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Old June 16, 2007, 01:03 AM   #1
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Ohio bobcat.

Last February my father and I were coyote hunting in a very big, reclaimed coal operation in SE Ohio. So we set up about 100yds from each other in this field about 200yds from a smallish area of woods.

It's hard to explain this area. It used to be a very big active coal mining area, but they reclaimed it, i.e. planted pine trees everywhere, with small patches of forest that didn't get blown up during mining. Now it's mostly big fields, with huge ponds, and clusters of small wooded areas, all bordered by huge forests.

Anyway, the coyotes are dense in this area. I can only imagine there must be a huge field mouse population hence the huge coyote population.

But we set up and I turned on my new caller, that I just made, and set it about 50yds in front of me.

So about 5 minutes later I catch something go behind one of the little pines that are strewn all over these fields. I knew what I saw was the rear end of a small animal, but I wasn't sure what kind of small animal.

About 15 minutes go by and I catch some movement out of the corner of my left eye. It's a bobcat! 20yds and broadside, sneaking. I turn my head to get a closer look and it spots me. It looks at me for a split second then takes off! Man those things can move! It ran right in front of my dad about 10yds away from him. It looked pretty small up close, but when that thing took off on a full bore run, I'd bet it stretched out to 5 feet long. When dad got up to me he said "What was that?". I said, with a big grin on my face, "A bobcat.".

This was only the second bobcat I've seen in my life. The other was about 10 years ago, about 15 miles from the spot I just mentioned. And this was the first time my dad has ever saw a bobcat and he has been hunting in Ohio for about 40 years!

Anyway, what is bobcat hunting like in other states? Are they prevelant? Is it a rare occurance to see one?

I sure hope the bobcat will thrive in Ohio before I die so they will open a season for them. My dad is a taxidermist and I sure would love to have one of these beautiful animals on my wall.

Of course, if it took me 10 years to see 2 bobcats, maybe them thriving in my lifetime isn't going to be possible. Maybe my son will be able to hunt them.
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Old June 16, 2007, 03:22 AM   #2
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They are probably doing just as well as the coyotes.
Cats in general use stealth much more than any other wild animal.
Most hunters never see them because the cats are better at stalking and staying still than the hunter.

You want to see another?
Place a dummy rodent in the field on a battery powered oscilator. Next to it place a predator call on a low volume. If you are 20 yards away and can easily hear it, its too loud.
Walk backwards away from the decoy as it wobbles and spins. Otherwise, once you get to your perch, it may be gone when you turn around.
A hungry coyote may be bold enough to take it that fast but more often is the cat thats been stalking you while you placed the dummy.
Just sit and watch. Don't move at all,... for any reason. Keep a sharp eye at bushes trees and tall grasses.
If they were stalking your placement of the dummy rodent, all you will see is the blurr and the dummy disappearing.
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Old June 16, 2007, 06:01 AM   #3
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I live in Northern Kentucky and just saw my first bobcat/wildcat about a month ago. We live in a subdivision but are still in a fairly rural area with lots of woods and waterways. Anyway, my wife and I were sitting on our deck towards dusk one evening and she looks up and said "Holy ****e, look at the size of that cat." I look up and saw it slide into woodline where it stopped and looked over its shoulder at us and disappeared into the woods. I looked at my wife and said "Holy ****e, I think thats a wildcat." With that, I bounded off the deck towards to woods to try to get another view but the cat had melted into the approaching night.

I would have never guessed I'd actually see a wildcat around here. The thing was much bigger than I tought they would be too.
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Old June 16, 2007, 08:21 AM   #4
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As a kid my experience with bobcats were fleeting glimpses of them along the highway at night mostly. I seem to see a bobcat just about every year deer hunting these days. They are really smart! Really cool to see in the wild.

Bobcat stories: A couple of years back, I was in a tree stand deer hunting about 18 feet off the ground. It was a simple but permanent stand in a very large oak tree along a wide wooded fence row with a abandoned railroad bed behind. I got there before daylight and layed my stuff on the ground and tied a rope to it to lift up to the stand. Anway, later on in the morning a see a large bobcat approaching my stand. It didn't see or smell me until it got immediately below me where I layed my junk to hoist up to the stand. It freezes, then immediately looks directly up into my eyes. Frozen we stare at each other until it decides to move off slowly. Beautiful animal.

