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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug. 12, 2010
    Location
    Westford, Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,482

    Default Bobcats!

    This is really cool. We've recently moved onto a property that is a fairly wild, previously unoccupied for 4-5 years, 3.5 acres in the middle of a heavily developed area. We're surrounded on three sides by strips of conservation land...then it's big, McMansion, developments all around. The wildlife has apparently decided that our place is the place to be, being the only relatively unbusy place for quite a ways. Which makes me sad, but we're seeing so much of it, it is pretty neat.

    There is a big female bobcat who comes into the yard every evening, shortly before twilight. She is teaching her adolescent kitten how to hunt the rabbits in the field behind the house. We sit on the back deck and watch them with binoculars. Tonight, she had a rabbit cornered in this hole where the previous owners buried a stump. The kitten was trying to get the rabbit, but kept being frightened by it and jumping back and then running around in excited circles. Mommy kept herding him back to the hiding rabbit and shoving him toward it. I remember trying to get the teen boys to get a clue and become independent..I have one more to go, I have much empathy for her and it's really pretty cute.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 14, 2003
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    5,729

    Default

    Speaking of kitties - I have seen a mountain lion cross in front of car headlights in front of my house once in the last 1-2 years. (I live in Princeton. MA). A neighbor 2 houses down was telling me a few weeks ago that she has set up wildlife cams with recording to try and get it on video as it has been seen crossing the road into her yard.

    Cool and scary all at the same time as I am an avid hiker and spend a lot of time in the woods. And her I thought at least hiking alone would be safer than trail riding alone....

    The state denies up and down the existence of mountain lions although one was hit by a car in CT and others have sighted one in Princeton. Recently as I understand it, in the town next door (Sterling) there was a deer carcass pulled up into a tree. Apparently a mountain lion is the only thing that can drag a full deer carcass up a tree. Who knew?

    And a horse was attacked out in the Brookfields, also thought to be a mountain lion.

    The canine ophthalmologist in Petersham who I took one of my dogs to a few months ago has also seen a mountain lion more than once stalking her llama protected sheep.

    They are around. I saw one with my own two eyes.

    I've seen bobcats a few times in my entire life, once around here and once up in northern Maine. We've also had moose come through our yard.

    I think the wildlife is pretty cool although lions kind of give me pause.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov. 18, 2010
    Location
    california
    Posts
    3,920

    Default

    We have many bobcats at the barn....they are always something the horses have to adapt to. I love having them I just wish they could eat more ground squirrels. I always think it is a coyote and then I see the no tail.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 12, 2009
    Location
    Central Virginia
    Posts
    141

    Default

    I've never seen a bobcat, but would love to! I don't even know if we have them in this area, although I know we've had lion sightings (although it's also denied that they exist in this area), but no idea about bobcats. We do have a fox family that plays in our old orchard, and had a coyote couple hang out for a couple of weeks in the spring. First coyotes I've seen in person, although I know they've become quite common around here lately.
    Juliette Beauchamp, LVT
    http://turtlemountainfarm.com/



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2003
    Location
    NorthEast
    Posts
    24,482

    Default

    Bobcat and Lynx are uber-cool! I have a lynx in the somewhat-immediate area to my property. When we first moved here it was around more often. But big cats have ENORMOUS territories and many don't even establish a territory and just move almost constantly.

    Like the poor thing killed here in Ct by a car in Milford. It was originally from North Dakota and has been all over heck and creation.

    Does the Northeast have mountain lions? When states deny that, what they mean is that there is not an established breeding species here in this area. And this is true. Many wildlife professionals wish they were here and that we still had Eastern Mountain Lions. (there are slight differences in regional species) And many have tried to have them reintroduced.

    Do we get mountain lions moving through this area? Of course. We don't have border patrols for animals at state lines. They move through on a regular basis. But overall...they're rare and they're not established and the few that have been found and grabbed before releasing have all DNA typed from nowhere near the Northeast.

