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A few years back I decided to try to get a Michigan bobcat and purchased the fur harvester license for $151. I tried hard for a week and saw only tracks. Seeing bobcat tracks while out rabbit hunting isn't uncommon at all. I expect to see bobcat tracks and even finding a kill isn't unusual at all.

 

The next year they changed the law to where only residents of Michigan could harvest bobcats. Not sure why this happened other than the "non-residents are taking all of our game" mentality of hunters in general. 

 

Which brings me to tonight. After we came home from hunting it snowed about an inch. I had to leave to go to town and noticed tracks in the driveway. Got out to look at them and sure enough, bobcat.

 

Beginning to think I may have to go to Texas to get my bobcat.

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We have cat right here. I run into them all the time in the park next to me. My horse dang near stepped on one last year as it was hiding along the trail. The only reason it moved was my cart tires were going to hit it he was so close to the trail. There are at least three families of them in the park. 

 

I have never hunted them and the one's we had up home were few and far between sightings. 

 

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Bobcats are something I havent seen much.  Once or twice, the last time a year ago I think.  They are legal game during the FL gun season but I was so amazed I saw no need to shoot it if I had no plans to mount it or tan the hide.  It was cool to watch it move thru with no idea I was watching.  Its why I go to the woods, to see interesting stuff.

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I've seen what I believe are 2 different bobcats on my property, as one was smaller.

But it has been over a year.

I am on high ground, but the Big Muddy river at one point is not far from the house as the crow flies, and it flows 

into the Mississippi not all that far away.  I think some of these critters are taking advantage of the river habitat and surrounding areas. 

 

Since Illinois has restarted a bobcat hunting season, have you thought about trying for one at home ? 

Ever see any bobcat sign around home, Lon ? 

 

 

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I have heard there are some around here but I never seen any.

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We have bobcats in my neighborhood.  My wife and I followed one down the alley to the street, then around down the street in front of our house.

 

I've also seen coyotes walking down the street, including once in the middle of the day.

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That still surprises me considering how nearly urban Plano is. Especially where you live. But with those parks and creeks back in the neighborhood I'm not too surprised.

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As part of a feral pig hunting package at a ranch the owner took us out varmint hunting raccoons, coyotes and bobcats at night. That preyed on turkeys and turkey eggs. My friend shot a nice sized bobcat at about 75 yards in a dark area. He had it mounted. Some of those big arse racoons could soak up some lead. We got a few. He cleaned off the pecker bone off a couple of them so we could wear them in our hatbands....lol.

Edited by gshayd

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We have several that hang out around here. But they are very wary. I have seen coyotes, foxes and coons but no bobcats, only prints. My neighbor, 1/2 mile up the road has seen a couple looking over his chickens. Chickens draw predators like flies.

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On 1/2/2019 at 3:13 AM, Retcop said:

I've seen what I believe are 2 different bobcats on my property, as one was smaller.

But it has been over a year.

I am on high ground, but the Big Muddy river at one point is not far from the house as the crow flies, and it flows 

into the Mississippi not all that far away.  I think some of these critters are taking advantage of the river habitat and surrounding areas. 

 

Since Illinois has restarted a bobcat hunting season, have you thought about trying for one at home ? 

Ever see any bobcat sign around home, Lon ? 

 

 

I have seen 2 bobcats locally but it has been 17 years ago. One was sitting the road at a bridge staring into the weeds. When I got close it turned and walked across the road and into the weeds. The second was sitting on top of a culvert at a field entrance with his head down and looking back into the culvert. It was at a T intersection and when I pulled to the T it bolted across the field. I went and looked into the culvert to see what was so interesting but it was dry and there was nothing in it and It was only about 15 feet long. No idea what it was looking at.

 

The truth is we have so many coons, skunks and possums I doubt I could keep a trap clear long enough to catch one. Calling is difficult in the patchwork of ownership of land. You have to cover a lot of ground and lining up permission is tough. That and we have a ton of coyotes so the cats are pretty timid about coming into any calls.

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9 hours ago, MontanaLon said:

I have seen 2 bobcats locally but it has been 17 years ago. One was sitting the road at a bridge staring into the weeds. When I got close it turned and walked across the road and into the weeds. The second was sitting on top of a culvert at a field entrance with his head down and looking back into the culvert. It was at a T intersection and when I pulled to the T it bolted across the field. I went and looked into the culvert to see what was so interesting but it was dry and there was nothing in it and It was only about 15 feet long. No idea what it was looking at.

 

The truth is we have so many coons, skunks and possums I doubt I could keep a trap clear long enough to catch one. Calling is difficult in the patchwork of ownership of land. You have to cover a lot of ground and lining up permission is tough. That and we have a ton of coyotes so the cats are pretty timid about coming into any calls.

 

Way cool !

 

i would like to start a foundation to give out bounties for feral cats. They have devastated the prey animals that bobcats, minks, fox, coyote, etc feed on.

Our ground nesting birds have been devastated too. For the first time in many years, we have a pair of Killdeer nesting on the property, and we have meadowlarks again . It's been so long I can't remember.

I have yet to hear a quail this year, and the thickets used to be thick with them.

I ask anyone who lets their cats or dogs to run loose, especially  at night to not do so.

Neuter your pets. Do not let them replace our natural predators, as there is no balance.

And for God's sakes, please don't feed feral cats. They need to be dispatched if your can't take them in.

