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Hello Kitty: Bobcat Takes Down Deer

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August 24, 2009

Hello Kitty: Bobcat Takes Down Deer

By Scott Bestul

We’ve discussed whitetail predation in this space before, but much of that talk has focused on the major players; wolves, mountain lions, coyotes, and bears. As the photo below illustrates, bobcats can also play a role in controlling deer numbers.

I live in an area where bobcats are rare. I hear of an occasional reliable sighting, or a trapper I trust will report that he’s seen cat-sign. I recognize that bobcats are secretive and frequently fly under most people’s radar. On the other hand, I spend enough time in the woods that, if they were abundant, I feel confident I’d be on to them.

A few years back I was hunting one of my favorite Kansas haunts and was treated to a deer-stalking display by a large tom. This cat slipped to within 20 yards of a feeding group of whitetails (the cat was 15 yards from my treestand) before a big doe spotted him. She got exceedingly nervous and minced off, but a nearby buck wasn’t a bit scared. When he realized the cat was close, he high-stepped it right over to the feline and ran him off. It was a memorable evening in the deer woods!

So how ‘bout you? Are bobcats abundant in your area? Have you seen a cat harass or kill a whitetail, or found a carcass you felt was a cat-kill? Look forward to your stories!

Comments (39)

Top Rated
All Comments
from ejunk wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

on our patch of woods in north central WV bobcat sightings are becoming more common. both my dad I saw one year before last and we have a neat series of trail cam photos of one from earlier this year. it's pretty awesome to see them around, that's for sure!

yrs-
Evan!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Levi Banks wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

The photo seems legit, but it looks to be in someone's backyard, during daylight, that is pretty suprising.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from gman3186 wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

we all gotta eat right

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from peter wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

there are quite a bit where i live in ne pa. last week we saw one in our back yard on our table

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from WATCHINDEER365 wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Seen a few in the woods before and have gotten one on camera, but never seen any harass deer. Don't doubt they would try though, one of the ones I've seen looked pretty big from 40 yards away plenty big to take a small deer without much trouble. Cool pic, keep the stories coming, icthin' bad to back in the stand!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hunt_Hard wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

haha
Don't mess with a hungry bobcat. I never doubted that a bobcat could kill a fawn but I have never heard of it or seen it... until now.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

I've seen a decent number of bobcats, but I feel that deer kills are very rare. Bobcats are barely bigger than a Maine Coon housecat, if at all. A rabbit is a very big meal for them.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Evan Delp wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

is that in someones back yard?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Del in KS wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Hardly a year goes by that I don't see at least one Bobcat here in Eastern Kansas.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from charlie elk wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Shane has it right. Bobcats here go after all kinds of rodents and birds. Suppose they could take a new born fawn but that is very rare.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jbird wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Cool pic. I bet there aren't too many pics like that floating around. I see bobcats a few times a year deer and turkey hunting. Had one stalk by my deerstand last fall. Really cool to see them in the wild.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Predator ... fawn... goodbye Disney.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Douglas wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

I see bobcats often while sitting on watch. Saw one unsucessfully rush a grouse, and another stalking a pheasant, equally unsucessfully.
Neat creatures to observe.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from uplander12 wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Awww....it killed Bambi! Something must be done! Stop all this senseless killing! Not long before someone starts protesting the killing of animals by other animals.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from micropterus wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

I've never seen one kill or stalk anything, but here in Southern Illinois, I've seen 4 to date while hunting. Not many people see them, so I feel kind of privileged to have been able to watch them.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from ALJoe wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

We have a good number of bobcats in our area. They are interesting creatures to watch. Unfortunately, they have almost completely wiped out our quail population. Also, as our bobcat numbers have increased it seems like our turkey population has decreased. I have seen evidence of bobcats catching both, but I have not witnessed the action.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Adam Bilbrey wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

I had one hanging around the house in MS. when I was a younger man. I helped it get back on it`s feet once when it was hurt and it started following me around. I watched it stalk my cousin`s dogs all the time. Ha-Ha

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

My son saw one in Central Ohio this spring which is very rare.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from WATCHINDEER365 wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

HEY SHANE,
You sure those weren't house cats you saw? Male Maine coon house cats get to average size of only 18 lbs, while average male bobcats reach 30 lbs! Largest bobcat ever caught was just under 50 lbs! There is no doubt bobcat will go after a small deer if hungry enough!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from ckRich wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