    AC and Wildlife will also often tell people reporting sightings of them that they didn't see a mountain lion. Why? Because 99% of the time they didn't. It's sometimes a bobcat or lynx, which is taller than most people assume and leaves *huge* prints. But most of the time? Honestly? Dog.

    Wildlife also gets as many reports for bison, tigers, gators, grizzlies, monkeys, (not kidding) black panthers, wolves, boar, etc.

    Often there are bobcats in areas...the trick to improving your chances of seeing one? If you hike or trail ride in the woods; look *up.* They like being up in the trees. I'm betting more people than you'd think rode or hiked under one once or twice.

    Canaqua...awesome opportunity to be able to watch that on a regular basis!!! Lucky!
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte


    1 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr. 3, 2006
    Location
    Spooner, WI
    Posts
    2,199

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sketcher View Post

    The state denies up and down the existence of mountain lions although one was hit by a car in CT and others have sighted one in Princeton.
    That mountain lion was DNA'd in WI when it traveled through. They definitely are on the move.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2003
    Location
    NorthEast
    Posts
    24,482

    Default

    Yup, I think it went up over the Great Lakes into Canada, then back down into the states through NY.
    It was DNA'd in St Croix too...hence the nickname The St Croix Cat.
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug. 12, 2010
    Location
    Westford, Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,482

    Default

    There was, possibly, a mountain lion in town about five years ago. Near our old house, near the NH border. A couple of people swore they'd seen one and AC brought in a wildlife tracker in who said that some tracks they found were, in fact, from a mountain lion, but they never found the cat. They are, officially, extinct in the eastern US, but there was that one hit by a car in CT a couple of years ago and in 1997, poop found by the Quabbin Reservoir was proved, through DNA testing, to be from a mountain lion. They are around.

    I'm happy with the bobcats in the yard, I wouldn't be so pleased to have a lion out there!



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct. 21, 1999
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    12,243

    Default

    I would love to see a bobcat in my area. It's very much like Canaqua's, a spot of wilderness in a heavily developed area. My "spot" is larger, surrounding a sizable bay, so, maybe there is hope. The only problem is that they would have to get through miles of suburbs to get there. But, hey, the wild turkeys made it, so there may be hope.
    Originally Posted by Alagirl
    We just love to shame poor people...when in reality, we are all just peasants.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan. 11, 2010
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    433

    Default

    Juliette,

    We definitely have bobcats in Central Va. I watched a mother and her kitten playing outside the window of a condo in Wintergreen resort a couple years ago. Very cool! And I know my hunt has seen them from time to time, too.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan. 14, 2003
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    5,729

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Canaqua View Post
    a couple of years ago and in 1997, poop found by the Quabbin Reservoir was proved, through DNA testing, to be from a mountain lion. They are around.
    The one out by Quabbin is supposedly one that has DNA from South America or some such remote place so the guess is that it was set free out there.

    This one in Princeton, it seems a fair number of people have reported seeing it. I get that they can be passing through and have a huge territory but this one seems to be seen right here in this neighborhood of mine with some sort of regularity.

    And frankly, I think there are reasons the state does not want to acknowledge their presence but in the localities where they are seen, they seem to be fairly commonly acknowledged by local residents. To me, the frequency with which they are seen means more than one just passing through. And it would sort of make sense for them to move back in. We have no natural predators for the deer. What lion would not love it around here? One of these days, someone will come across a litter and that will be that.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct. 11, 2007
    Location
    Andover, MA
    Posts
    5,450

    Default

    OP, you know I live not that far from you, and in a similar situation (old farmhouse, 3 1/2 acres of land of which at least 1 1/2 are forested, lots of McMansions around, though it's one acre zoning so they are spread out.) We get a LOT of wildlife (the turkeys love us, and eat my raspberries) but the only predators we've seen are coyotes and foxes. Bobcats would be very cool

    Mountain lions, not so much. They were around Orange County, CA when I lived out there, and not only in the more remote areas. The males especially have huge ranges. A state park was closed to children for a while after a child got mauled (possibly killed, it was a long time ago). For the most part, they are shy, and not as opportunistic as bears and coyotes.
    You have to have experiences to gain experience.

