Soreness, Bad luck timing, exhiliration, memories, but Heartbreak: My First Called-in BobCat Experience

TheGDog

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Vlog video to follow:

2nd set of the day... slight downhill path. At my sit location on a criss-crossing trail my view of the uphill part of that bisecting trail is partially blocked by some stuff, but only at the extreme right of my peripheral vision. Where the trails bisect... just a little down from that I have the MOJO Critter and the 2D Rabbit Decoy and the crappy ICOTec 300 pointing into the wind (downhill) which is also the East, where the sun is coming from.

I'd been on that set for a lengthy time, patiently working the caller. Giving good lengthy pauses in-between calling (it's a base model and I think it's repeats the sequence just a bit to quickly).

I sit with rifle in hand (93R17 .17 HMR) and buttstock to shoulder so I'm pointed at the Motion Decoy and Stationary 2-D decoy. With trigger hand working the caller. Grassy and brushy so wanna make sure I can get on target fast.

So finally, I'm so sore from holding this position on the Tripod stool for soo long, I just gotta get up and stretch my legs, figure it's time to grab the decoys and move along.

DAMN IT! Right as I get halfway stood up, and am checking the uphill terrain... BOOM... right there... maybe 10yds away behind a small bush... my eyes see his nose and the tufts of his earsjust in front of that bush. DOH! I continued to stand up, because I was already past halfway standing, figured I don't dare try to sit back down, figured the motion would bust me.

But upon rising I regrabbed the rifle with hand in front of the trigger guard. Freeing my other hand to cantilever off my knee to rise. So now I gotta get my damn hands to the right places without him seeing me! Move a little bit...see him sorta turn his head...freeze.

About the time I get my hands where they need to be and began trying to rotate the barrel towards him, pausing whenever he moved. He began sniffing at the air while looking toward the decoys... eventually he looks at me. I freeze again, still not rotated enough yet to attempt making a shot. I'm wearing full 3D leafy suit, hat and mesh gaitor, so he doesn't bolt right away.

He stares at me for a lengthy bit. He is a buffed little homey! Strong looking cheek bones and jaw! Those yellow eyes look soo cool! And the side-burns... neat! The tension of trying to salvage the situation of blowing it from standing up too soon is taking it's toll and I'm starting to get buck fever. And the fact that I got ZERO sleep the night before (forgot the Chicken Pot Pie I ordered has lactose in it, Dang It!). And.. sure enough... he starts to notice the trembling in the "leafs".

He decides to retreat, but does so cautiously. Each time he would turn his head to reteat a little more... I'd attempt to rotate and get more to where I could have a chance at taking a shot. Then he'd stop while behind a little bush and turn to look back, so I'd freeze again. By this time I'm pretty sure he knows what's up. Smart little bugger too... he kept his eye on me until he got behind this other tallish narrow tree bush that was between us... and then when he did... he travelled directly away from me head toward the chaparral.. so that's when I stopped trying to play the freeze game and stepped out.

I get out and turned right about the time he leaps over the first of several small pieces of that reddish buck-brush. I watch his leaps which temporarily expose his location, so I can try to at least take a shot while he's bounding away. But like I thought, it ain't happenin' thru that brush with that little .17.

Because I took a shot... I went up and intently scanned the area/dirt peering inside the entrance to this ULTRA thick and gnarly chaparral. When I was satisfied there were no traces of any blood... I went back to the set location... made a quick little Vlog, gathered my stuff and moved on to set #3... only to have the MOJO critters topper eventually break where the spring steel immediately exits the top of the coupler. Lovely.

NOTE: He was white faced, with very Reddish color to the coat.
 
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TheGDog

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Vlog Video :
[video=youtube_share;__XzibOS4FE]https://youtu.be/__XzibOS4FE[/video]
 
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dustin ray

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Fun stuff there good for you getting out there
 

TheGDog

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Thanks man... just soo exasperating because it's a bit of effort to get up in there. And then all the sitting aggravates several old moto injuries. Soo the frustration level is soo high because I came soo close to actually pulling it off, and doing so on a bitchin specimen too! And man... coming back down outta there takes it's toll on me too. From the impact of boots hitting ground, the shock re-aggravates this injury to one of my hip sockets. And also that hike really makes my heart tired for several days afterward. So to have one soo close within my grasp and then escape, and it happened because a simple thing that was my fault. Just makes it worse, makes ya wanna scream. So now, of course, I have to go back and try to make it happen.
 

OPAH

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You know GDog I would be laying up on the rock in the back ground, a little altitude would work wonders on seeing down into the grass and bushes and provide you some fantastic cover
 

canamrider07

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Pack in a dove stool to sit on. Sitting on the ground is torture.
 

