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 Post subject: Bobcat Scouting
PostPosted: 15 Nov 2011, 11:21 
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Location: Windber, PA
My son and I have each have a tag for a bobcat here in PA and the season starts in December. There was a place I wanted to check out and was wondering if the members on WAT think this looks like a good place for cats.

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 Post subject: Re: Bobcat Scouting
PostPosted: 15 Nov 2011, 11:42 
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Look for sign, i.e. scat, tracks :D Set on sign. Good Luck


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 Post subject: Re: Bobcat Scouting
PostPosted: 15 Nov 2011, 11:45 
It will be interesting to see what folks on here say. I have a place near by that looks just like that, except there is more brush and the timber is thicker. :P


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 Post subject: Re: Bobcat Scouting
PostPosted: 15 Nov 2011, 15:53 
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Location: North Western WI
i like that area we dont get cool stuff like that here. LOL looks like a good coon spot too

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 Post subject: Re: Bobcat Scouting
PostPosted: 15 Nov 2011, 17:20 
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Location: west virginia
cats love rock ledges.

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 Post subject: Re: Bobcat Scouting
PostPosted: 15 Nov 2011, 17:46 
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Location: North Central Wisconsin
I dont have country like that either, but In my opinion from Cat pics Ive looked at the last few years you found yourself a good locale, hard ground lots of leaves arent goint to reveal lots of sign, but I wouldnt pass this up


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 Post subject: Re: Bobcat Scouting
PostPosted: 15 Nov 2011, 18:20 
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CC-Sorry, but I see quiet a few places to look for sign in the pictures posted. Although, I agree, it does look like a good spot. But, I have always felt that if you don't see sign...your traps are gonna stay pretty empty. By all means put out a few traps to see if you may connect.

It is kinda like beaver trappin'...I may have a large creek/river with great channels and lots of trees(Heck its everything a beav would want/need) but if I don't see any tracks, castor mounds or gnawed limbs or dams. I can pretty well bet ya that I don't need to set a trap in that area.

So this brings me back to trapperrick- Have you seen any cat sign?

Look real close and take your time searching for sign :D

Good Luck


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 Post subject: Re: Bobcat Scouting
PostPosted: 16 Nov 2011, 21:31 
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Jase- I have NEVER heard of a "Wood Rat" in my life!
I am not saying they don't exist...I am saying that they are not the major food source for bobcats from my area. Wood Rats are not in my area of trapping, thus bobcats do not rely on them for food :D

What we have found is the food source varies, depending upon the available critters. If you are trapping near a large lake...cats prefer beaver. If I take the same beaver meat and move it inland just 12 miles to a large wooded area and use it for bait...cats will not touch it!...or I can move woodland meat to the lake area cats will not go near itL.ikewise- Woodland cats tend to prefer land animals like deer, turkey, squirrel, rabbit, etc...

Jase- I think that your post may mis-lead other trappers to think that "wood rats" are the main source of food for bobcats.

It may be true in your area...but I feel it is not for everyone else.


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 Post subject: Re: Bobcat Scouting
PostPosted: 16 Nov 2011, 22:08 
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Well, Im no expert on anything, but we finnaly got some rain in the last week or so, And I am not setting anything that dosent have tracks around it! Jase may be right, but I thought that I read somewhere that bobcats only have like a 2-3 mile radius? And may visit the same spot once every 2-3 -4 days? Im sure someone will comment/correct me.

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 Post subject: Re: Bobcat Scouting
PostPosted: 17 Nov 2011, 17:23 
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:--o :--o :lol: :lol: :roll: :roll: :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: Bobcat Scouting
PostPosted: 17 Nov 2011, 18:41 
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Location: Limestone, TN
Our riverbottom cats love them beaver, but in the mountains it seems squirrel and grouse. Grouse habitat and cats go hand in hand here.

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 Post subject: Re: Bobcat Scouting
PostPosted: 17 Nov 2011, 20:29 
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jase wrote:
hillbilly wrote:
Jase- I have NEVER heard of a "Wood Rat" in my life!Yet you are so sure to say they aren't a food source for everyone else? Last line of your post says "they are not for everyone else". It is the case that all of the U.S. doesn't have wood rats. I'm saying those that do, they are the major food source for cats. No misleading there. If you do not know what a wood rat is, how would you know if you have them or not or if they are a food source. Just because you don't know about them makes them not there? I can't tell you if you have them in your area or not, since you haven't seen fit to follow the rules and post your area of residence.
I am not saying they don't exist...I am saying that they are not the major food source for bobcats from my area. Wood Rats are not in my area of trapping, thus bobcats do not rely on them for food :D This may be, I don't know where you are from so I can't argue that.

