Bobcats are predators that prey upon rabbits, lizards, birds, rodents, fish, insects and other critters that come their way.
Patience is also key when hunting; these predators typically wait until their prey spots them first before following them as they take their next steps.
Look for Sign
Bobcats are one of the most commonly found wild cats in North America and their range extends across a variety of habitats. As top predators in many ecosystems, bobcats’ ecological role provides the primary impetus for managing their populations.
Bobcats are carnivorous predators and therefore, like other carnivores, are opportunistic feeders. This means they will pursue any prey they come across such as rabbits, birds, lizards, rodents and fish that they come across.
In order to effectively hunt bobcats, it is important to gain an understanding of their behaviors and know what signs to look out for when out in the woods. You must also be able to locate where these predators typically travel and hunt.
Tracks can help you easily spot bobcat travel routes; just look out for their distinctive tracks that show where they hunt, which should serve as a telltale sign that they have entered your area.
Tracks may also be visible in brush piles and old logging roads, providing evidence of where bobcats have traveled or stopped to rest or urinate.
Once you’ve located a track, move with stealth and alertness. Keep your eyes up ahead and don’t slam doors or close windows unexpectedly.
An essential step when calling bobcats is using an effective calling sequence. Use soft purrs and meows until your target cat fully commits to you before switching over to more aggressive sounds like meows and growls.
Keep the volume at a low setting when making calls to a bobcat. If he hangs up and sits back down again, turn down the volume further before continuing with appropriate sounds.
Avoid scaring away bobcats unless they’re dominant cats; start off using non-aggressive calls before switching to more aggressive sounds such as “bob-in-heat” or an “agitated bobcat.”
Successful bobcat hunting requires setting up in an appropriate area and being patient. For optimal success, set up in either a tree stand or dark location under large trees or rocks to break your silhouette and prevent the animal from seeing you.
Bobcat hunting can be one of the most grueling yet rewarding predator hunting experiences available to hunters, yet with proper preparation and some hard work it could prove successful in finding that big cat!
Bobcats are nocturnal animals that typically come out at night to hunt rodents and other small creatures for sustenance. Once out, they typically linger around the area for hours as they inspect it closely before hunting again the following night.
At night, bobcats tend not to come out from hiding, preferring instead to lie low in thickets near water or dry creek beds. Knowing where these areas are can help you locate them easily when they appear – be prepared!
Trail cameras are an effective way to detect bobcats and let you observe where they hide during the day, providing valuable clues as to when it may be time for you to move out and call them in.
Once you find an area with numerous bobcats, it is essential that you establish yourself so that you can see and hear them as they respond to your call. Be mindful not to approach too closely to the area as too close proximity may spook the animal and send it running back out before you can even see it!
When hunting bobcats during the day, use a decoy to keep them focused on your call. Your decoy should move like a bird or rabbit; once within range, a bobcat should quickly lock onto it and attempt to kill.
Electronic callers are an effective way to attract bobcats. The optimal strategy is to run it continuously while gradually varying its volume; this will give bobcats time to react and respond when coming closer.
Bobcats can be among the hardest predators to call to gun. These shy, wary cats take time responding to calls. With patience and persistence though, bobcats may become accessible in certain areas.
First step to hunting bobcats is conducting an in-depth scouting of your area, to find an optimal stand location with good visibility and cover – this increases the odds that cats will visit it.
Once you find an ideal spot, it’s time to set up your stand. Similar to coyotes, cat are reluctant to come close when approaching thick covers such as thickets. Setup near thick foliage so cats won’t see you and come closer.
As with other predators, it is wise to employ decoys that will attract bobcats and keep their attention. A motion decoy should ideally move constantly in an attempt to emulate birds or rodents fleeing for cover.
Use something distracting such as a Mojo Critter or turkey wing feathers to encourage them to commit quickly. A Mojo Critter works well here.
Use an intermittent sequence in your call to create urgency among bobcats. According to Byron, Al and Mike’s experience, long pauses between sounds give too much time for thinking before moving forward.
Make sure to stick with it once you begin calling; otherwise, the cat might lose interest and leave.
Successfully hunting bobcats requires being at the right place at the right time. Look for them in brushy or wooded areas near water sources – that is usually where they’ll be hiding!
Typically, they prefer traveling through creek beds and along rivers or streams, often traversing dense foliage as they do so. They will also travel through heavy brush.
Bobcats are generally nocturnal creatures, yet can sometimes be seen during the day. Therefore, it’s wise to conduct an initial scouting mission during daylight hours so you can identify areas most likely to contain one and be prepared when it comes time to call one in.
Bobcats are one of North America’s most elusive and hard to spot predators, inhabiting diverse habitats from boreal coniferous forests to bottomland hardwood forests, coastal swamps, and semi-desert regions. As nocturnal predators they hunt primarily during dawn and dusk.
Bobcats can be recognized by their brown or buff fur with reddish-brown blotches or spots, a black nose and face, short “bobbed” tail, central white spot on their backs and possible ear tufts.
Bobcats typically sleep during the day in dens constructed of rock crevices and hollow trees in forests, mountains and brushlands. They mark their territory with deposits of urine and feces as well as claw marks.
These animals can be found across much of their range; however, due to threats such as habitat loss and overhunting for their fur, their populations have significantly declined across much of their territory.
Bobcats need a varied habitat of open forest, dense brush and riverbanks in which they can find shelter, food and water as they hunt. Such areas offer them shelter while simultaneously providing cover from predators while they explore.
Once you have located suitable habitat, conduct an intensive scouting mission in order to locate signs of bobcat activity – tracks, scent, or den sites could all indicate presence of this animal.
Once you have identified a potential den, choose a safe stand position and establish. Place a caller and decoy approximately 20 yards from you so the bobcat sees but cannot approach easily.
If the bobcat does not respond within an acceptable distance, continue calling until one appears within range and wait for it to move off before firing your shotgun.
A bobcat usually stalks into range before sitting and studying its surroundings before making any move. Your decoy or caller might tempt them, but more likely than not they’ll come at you from behind and try to close in for an arrow shot.
To avoid encounters with bobcats, move slowly and quietly through the woods. If possible, use a snowmobile or four-wheel drive vehicle so as to minimize noise-making activities that might disturb them.