There's a first time for everything, but my first bobcat was a catch to remember.
I spent a couple of weeks of training following Jim Camden and Melvin Childers on their trapline. They made sets using foothold, conibear and a few cage traps. Plenty of raccoon were caught, plus several beaver, a skunk, an otter and one bobcat, but nothing in the cage traps.
When left to trap on my own, Melvin loaned me the use of one of the large cage traps, and I was
determined to catch something in it.
Near the entrance of one of our duck lakes was a briar patch with a low path running through it. I wired a duck carcass to the back corner of the trap and shoved the cage into the briars in line with the path and pulled more briars and limbs around the sides.
An animal looking through the open door of the cage could see right through to the other side, with a tasty duck hanging along the way. I learned later that this open tunnel was probably the most important part of setting a trap for bobcat, because bobcat do not like to enter an area they have to back out of.
When I finished, I had a feeling that this was a really
good set. It was one of those sets that even if nothing was caught, it wouldn't be the fault of the trapper.
The next morning I passed by several undisturbed sets, found a couple of possums in footholds, and checked the cage trap from a distance with binoculars. The door was closed.
To see in the trap I had to get very close. Very close. I bent over to peek through the tunnel and the briars came alive as a really big bobcat screamed and charged the front of the cage. To say the least, I wasn't expecting that.
The cat weighed in at 27 pounds, and I kept the pelt and the skull. I'm going to have a hat made from the cat in memory of that first time.