A few years back my Grandpa and I watched a large bobcat stalk around a group of 6 or 8 deer. The does were very visibly upset and skittish until a young 4-pointer ran the cat off. There seemed to be a bit of confusion as to who was chasing who, and it was pretty amusing to watch as the back and forth lasted a good 5 minutes before the cat eventually gave up.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Chris Carpenter wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Two years ago I was sittin up against a tree when an bobcat was stalkin a covey of quail no more than 15 yards away. When I stood up I flushed the covey and the bobcat ran in to the woods. This was only the second bobcat I've seen in SW Missouri.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from ggmack wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

I have seen a few while hunting in WV. I always thought that if you can fool a predator then you have a good setup going.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

I have seen a few up near Atchison KS, Also a Couger in the area I have seen his paw prints.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Cougar *

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

We have them but I've never seen one, probably my fault. I've seen the usuall critters, red fox, coyote, even grey fox that we aren't supposed to have.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from northern_mi_hunter wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

In the northern lower of Michigan I watch one stand about 10 feet from my window and stare at 10-12 deer feeding about 40 yards away. When a big doe noticed the cat it ran straight at it and the bobcat took off. Then the next morning around 10 I was bowhunting on the ground about 200 yards from the house. I made a fawn bleat a few times when i first sat down. About 5 minutes after the last bleat I heard something moving behind me. It was very faint and I figured it was a deer about 30-40 yards behind me. I peeked around the large white pine i was leaning against and a bobcat was about 7 feet away mid-step. It immediatly took off once it realized I wasnt a deer. I am positive it had to be the same one I saw the previous night.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from northern_mi_hunter wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

In the northern lower of Michigan I watch one stand about 10 feet from my window and stare at 10-12 deer feeding about 40 yards away. When a big doe noticed the cat it ran straight at it and the bobcat took off. Then the next morning around 10 I was bowhunting on the ground about 200 yards from the house. I made a fawn bleat a few times when i first sat down. About 5 minutes after the last bleat I heard something moving behind me. It was very faint and I figured it was a deer about 30-40 yards behind me. I peeked around the large white pine i was leaning against and a bobcat was about 7 feet away mid-step. It immediatly took off once it realized I wasnt a deer. I am positive it had to be the same one I saw the previous night.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Bobcats can reach 30 pounds, and have been close to 50, but this ain't your average bobcat where I've seen the most (North and South Carolina as Southeastern OH). I saw one in VT that was MAYBE 30. In any case, say we have a 35 lb cat. a 10-20-30lb fawn is a hell of a meal. A mouse or young bunny is plenty. I never said it doesn't happen. I said it was very rare, and not a significant factor in any deer population.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from modelseven wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

I received this exact same picture (& 6 others with it) in an e-mail from a co-worker a few weeks ago. This is a Canadian Lynx -- not a bobcat. In the other pictures, it clearly shows the black tip completely circling the tail and the white spots on the back of each ear. I've seen a few bobcats here in PA and they're 1/2 this size.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

OK I'm wrong, bobcats kill all kinds of deer and we should start shooting the hell out of them so we can have more deer...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ALJoe wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Last night on my farm I saw a fawn that was not near as big as my Jack Russell terrier. He must have just been born because he couldn't even get out of the road. There is no doubt in my mind that he (or she) would have been easy prey for a 25-30 lbs. bobcat.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from chuck slusser wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

I have seen several bobcats, or canadian lynx both found here in western Washington, I have stood on the deck and had lynx within arms reach. wife was feeding blue jays and the rackett they made pulled the tom in ,he was watching the birds and me but was not worried enough to leave without a bird. I went inside and he took a bird, much larger than bobcats when standing next to one.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from coreyHuntsTrophys wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

thats so badass

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from GiantWhitetails wrote 4 years 33 weeks ago

i saw one while i was hunting last year, it was right behind my treestand.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from allvalley2257156 wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

Believe it or not, there are way more bobcats than people think and they eat a lot more deer than people think. I guy mentioned them being as big as a main coon housecat, I dont know what this is but the biggest bobcat I ever caught weighed 42 pounds. The everage full grown male will weigh between 20-25 pounds. In July of this year I caught 27 bobcats on one 7500 acre ranch, I caught 77 bobcats of this ranch the first year I hunted it and have caught over 200 to date, and 18 of the 27 bobcats caught had fawn inside their stomach. Ive only seen one mature deer that they have killed but a lot of black buck and other mature exotics fall prey to them quite often. I hunt them with hounds and before I stated hunting them with dogs I never would have dreamed that there were as many bocats as there are, you just dont see them

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from allvalley2257156 wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

and modelseven just so you know that is NOT a lynx in the picture. There is absolutely no doubt about it I assure you, and this is the only picture you need to see to know.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from allvalley2257156 wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

