The bobcat is a pest in several states as it feasts on chickens, deer, and other animals. Before you find out how to get rid of the bobcat pest or find out how to hunt bobcats, you need some basic bobcat background information. For detailed bobcat hunting tips go to my other post: Bobcat Hunting Tips
Bobcat Appearance and Names:
The bobcat has gone by many names throughout its existence. Some names are: bay lynx, lynx cat, red lynx, wildcat, and even its Latin name, lynx Rufus. Adult bobcats normally weigh about 20 pounds but large male bobcats can reach 40 pounds. Female bobcats tend to be slightly smaller than males. Some distinguishing features of the bobcat are its small bobbed tails with lopsided dark markings and tufts of hair on its ears. During the summer, the bobcat’s coat may be slightly red, but in the winter it tends to turn more grey or white.
Bobcats will usually take several different mates during their lifetime. The bobcat mating season starts around February and can go until April or farther, depending where you live. Bobcats become sexually mature when they reach 2 years of age. Females usually give birth to a litter of around 2 or 3 kittens during the months of April through July. This takes place in a den which the bobcat mother finds. Bobcats often re-use their dens over the course of several years.
What Do Bobcats Eat:
Bobcats eat prey similar to what coyotes would eat. Rabbits and hares tend to be the main diet of bobcats, but they also eat squirrels, birds, mice, and even fawns. Bobcats are capable of killing young, old, or sick deer and this is why they are sometimes targeted by deer hunters.
The majority of American bobcats live in the upper portions of Wisconsin and Michigan. Also, bobcats are very common in Canada. The territory range of a typical bobcat is between 15 and 25 square miles. They mark their territory with urine/pee, feces, and other gland markings.
Bobcats, like most felines, are most active during the twilight hours; though bobcats will tend to increase activity during winter. Bobcats usually will move around 2 miles per week.
Basic Bobcat Hunting Tips:
To hunt bobcats, you will most likely need just a hunting license and a gun. Bobcats can be harder to hunt that deer and sometimes just drawing a license can be a challenge in some states. The most typical way to hunt bobcats is by calling but there are also many other bobcat hunting techniques and tips that I discuss in my other bobcat hunting tips post.
What Gun For Bobcat Hunting:
A good gun for bobcat hunting is whatever gun you are comfortable. Some common calibers used are .223 Rem, .222 Rem, .220 Swift, and .243 Rem. Some people prefer to use a shotgun when bobcat hunting and any shotgun 20 gauge or bigger will work.
Basically, bobcat hunting is about knowing the prey and finding what works for you.
Bobcat Hunting Tips
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Bobcats populate almost all the contiguous states, but bobcat hunting can be hard unless done properly. It can also be one of the most exciting species to hunt, especially if you call bobcats in the dark. I’ll give you some tips for hunting bobcats, and hopefully you hunting this year will be successful after my bobcat hunting tips.
Hunt in a tree stand:
This is usually overlooked in bobcat hunting, but like deer hunting it provides several benefits. One is that you can see farther in a stand. This allows you to see the bobcat before it is too late and you spook him. This technique is even better when you use predator calling. The dying or injured rabbit call is arguably the most successful predator call. When properly used, any bobcats in hearing range should start sneaking up on you. Then the fun starts as predator faces predator. This is when the tree stand comes in handy. When the cover is thick you wouldn't be able to see the bobcat unless you’re in a tree stand.
Walk the Canyon:
If you have a canyon or large ravine where you hunt this tip is for you. Walk along the side of the canyon and watch the opposite side for movement. If you see something move, sit down and look at it through your binoculars or spotting scope. If it’s a bobcat you shoot or if needed use a predator call or stalk into closer range. Otherwise, you can keep walking along the canyon. This can be repeated on the other side of the canyon also.
Find the Den:
This is one of the best ways to hunt bobcats. Especially if you are trying to keep the population down. It's also good technique to use with bow hunting since it allows close access to the bobcat. First you need to find a bobcat den. Which can usually be done by scouting for bobcat activity. They usually create dens in caves, rock over hangings, or brush piles. Once you find a den that is currently being used, the hard work is over. All you need to do is set up outside of the den and either sit there quietly or provoke the bobcat out with a call. When the bobcat walks out, you can shoot it.
