Bobcat fur is very valuable. The furry creatures are located mostly in southern and southwestern states. If you’re concentrating your hunting efforts on bobcats, you’re in for a ton of fun. Bobcat trapping is exhilarating and requires you to be a bit stealthy and clever. Here we’ve gathered some bobcat trapping tips to help you be a better trapper.
Video: Bobcat trapping tips
The Importance of Polyfill
Polyfill is important when you’re trapping bobcat. Use polyfill under your trap to eliminate the need for pan tension. Polyfill provides resistance that helps eliminate other animals from setting the trap off. It also adds tension that ensures the bobcat is in the right position before the trap spring goes off.
Bobcats Don’t Like to Back Out
Bobcats are opposed to backing out. If they feel like they’re going to get trapped, a bobcat won’t enter the trap. To avoid turning a bobcat off before they even enter the trap, you need to make the trap open-ended. An open-ended trap allows a bobcat to walk through the set.
Use Brush to Narrow Pathways
If your trap is near a wide travel way, you’ll want to narrow the trap as much as possible. To do this easily, use brush from the surrounding area. Don’t overdo it, just grab a few bushy limbs and a bobcat will follow the path you’ve provided.
Lure the Trap
To make sure you get bobcats in the area, you’ll want to lure them to the trap. Fresh bobcat feet and gray fox feet are excellent attractants for bobcats. For best results, poke them into the trap or create a scratch-up pile and use the lure there. When you’re choosing your lure, you need to make sure it will hold up to rain.
Some trappers suggest lures will last for about 10 to 15 days. Otherwise, recommend reluring every six to seven days. It’s really up to the trapper how often they relure, but remember that it won’t do any good if you don’t choose a lure that is rainproof.
Unlike coyotes or other critters, a bobcat is very suspicious of traps. For best results, you should place the attractant at least 15” in front of the trap. By the time the bobcat comes in close to the lure, he’ll be ready to walk right into the trap.
Collect Bobcat Dung
It sounds gross, but if you want to be a better bobcat trapper, you need to collect as much bobcat dung as possible. Most importantly, don’t overlook the fresh feces. Often you’ll find dung near the edge of a catch circle. It’s best to save these in little pill bottles.
Use them whenever you set up a new trap. If you need to freshen up the feces, spritz it with a little bobcat urine. If you don’t have any bobcat urine handy, fox urine will do just fine.
Leave Traps Out for Longer
A responsible trapper will check a trap every day. But, you shouldn’t move your trap as much as you would for other animals. There is no perfect number, but most trappers swear by leaving a trap in one particular area for at least two to three weeks. If you move it too soon, you’ll inevitably be leaving some cats in the area.
Keep Traps Fresh
It’s important to keep your bobcat traps fresh. The better you maintain your traps the better success you’ll have. Two tips to keep in mind in this area is to refresh urine every couple days. You should also relure the trap at least once a week.
Remember What Worked in the Past
Some say history repeats itself and when it comes to bobcat trapping that’s a good thing. What this means is if you caught a cat in trap in a particular situation the year before or even three years ago, it’s probably still a good spot. You can add new traps if you want, but don’t move the ones that have worked for you in the past.
Set Traps Where You See Signs
It’s best to set traps where you see signs. But, if a spot looks really good and you feel like it’s the right spot…go ahead and do it. Sometimes bobcats don’t leave much evidence as they pass through an area.
Remember Bobcats Travel in Pairs or Packs
It’s in bobcats nature to travel in packs. For this reason, it’s best to set at least two sets in an area. Plus, a bobcat won’t end up in the trap you designed for it if a coyote, fox, or other critter is already using the one you picked for it.
Keep Pelts Out of the Sun
Once you’ve started collecting pelts, you need to keep them out of the sun. Both heat and sun rays are bad for pelts. To avoid ruining the pelts before you get paid, it’s best not to travel with the furs in your truck or on the back of your ATV. Even in cool weather, an ATV or truck bed are bad spots for fur because they conduct heat. Instead, cover the pelts with damp burlap. It’s also important not to pile bobcat bodies on top of each other. If you stack the bodies, it will create a hot environment. If your pelts get ruined, they’re not going to be worth much.
Miscellaneous Bobcat Trap Tips
There’s probably a million things that weren’t listed here, but the tips above are a great way to get you started. On top of all the things listed here, it’s important to remember bobcats love beaver dams. Even better, they love beaver meat, so use that to your advantage. Another thing bobcats love is the color white, that’s another great tip because you can easily add white objects to your bobcat trap set. Use organic white materials like eggshells for the best results.
There you have it! Use the bobcat trapping tips above to be a better trapper. Like anything, it might take some time and practice to get it right, but if you follow the tips listed above, you’ll be well on your way, and you’ll likely figure out some tips not listed that work well for you too.