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#2159747 - 02/22/12 01:11 AM U picked wisely...(2nd bobcat in 2 days) Really long
elks Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 02/28/03
Posts: 3243
Loc: Central WY
Sunday night I knew I had to go calling on Monday. Fresh snow was hitting our area and things were looking good for calling. I narrowed the areas I would like to hunt down to 3 and could not decide which area so I randomly assigned each area a number 1-3 and let u decide. Number 3 was picked...

On Monday I woke up early to 4 inches new snow and at 4:45 things were a mess. It took me almost 3 hours to make the trip that normally takes one. I arrived to the area just after first light. Luckily I was the first one in. As a result I jumped a drive by yote immediately, unfortunately it escaped unharmed.

As I drove in further I was checking tracks and looking for a cat track either lion or bob. Not long into the trip I jumped a small group of bulls and this one stuck around for a photo opportunity. Not a bad bull I hope to find him this fall. Sorry did not have the telephoto lens on...


Shortly after seeing the bulls I ran across a lion hunter on a snowmobile. This being the first real good snow of the year meant they were going to be hitting it hard. I figured where there is one there would be more. So I abandoned my original plan of driving until I find tracks. I then opted for a walk/hike. I focused my efforts in an area that has had all road access blocked from the public, although the private has road access??? That is another issue all together.... So at 9:00 I left the blazer and headed across this flat. My overall goal was to work the lower ridge all the way up to the base of the larger ridge. The hike to the bottom of the big ridge is just over 3 miles. Here is a pic of the area I was headed towards...


On my way across the flat I found a group of Sage Grouse. There was one male in the group that was strutting his stuff, puffed out and all. It was cool to watch. The grouse decided to split before I could dig my camera out. Once I hit the ridge I sat up to call my first stand. The stand had one of the private access roads running up the bottom. I called for about 15 minutes when I had a yote round the corner towards me... Things looked good only for a split second then I realized the yote was running away from something and not towards my call. I watched it disappear without a shot.

Here is a pic of the 1st stand view. Yote came on the road at the furthest corner.


After that I was back on the move up the ridge. Snow on the ridge was about knee deep on average with deepest spot mid thigh. After I made it about 500 yards from my stand it was becoming very apparent that I was way over dressed and was overheating like mad. So I ditched my bibs on the fence and stripped down to cool/dry off.

As I stood there on the fence line(with my pants literately down) I had a second yote come running hard in front of me. It never stopped and never gave me a shot. In fact it never looked my direction. After the passed I got my stuff gathered up, ditched my bibs and headed further up the ridge. Just as I started 2 lion hunters on snowmobiles passed. That had the yotes running and it really messed with me, do I continue on over dressed and over packed or call it and go find some other areas? I decided that I should continue on. From this point the snow got deeper and making any sort of distance was slow.

I pushed on headed towards a small rock out cropping I wanted to call around. As I went I finally cut my first bobcat track and it looked to be really fresh. Having always wondered if I could walk out a bob cat I decided to try. The track was easy enough to follow, fresh snow about 6" deep made it very obvious. At first the cat worked a good south was west facing slope with rocks. Meant easy going for me. After a 1/2 mile the cat took a turn for the worse. It headed down a north east slope. The snow was deep, near my waist, and very slow going. After trying to wade the snow for 200 yards I gave up and headed to the ridge top figuring the cat would soon get tired with fighting the snow. It never did and eventually we made it off the ridge all together and in the sage brush bottom. This was good as it made thing easier, but also bad was as the cat headed towards the snow mobile tracks. It cut its way across the sage and right towards the snow mobile track.

This was either going to be good or bad. If the cat was on top of the tracks I knew I was close, if not the cat had at least a 2 hour head start. When the cat track hit the snowmobile track it was obvious that the lion hunters had stopped right there and walked around. My hope had sunk at this point. I had been busting my butt for 2 hours on the track not stopping and fighting the snow. As I looked I decided to see where the cat headed figuring I had no chance to catch it. I walked up the snow mobile tracks a 100 yards then was able to pick up the cat track on the snowmobile track.