What we have found is the food source varies, depending upon the available critters. If you are trapping near a large lake...cats prefer beaver. If I take the same beaver meat and move it inland just 12 miles to a large wooded area and use it for bait...cats will not touch it!...or I can move woodland meat to the lake area cats will not go near itL.ikewise- Woodland cats tend to prefer land animals like deer, turkey, squirrel, rabbit, etc...Although what you are saying cannot be disproved, have you ever thought about how many beavers at a lake will actually fall to bobcats as prey? Or about the large chance of being injured even to the point of death as beavers are not defenseless? Rodents however are much more plentiful, and not much chance of injury to the cat for attacking them. Another possible scenario is that maybe the woodland cats weren't doing what you thought they were doing, and being off location will result in the same ending and may look as if they didn't like your beaver for bait. With every set, we must be on location, and as I know, I don't think anyone can be on all the time. Another issue can be timing. The set may have been right, the beaver may have been right, but if the cats didn't come through to find it, they can't be caught or judged.

Jase- I think that your post may mis-lead other trappers to think that "wood rats" are the main source of food for bobcats.Again, maybe you should learn about the wood rats first before getting so "concerned" about someone miss leading people. They are a major food source where ever they are in any numbers.

It may be true in your area...but I feel it is not for everyone else.
You may speak for those who don't have them in their area if you dare, but to the rest of the 5/8 or so of the U.S. that do have them, I think you may want to reconsider speaking for them. Have you made it a practice to cut into the stomach of any bobcats you catch? I do, and I either find wood rats them selves, or the bark, twigs, and wood stuffs that they eat around here. The cat can't digest that stuff, so eventually it will choke it up in the form of a pellet, while the wood rats digestible parts are going on through the cat. Any one else on here ever find small wood pieces and twigs in the stomach of a cat? Speak up if you have.


ERICK- Yeah, I didn't mean they only range 1/2 a mile. They have been known to range 5 miles and more. How far they range depends on the amount of prey and distance between prey. Here, I have seen them stay all winter in a 1/2 X 3/4 mile plot, and I have also seen them on more stringy cover go for several miles constantly to cover enough ground.


Jase-Again....what works for you may not work for others is all I was trying to say. Good Luck on your lines!


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 Post subject: Re: Bobcat Scouting
PostPosted: 19 Nov 2011, 21:31 
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THE IDAHO TRAPPIN' MACHINE
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alot of what jase said you can take to the bank.....look for thick brush, cotton tails, birds, and rats....makes for the best habitat....wait till after the first snow and give it a day or two....then go and walk the heck out of these rocks and any brush pile within sight....if there are cats in the area they will let you know if they are there....if it was me i would be setting 4-6 sets in this area......look for pinch points, rats nest, thickets that come in contact with this rock pile, any large down falls that cross creeks leading to this area shouldnt be over looked.....look under any pine or cedar trees in the area for scat....any place that has a good overhang that stays dry will be a good spot to look for both scat and tracks....good luck
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 Post subject: Re: Bobcat Scouting
PostPosted: 19 Nov 2011, 22:34 
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except big toms looking for a second chance to breed a female will kill and eat every kitten in the litter.....here kitty kitty....
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 Post subject: Re: Bobcat Scouting
PostPosted: 19 Nov 2011, 22:44 
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six cats in the bag.....waiting on photo bucket right now.....trying to get a new pass word....
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 Post subject: Re: Bobcat Scouting
PostPosted: 20 Nov 2011, 06:47 
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Thank you very much for the input guys! Here is the story about the area that the pics came from. There are a couple of areas like this in different areas of the state forest close to where I live. But, big rock formations like these are not real common. This particular place is very close to a thick, brushy swamp and figured this would be an excellent place to pick up a cat. There are other areas on the mountain that may prove to be a little more productive like Jase had mentioned. Such as some of the recent clearcuts in the area. The state has been clear cutting 10 acre blocks of forest for the past 7 or 8 years. These areas have grown into super a thick sapling and blackberry bush jungles. I planned on setting traps in those areas anyway but just ran into the rocks with all of its small caves and openings and thought it would also be a great place for cats. I put a couple of coon carcasses here to see if I could draw anything in.