ALJOE Your right about the turkey. I assisted a project on the king ranch and I dont know how many times we found a dead turkey and the dogs found a bobcat at the end of the trail.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from FloridaHunter1226 wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

I hunt on land that is half open, cattle land and half hardwoods. In my years of hunting, I have not seen one cat or predator other than 1 coyote roaming around way in the distance from my hunting stand. I have not taken up predator hunting but I wonder if I call a little bit, if a coyote will come in.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bobcatperth wrote 4 years 7 weeks ago

Great Photo - plenty of shots of bobcat taking deer, so no surprise. This one looks like its got its hands full though.
BobcatPerth

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Mike Diehl wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Predator ... fawn... goodbye Disney.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from uplander12 wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Awww....it killed Bambi! Something must be done! Stop all this senseless killing! Not long before someone starts protesting the killing of animals by other animals.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from WATCHINDEER365 wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

HEY SHANE,
You sure those weren't house cats you saw? Male Maine coon house cats get to average size of only 18 lbs, while average male bobcats reach 30 lbs! Largest bobcat ever caught was just under 50 lbs! There is no doubt bobcat will go after a small deer if hungry enough!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from ejunk wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

on our patch of woods in north central WV bobcat sightings are becoming more common. both my dad I saw one year before last and we have a neat series of trail cam photos of one from earlier this year. it's pretty awesome to see them around, that's for sure!

yrs-
Evan!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Levi Banks wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

The photo seems legit, but it looks to be in someone's backyard, during daylight, that is pretty suprising.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from gman3186 wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

we all gotta eat right

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from peter wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

there are quite a bit where i live in ne pa. last week we saw one in our back yard on our table

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from WATCHINDEER365 wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Seen a few in the woods before and have gotten one on camera, but never seen any harass deer. Don't doubt they would try though, one of the ones I've seen looked pretty big from 40 yards away plenty big to take a small deer without much trouble. Cool pic, keep the stories coming, icthin' bad to back in the stand!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hunt_Hard wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

haha
Don't mess with a hungry bobcat. I never doubted that a bobcat could kill a fawn but I have never heard of it or seen it... until now.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Evan Delp wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

is that in someones back yard?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Del in KS wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Hardly a year goes by that I don't see at least one Bobcat here in Eastern Kansas.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from charlie elk wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Shane has it right. Bobcats here go after all kinds of rodents and birds. Suppose they could take a new born fawn but that is very rare.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jbird wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Cool pic. I bet there aren't too many pics like that floating around. I see bobcats a few times a year deer and turkey hunting. Had one stalk by my deerstand last fall. Really cool to see them in the wild.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Douglas wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

I see bobcats often while sitting on watch. Saw one unsucessfully rush a grouse, and another stalking a pheasant, equally unsucessfully.
Neat creatures to observe.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from micropterus wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

I've never seen one kill or stalk anything, but here in Southern Illinois, I've seen 4 to date while hunting. Not many people see them, so I feel kind of privileged to have been able to watch them.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from ALJoe wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

We have a good number of bobcats in our area. They are interesting creatures to watch. Unfortunately, they have almost completely wiped out our quail population. Also, as our bobcat numbers have increased it seems like our turkey population has decreased. I have seen evidence of bobcats catching both, but I have not witnessed the action.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Adam Bilbrey wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

I had one hanging around the house in MS. when I was a younger man. I helped it get back on it`s feet once when it was hurt and it started following me around. I watched it stalk my cousin`s dogs all the time. Ha-Ha

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

My son saw one in Central Ohio this spring which is very rare.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from ckRich wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

A few years back my Grandpa and I watched a large bobcat stalk around a group of 6 or 8 deer. The does were very visibly upset and skittish until a young 4-pointer ran the cat off. There seemed to be a bit of confusion as to who was chasing who, and it was pretty amusing to watch as the back and forth lasted a good 5 minutes before the cat eventually gave up.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Chris Carpenter wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Two years ago I was sittin up against a tree when an bobcat was stalkin a covey of quail no more than 15 yards away. When I stood up I flushed the covey and the bobcat ran in to the woods. This was only the second bobcat I've seen in SW Missouri.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from ggmack wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

I have seen a few while hunting in WV. I always thought that if you can fool a predator then you have a good setup going.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

I've seen a decent number of bobcats, but I feel that deer kills are very rare. Bobcats are barely bigger than a Maine Coon housecat, if at all. A rabbit is a very big meal for them.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

I have seen a few up near Atchison KS, Also a Couger in the area I have seen his paw prints.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Cougar *

