Bobcat hunting has been a popular pastime in the United States for generations. Though these mysterious cats look intimidating, they can be quite an interesting quarry to hunt.
Whether you’re a first-time or experienced hunter, it’s important to know when do bobcats hunt and what you can expect to learn about them. That’s why we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to bobcat hunting and the hunting habits of bobcats.
In this guide, we’ll cover when exactly do bobcats hunt, how to identify bobcat tracks and signs, the differences between bobcat hunting and trapping, what do bobcats eat and prey preferences and hunting strategies, and bobcat behavior and how to use it to your advantage when hunting.
We’ll also explore the best places to hunt bobcats, the hunting gear essentials necessary for a successful hunt, best time to hunt the wild cats and more. So, if your dream has always been to take down a bobcat, then this guide is the perfect resource.
When Do Bobcats Hunt? Understanding the Hunting Habits of Bobcats
Bobcat hunting season typically begins in the early fall and extends until the late winter months. Where you hunt and the regulations may vary, but for the most part bobcats hunt at dawn or dusk.
They use the cover of night to hide from potential predators and, as nocturnal hunters, are most active under the cover of darkness.
Typically, bobcats hunt alone, but during the mating season, the cats can be seen hunting in pairs. As solitary, territorial animals, bobcats are hunters in the truest sense of the word.
They have an incredibly keen sense of hearing, sight and smell that they use to search out prey. Once they find their target, they will patiently stalk and ambush their victim.
Bobcats typically hunt small animals such as rabbits and rodents, but they’re also known to hunt deer, raccoons, mice and even birds. Depending on the season and the availability of prey, bobcats will also feed on berries, seeds, fruits, and nuts.
How to Identify Bobcat Tracks and Sign
Bobcat tracks and sign, though hard to spot, are essential when it comes to bobcat hunting. Familiarizing yourself with the tracks, droppings, and other signs of the cat can help you find them easier and catch them in their natural habitat.
The tracks of bobcat are somewhat like the tracks of domestic cats, but more oval and longer. The tracks are smaller than those of a domestic cat, and can be up to 3-4 inches long.
The distinct characteristics that separate bobcat tracks from those of other cats are the longer four-toed hind paws, the rear-most paw having a single large pad.
The tracks also have a tendency to show claws as opposed to the domestic cat tracks, which appear without claws. You may also find droppings and scat left by bobcats, which are especially easy to spot because they contain fur and other parts of their prey.
The Differences Between Bobcat Hunting and Trapping
There are a couple of different methods for hunting bobcat. The two most popular methods are hunting and trapping. Though there are similarities between the two, there are also some subtle differences.
Before settling on which approach to take, you should understand which method is better for your specific situation.
When hunting bobcat, you must keep in mind that your approach must match the cat’s behavior. If you’re going hunting, it’s imperative that you understand exactly when do bobcats hunt, the right places in which to find them and the right practices that you must use while hunting.
Trapping, on the other hand, is best suited to those looking to catch a bobcat in one go, without the need for hunting. Trapping is done by setting snares and traps in areas where bobcats are most active and can be held in place with the hope of being ready when the bobcat appears.
What Do Bobcats Eat? Prey Preferences and Hunting Strategies
In the wild, bobcats are mainly carnivorous animals and will feed on small mammals such as mice, squirrels and rabbits.
However, bobcats have been known to supplement their meals with a variety of items such as insects, birds, reptiles, carrion, and even fruits and vegetables.
Therefore, by understanding what do bobcats eat and prey preferences, you can make an informed decision as to the type of bait to use.
It’s also important to consider where you’re hunting. Bobcats have a range that they occupy and they have an instinct to return to the same area to stalk their prey.
Bottomline, factors such as cover and food sources are essential when crafting your bobcat hunting strategy.
Bobcat Behavior: How to Use It to Your Advantage When Hunting
When it comes to bobcat hunting, understanding the behavior of the animal is essential for predicting their movements and habits. Bobcats are solitary animals, meaning they naturally hunt and roam alone.
So, when planning your hunts it’s important to keep this solitary behavior in mind.
Bobcats are also highly territorial so it is important to figure out where the cats boundaries are and to use it to your advantage when hunting.
Knowing the areas they reside and frequent can give you an idea of where they are traveling and when they are likely to encounter prey. Additionally, bobcats are nocturnal, meaning they are most active during the night, so plan your hunting trips accordingly.
Overall, Bobcat hunting can be an incredibly rewarding experience, provided you have the right knowledge and take the time to understand their behavior. By learning when do bobcats hunt, how to identify their tracks, the differences between bobcat hunting and trapping and the prey preferences and hunting strategies, you can improve your chances of taking home a bobcat.
Most importantly, understanding bobcat behavior can give you the advantage you need to bag your prey. Now you’re ready to start exploring the world of bobcat hunting.
Bobcats Prey Hunting FAQs
Q: How long is the bobcat hunting season?
A: The bobcat hunting season typically begins in the early fall and extends until the late winter months. Regulations may vary depending on your state
Q: Where do bobcats hunt?
A: Bobcats typically hunt alone, but during the mating season, the cats can be seen hunting in pairs. Bobcats are territorial animals, and will search out prey within their territories.
Q: What type of prey do bobcats hunt?
A: Bobcats typically hunt small animals such as rabbits and rodents, but they’re also known to hunt deer, raccoons, mice and even birds. Depending on the season and the availability of prey, bobcats will also feed on berries, seeds, fruits, and nuts.
Q: What is the best way to hunt bobcats?
A: There are several approaches to hunting bobcats including hunting and trapping. Before settling on which approach to take, you should familiarize yourself with the tracks, droppings, and other signs, as well as understand bobcat behavior and the type of prey they hunt.