’re notoriously elusive. They prefer to stay deep in cover such as riverbanks, cut overs or thickets where they can stalk prey without being noticed by humans.
To make predator hunting more successful, use decoys to draw bobcats closer. A strategically placed decoy can fool an approaching predator into believing it has found a wounded animal or identified food that it has been searching for.
For instance, you can place a fawn decoy upwind of your hunting setup to simulate the sound of a deer’s call. You could also attach a remote speaker to the decoy for even greater appeal.
You can also hang a turkey wing feather from a tree limb for added movement. These vibrant feathers will spin and twirl in the wind, providing an eye-catching visual that bobcats are sure to appreciate.
Another way to attract bobcats is with a fox or coyote call. Both of these options work since bobcats, like foxes and coyotes, prefer meat-based meals so they’ll likely respond better to sounds that indicate what an hungry predator might find appealing.
When calling a predator, you should pay attention to their reaction and body language to determine how effective your sound is. If a cat moves to one side or back, you may need to alter the volume slightly in order to prevent it from getting too close.
If a cat comes within range of your call and stops, you may need to raise the volume in order to get it moving again. Once it passes beyond your range, you can lower the volume for more realistic pitch and speed.
Bobcats have an instinct to stay in their habitat, but they also possess remarkable intelligence. They know when predators are nearby and can adjust their strategy accordingly.
No matter your skill level as a predator hunter, bobcats are an exciting game to try for. With some practice and some luck, you may just find them on your property and start scoring some kills!
Selecting the ideal stand can be intimidating, but it is one of the most essential steps when hunting bobcats. Getting it right makes all the difference between getting a great shot and missing out on an opportunity.
The ideal bobcat stand is situated in thick cover that allows you to see the animal as it enters. While this offers you the best opportunity for a photo, it could also present some risks; your cat could get spooked by brush and escape without you ever seeing it come in.
Bobcats often boast about their sight-hunting prowess, yet they can also be one of the toughest predators to take down–particularly when trying to get a good shot with a bow.
Thankfully, there are some strategies you can employ to make this task a bit simpler on both you and your cat. The first is being strategic when selecting stands to scout from.
Second, when possible, take advantage of a high vantage point. This can be done through treestands or by finding a small hill or rise in the terrain and using it as your observation platform.
Finally, use the most effective call you can find to draw in your target. This could include a decoy, electronic caller or live rabbit; however, for optimal results it’s best to combine all three methods.
Scouting, wise stand selection and the correct calling technique will give you the edge when hunting bobcats. With some luck and practice, you’ll soon become the envy of all your hunting buddies!