The Electronic Call:
This is one of the new techniques that in recent years have been growing in popularity. You can find a good electronic predator call (If it has a wireless controller, it will make life a little easier.) at Dick’s, Gander Mountain, Cabela’s, or any other hunting store. Once you have one, you set it up about 50-100 yards away in or behind a bush. You then find a spot to sit (this can be in a tree stand or outside a den). Every now and then you press the call and wait for a bobcat to show itself and you shoot. This technique usually requires a large bobcat population to be successful quickly, unless proper scouting is done.
Walk and Call:
This is one of the more common ways to hunt bobcats. You get yourself a predator call at one of the previously mentioned stores. Then you head out to bobcat area and set up in a spot where you can see clearly but it is hard to be seen. Then blow through the call every 10 minutes. If no bobcat shows itself in about 30 minutes of calling move about a quarter mile away and do the same thing. This is a good technique if the bobcat population is sparse as it gives you the ability to cover a large amount of land.
All of these techniques can be duplicated in the dark, except the canyon one. For the dark you should bring a strong headlamp and when you see the bobcat shine the light in its eyes. This should freeze the bobcat for long enough to get a shot off. (Check your state’s regulations to see if hunting at night and using a headlamp is legal.)
Bobcat hunting can be very rewarding and there is nothing dull about it especially when done at night. Hopefully this year can be a success with these tips. Happy Hunting!
For coyote hunting tips check out: Coyote Hunting Tips
For coyote calling tips check out: How to Call Coyotes
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
The first step to calling coyotes is making sure there are coyotes in the close proximity. This can be done by scouting the land and looking for tracks or by asking landowners where they usually see coyotes.
The second step is setting up. You want to set up facing the wind. You also want the coyotes coming from in front of you. You will need to be in a spot that blurs your outline and provides clear shooting lanes.
Third you need to be camoflauged to fit the environment. If there is snow everywhere you should be wearing a green leafy camoflauge suit, you should be wearing something white.
Last but not least is the calling itself. The sound trying to be mimicked is the sound of a rabbit in distress. Almost all commercial calls will make this call fine. Electronic calls provide some advantage, as they can be set up away from where you are, so the coyotes don't see you. (Electronic calls are illegal in some states so check your hunting laws.) You want to call for about 10-15 seconds then wait 2-5 minutes before calling again. You should stay put for about 30 minutes until moving to your next stand.
Coyote hunting can be fun and exciting. It also gets rid of many pests that farmers hate. Calling is key to coyote hunting, but the set up for coyote hunting is more important. You can be the best coyote caller in the world, but if you aren't set up right you won't kill a single coyote.
For more coyote tips check out: Coyote Hunting Tips
For bobcat hunting tips check out: Bobcat Hunting Tips
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
6 hunting tips to get a tom
1. Stand and Shoot – Sitting down isn’t the only way to get a shot at a turkey sometimes you need to stand and shoot. One instance this is greatly helpful for is when you spook a turkey from about 20 yards out stand quickly and take a shot before they can fly away.
2. Dig a Ditch – You don’t have to be hunting waterfowl to use a pit blind. Using one for turkey you can be just as successful. When there is no cover close by for your set up, you have to dig a ditch to get the best chance at a tom.
3. Stalk ‘um on your belly – Don’t get used to just sitting with your back against a tree. Lots of times when you do this, turkeys will never get close enough for you to shoot. In these circumstances, ease on your belly and slowly crawl up to the inside shooting range.
4. Call with Wings – Calling a turkey with a scratch box or wood box isn’t the only way to call a turkey. If your calls aren’t working for you, try flapping a wing against your pants or if you don’t have a wing you can use a hat.
5. Break up the roost – If you know of a roost where a tom is roosting with some hens go there before daylight. When you get there and yell and scream this will scatter the roost. Then go back to your set up and wait a little bit. Then start calling the turkeys. After being scattered, turkeys will be more susceptible to calls because they are looking for their clan.
6. Hunt like your Deer Hunting – Sometimes you can’t call in a tom with a call. In these circumstances its best to know their habits. If you know their feeding pattern and roosting areas you will be easily able to set up a ambush site that will be successful year after year.
