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Old July 5, 2007, 09:51 AM   #1
V4Vendetta
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Bobcats & horses.

The noise was loud enough to wake my parents & I went outside to investigate with my LED light & .22 rifle*. I didn't see anything but I kept hearing that noise. I eventually went back in the house & went to bed. I had no idea what it was until this morning when my father told me that it was probably a bobcat. I didn't know bobcats were around this area.

My mother called the animal control people this morning & they said that it probably was a bobcat & that they are a protected critter & that you can only shoot one if it attacks you & you better have documentation of the attack:barf:. The animal control officer said that we'll probably never hear it again as bobcats wander a lot but if we did, we should just fire a shot in the air.

I told my mom that if it attacks us in the future to take photo's before taking us to the hospital.

My question is this. Would a .22 have been enough gun in case the bobcat attacked us? We have several horses & have a lot of money tied up in them so would it be legal to shoot the cat if it attacked the horses?

*Not the most powerful round I know but I didn't want to lose my hearing afterwards. In hindsight if there's a next time I'll take something with a little more heft to it.
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Old July 5, 2007, 09:59 AM   #2
Trapper L
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Bobcats can be killed with a 22LR. The Texas ADC requires trappers to use a 22LR on mountain lions so damage to the aninmal is minimal. A heart shot is required but obviously the animal does not die immediately. I would suggest using the three S approach to your problem- shoot, shovel, shut up. If the animal is wearing a collar, as some protected species have, burn the cat with the collar ASAP and make the fire hot. You didn't hear this from me.
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Old July 5, 2007, 10:51 AM   #3
jfrey123
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.22LR would require an awesome shot through the heart at a pretty close up range. You would be a lot better off with an accepted defensive handgun round or most centerfire rifle rounds.

I would NOT take the advice requiring 3 S's or a very hot fire :barf: If you end up needing to shoot a bobcat that comes after you, you're a lot better off calling up your Fish and Game. When they come out and see you shot one that charged you from inside your barn or out by the back of the house, I have a hard time imagining you will catch any real problems from that.

Happy home defending!
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Old July 5, 2007, 11:04 AM   #4
Capt Charlie
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Lifelong avid horseman here as well, V. I'm a volunteer wrangler and trail guide for a 4200 acre ranch with almost 200 horses. At the end of the day, all are turned out into a very large pasture, so wildlife encounters are common. Except for the occasional skunk though, all of these encounters are harmless, and some are downright funny.

Bobcats aren't likely to be a problem for horses, the exception possibly being a very young foal when mom isn't around. They can and do take down an occasional small deer, but they mainly eat rabbits & rodents.

Horses have the advantage of size, speed and strength. There's just no way that a 35 pound, 3 foot long cat can be much of a threat to a thousand pound horse, and I doubt that they'd even try. Any that do would most likely end up stomped into a ***** pancake.

In the unlikely event that you'd encounter an exception (say a rabid cat), a .22 will do the job. I'd listen to the wildlife folks though. Killing a protected species without a really good reason will definitely land you in the pokey.

There's more info on bobcats here.

All that said, this is more appropriate for The Hunt forum, so I've moved it there.
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Old July 5, 2007, 11:04 AM   #5
V4Vendetta
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Quote:
.22LR would require an awesome shot through the heart at a pretty close up range. You would be a lot better off with an accepted defensive handgun round or most centerfire rifle rounds.

I did a little research & found out that while bobcats may look like little pussycats that you go up & pet, they are ferocius & able to kill deer sized game. If I hear anymore noises my trusty AK in 7.62x39'll be my investigating gun.

As far as the "3S" policy, I don't intend on killing the critter unless in tries to use my throat as a chew toy & I'll be sure & have my camera ready to document the incident.
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Old July 5, 2007, 11:10 AM   #6
stinger
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A bobcat will not attack you or your horses. If it does, it is sick, and needs to be dispatched IMMEDIATELY, with whatever means you have.
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Old July 5, 2007, 12:15 PM   #7
davlandrum
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+1 on "not very likely" threat to horses. Predators are not interested in getting seriously hurt while hunting - it simply decreases their survival chances too much. Lot easier to munch a bunny. I would be a lot more worried about my chickens...

Could it happen - anything is possible. Is a .22 enough? Whatever you have in your hand at the moment you need it is, by default, enough. If your horse was seriously under attack, I bet you would wade in with a shovel or stick if you had to. While getting whacked with a .22 might not kill it on the spot, I bet it would convince it to stop messing with the horses.

If you just want to run it off - a shotgun blast might do the trick.
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Old July 5, 2007, 02:04 PM   #8
BillCA
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+1 on bobcats being unlikely to go after horses or people.

