Bobcat Hunt 5-28-10

Dan Braman

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My brother, who is a cat hunter as well called me yesterday to tell me about a cat that had been getting away from him. He said that he had run the cat 17 times and each time the cat would get away. By the end of our conversation I had agreed to meet him at his house this morning at 5:45AM. Sometimes if you take different hounds that do something just a little different it can make the difference in the cat getting away.

I loaded six of my hounds and headed to Joe's house. When I pulled up he was getting things out of his truck. After we loaded the hounds we headed for the area where the cat had been getting away.

We turned the hounds loose at around 6:15 and started hunting down the main road of the property. We had gone about a mile when one of my hounds started barking on a cats trail ahead of about 200 yards. The rest of the dogs started towards the two trailing which were moving to the southeast. Within minutes, the hounds had jumped the cat and were now running back northwest. In the direction they were headed they would be crossing the road in front of us shortly. We were looking down the road as the cat came out and turned east, running right up the dirt road.

When an animal runs on dry ground with no grass to hold the scent it becomes hard for the hounds to smell their quarry. The cat ran about 300 yards down the dirt road, and then he cut back into the brush. Knowing about the scenting difficulties on the dirt road we drive down to where we saw the cat go into the brush and start calling the hounds. When they got there it took them at least a minute to line the trail out again. Once they did the cat ran southwest for about 500 yards then turned north towards the road. We watched but didn't see anything. He was further then we thought and had come out around the bend in the road.

We figured he had done the same thing so we sent the dogs down the road. Sure enough, the hounds find the trail on the north side of the road about 200 yards around the curve. A pattern was starting to show itself as to how this cat was getting away. The hounds re-jumped the cat about 5 minutes later and headed northwest. The crossed out of the pasture we were in and got into a creek bottom. It was here the cat finally settled down and started running up and down the creek. He would cover an area of about 200 yards in both directions. Finally, we heard the hounds start baying and we knew they had caught him.

The fight continued for a good two minutes while we were walking to the catch. When we walked up to the hounds there was an area of about twelve feet wide where the fight had taken place. The cat was a 27-pound tom cat which would be average for this part of the world.

Every time my brother had run this cat it had been dark. The darkness had prevented him from seeing what the cat was doing. Had he known the cat was using the road to his advantage it would have been an easy fix. Either way, it was a great hunt and an even better time.

Posted by Dan Braman under Field Journals on June 1, 10 08:00 PM | Permalink

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