CALL IN A COOL CAT
For many hunters, a bobcat mount over the mantel is as prized as a whitetail buck, and late November—when bobcat seasons typically open—is a prime time to call one in. Bobcats are notoriously reclusive, but compared with coyotes, they’re easier to call. The problem is antsy predator hunters often change sets before giving a bobcat time to respond.
Get Out: Bobcats prefer remote, rugged country, so set up on the fringes of the thick stuff. Dark hollows, dense clear-cuts, and brushy canyons far away from civilization hold the most cats. If you can scout ahead of time for tracks and scat, you’re ahead of the game.
Take Cover: When I’m hunting coyotes, I like a good field of view in an open area to catch them circling downwind. But cats rarely circle or charge straight into a calling setup, so you can sit tighter to cover. Usually, a bobcat will slink through the brush all the way to the call, and show itself at the last second, when it appears to pounce. A bobcat may take an hour to commit to a calling setup, so be patient. Attention Grabbers: Use small-prey distress sounds— rabbits and birds—and keep the electronic caller going constantly at medium volume to fix a cat’s attention. A turkey feather tied to a string and staked out over the caller, or a motorized predator decoy, is very effective. Scale Down: Bobcats aren’t as tough as coyotes, and their hide is very soft. Frangible bullets from high-velocity varmint rifles can do more damage to the hide than a taxidermist can repair, so opt for a bullet with more controlled expansion. When hunting at close quarters, use a shotgun or downsize your rifle to a .22 Hornet or a .22 WMR.