SC turkey hunter attacked by bobcat

spectr17

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Apr. 10, 2002  

Turkey hunter becomes bobcat prey

By Kelly M. Burch, The Sun News (Myrtle Beach)

Clad in camouflage gear, Leon "Junior" Casselman was sitting alone on the ground making turkey calls when he heard rustling behind him.

When he turned toward the noise, a bobcat leaped on his back, clawing at his eyes.

"I looked back and he was right there at me," Casselman said. "He come up on me from behind. Once he got my eye, I pulled him off me.

"I couldn't see to shoot him, but I could see him moving back off through the brush. I fired my gun twice, but I must have missed him."

Doctors at the Storm Eye Institute in Charleston operated on his left eye Tuesday, a week after the attack at the Mor-
risville Hunting Club near Nesmith in rural Williamsburg County. The bobcat also left deep scratches on his right arm, and Casselman is being treated for possible rabies exposure since the bobcat has not been captured.

It is the first time in at least five years that a serious attack by a bobcat has been reported to the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, said DNR wildlife biologist Dave Baumann.

"Normally bobcats don't jump on you," he said. "But it's not unheard of during turkey hunting season, because you're imitating the sound of a turkey and most turkey hunters wear camouflage from head to toe. If the bobcat is kind of keyed in on where you're calling from, he probably just thinks it's his next meal."

The attack happened about 8:30 a.m. April 2, after Casselman had been hunting for several hours.

"If the guy was wearing blue jeans and a T-shirt, it wouldn't have happened," said DNR biologist Jay Butfiloski. "This was a case of mistaken identity. As far as the cat knows, he was going after a turkey."

After the bobcat ran off, Casselman said he walked nearly a mile to his truck and drove to his brother's home near Andrews, about 10 miles away.

His wife, Nicole, said he has never been hurt during his previous hunting trips. Besides hunting turkeys, Casselman has been an avid deer hunter for at least 25 years.

Casselman, who is hopeful doctors can save his left eye, said he probably will not hunt any more turkeys during this season, which began in mid-March and ends May 1. But he does plan to be out in the woods again next year, he said.

"He might not get to hunt any more turkeys this time, but ... he'll catch it next year," said his mother, Willa. "And he still has his right eye to see out of."

Contact KELLY M. BURCH at 626-0324.



INFO :
Where are bobcats?

Bobcats are found throughout the United States with the exceptions of Ohio, Indiana, Iowa and Rhode Island. In South Carolina, they are usually found in heavily forested areas; the highest densities of bobcats are in bottomland forests of the lower Coastal Plain. Piedmont habitats with a good interspersion of forest and clear-cut areas support stable bobcat populations. Clear-cut areas provide alternate prey species in years when forest prey is low.
 

m57jager

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Once again, it is possible, but where do these guys get off saying what the animal was thinking.  About 20 years ago my father was hunting deer near Fish Camp when a doe walked by him at about 8am.  He sat there thinking a buck might be by in a little while.  About a half hour later he heard something coming, turns out to be a bobcat walking after the doe snarling and spitting.  He made a quiet cough and motion to scare him off.  Instead of scaring him the cat turned his direction and walks towards him.  He let the cat get to about 7-10 feet away.  The cat crouched and wiggled its butt, BLAMMO!!!!.  It flew back about 10-15 feet( he was using 30-30 hotloads that a neighbor/gunsmith had given him).  When he picked the cat up and held it by the ankles with his arms straight out the nose was in the dirt.  My dad is 6'3"(big @&* bobcat).  Didn't have a tag, it was out of self defense and left there.  Bobcat will attacked humans though very unlikely.  Oh and guess what he was wearing.  Blue jeans and a flannel.  Please don't ask if were sure it wasn't a mountain lion or a lynx.  Ive heard it before and thats just plain insulting.        
 

MBullism

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We don't have alot of bobcats in mass, but I've had coyotes come to turkey calls before... Good thing they are shy.

M

(Edited by MBullism at 9:29 pm on April 12, 2002)
 

tomturkey

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Jesse, I read that story in my hometown newspaper last week & it brought back a scary memory for me. About 15 years ago I was out turkey hunting one afternoon. I was lying against a mound of dirt alonside a logging road watching a long straight & calling every now & then. After about an hour, something told me to look behind me. When I turned my head around, there was a bobcat about 30 yards in the stalking position looking right at me. I didn't hesitate to let him meet a load of 2oz. #6s. They rolled him backwards & he came up running away. While the turkey loads didn't kill him (at least not immediately), they sure changed his mind about a turkey dinner! Needless to say, ever since then, I always try to watch my back while turkey hunting.  Also had a red fox slip in 10 yards behind me just last week, but he didn't hang around long when I turned & looked him in the eyes.

tomturkey ;)

(Edited by tomturkey at 9:08 am on April 13, 2002)
 

flahunter

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About 3 years ago i was hunting a WMA here in florida and was down in a real thick hammock and had two Tom's that would not come in to me. although i could see them about 75 yards away it was just not close enough so I did the old belly crawl to within 15 yards of there position. anyways during this two hour battle while I was crawling to them I had stoped  and was just lying flat on the ground listening and doing some yelping when I looked up and a bobcat was about 10 feet away ready to jump on me. Instead of jumping up and scaring off the turkeys I just kind of stood up on all fours and the cats ran off right by the two toms. Neadless to say it shut the toms up but I still managed to get one of them 10 minutes later.
 

Tominator

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If you're gonna hunt down here you better stay on your toes. I've had a coyote come in to put the sneak on my deke (he won't be doing that again) but no bobcats yet. I guess I would rather it be bobcats than mt. lions though,
Tominator
 

Welby

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Several years ago, I would have thought this kind of incident was just a fluke, but as it turns out it is much more commonplace than I ever would have imagined.  In my six years of turkey hunting, I have had bobcats slip up on me from behind on two different occasions.  The first time was the closest call, as that cat was just on the other side of the log I had my back against.  (Boy was he surprised...he didn't know a "turkey" could carry a gun!)
 

Maverick

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(Edited by coveybustinchris at 3:28 pm on April 17, 2002)
 

Maverick

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<font face=arial size=1><blockquote><hr noshade size=1>
"If the guy was wearing blue jeans and a T-shirt, it wouldn't have happened," said DNR biologist Jay Butfiloski. "This was a case of mistaken identity. As far as the cat knows, he was going after a turkey."
<hr noshade size=1></blockquote></font>

If the guy was wearing blue jenas and a t-shirt he wouldn't have been hunting trukeys!
WTH > If the cat thought that it was going after anything it thought it was climbing a tree! I just wish this guy would have seen or hear that cat a little bit sooner, we sure wouldn't be hearing about this guy getting hurt. What if this had been a jr hunter that the cat had jumped on?
 


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