I saw them frequently in the woods of SE Kentucky in the mountains. Very remote areas and I spent a lot of time in the woods; sometimes every day for weeks on end in all seasons. Anyway, I was driving one of the dirt roads up to where I was going to park and walk and I see a small cat.... I think, what's a house cat doing way up here? I stop, get out.... there was a bobcat kitten hunkered down along the edge of the woods. I thought... wonder if they would make a cool pet? So I get a feed bag and think I'll toss it over the kitten, catch it, and decide later about whether or not to keep it. That little kitty let out the most frightening growl/snarl and took off very fast. Boy are they wild critters even so small. This one was probably about 10" long. I'm glad I didn't catch it. I believe there is a law forbidding keeping wild animals as pets.

I take binoculars with me and if I see an interesting animal. I stop and watch them until they disappear from sight. Bobcats are right up there in my interest area.
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Old June 16, 2007, 09:06 AM   #5
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Bobcats are quite common here (Tucson). We see them 'meandering' through the yard quite freqently. Had a female with two small kittens walking along the wall between our house and the neighbors last year. The kittens hid in a pyracantha bush and the female 'sunned' herself on the wall.

Had another female with a juvenile playing with a pack rat they had caught. They were under a Mexican Fan Palm and batted the still alive rat between them for about 10 minutes. When the juvenile got tired of the game and walked away the female finished off the rat and had lunch.
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Old June 16, 2007, 12:56 PM   #6
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Bobcats are relatively common wherever you have populations of rodents and good cover. They are much more sneaky than coyotes, and do not rush in on prey. Since they prefer cover, they are seen less frequently than coyotes. I shot several of them back when I hunted for pelts, and each one of them was shot peeking from cover to see what the rodent squeaker was all about. Coyotes are good at coursing prey and just kind of rush in, but bobcats want to get their claws on the prey quickly.
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Old June 17, 2007, 12:33 AM   #7
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Was that...

Ohio Power or the Coal Fields west of Zanesville?

Use to be extremely familiar with those areas.
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Old June 17, 2007, 01:58 PM   #8
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Ohio Power. About thirty miles SE of Zanesville. Where the Big Muskie operated.

They still mine there, but very little. I love camping out there in recreation land. I also love taking the bus rides in The Wilds nature preserves. Those hippos are huge! It's a great area. I just hope AEP quits giving so much land to The Wilds. Great fishing out there also. Thousands of ponds.

When I was younger, we used to sneak into the Big Muskie and explore. Man that thing was huge. I've been to the very top of the boom. Scary to say the least. Too bad they scrapped it. I had many fond memories of that machine. Had my first "sensual experience" out there. LOL
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Old June 18, 2007, 03:34 PM   #9
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with all the homes going up in North Texas the animals are getting displaced and starting to come into town. My neighbor down the street from me went out to get her morning paper one Sunday and found a bobcat reading the sports page checking on the Rangers baseball team.
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Old June 19, 2007, 12:08 AM   #10
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use to open squirrel season back in the 70's, camping and fishing at..

Horse Run (Camp R).
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Old June 19, 2007, 10:54 AM   #11
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I like campsite K myself. Not too many people way out there on the back roads of SR83.

Sand Hollow (C) is nice also. But too many folks.

BTW, Horse Run is now campsite A. It's the only site where horses can stay. It's connected by a gravel road to C now. Was it back then?

Last edited by mrawesome22; June 19, 2007 at 10:58 AM. Reason: Spelling
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Old June 19, 2007, 08:23 PM   #12
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Bobcats are fast and can appear out of no where. I have been lucky enough to kill two in the wild (shot at a few more) and could have dropped two others deer hunting but I didn't want to run bambi off. Alot of people hunt a lifetime and never get to see one.
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Old June 19, 2007, 09:30 PM   #13
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If you shoot a bobcat here in OH, and the "authorities" find out about it, your're in big trouble.

No available license to shoot them. They are protected.

The ODNR will probably not allow a season on them until we are totally inundated by them. LOL

Oh well. I hope it will be legal to hunt them in Ohio soon. Maybe a electronic mail to the ODNR is in order. LOL
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Old June 22, 2007, 01:41 AM   #14
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If I recall...

coming south on 83 from Cumberland.
There was a east of road campsite that had a small lake, then a second just past a haulroad overpass.
Camp R horse run was at the bottom of a valley and went SE, the last time was there a new campwas opened opposite R.
You use to be able to walk the back roads north of R and I think those eventually join with another camp??
If you bushedwack SE from the old spoilbank of R to the South you could walk into the camp B(?). Which was south on 83, after another highway intersected it.
There was a sharp ridge above it entrance that has plenty of hickories on it and faced east, made for perfect squirreling getting them silhouetted.
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