This gave me a renewed hope, I now knew for sure a good timeline and I was not far behind it. When the cat left the snowmobile track I followed its tracks. The cat worked in and out of the bottom, with its overall direction up the draw. Since the snow was wearing me down a ton I elected to use the snowmobile track and put my head down and start covering ground. My faster pace paid off. Sweating and winded I took a break doubled over to catch my breath. I look up and see the cat. At first I thought I was seeing things, a fur mirage... Then it registered the cat was actually there. I then un-slung my 223 (also I was packing my 12ga since I like punishing myself) and aimed, the first shot was a miss, winded, excited, sweat in my eyes, glasses fogged etc... No matter it was a miss, I loaded another round and hit the mark. The cat fell in its tracks. Here it is, a pic of my guns, pack and cat. The pic is staged such that you can see the ridge it came down in the background.

After taking the cat I had a second wind, that did not last long. I made one last trek into the deeper snow looking for a track, but I was spent. So at 3:30 I headed back to the truck. I made use of the snowmobile track, but by this time I was hurting. I made it back to my bibs just in time for the wind to pick up again. I was wet from snow and sweat and the wind was bitter. I threw my bibs on and made my way across the big flat back to the truck. I arrived back to the blazer just as the sun set. I took a few more pics. the first one is a close up of the ridge. I cut the track at the left arrow and the right arrow is where the cat headed down the back side in the deep snow.

Then I took a few last shots at sunset and managed to take my traditional K5 fur shot. The cat is now at the fur guy, he is expecting it to take around $450 for just about anything0...
Over all it was a hard hunt, as hard as I have hunted for anything... I also got to talking with my buddy, he figures the cat could see the snowmobilers from the ridge top and being curious it went to check it out. Makes sense as it was the only place they stopped and got off and the cat basically made a straight line for it... Who knows? Cat are just really cool...
This has been my slowest yote year for a long time but my best year. Heck I only tried my cats areas 3 times and killed a cat on 2 of em...






Edited by reb8600 (02/22/12 06:49 AM)
_________________________
Elks

All a man needs in life is open ground good guns and a wife who can skin.

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#2159761 - 02/22/12 01:33 AM Re: U picked wisely...(2nd bobcat in 2 days) Really long [Re: elks]
Hawk-eye Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 01/10/11
Posts: 303
Loc: Iowa
Awesome story ELks! You made me tried just reading about your trek. You worked your butt of for it, which makes it all that more special. Way to go and congratulations! You have beautiful country up there. Love the pictures! If I called out there, I wouldn't see any coyotes come in because I'd be gawking at the beautiful scenery the whole time!

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#2159766 - 02/22/12 01:35 AM Re: U picked wisely...(2nd bobcat in 2 days) Really long [Re: elks]
stanly Offline
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 03/16/09
Posts: 1190
Loc: Alaska
Great story Man! Wow, busted your azz for that kitty. Beautiful country, that deep snow will let you know how out of shape you are real quick. Have you ever used snowshoes? Sounds like they really would have helped. Just really cool you had a plan and objective and got it done. Well earned, Congrats!
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When the HOGS show up, somethins gonna DIE!!

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#2159767 - 02/22/12 01:36 AM Re: U picked wisely...(2nd bobcat in 2 days) Really long [Re: elks]
EEDIGER Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 02/19/12
Posts: 128
Loc: Southwest Kansas
Awesome story along with the pictures!..

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#2159795 - 02/22/12 02:49 AM Re: U picked wisely...(2nd bobcat in 2 days) Really long [Re: EEDIGER]
300magman Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 01/07/11
Posts: 791
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Fantastic story and pictures, great read and thanks ofr sharing!

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#2159886 - 02/22/12 09:06 AM Re: U picked wisely...(2nd bobcat in 2 days) Really long [Re: 300magman]
jcELK Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 01/28/12
Posts: 189
Loc: Kentucky
Very nice! You sure earned that one. Great read, and great pics.

