Help me catch a BOBCAT !!!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Sunny Side Up, Nov 22, 2010.

  1. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    I live in SE Florida, in western West Palm Beach, in a semi-rural acreage neighborhood. This is the first time in 6 years of poultry-keeping that we've had continual losses from bobcats. I believe it began late this summer, that we were losing birds without a trace. I have a large flock of standard-sized chickens, a small flock of bantams, a small flock of Khaki Campbell ducks, 2 Pekins, & a dozen young runner ducks, and 8 Embden geese. The ducks & geese free-range all day, the bantams roost high in a big ficus tree and hop in & out of the chicken pens all day, and the large chickens are let out mid-afternoon to range. Everyone would come back to the pens at sunset, although sometimes the ducks & geese would stay out in the yard.

    It started with the Khakis and took me a while to figure out what was causing the losses. It would be just one at a time, maybe once a week or so. I didn't know if it was the hens going off to be broody, or illness, or maybe a big owl. After one night when something reached through the wire of the duck house and killed a duck by wounding her neck, I finally got serious about setting traps & trying to get home in time to put the birds away by nightfall.

    At this time I also realized that some of the bantams were missing, and also a few chickens who roosted in the top of a large bush. One night a big old rooster went missing & I realized that the predator was coming right before nightfall. Because Homer would spend his days in the front yard avoiding the younger roosters, but would come back to the coop before dark.

    The next morning there was a bobcat in one of the live traps.

    I thought the reign of terror was over, but 2 nights later there was another runner duck missing, and fresh bobcat tracks in the sand. I have since kept traps set & baited but the cat walks right past them. And it is still killing my birds. We have been trying to get home by 5pm now, an hour before nightfall, to put everyone away, but the few nights we've been late, like 5:20 or 5:40, birds have gone missing.

    I have caught the few remaining bantams and now have them confined to covered pens. The bobcat would lie in wait for them as they flew up into the ficus tree to roost for the night. I am rearranging everything else in my schedule, including Thanksgiving dinner, to be sure to be home by 5pm every night from now on, to put everyone away before dark.

    HOW CAN TRAP THIS BOBCAT???? Shooting is not an option, it's a residential neighborhood and also, I have neighbors who work for the Sheriff's Dept who would hear & report. That one bobcat went into the trap for smelly canned cat food. But the other hasn't been tempted by it. I've tried adding catnip and cat treats (free-range chicken flavor!). I've even placed a dead chicken in one trap.

    What have you used with success?? Please help me!
     
  2. Soaring Chicks

    Soaring Chicks Soaring Hawks Farm

    Jan 3, 2010
    Henderson,NC
    Try Steak and wear gloves when you touch anything to do with trap to keep your sent off of it.
     
  3. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    4,726
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    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Raw or cooked?
     
  4. hinkjc

    hinkjc Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Jan 11, 2007
    PA
    Bobcats have specified trapping/hunting requirements in most states. Please make sure you're aware of what they are.

    *It is the responsibility of the person with the predator to determine the legalities of what they do and that person will take ultimate responsibility. BYC does not condone illegal acts.
     
  5. Smiles-N-Sunshine

    Smiles-N-Sunshine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 19, 2008
    Palominas, Arizona
    We caught two bobcats on separate occasions this year, by putting a cage with live birds (a chicken first, then chukars) up against the trap cage. Then we covered the top and the three exposed sides of the bait cage with feed bags, so the cats had to go into the trap to really see the birds.

    Good luck with yours!

    Bryan
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    4,726
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    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Bryan, I tried your method last night. I put a small plump capon in a cage, then covered the sides & top with flattened cardboard boxes, except for the side butting against the back of a Hav-a-hart trap I set next to it. I also covered the sides & top of the trap with cardboard to obscure it. For good measure, I also placed an open can of smelly cat food in a depression I dug under the trap.

    This morning there was a large feral cat in the trap! Do you think this cat could have been causing the same type/amount of losses that the bobcat did?

    I'm going to re-set this trap again tonight, and put the capon back in for an attractant. I'm offering him extra hazard pay for his service.

    By the way, it's legal to trap nuisance bobcats in Florida, I checked.

    http://myfwc.com/License/Permits_NuisWild.htm
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 24, 2010
  7. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    I want to wish you the bestest of luck! [​IMG]
     
  8. coldwetnoz

    coldwetnoz Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 22, 2010
    We caught several bobcats with a trap, using a live bantam. I did feel sorry for the little things but they were not harmed. The wire that was between the predator and chicken had to be reinforced with hardware cloth because the spaces were large enought to get a claw through. But, like you, we also caught some other things, like possums. Also, we saw the bobcats in the daytime so we were certain they were prowling around.

    Good luck
    coldwetnoz
     
  9. theFox

    theFox Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 21, 2009
    Standish, Maine
    Obtain some beaver castor from a trapping supply shop.

    There are several scent lures that contain it as well.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2010
  10. theFox

    theFox Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 21, 2009
    Standish, Maine
    Quote:Always raw.
     

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