Bobcat Spotted

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by ruth, Nov 18, 2008.

  1. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

    Jul 8, 2007
    Woodville, MS
    Last week we were losing one of our free ranging chickens about every other day about an hour before dusk. Something was grabbing them right at the edge of our cleared yard where the woods start. I found a small pile of feathers for the first one, same thing on the second one. That time I told Rex, our GSD, to "Find" and he took off in the woods and don't you know the next morning the dead chicken was laying outside the coop. Rex had gone and found it and brought it back. About two days later whatever it is got one of our big Barred Rock roosters from right in the back yard and then drug it through the bushes and hedges back into the woods. After that I had to put a stop to the freeranging until we could find out what was happening. DH sat out two nights in a row at dusk waiting but didn't see anything. Whatever it is was getting very bold to come right into our yard with 4 dogs running around. The dogs were picking up its scent dozens of times a day and would always go running into the woods barking. But whatever is just keeps returning and waiting to grab a bird. We lost three over a week's time and about the same amount a couple of weeks earlier, including my pet chicken, Ruth who went into woods and did not return.

    Well, DH just now went out to barn to get a bag of pellets for our pellet stove and came in and said he walked right up on a big bobcat. It was 10:00 a.m. and he said it was a big bobcat just walking through cleared area behind barn. When it saw him, it took off running. He went back out with gun but it was gone so he fired a "warning" shot. It's hunting season here right now and the woods are filled with deer hunters. I'm hoping that if DH can't get this bobcat that the hunters will scare it off or shoot it.

    My chickens and I love the fact that they can freerange and while I know it has risks, I didn't expect that one of them would be that a bobcat, or any predator, would just move into our backyard and pick them off right there on the spot. We don't live near anyone. Just surrounded by tens of thousands of acres of woods. So why wouldn't this bobcat have a fear of humans? Why wouldn't it stick to prey in the woods? In any event, at least we know what the predator is, I was thinking a fox all this time.

    We are now officially on Bobcat Patrol.
  2. sdshoars

    sdshoars Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 12, 2008
    bobcats are opprotunists, chickens are eaasy- pickin's... thats why they are coming to your house. check with your local laws to see if its ok to shoot animals harming your livestock. and then i would have dh sit in a tree stand while you let the birds free range. that way there is "bait" and he is up where he can see everything. good luck.
  3. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

    Jul 8, 2007
    Woodville, MS
    Yeah around here it's o.k. to shoot anything or anyone. [​IMG] This is big time hunting country. They fly in via corporate helicopter and stay at "hunting camps" that are multi-million dollar mansions. This is also deep south and home of the good ole country boys (for the nicest term I can give them.)

    You would only get laughed at if you called "animal control" or anyone else and asked them to come trap something. As it is the whole town is keeping a close eye on the two city folk who bought the old Morris Plantation and are trying to make a farm of it. They all have bets on how long we will last.

    DH had already said he had figured out a plan. He was going to saw the lowest branch off a big oak tree that was blocking the shot patch from the second floor balcony to the barn. With that sawn off, he says he can sit on balcony and have a clear view and shot of anything that steps out of the woods back there. I've told him "go for it".
  4. ams3651

    ams3651 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 23, 2008
    NE PA
    if you can find a recording of a struggling rabbit, usually at hunting stores, maybe you cant lure it in in the evening. Im surprised to hear your husband saw it at that time of the morning, they are usually most active in the evening. Im hesitant to say leave it some meat a couple nights then go out and get it, I would imagine thats illegal there too.
  5. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

    Jul 8, 2007
    Woodville, MS
    I don't think much of anything is illegal here as far as hunting and shooting something is concerned. Just the other day I was telling DH they ought to call it "shooting" season instead of hunting season. There's no hunting involved. They have their stands surrounded by planted fields. For the past two weeks prior to season open they have been hauling in feed and scattering it around and baiting the fields. Then they just drive out and shoot the deer. The other night they drove through our property, well after dark, with a mule load of boys and said they were going to "set up stands". I told DH "Yeah, right with those two huge spotlights on the mule and little boys in the back they're going to set up stands late at night."

    The original descendants still own the thousands of acres around us and have a right of way through our property to get to the back of theirs.

    It's pathetic what goes on around here during "hunting" season but hey, I've said enough. I'll get all the "hunters" on here mad at me.

    But in the case of this bobcat it will take some serious hunting to get it. We had no idea what it was and have been looking for it for weeks.
  6. scooter147

    scooter147 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2008
    I couldn't agree more, in regards to what you are seeing in regards to "hunting". I am by no means against it, I still hunt ducks, geese, dove, rabbit and pheasant with my dad. I gave up the deer and turkey hunting years ago. First, I found deer to be completely stupid and not much of a challange, much like shooting a cow, they just stand there a look at you. Second, the feeding (really it is just baiting) of deer and turkey goes on here as well and I didn't find much sport in that. It is only illegal here to put out the feed during hunting season or hunt over a baited spot. (good luck in enforcing that in a court of law) So I just politely told my dad one day I wasn't interested in it any more.
    The other interesting thing is I have only eaten deer in sausage and wild turkey that is smoked. We never ate it any other way.
    The rabbit, dove and pheasant we will fight ya for.
    The wild geese and ducks we always donate to the local food pantry.
  7. TexasVet

    TexasVet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 12, 2008
    Willis TX
    I've got the very same problem! I've lost 20 chickens in the past 10 days. Some were taken during the hour or so that I let them free range; the rest just disappeared from the coop at night.

    I wasn't finding feathers, bird parts, nothing. I had just about convinced myself that someone was stealing them at night when we came upon some HUGE cat tracks. So I've either got a bobcat or a cougar on the prowl.

    I baited the live trap with chicken parts, then covered it all with hay so it looks like something "stashed" a meal in there. That's how I caught the last one, so I'm hoping that it does some good tonight.

    At this rate I'll be completely out of chickens in a week.

    Kathy in Texas
  8. Zookeeper9000

    Zookeeper9000 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 1, 2008
    Gladstone MI
    Happy cat hunting sure hope ya get it. Will make a nice rug for the bottom of the bed if ya get it tanned.
  9. mgibbzzz

    mgibbzzz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 18, 2008
    Somerset, OH
    I hope that you dh can get it. As far as offending any hunters, I think that you would only offend thosed that don't follow the law. I know some may strech it a bit, but the ones that make hunters look bad are the ones taht would be offended. Comming from a hunter, and a house full of them, we aren't offended. [​IMG] happy huntin.
  10. columbiacritter

    columbiacritter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2008
    Scappoose Oregon
    My husband and I stood on our second floor deck and watched a bobcat try to get through our chicken run for almost an hour. We could tell from the way it behaved it was experienced in finding weak spots in wire enclosures. At first our birds were terrified, but then they got bored and went back to eating thei revening corn snack like it wasn't even there.

    We were afraid at first, but then increasingly amused as it got madder and madder. It finally gave up, sprayed urine all over on of my rose bushes then diappeared. Since then I've seen eveidence of it trying again a couple times.

    It was probably the same bobcat I watched trotting down our road with a big rooster in it's jaws a couple years ago.

    We're very careful to bring our hens in before dusk.

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