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#2159904 - 02/22/12 09:29 AM Re: U picked wisely...(2nd bobcat in 2 days) Really long [Re: jcELK]
Miz Kiz Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 10/20/10
Posts: 542
Loc: Georgia
What a great story and beautiful pictures. (By letting us help you pick the spot I felt a bit invested too. (tee hee hee))

Thanks for sharing the before and after with us.
Those are just awesome pictures!
_________________________
"...If I should live forever, and all my dreams come true, my memories of love will be of you. ..."

"I'm an American. Have gun will travel."

If you can laugh at yourself you'll always be amused.




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#2159959 - 02/22/12 10:29 AM Re: U picked wisely...(2nd bobcat in 2 days) Really long [Re: Miz Kiz]
tt35 Offline
Die Hard Member with a vengeance

Registered: 12/12/06
Posts: 4398
Loc: E Oregon
Thanks for the great read, Elks! I've missed reading your adventures. That was a Hardcore hunt! Serious congratulations on that one.

Tim
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#2160055 - 02/22/12 12:08 PM Re: U picked wisely...(2nd bobcat in 2 days) Really long [Re: tt35]
Colorado Coyotes Offline
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 09/01/02
Posts: 1109
Loc: Hoehne Colorado
Great pics and replay. Nice cat, should have good fur.

You must be tough as old boot leather, busting through that snow. Why not snowshoes?

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#2160088 - 02/22/12 12:39 PM Re: U picked wisely...(2nd bobcat in 2 days) Really long [Re: Colorado Coyotes]
Kollincoyote Offline
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 11/17/05
Posts: 1486
Loc: Southern MN
Cool pics nice story

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#2160112 - 02/22/12 12:55 PM Re: U picked wisely...(2nd bobcat in 2 days) Really long [Re: Kollincoyote]
SSharp Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 506
Loc: Lorena, TX
After that you needed a nap...Great Job!!!
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LUCK!!! Where preparation and opportunity come together.

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#2160116 - 02/22/12 12:59 PM Re: U picked wisely...(2nd bobcat in 2 days) Really long [Re: SSharp]
Jake_2008 Offline
Predator Master

Registered: 02/17/12
Posts: 57
Loc: Alabama
Im not sure I have seen pictures much prettier than that. Nice story to boot.

Jake

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#2160119 - 02/22/12 01:02 PM Re: U picked wisely...(2nd bobcat in 2 days) Really long [Re: Colorado Coyotes]
elks Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 02/28/03
Posts: 3243
Loc: Central WY
Originally Posted By: Colorado Coyotes
Great pics and replay. Nice cat, should have good fur.

You must be tough as old boot leather, busting through that snow. Why not snowshoes?


In all honesty there has not been any snow at all around here. The fresh snow was only about 6" deep. The plan was to follow the ridge lines and work in the new snow only. I had not counted on finding the big deep drifts on the back side of the ridge. The ridge I worked is on the east side of a big open area, I am guessing that the snow we had got piled in there deep. Last weekend I hunted near by and never managed to get to my knees... Next time I head that I am bringing the shoes just in case. Had I not cut the track, I would have been able to work the south/west exposure only and been fine...

Also the shoes were in the rafters of the garage. Not enough snow to make me consider em, wish I had.

I sure felt it the next day. My feet hurt pretty bad and my hips were feeling it pretty good. Today I feel great.
_________________________
Elks

All a man needs in life is open ground good guns and a wife who can skin.

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#2160464 - 02/22/12 06:14 PM Re: U picked wisely...(2nd bobcat in 2 days) Really long [Re: elks]
243win4569 Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 08/08/11
Posts: 121
Loc: KS
What kind of rifle is that?

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#2160470 - 02/22/12 06:20 PM Re: U picked wisely...(2nd bobcat in 2 days) Really long [Re: elks]
beagler Offline
PM senior

Registered: 12/22/02
Posts: 8837
Loc: lackawanna county,PA
Nice!
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never misses

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