Bobcats are everywhere!!!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by itsafowlthing, Nov 16, 2019.

  1. itsafowlthing

    itsafowlthing Chirping

    Aug 26, 2015
    Post Oak, Tx
    Has anyone had any success at trapping bobcats? I'm pulling my hair out trying to save my ladies from bobcats' finger licking good lunches!!!
    Have had good luck for the last six months but now they're back. Seen them on trail cameras. TIA
    BirdsBeesTrees and chrissynemetz like this.
  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place Crossing the Road

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    You should concentrate on having a predator proof coop and run, so predators are less of an issue for your flock. Electric poultry netting, or electric fencing, properly set up, will deter most land predators, and give your birds more outside space.
    Everyone loves chicken dinners! You will never trap every visitor if your birds are available to them all the time.
  3. itsafowlthing

    itsafowlthing Chirping

    Aug 26, 2015
    Post Oak, Tx
    Hens are put up at dusk and the coop is more than sufficiently predator proof. The problem is while free ranging the blankety blank bobcat(s) are helping themselves to a free lunch. We've hired a trapper in the past with no luck. Have now sat out one live trap and 9 jaw traps with bait.
  4. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    I only succeeded in catching a bobcat that killed several of my birds with leg traps. A live trap didn't work. I have caught fox in a live trap by baiting it and letting the fox take the bait for a few times then set the trap and caught the fox. I have electric wire around my my coops and pens starting at around 4" off the ground then around 6" to 8" up above the bottom line. You can put up as many lines as you have the wire for. I use the poly rope wire but regular steel wire works well too. The fence charger dictates how much of a shock the predator will get. My original charger was .5 joules that put out around 4500 volts, but I have since replaced it with a 1.2 joule charger which puts out around 8000/10000 volts. Anything that touches the wire will know it.
  5. CatWhisperer

    CatWhisperer Crowing

    Jun 16, 2013
    northwest Arkansas
    Good fencing with electricity. Leg traps injure too many non-target species. Bobcats are beautiful. Establish a predator-proof free range area.
    Duckfarmer1 and 50-45-1 like this.
  6. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    They are beautiful. It killed 14 birds. It didn't come back the next night but did the following night. We are rural on a dead end road and didn't have many close neighbors and I have never caught anything I was not after in the leg traps. More and more people are selling parts of their land so more people are building homes in our area. Now I'm using live traps. This one killed my most favorite bird. I'm no longer letting the birds free range and the bobcat dug under the fence. At the time I removed the remaining birds and put the traps inside the pen where the bobcat had dug under the fence a couple of nights prior.
    DSCF0012 20.jpg
    NHMountainMan and BirdsBeesTrees like this.
  7. you might as well get planning and building your chicken run now. if it isn't the bobcats it will always be something else. fox coyote neighborhood dogs....just to name a few.
    free ranging for you may have to be limited to a couple hours before dark when you can be outside with them.
    sorry to say that chicken keeping is a never ending battle with predators.
    chickens have very little to none as far as defenses, and almost everything eats chicken.
    in Florida and some tropical islands, there are feral chickens. they are very light bodied and can take flight when necessary to avoid predators.
    our heavy breed layers and multi purpose meat birds are flightless. at at night... forget it, all chickens are blind in the dark and are like sitting-ducks. just there for the taking.
    the answer is not to kill all the predators. By the way, Nature needs predators or you would see other problems with rats, rabbits and mice, the main course of there diet.
    the reason that coyotes are such a problem now is that Man eradicated the wolf from most of their natural habitat, the only predator coyotes have except for man.
  8. HomesteaderWife

    HomesteaderWife Crowing

    Apr 24, 2015
    @itsafowlthing - Everyone really touched on making sure to predator proof so here's my input. If you're considering trapping bobcats, here's some info:

    1.) You can take a nuisance animal in Texas without a trappers or hunters license, however you can't keep them. Simply dispatch. However, consider a trapper's license as for a resident it's only $19 and consider learning to tan! It's a good way to reduce waste of dispatching predators by tanning.

    Nuisance Fur-bearing Animals
    "Landowners or their agents may take nuisance fur-bearing animals in any number by any means at any time on that person's land without the need for a hunting or trapping license. However, fur-bearing animals or their pelts taken for these purposes may not be retained or possessed by anyone at any time except licensed trappers during the lawful open season and possession periods."

    If you want to learn more about trapping methods and requirements, contact your local wildlife office. In Alabama, we occasionally have trapper education courses held and they're great! Check requirements again- I know I'm preaching it, but here our traps have to be tagged with information that has trapper's name and number on the tag. As mentioned about foot traps, there's a very good chance you could catch someone's loose dog or even another predator. This is why professional trappers often place specific scents to draw in a certain animal. Large live traps are an option but again, you may end up with a different predator in there. If you're not comfortable with doing this yourself, reach out to wildlife office or state trapper's association for a list of license trappers in your area. Some of them here charge, while others will do it just for the fur.
    NHMountainMan and BirdsBeesTrees like this.
  9. Fairview01

    Fairview01 Songster

    Jan 26, 2017
    Dallas, TX
    The best attractant is a shiny CD disc hung on fishing line a couple feet away from the trap set so the lightest breeze can spin it. The best bait is a good sized wad of cat nip at the traps. The light reflecting of the CD brings them close enough to the cat nip. Once they find the cat nip they become house cats on steroids. They can't lay off of the stuff once they find it. They throw caution to the wind.

    The best trap is a #3 connibear trap set inside a the opening of rectangular box that is elevated about four imches. The box needs to be about a foot deep. Bait is placed in the back of the box. Smear some bobcat urine on the box.

    Be careful with that big connibear trap. It can break bones.
    NHMountainMan likes this.
  10. varidgerunner

    varidgerunner Songster

    Aug 16, 2013
    Bobcats are everywhere. Get used to it. I went a lot of years catching up to a dozen a year. They are pretty stupid, so not hard to trap. Most have a pretty large home range, so the key is a trap might have to set for a while. My own personal observations are that a female cat takes about two weeks and a male cat takes a month to cover his territory. Females with young will stay in a smaller area and capitalize on a food source, like unprotected chickens. There are usually two females and one male in a home range, young males travel until they find a vacant home range, and often show up in marginal habitat. When you trap one, or more, you are opening up territory for a new cat to move in, and one will, pretty soon.

    What people are referring to as "leg traps" are actually foothold traps. Perfectly humane if selected and used properly. Non target catches can be released unharmed.Anything that would catch something by the leg would not be very effective, you are looking for a pad catch to prevent the animal from escaping. The proper trap means the animal will not fight the trap very much, which means it will be there waiting for you. Selecting the wrong trap, and not tuning and setting it properly means that the animal will fight the trap, break it's leg, escape, etc. none of which are desirable outcomes for anyone engaged in trapping animals. It's not cartoons, there are no serious trappers or wildlife biologists using huge tooth jawed bear traps that reach half way up a caught animal's leg. Foothold traps are used successfully to harvest animals, as well as to collar and release animals for study and to catch animals for restocking.

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