For help finding a turkey hunting gun check out: The $30 Turkey Hunting Gun
Many people go out and “hunt” for deer antlers that have been shed. They consider this the best way to determine if a big buck is on you property. They usually go out and wander in the woods, but I have a better way that I learned in a Field and Stream magazine.
How to Make a Shed Antler Trap:
•Find a small tree to the side of a deer trail that is used often.
•Drive two posts about 3-4 feet away from the tree.
•Wrap wire fencing around the tree and connect an end at each post.
•Place acorns, soybeans, salt, corn, or any other food source at the base
of the tree.
•To keep bucks from getting entangled with the wire, make sure the openings in the
wire are at least 30 inches across and the fencing is a little loose.
Big Bucks will be more than ready to take this “free” meal after the long rut. The way it is supposed to work is after the rut the pedicles or base of the antlers loosen. When the go in for the food the buck’s antlers will hit the fencing and fall off. Field and Stream claims no bucks have ever been caught by this.
Also, check out this monster buck Field and Stream had on their website. Its antlers are so wide, I’ve never seen antlers like that. It was photographed in Rawlins, Wyoming.
For more quick hunting tips check out: How to Track Deer in the Snow
For more tips check out: How to Kill Big Bucks
Friday, December 14, 2007
Expensive:If you are planning on getting one of these be ready to shell out upwards of $1000 and up to $5000. These guns will break you budget, but some deem it worth the money.
These guns KICK HARD!!! If you can’t handle a 12 gauge shotgun or even if a 12 gauge hurts a little don’t buy the .50 BMG. Be prepared to get some serious scope eye when first beginning with these.
These guns can be used accurately up to 1000 yards which is where competition matches are usually shot at. So unless you live out west you probably won’t be able to buy one of these and be able to shoot it.
Knock Down Power:
The .50 BMG has 3280 ft. lb. of energy at 1400 yards. Compare that to a .30/06 which only has 2619 ft. lb. at MUZZLE. So be prepared for a large hole in whatever you shoot at.
You will need a very good scope if you want to take advantage of this gun’s long range. This scope will put you back at least another $500.
You will need to have at least one other person with you when you hunt with this gun. This is because when you shoot from 1000 yards the wind has a major impact on the shot. You will need one person to make these calculations while you get set up.
All in all, the .50 BMG is definitely not as popular as a 20 gauge or .22, but it is growing in popularity at a faster rate than most guns. If you want to shoot one of these make sure you have the money, the room, and skill. So have fun and safe hunting.
For more gun tips check out:
Gun Recoil Reduction
The Best Turkey Gun
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
The Barrel has a Bulge or is Bulimic:
A barrel with some light pitting inside shouldn’t be of too much concern. It should shoot fine and if it gets worse the gunsmith should be able to fix it easily. What you should be concerned for is larger holes that would hold a no. 8 or 9 pellet. If you see these walk away. Also, if there is any bulges in the barrel walk away because this could cause a misfiring or even a shattered barrel.
This especially applies to double barrel guns. If a double barrel gun has heavy or dragging trigger(s), be prepared to shell out some money for this to get fixed, it will be expensive. A single barrel trigger shouldn’t be too expensive to fix.
Also know as Damascus barrels, these are recognized from the twisting pattern of the steel. Watch out for these, they are more prone to be less safe with lower pressure smokeless powder. Don’t but these unless you are the man (and by that I mean - you know everything and you’re an expert on guns, which in this case you don’t need to read this post).
Make sure the stock is comfortable. Some older guns have an extreme drop at the heel; this may cause you to be uncomfortable. It is expensive and hard to bend these into a comfortable position. Stay away from guns that need restocking because it is usually more expensive than what you would get if you went right back around and sold it.
Check the Chamber Dimension:
Some older guns have 2 ½ or 2 9/16 inch chambers. It is difficult if not impossible to find ammo for these guns or to change them into modern sizes. These would be a definite “walk away.”
