You’re set and in place and are waiting for his face to pop up. You must remain calm by wearing hunting boots - this is an intelligent warfare. You set up your trap, and your heart is pumping fast as you keep your fingers crossed. But how do you target the ghost of the forest - the mighty bobcat?
After years spent in the field (which is the most crucial element of hunting), I came up with 9 most effective bobcat trapping tips that will definitely help you plan your strategy.
Follow these bobcat trapping tricks and bring that elusive white-faced cat into your trap!
Bobcat Trapping Tips and Techniques
Tip#1 Know Your Enemy
Most bobcats have a large territory, and probably you’ll have to wait (like hours) for some to show up near your trap. That’s why you need to plan it first, and the best way to do that is scouting.
Get a proper recon by driving through your selected area, but don’t fall just for any place. Do not mark it until you see a track or a sign that actually might suggest that there’s a chance a bobcat just passed through that area. Luckily, they move in an elliptical pattern, so there’s a chance that if they go through one place, they’ll probably end up there again.
Tip #2 Hunting
We’ll begin with some general bobcat hunting tips. The basic thing is to locate the cat, and you’ll do that by finding a snow trail. If you’re not patient to drive around and look for the trails, you can use this technique. Find the thickest cover of the snow in the area with good rabbit population. Then find road or snowmobile trail that runs through it. Go back there in the morning before the plow truck gets there first and cover the tracks. If you see the trail where the bobcat crossed the road, stay on it.
Next, you want to set up your location for cat calling. Ideally, you should choose a location about 200 yards from the road. However, you might need to change locations often - if on the first you don’t get any response, you’ll move another 200 yards from the location.
The best hunting tactic is to stay on the trail when you find one. Choose a tight cover to place your e-caller and decoy (read Tip#3 for more info on that).
Tip #3 Calling
You can choose between a variety of sounds and decoys, but I choose to give you some of the top Bobcat calling tips I tried.
Don’t use coyote sounds - chances are you’ll scare off most of the cats than attract them. Go with the most popular one like the cottontail. Or you can try a less popular one like baby turkey. Both are going to work just fine.
Also, you can go with mouth-blow calls, but it’s not recommended for longer calls. Instead, try with a good load e-caller, so you can also divert the cats’ attraction from your position and make them focus on the sound.
Usually, the calling needs to last for 20-30 minutes in one location. Ideally, you will take some breaks in between the calling sessions just to keep cats attention. If you constantly use one sound or one volume, the cat will soon shift its attention to something more interesting. Try to play it as natural as possible.
Tip #4 Trapping Techniques
Although you can find a great number of bobcat trapping techniques, I will share some of the best with you. To start, you should know the behavior and travel patterns of a bobcat. When you find their favorite location (like lane along the creek), you should definitely place the trap there.
The best technique is to use cats’ senses against them. They act like as oversized house cats, so if you’re familiar with the fact that cats usually hunt with their eyes, ears, and nose first, you won’t have problems in setting up a perfect trap.
Make very visible setups and try to use different lures or smells at each set. The Bobcats’ attention is not their strength, so you need to keep them interested and curious about creating the variety of looks, smells and sounds with your traps.
Tip #5 Trapping Bait
The best bobcat trapping bait is a combination of several different ingredients designed to attract and keep bobcats attention for several minutes. If you use a simple, one-dimensional bait, your cat is probably going to lose interest in short time.
Try mixing some trapping scent (maybe herbal oils or glands/urine scent), some fur or feathers and some grinded meat. That way, your cat will get interested and will spend some time inspecting the bait.
Tip #6 Cage Trap
One of the best bobcat cage trapping tips is how to use baits and lures to lead the cat into the cage. There maybe some other tips on how to trap bobcats in a cage trap, but my advice is to keep it simple.
Most of the cats don’t actually know how to enter the cage and get the decoy you placed in the back. So, you probably need to figure out how to help them enter the cage faster and not circling around the cage.
You need to tell them where you want them to go - the best way is to use trailing scent to line up the bobcat into the opening of the cage. The best way to catch a bobcat in a live trap is to use their habits against them by placing the traps on their routes to and from feeding, watering, and bedding.
Remember, if you go with Bobcat live trap plans you should know how to deal with trapped cat. They are fierce when they are trapped, so you want to make sure to not giving them the opportunity to attack.
Tip #7 Homemade Baits
You should use homemade baits as much as you can because you can create several different baits by using pretty much the same ingredients.
The simplest homemade bobcats bait is meat. Bobcats are carnivores (they mostly eat meat), so they best respond to fish, rabbit, muskrat, and poultry. You can also use mice and squirrels, as well and mix the chunked meat with some bobcat scent glands or urine to get that extra smell.
Tip #8 Snaring
Snaring Bobcats in challenging, especially after trapping them in a cage where they get really fierce and ready to attack. You want snares that are positioned for the cat - not too loose and not too tight. The lower part of the snare should be right under their chin, but not too low so they don’t step through.
Tip #9 Trapping Supplies
You need a reliable set of bobcat trapping supplies in order to prepare for the hunting. Start off by choosing some clothes for yourself: gloves, jacket, and boots. You’re going to hunt in the cold and probably would stay outside for more than an hour, so make sure you have the proper clothing on your head, hands, body, and feet.
As for the bobcat, you can choose a variety of trapping supplies, depending on your hunting technique. The best piece of advice is - go simple.