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Bobcat Set Locations

Travis Chilson of New Mexico sent in a few tips on set locations along with some general pointers for bobcat trapping.  Thanks Travis!

The first thing to do when Bobcat trapping is look for locations within locations.  By that I mean find attractive terrain features and travel routes (locations) then look for cat sign (your location at your location).  In cat country I like to look for certain landmarks such as salt cedars, deep washes, gulleys, etc.  I've found most Bobcat toilets in these kind of places.  The thing I have found most important is to set on sign and not just look for a place that would make an easy set.  With cats there's no point making a set outside of its travel routes.  Bobcats will follow the path of least resistance, so bear this in mind when looking for terrain features that dictate travel routes.  I often make a set in a location of a toilet in rocky cliffs and bluffs and also set on the trails leading to it, as well as places where travel routes intersect.

Most of my sets are constructed sort of wide, giving the cat enough room to turn around.  I heavily guide cats on both sides using rocks, twigs and sticks.  I like to use a flat rock for a rubbing post where I smear a good amount of gland lure.  Last year I used Dobbins Purrrfect and a lot of Wayne Derick's lures, Pecos Valley Cat Call and Tombstone.  I wet my sets down with quite a bit of Bobcat urine.

When you want a cat to work a set you have two basic instincts to work with: hunger and curiosity.  If the cat happens to not be hungry a good loud gland lure is necessary to raise his curiosity, because cats have the attention span of a two year old.  I also fill a pill bottle full of urine and stick cotton balls in it with a little bit of catnip and leave it at the set.

For flagging I use Christmas thistle and the fuzzy ball decorations hanging from a branch near the set.  I've also used sardine can lids and small utility flags.  Tie a small peice of white ribbon to them to make them more eye catching.

As for traps, I use a modified #2 or #3 Bridger and #2 Montys most of the time.  I like the dogless Montys especially.  Last year I started using the KB 5.5 trap and loved them.  I did not have one miss or a bad catch.  These traps always caught high on the foot.

In most of the country I trap it is rocky so I use a wide drag made of heavy rebar with cotton pickers welded on each side.  I also anchor traps to salt cedars and other small trees and think the cable I use to tie them off adds more of an attractant to cats.  I bury the drags or hide them in brush.  When I can use cable stakes it's Berkshires with 15 inches of cable.

Regarding weather patterns and time, I give a singe cat 3 days to work his territory and come back on his circuit.  High pressure systems and cloud cover before a storm will get cats moving looking for food.  I beleive these times are the best opportunities to wind up with a cat.

All things considered, it's not much more difficult than finding and setting on good sign.  Trail intersections or single trails leading down into draws, washes or sandy bottoms are deadly locations.  Find these features, look for sign, and you've found your location at your location.

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