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

We have them but I've never seen one, probably my fault. I've seen the usuall critters, red fox, coyote, even grey fox that we aren't supposed to have.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from northern_mi_hunter wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

In the northern lower of Michigan I watch one stand about 10 feet from my window and stare at 10-12 deer feeding about 40 yards away. When a big doe noticed the cat it ran straight at it and the bobcat took off. Then the next morning around 10 I was bowhunting on the ground about 200 yards from the house. I made a fawn bleat a few times when i first sat down. About 5 minutes after the last bleat I heard something moving behind me. It was very faint and I figured it was a deer about 30-40 yards behind me. I peeked around the large white pine i was leaning against and a bobcat was about 7 feet away mid-step. It immediatly took off once it realized I wasnt a deer. I am positive it had to be the same one I saw the previous night.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ALJoe wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Last night on my farm I saw a fawn that was not near as big as my Jack Russell terrier. He must have just been born because he couldn't even get out of the road. There is no doubt in my mind that he (or she) would have been easy prey for a 25-30 lbs. bobcat.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from chuck slusser wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

I have seen several bobcats, or canadian lynx both found here in western Washington, I have stood on the deck and had lynx within arms reach. wife was feeding blue jays and the rackett they made pulled the tom in ,he was watching the birds and me but was not worried enough to leave without a bird. I went inside and he took a bird, much larger than bobcats when standing next to one.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from coreyHuntsTrophys wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

thats so badass

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from GiantWhitetails wrote 4 years 33 weeks ago

i saw one while i was hunting last year, it was right behind my treestand.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from northern_mi_hunter wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

In the northern lower of Michigan I watch one stand about 10 feet from my window and stare at 10-12 deer feeding about 40 yards away. When a big doe noticed the cat it ran straight at it and the bobcat took off. Then the next morning around 10 I was bowhunting on the ground about 200 yards from the house. I made a fawn bleat a few times when i first sat down. About 5 minutes after the last bleat I heard something moving behind me. It was very faint and I figured it was a deer about 30-40 yards behind me. I peeked around the large white pine i was leaning against and a bobcat was about 7 feet away mid-step. It immediatly took off once it realized I wasnt a deer. I am positive it had to be the same one I saw the previous night.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from modelseven wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

I received this exact same picture (& 6 others with it) in an e-mail from a co-worker a few weeks ago. This is a Canadian Lynx -- not a bobcat. In the other pictures, it clearly shows the black tip completely circling the tail and the white spots on the back of each ear. I've seen a few bobcats here in PA and they're 1/2 this size.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

OK I'm wrong, bobcats kill all kinds of deer and we should start shooting the hell out of them so we can have more deer...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from allvalley2257156 wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

Believe it or not, there are way more bobcats than people think and they eat a lot more deer than people think. I guy mentioned them being as big as a main coon housecat, I dont know what this is but the biggest bobcat I ever caught weighed 42 pounds. The everage full grown male will weigh between 20-25 pounds. In July of this year I caught 27 bobcats on one 7500 acre ranch, I caught 77 bobcats of this ranch the first year I hunted it and have caught over 200 to date, and 18 of the 27 bobcats caught had fawn inside their stomach. Ive only seen one mature deer that they have killed but a lot of black buck and other mature exotics fall prey to them quite often. I hunt them with hounds and before I stated hunting them with dogs I never would have dreamed that there were as many bocats as there are, you just dont see them

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from allvalley2257156 wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

and modelseven just so you know that is NOT a lynx in the picture. There is absolutely no doubt about it I assure you, and this is the only picture you need to see to know.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from allvalley2257156 wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

ALJOE Your right about the turkey. I assisted a project on the king ranch and I dont know how many times we found a dead turkey and the dogs found a bobcat at the end of the trail.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from FloridaHunter1226 wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

I hunt on land that is half open, cattle land and half hardwoods. In my years of hunting, I have not seen one cat or predator other than 1 coyote roaming around way in the distance from my hunting stand. I have not taken up predator hunting but I wonder if I call a little bit, if a coyote will come in.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bobcatperth wrote 4 years 7 weeks ago

Great Photo - plenty of shots of bobcat taking deer, so no surprise. This one looks like its got its hands full though.
BobcatPerth

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Bobcats can reach 30 pounds, and have been close to 50, but this ain't your average bobcat where I've seen the most (North and South Carolina as Southeastern OH). I saw one in VT that was MAYBE 30. In any case, say we have a 35 lb cat. a 10-20-30lb fawn is a hell of a meal. A mouse or young bunny is plenty. I never said it doesn't happen. I said it was very rare, and not a significant factor in any deer population.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report

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