With the close of whitetail muzzleloader season this past weekend, deer season is officially closed with the exception of some ranches managed by Texas Parks and Wildlife where deer can be hunted through February. It’s now time to do some predator control and reduce the number of coyotes and bobcats. For many years, I thought that only coyotes took a heavy toll of newborn fawns in Texas but I know for a fact that full grown bobcats also kill fawns and occasionally grown deer as well.
I remember hunting down near Menard with an outfitter several years ago when I heard a very vocal struggle back in the woods near a hunting stand that was unoccupied. Brush was breaking and I could occasionally hear a distinctively cat sound. I was positive a mountain lion was attempting to take down a deer. After the evening hunt, we found a button buck that had been killed by a bobcat. Tracks were everywhere and the claw marks on the small buck clearly fit those made by a bobcat. It appeared the cat had attacked head on, the damage was to the neck and throat area. I keep trail cameras going year around close to my home and keep a close check on activity around several corn feeders. I watched a mature doe several years ago that had distinctive markings on her throat. She was a regular at all the feeders and because of the white markings, very easy to identify. One day she showed up with fresh claw marks and what appeared to be puncture marks on her throat and shoulders. She had obviously been in a serious battle for her life against a bobcat. I love seeing bobcats in the woods and my biologist buddies say that for every one I spot there are sure to be several more on a given tract of land that I’ll never see. I don’t get a lot of opportunities to take bobcats while hunting deer or hogs, maybe a couple of opportunities a year but if given the opportunity I plan to help thin their numbers this year.