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I like cats, wild and domestic. Not gonna shoot one unless I need to. Besides, it's very bad luck to harm a cat. Cats are good luck. The Titanic did not have a cat aboard and you know what happened to her.

 

We do not have a feral cat or dog problem here. Any cat or small dog that is not taken in before dark is immediately chomped by Coyotes. They are everywhere,  in daylight too. Coyotes kill

everything and anything on the ground, you name it. Far more than feral cats around here. We have a feed mill 200 yds. from my house. Their cats keep the rat population at bay, that's what they do.

I hate filthy Rats & Mice that carry disease, like the Plague or the Hanta virus.   More cats please.

 

 

Matt

Edited by HAZMAT
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Less cats, more snakes please..

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4 hours ago, HAZMAT said:

I like cats, wild and domestic. Not gonna shoot one unless I need to. Besides, it's very bad luck to harm a cat. Cats are good luck. The Titanic did not have a cat aboard and you know what happened to her.

 

We do not have a feral cat or dog problem here. Any cat or small dog that is not taken in before dark is immediately chomped by Coyotes. They are everywhere,  in daylight too. Coyotes kill

everything and anything on the ground, you name it. Far more than feral cats around here. We have a feed mill 200 yds. from my house. Their cats keep the rat population at bay, that's what they do.

I hate filthy Rats & Mice that carry disease, like the Plague or the Hanta virus.   More cats please.

 

 

Matt

 

More indigenous and diverse and valuable prey species, please. 

The common house cat is not indigenous to North America, and should be treated like every other invasive species. 

I understand there is emotion involved here, but there is no scientific question of the harm to native populations feral cats cause.

Your claim that natural predators like coyotes kill more "everything and anything" on the ground than feral cats is not supported by science. 

The two three major problems involving feral cats is their effect on native bird and small mammal populations, especially ground nesting birds;

their competing with indigenous prey animals food resources, especially in the wintertime, and during the raising of litters;  and the transmission of disease. 

 

All I am asking you to do is to consider feral cats as what they are, a non indigenous invasive species whose populations have very negative impact on native species,  especially native ground nesting birds.  I am not a person who "hates" cats. If I visit a friend or family with a friendly cat, I always pet it and get to "know" it. I love animals.  I have also convinced a number of people to stop letting their cat roam at night, or to not leave out food for the "neighborhood cats."  

I have seen the studies and the damage they do, like most invasive species.  Those who let their cats roam every night, and those who encourage or tolerate invasive species should try and remove the love they have for their pets from the ecological impact the feral cat has. 

I don't think that is too much to ask.

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Feral cats are a huge problem. When I lived in Virginia we found a place to hunt and while we were talking to the old man that ran the place he said we could hunt anything but the quail as they were his favorite and they had fallen on hard times since the huge subdivision had been built next door and the cats moved in. He saw one stalking along the edge of the field and said, "You kill every cat you come across on my land, the law is clear on animals running loose on private property not owned by the owner of the animal. If I hear of you boys not killing a cat, I won't let you keep coming here."

 

With that I retrieved my .22-250 from the truck and rested it across the hood. The cat was 300 yards away if it was a foot and I warned everyone to plug their ears before I broke the shot. It reacted like a groundhog, chunks went flying and it dropped like a rock. The old man was tickled pink and so began the days of the great housecat hunt. We hunted them from stands, we hunted them still hunting, we hunted them over bait, we had cat drives, we sniped them at long range, we clobbered them up close with shotguns, we used our bows, we used handguns, we shot them with muzzle loaders and with deer rifles. No cat was safe and we judged out success by the number of "Missing cat" posters we saw in the subdivision. We were very careful to not be found out, the blowback would have been tremendous. 

 

We saw positive results the next spring. Quail were calling and there were little balls of feathers on the 2 tracks around the farm.  That fall while hunting we saw coveys of quail, 10-15 birds in a couple of places around the farm. And the hunting continued non-stop. We shot them during the spring green up, we shot them on the dog days of summer, we shot them during harvest and we shot them when the leaves were changing, when it snowed we would track them. We set traps, house cats are suckers for a feather on a string hanging where the breeze will catch it and they can see it. A little catnip sealed the deal, they really are suckers for it.

 

The following spring there were quail all over. You could stand anywhere on the farm and hear them calling back and forth, the old man was happy. That fall we saw quail, lots of quail, coveys with 50-80 birds and they were all over the place. The old man said we could hunt them too, turned out he loved them including the way they tasted. We did, it was easy, even without a dog. You couldn't walk 50 yards in the weeds before one or 2 or 10 would take off flying. When you shot more would fly, it was great fun. We left a brace,plucked and cleaned with the old man and his wife to have for dinner.

We hunted that place hard, every day in every season for every critter that called it home. The deer hunting was insane, in the course of a season we killed upwards of 30 deer between the 3 of us that hunted there. It was only 1200 acres and we could have shot so many more but you can only eat so many. The duck hunting was unbelievable, the beavers dammed up the creek and made a good sized pond that was covered in wood ducks each fall. Also mallards and geese once in a while.

 

The old man's wife died and he moved away to a home and died shortly after her. The land was sold to a developer. We got 1 last season of hunting out of it before they posted it.

 

And it all happened because of cats.

 

I hear a lot that 'the coyotes eat everything" from people around here. But if you drive around you will see so many house cats in the ditches that can't possibly be the cause of the lack of other small game. Coyotes eat cats, if we were overrun with coyotes like everyone thinks we are, there would be no cats around. It isn't the coyotes causing the lack of small animals, it is positively the cats.

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