    Proudly owned by Mythic Feronia, 1998 Morgan mare; G-dspeed Trump & Minnie; welcome 2014 Morgan filly MtnTop FlyWithMeJosephine



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr. 2, 2009
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    5,178

    Default

    That's so neat!! I love getting a priviledged glimpse of wildlife doing their thing. We had mountain lions on my grandma's ranch in CA, so amazing! I wish there were more large predators left -- people have been fed and have swallowed so much misinformation, it's all out of balance. I really enjoy seeing them when they appear!


    3 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul. 20, 1999
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    3,195

    Default

    Bobcats are awesome! I love that you moved to a rural/wild area and didn't immediately start complaining about the wildlife. Kudos!



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov. 8, 2007
    Posts
    1,136

    Default

    I've seen 3 or 4 in the 8 years I've been here in West Tennessee.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb. 18, 2003
    Location
    Alberta
    Posts
    5,280

    Default

    Never seen a bobcat, but I have been rather too close to a mountain lion! Was out walking my dog and came across two (yes TWO) of them playing in the field. I crouched in the long grass, completely terrified, and luckily the wind was blowing from them to me and my dog stayed quiet and very very close. After a few minutes of me wondering how the hell I was going to get out of there, they ran off in the other direction.....I ran.....fast.......LOL

    We've also had one stroll down the barn driveway and into the hay shed......that was, er, interesting. And a few years ago, Spruce Meadows found one hiding in their hot walker! Yep, the horse did NOT want to go in!!!
    Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct. 26, 2007
    Location
    San Jose, Ca
    Posts
    4,958

    Default

    We have lots of bob cats around here. Probably see one once a week when I am out trail riding. They aren't scared when you are on a horse - its pretty cool how close you can get - one even loped along beside us as I cantered my horse up a long hill.

    I also have some near my house, and they are not shy - will sit right in my driveway, and just cock an ear when I talk to them.

    We do have mountain lion as well - even had one marking the back yard a few years ago. There are lots of deer and other prey here. Generally a mountain lion will not harass a horse unless the cat is sick / old or otherwise not right.

    My uncle (in Pennsyvania) had a mountain lion come after his horses. Fish and wildlife came out and dispatched the cat - and upon examination found it was old, missing most of its teeth and starving.

    Cats WILL however go after goats / alpacas / lamas in pens. Neighbor a few ridges over has lost a number of goats and alpacas to mountain lions. He now keeps the remaining flock in a pen surrounded by pretty high powered electric, and keeps them closer to the house.

    HERE IS A PHOTO of a bob cat in my driveway.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug. 12, 2010
    Location
    Westford, Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,482

    Red face Pictures!

    I don't know how to edit the title to say "Pics!"...but I got some this afternoon. Plus a movie of them playing.

    http://i274.photobucket.com/albums/j...psc86555d6.jpg

    http://i274.photobucket.com/albums/j...psab14e410.jpg

    http://youtu.be/Oah6LQWTdVc

    Sorry, much trouble with photobucket, they've changed it all around since the last time I used it...pictures should be big enough to see now, I hope.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb. 10, 2007
    Location
    SE Wisconsin
    Posts
    2,051

    Default

    Thank you, Appsolute and Canaqua, for posting those pictures and especially the vid of "your" bobcats! I loved seeing them. Bobcats (and mountain lions) are gorgeous animals. We occasionally see both of them at our old farmhouse in the upper peninsula of Michigan, and I just love them-- though I'm careful not to get too close, of course!
    I loff my Quarter horse clique

    I kill threads dead!



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