THE ROMAN ARCHER

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I didn’t know all that was involved to shoot a damn bobcat......lol. my first bobcat experience was years back on a pig hunt and it was simple, choose a great spot with my back against a huge oak tree on the bottom of a mountain ravine overlooking open terrain hit the rabbit distress call a few times and five minutes later out of thin air a beautiful full grown bobber walks right towards me within 30 of my bow stops and stares at me and walks off, the only that sucked I had all my tags on me except a damn bobcat tag I didn’t get on time for the hun, u use to have to get them on line only back then or that cat would have been in my living room stuffed for sure, all I could do is watch it walk away. I have to say their r all kind of great calls devices for predators that work great, but I really like the simplicity of using a rabbit distress call and it’s so cool to call them in yourself just like useing a turkey call instead of a mojo. But good luck on your next set with more experience u will eventually connect......tra
 

TheGDog

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Pack in a dove stool to sit on. Sitting on the ground is torture.
Oh no... with my various old injuries... I can't sit on the ground for any length of time at all. (Usually)

No... I sit on a simple packable Tripod stool.
 

TheGDog

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Great Minds OPAH... Great Minds! Was looking over the area last night on Google Earth and thinking something along those same lines.

The only tricky part there would be keeping in the shade of the rock... and actually walking up to the rock. Buncha that pig brush chapparral around it. Thinking I might take my loppers with me next time I go there, to help clear a bit of a path to get in by that rock.
 

TheGDog

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I've been reviewing the day in my mind. And I'm pretty sure I saw glimpse of some motion that was probably him (his back) at a distance of maybe 60-70yds away jumping into that shaded grove that's across the way... only further down closer to the gullie.


Wanted to ask you guys with more predator experience. Is it likely this particular cat will now not return to caller and decoy if I were to place them in the same/similar location again?
 

OPAH

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You know GDog we are going to have to do a hunt together, we are not a huge distance apart.
Maybe next Dove, quail, cotton tail season You Gary and I can get together?
 

TheGDog

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It's still cottontail season. I just ordered a magazine block for the 20 gauge Maverick 88 my older brother gave me as a gift to my son. Boy the foreend on these Mossberg's sure are quite loose and rattle don't they? I'm like, how does anyone sneak-up on prey with this thing?
 

OPAH

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Yep have plans to hunt Quail, Eurasians, cotton tail and Jack this weekend. from then on its just Jack and Eurasians.
 

Stevehazard

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It's still cottontail season. I just ordered a magazine block for the 20 gauge Maverick 88 my older brother gave me as a gift to my son. Boy the foreend on these Mossberg's sure are quite loose and rattle don't they? I'm like, how does anyone sneak-up on prey with this thing?
It is by design. The noise scares the game and then you shoot it.
 

TheGDog

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Apparently it is by design. But... it's so the pump slide can still have a ton of dirt and debris in there and still be able to function.
 

Stevehazard

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Also can't you just make a tube limiter out of a stick? I've legitimately just broken something off a tree to use in a pinch.
 

TheGDog

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I'm sure there are many things you could use. But the kit was cheap, and I've got time. Also, apparently the O-rings are the key to having that plug not rattle around in there. So I said EFF it and ordered the little kit rather than hunt-and-cuss for the O-ring at local hardware stores. Saw one guy used a chopped piece of plastic hanger. A piece of a certain diameter PVC was my first thought. But who knows, for the 20 gauge the right diameter might be hard to find for PVC? So I decided to skip wasting my time trying to hunt down right sized pieces.
 

Stevehazard

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Yeah I don't know how the maverick is set up. If it uses some o rings it sounds like it may use a smaller diameter block, particularly on a 20. I still have an original limiter on my 20 but all the 12 gauges I've had and used they get lost and replaced with random pieces of round stock that do the job. Usually pieces of dowels that fit snug inside the spring but things like pens and sticks from a bush end up in there too, lol.
 

OPAH

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I have always been to cheep and most likely been laughed out of camp if I purchase a load limiter, 3/4 inch hardwood dowel pin (stick)
installed and cut down until 3 rounds comfortable in the tube. I have had the same stick in my Ethica feather light semi pump for ages
 

TheGDog

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BTW.. I'll ask again... anybody know where I can get 20-gauge #4 Buckshot rounds that are lead-free? OR whatever other load would work best on coyotes or bobcats?

I'm figuring the #2 and #4 shot should be fine for these bobcats. But for coyotes, lotta what I read seem to indicate #4 buck as the main goto.

So I just need to know where to find/buy lead-free buckshot for 20-gauge.
 
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