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 Post subject: Re: Bobcat Scouting
PostPosted: 20 Nov 2011, 17:52 
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jase wrote:
trapperrick wrote:
Thank you very much for the input guys! Here is the story about the area that the pics came from. There are a couple of areas like this in different areas of the state forest close to where I live. But, big rock formations like these are not real common.That is fantastic! A unique setting is a very powerful draw. This particular place is very close to a thick, brushy swamp and figured this would be an excellent place to pick up a cat.That just made the cat occurance chances there at the rocks and in the area, go up a bunch! There are other areas on the mountain that may prove to be a little more productive like Jase had mentioned. Such as some of the recent clearcuts in the area. The state has been clear cutting 10 acre blocks of forest for the past 7 or 8 years. These areas have grown into super a thick sapling and blackberry bush jungles. I highly expect the State is doing the clear cuts to help wood rat food and habitat.Here, they colonize the clear cut areas big time. Your Allegheny wood rats are hurting and are on the verge of extirpation there, so they are trying to do their part to save them. Now do your part and catch them rat killers! lol! Day in and day out, old grown up clear cuts or timber laden grown up old fields, are my #1 pick to cat trap around. The cat's will vary their hunting pattern through the old clear cuts so setting up in them is a crap shoot. It can be done, it just takes a heap of traps and snares. The best place to get the cat's there is a travel way they are using to come to or leave them. When a cat hunts an old grown up spot, they will weave and way in a seemingly drunken and unpredictable pattern. Don't waste your time setting right in them as their travel will be inconsistent within them. Instead, trap just outside them, on the travel corridors or funnels the cats are using to get to and from them, as this will be much more consistent travel. Often, these travel ways are not the big thick areas they like to hunt, but can be strings of heavy saplings running through the timber, or a string of buck brush, but often it can be some other distinguishing feature that may be in more open timber. Ditches, a slightly raised "area" that runs in a string through the timber, the high side of creek banks, or creeks themselves, especially if frozen, etc. Look for those features and you will have your cat.The travel ways are simply what the cats travel when going on to the next thick hunting area or clear cut or whatever. Something that they travel that connects hunting area to hunting areas. I once chased a pair of cats for 6 weeks in an old grown up field. Seemed I could never out guess them and they always came through the thick block, in varying spots never traveling the same way twice like I was expecting. Finally, with the help of cat trapping great, Mel Hershberger, he advised the same as I have described above. So I set out to see where they were traveling to and from the area. It was a subtle raise in the timber that was rather open, but was in mature timber, and had a little thin strip of saplings and brush slinking around the top and going along it. When I saw it, I knew it was it. I had been all over that thing and walked on it, passed it,had been along it, and it never hit me until I was looking for the travel way that it was the key. I made 2 sets just out side the hunting area about 30 yards as that was the skinniest part. It then came to a drainage with steep banks, and right at the end of the little raised run I was following, lay a log a crossed it. I went a little past on the other side, and made a single set there. Two days later, both cats were in the sets. After 6 weeks of chasing them knocking my head against the wall, then 2 days is all it took when I set right! Lessons I will never forget. I planned on setting traps in those areas anyway but just ran into the rocks with all of its small caves and openings and thought it would also be a great place for cats. I put a couple of coon carcasses here to see if I could draw anything in.


The carcasses may draw some attention, cats are pretty curious. I definitely fully believe the cats are either using the rocks, or are very near by with all that hunting area available. It don't get much better for cats in timber, than old grown over clear cuts and rocks with a grown over swamp near by. Use my mistakes to your advantage Rick. :wink: Remember, we, meaning you and I, have very different situations than what the western cat trappers deal with. Here, our cover is virtually endless, so we are looking for the "travel way" within the cover, which is usually not the heaviest of cover, but are the best choice for a cat to get from A to B. I hope you guys smoke a couple. You are due.

Thank you very much Jase! :--D December 17th is the first day and you can bet I'll be looking into everything you described. I'm kind of hoping this will be the year for my first cat as well as one for my son. If this works out, it will change the way this season has been going for me so far, it's been tough! :roll:

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