Bobcats have a reputation for being spunky, onery critters which is due partly, I think, to their smaller size. They're very defensive and will hiss-spit-growl when confronted and may lash out if cornered. The best bet is to give the cat room to escape.

I've had one "close encounter" here is CA in the Sierras and that was fairly short. He wandered into our camp area just before dawn and I think he was looking for water as he appeared very interested in our 5 gallon water jug. As soon as he heard us, he bounded off. When we wandered down to the ranger's office about 1/4 mile to report it, I left a large bowl of clean water to one side of the camp. When we returned the water was gone and his prints clearly visible. He'd come for a drink then left without inspecting the other items in the area.

I'd think a bobcat would be more interested in chickens, piglets or other small critters than larger livestock. House cats and dogs would be targets too. If your farm/ranch has watering troughs those may be the source of interest, especially in hot, dry summers.
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Old July 5, 2007, 02:05 PM   #9
Limeyfellow
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Quote:
A bobcat will not attack you or your horses. If it does, it is sick, and needs to be dispatched IMMEDIATELY, with whatever means you have.
+1

If its attacking you, its almost always got rabies and needs to be put down quickly. Otherwise they will run away or try and sneak past you.

We have a bobcat in this area and the first time I ever heard it was quite a sound and the size of it. Then it walked past me about 10 yards away and it was only a matter of luck that I even saw it, met eyes and it ran, though when its hunting rabbit and squirrel theres a whole racket when they get away on a night.
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Old July 5, 2007, 03:00 PM   #10
V4Vendetta
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We don't have any chickens or pigs anymore. Just horses & 1 Jersey cow.

We do have a housecat & 2 small dogs though. 1 of the dogs is a german shepard/chow mix & the other is one of those little dogs that could easily be confused with a mop.

Well it's good to know they aren't a match for horses though.
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Old July 5, 2007, 03:40 PM   #11
Scorch
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You have very little to worry about from a bobcat attack. You are more likely to be attacked by a feral dog, a skunk, a rat, or even a weasel than a bobcat. The bobcat around your horses was likely preying on field mice attracted to the grain in horse feed.

While they may be capable of taking game up to their own weight, they hesitate to do that due to the chances of injury. To a wild animal, a severe injury means death, and they are careful not to take on prey bigger than they can handle. Typically, bobcats weigh between 15 and 25 lbs. Although I have read of 50 lbs bobcats, a 35 lbs bobcat would be a large specimen.
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Old July 5, 2007, 08:43 PM   #12
FirstFreedom
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While I agree with all the advice that's been dispensed so far, I still think that, in general, you need to upgrade your *investigative gear*, from a .22 and an LED light, to a Black Bear torch and a centerfire of some sort, either shotgun or rifle! Could be two-legged vermin out there next noisy night.
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Old July 6, 2007, 08:48 AM   #13
Art Eatman
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My preference for a light for checking out night-noises is a Streamlight SL 20. You shine it into the face of animal or man, and they're not going to see much for a fair while.

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Old July 6, 2007, 10:02 AM   #14
V4Vendetta
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I noticed that it was difficult to handle both my rifle & light at the same time. I checked out cheaper than dirt's lights but they were a bit high for me at the moment.
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But I being poor, have only my dreams. Tread softly. Because you tread on my dreams.

Within each one of us there is a inch of hope, of will, of integrity. We must never lose or give away that inch. For within it we are free.
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Old July 6, 2007, 09:38 PM   #15
BIGR
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I have been lucky enough to see numerous bobcats in the wild over the years. Our beagles use to get on the trail of one everytime we got close to the rocky bluffs on the back side of our farm. First time I ever shot at one was with a .410 shotgun as it went behind a large locust tree...I missed. One time I was watching for one to cross the ridge top and looked in front of me and he was 25 feet away staring at me. I shouldered a 20 gauge pump, he leaped backwards, I shot and never found any blood. They can sneak up on you in a hurry and are lightening fast. In 1982 I shot one with a 20 gauge at a distance and had to fire a second shot to put it down for good. I had that cat mounted. Around 2000 or 2001 I shot a big bobcat while grouse hunting. Past 2 or 3 years I have let 2 or 3 walk by while deer hunting. It is a thrill to me to be the one sitting real quite watching the bobcat sneak by, thinking he is invincible, me knowing that I could take him anytime.
If you had anything bigger than a .22, I think I would use it to investigate the strange sounds in the night. Don't know where you live, but it could be big blacky the bear or dopehead John Doe. Just a few months ago a black bear tore into a house in the area where I live. A man later shot and killed it after it wouldn't leave the area. He was never charged by the game warden.
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