Michigan Sportsman Forum banner

1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
588 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I went to check my traps and what I thought was my first grey fox from a distance, ended up being an adult bobcat! I sucessfully released it after a short photo session (plactic drum over animal). Thanks you guys so much! All of my effort money and time was all worth this amazing expierance. One day I will get a target species! Enjoy the photos....


 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,102 Posts
Way to go Dan!!!

Congratulations on a fantastic catch and release!!

It sure is nice to have such a healthy and growing population of bobcats in our state. Like all our wildlife, it is a renewable resource that needs to be harvested, especially during periods of high population.

It appears to me that we are probably at or just beyond the peak in the rabbit population in these parts, so it is no surprise that the bobcat population is also peaking. Unfortunately in the next couple of years the rabbit population will likely crash and the bobcats will be looking at some pretty tough years ahead.

So it is fortunate that the DNR has approved a bobcat trapping season for the lower peninsular, even if it is only for private property.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
381 Posts
Very cool...Looking at the tufts, I thought this might be a Lynx. What do you guys think. Are there any in MI ??

In the 1980's my buddies uncle raise Lynx (no joke) for their fur. Business eventually failed...not sure why.

The Terminator
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,102 Posts
The Terminator,

Dan definitely caught and released a Bobcat. I know those tuffs on the ears do tend to make him look like a Lynx.

To my knowledge we don't have any Lynx in Michigan, but then again I did not think that we had any wolverine in the state, but those houndmen coyote hunted proved that at least one wolverine was running around the lower pennisula ;) .

Lynx are significantly larger than a bobcat, with much longer legs and huge feet! If you can get the speciman to hold still you could check the tip of their tail :evil: . A bobcat only has white on the bottom of the tip of the tail and a lynx has white all around the tip of their tail.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
588 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
What are the chances of a coyote entering the catch circle of a bobcat?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,102 Posts
Dan,

That is a really good question!

I am trying to remember if I have ever caught and released a bobcat at a set and then later caught a coyote.

My gut tells me that catching a coyote at a bobcat remade set should not be a problem. But I know that last year I caught and released a bobcat, while snow trapping. Several coyotes later visited this set location, but the definitely shyed away from the set. Never did end up catching a coyote at that location :sad: .

So the jury is still out in my mind regarding the effect that a bobcat catch has on future coyote catches.

Regardless, you should definitely remake the set and hope for the best! Since the trap is already dirty and if you pull it you will have to retreat the trap :D .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
588 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well , nothing at this set yet. Maybe tomorrow after we recieve some fresh snow I'll be able tell if anything passed by.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,737 Posts
Saw a large bobcat pass less than 100 yards from my stand on 11/16. First one we've acrually seen in five years. Have been seeing large cat tracks for about three years but didn't know what it was. Northeast Manistee County.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,099 Posts
MBW,

Youre not being a jerk to ask that question :)

I didnt catch this particular bobcat, TrapperDan (HondaXR) did. But, I can tell you from my experience catching one a few weeks ago....and from catching countless other animals, which I've released unharmed.

My bobcat did not have even the slightest amount of damage to its foot, and this is the norm. Our traps are designed to clamp the animal on, or just above the pad of the foot. They dont use excessive force...but they dont open back up, either. So, once clamped above the pads, the foot cant be extracted. That is the operating principle of the foothold trap.

I have released alot of animals, and never seen so much as a limp as they took off. Remember, their feet are alot tougher than ours. They can stand in freezing water, then walk across snow forever. They dont "come inside" and sit by a fire :) Yet, do their feet freeze? Do they complain or wimper in pain? No and no. Their feet have evolved to be tough and apparently not transmit the "pain" sensation that we humans feel. They have very, very few blood vessels in their lower leg and foot. With relative disregard, they step on burrs, briars, sharp sticks and yes, get held by traps, too.

If you have a broadband connection, you may want to watch this short video which discusses the foothold trap and shows actual catches.

http://www.parlin.com/huntfish/Destroying the Myth.wmv

-NC
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
651 Posts
Noticed this thread and remembered a bio teacher talking about lynx in MI. If you google it a few sites mention there being lynx here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
588 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Dave

I checked the set that I caught the bobcat in this morning and I saw that I missed a coyote! The dirt hole was dug out and my lure was sitting just above center of my trap pan. In the picture I'm pointing to the center of the trap, just above that and a little to the left is the cotton swab, and halfway between the swab and the dirt hole are coyote tracks. I redug and lured a new dirt hole closer to the trap. Should I be digging a deeper hole? What do you think? Thanks



Dan
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,102 Posts
Dan,

Good photo!

The trap placement looks about right. How about it guys?

I personally like to dig a fairly deep dirthole at about a 45 deg. angle. I would say that my holes are about 8" to 10" deep.

Now that it is getting cold and snowy you might want to put some commerical bait in the bottom of the hole to keep the coyote working the set. I have found R&M Mouse Special Bait to one of the best winter bait for both fox and coyote. Use about a teaspoon size gab on the end of a small stick that you shove into the hole. You can put a little grass in the hole as a plug if you wish. Or you could use a piece of slightly tainted beaver or muskrat meat. Or even a tainted piece of the fox meat!

The only other comment I can make is that it appears that you might have a little too much dead grass covering the trap. I maybe too concerned about clogging the jaws of the trap, which could prevent the trap from getting a good hold during the initial contact with the coyotes foot. This could also lead to the coyote being caught just by a toe. What do you other guys think?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,099 Posts
I concur with you completely, Dave.

Dan, when I looked at the photo, before reading the text, the first two things that came to my mind were...

The hole is not deep enough
There is too much heavy grass over the trap

This is not to say that your set wont work as-is, in fact it looks very natural. But, remembering that we're trying to maximize the opportunity to make a catch (and hold it), I recommend that you make the coyote work real hard before he ever gets your lure-holder or bait out of the hole. Before he ever gets it out, he should have already stepped on the pan, after parading around and working so much. Since he got your "swab" out without stepping on the pan, I say it was much too easy for him.

Now if you fix that by making a deeper hole and maybe plugging it with a ball of grass (optional), then the second recommendation comes into play....

I have definetely had traps close on animals but the corners of the jaws clogged on too much heavy debris. When I walked up to the traps, I found the jaws partially open, galled with grass and dirt clods. You want the jaws to remain free to close tighter, any time the opportunity is there. Clogged jaws wont allow that. Unless your using 4-coiled traps, I think that you shouldnt cover with anything that wont fit through your sifter (give or take a bit).

-NC
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,678 Posts
The first trapping book that I got gave reference to the use of short grass clippings. The trapper used a knife and a small cutting board that he carried around with him to all of his new sets. i find it much easier to use a pair of scissors. which i took out and havent had for a while. but cutting up the grass and using small clippings should help them to keep the trap jaws clean.


mike
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top