Photographing Bobcats!

Most of the time Bobcats walk inquisitively into sight. This Bobcat came running and once I was spotted he/she was gone in an instant. I was thrilled to grab an image of the action. (Tammy D Reynolds)

As most of you who know me, know, I absolutely love photographing Bobcats! Maybe it’s the mystery and the unknown that gets my adrenaline juices going. After all that’s exactly what you get with Bobcats. They are unpredictable, surprisingly brave, intriguing and most of all elusive. I am in awe of this magnificent feline.  The beautiful colors, quick and agile bodies and stalking abilities fascinate me.  I get excited when a coyote comes to my call, but ecstatic when a Bobcat responds. This particular Bobcat wins the prize for catching me completely off guard! JW and I had just sat down, on the ground and of course, in the brush with branches sticking us in the back. We film all of our Photo Adventures for In Focus Adventures with Tammy D Reynolds so cover is essential to not only cover me and the long lens but also the big video camera JW packs around. We had literally just sat down, started calling and 5 seconds later this Bobcat comes rushing in at top speed!  He must have been 40 or 50 ft from us when he heard the call and unlike most Bobcats that walk in, he wasted no time moving in for the kill. I really hadn’t even checked the lighting with my camera and wham, there he was! Bobcat’s are lighting fast, up to 30 miles per hour. They have a special technique for running fast to catch their prey. They put their back feet into the front feet’s spot. If the bobcat is walking on leaves and twigs that would make noise so this technique  prevents it from making any sound, and makes for a virtually silent hunter. As quickly as the Bobcat rushed in he bolted away as he realized it was a set up. However, he didn’t leave! He ran about 30 to 40 feet from us, stopped, sat down and peered at us. After staring us in the eyes for 10 minutes or so, he stood up and very deliberately walked towards us. He maintained eye contact with me as he walked straight towards us with his head low and his tail curling back and forth. I knew what this head low and tail curling was all about! I had a similar situation with another Bobcat. I know what they are thinking when they curl their tail one way then back, again and again. They’re thinking about their next meal, plain and simple!! I’m not one to interfere with their determined path to check me out. There’s something remarkable about a truly wild Bobcat staring me down from 6 ft away. He couldn’t hold his ground though and about 12 ft from us he turned and ran off. OK, so I just had a face to face encounter with a wild Bobcat, I could count the whiskers around his mouth, and there was my adrenaline rush for the day! Did I mention I love photographing Bobcats………..

One Response to “Photographing Bobcats!”

  1. Joe Pettorino says:

    I’d like to learn to photograph bobcats.
    I hear they’re nocturnal and like wetland areas.
    What type of call did you use to lure him in?
    What magnification lens?

    I’ve been told you can sit still and they will come to you. I’ve been told they’re curious about smells, such as perfume. But never heard anything about any specific calls that could be used.

    Can you elaborate. I’m thinking of taking up photography as a hobby, but right now I’m a novice…

Leave a Reply