A used gun can provide lots of enjoyment to a shooter and a collector. Make sure that you follow these rules if you are going to buy one. Many guns are sold for cheap when they are used and many of these guns are safe, but those few ruin it for everyone. So always check it before you buy it.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Scrub the Barrel:
Cleaning you gun after shooting isn’t just running an oily patch through it. You need to get a phosphor-bronze brush and scrub the entire bore thoroughly. Next, you need to run some patches with powder solvent through the barrel. Repeat those steps until the gun is clean (you can tell the difference). Then run an oily patch through the bore for storage.
Rust can ruin a gun if it gets out of hand. To prevent this, scrub the rust with some 0000 steel wool and a little oil. If it is the trigger that is rusted; I would advise you to go to a gunsmith.
Replace Burred Screws:
Burred Screws can make adjustments to the gun more difficult than they need to be. Most burred screws can be removed before they are too burred to remove (If you can’t remove them, you will have to go to a gunsmith.). To get replacement screws, go to a gunsmith or you can most likely order them online at from the manufacturer.
Reblue Unblue Areas:
You might consider those unblue spots to be the times you and your gun have been together, but those spots are the most likely to become rusted. To fix it, get some gun blue from either a hunting retailer or online.
Clean Your Scope:
You might have paid just as much for your scope as you did for you gun. So why would you not pay the same attention to it. Make sure that you clean the lenses regularly with camera lens or glasses cleaner. Clean the body with a dry cloth.
Gun maintenance is often forgotten about, but it is just as important as any other part of your hunting regime. So remember to clean and your gun should last you for a while.
Tips on How to Buy a Used Gun
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
-The edge of a track that is fresh will give to the slightest touch of your hand.
-Both does and bucks have dewclaws, but does will usually only leave the marks when running or in snow deeper than 3 inches.
-The hoof size is distorted in the snow, because when a deer lifts up its foot it drags a little, creating a larger track.
-The walking stride of a buck is usually between 18 to 22 inches. A doe will have strides generally less than 19 inches.
-8 or more inches between the right and left legs indicates a large buck.
-The midline between the toes of a deer will become frozen and be solid to the touch after 45 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the temperature.
-Your skin transmits heat at approximately the same rate as a deer's hoof.
-Most deer have longer outside toes.
For more quick deer hunting tips check out:
Friday, November 30, 2007
I'm continuing my previous post on post-rut/late season deer hunting tips with another article on the same subject. I'm just going to list a few more hunting strategies for late season deer hunting.
Hunting with a decoy is a promising strategy at almost any time of the year. The only requirements are that you choose and use the decoys properly. For late season deer hunting, using a feeding doe with a subdominant buck tends to work the best. A larger buck will usually get mad when he sees what looks like a smaller buck stealing his hot doe. He will come after the subdominant buck and that's when you need to be set up with a clear shot at him.
Bump and Hide:
This can be done with one or two people. If you have two set up one person downwind of a buck's bedding area. The other person starts on the upwind side of bedding area and tries to push the deer up and locate where it was resting. The other person is sitting there to see if he can get lucky and have the buck walk past him when you bump the buck, but the first person is not necessary. You then leave for the day and come back the next day as early as possible and set up a stand over the site where you bumped him. The buck will usually return in one to three days.
This is usually not considered an idea anyone would consider during hunting season, but it can be successful in helping you later this year and early in the next season. What you need to do is try to locate the new routes bucks are using after the rut. These usually are the same ones they used early in the season, but they can still change in the short amount of time. Once you locate these you can hunt with many of the strategies already listed in this and my previous post.
Spot and Stalk:
This is an excellent choice if there is snow on the ground or you are a proficient tracker. First you locate fresh deer tracks in the snow and decide if they are fresh or not (I plan to write my next post on this topic.). Then you follow the tracks as quietly as possible to not disturb other deer or to give the one being tracked any reason for him to believe he is being followed. You may have to follow the deer the entire day to get on shot at him, but it is usually less boring then sitting in a tree all day. You can also walk steadily through the woods looking for deer and glassing constantly in hopes of finding one without you spooking it. You then stalk it until in range and let loose the bullets.
All the techniques mentioned can be very useful if you used properly and at the correct time. My personal favorite is probably the "Spot and Stalk" because it tends to make deer hunting a little more interesting. It also seems more traditional, especially if done with a bow.