Bobcat Sighting In Springfield, Oregon

This Bobcat I caught on video is the first time I have ever seen a Bobcat in the wild. I recorded this footage on a small ranch I work on off of Thurston Road in Springfield. You’ll have to forgive my whispery narration. It’s the first time in 10 years that I’ve tried to do a narrative in one of my wildlife videos. It might be just me, but I think my voice sounds like crap when recorded. You can just mute it if your ears start hurting.

Being a no-budget wildlife videographer for over a decade, I have captured on video well over 100 different creatures on the ranch property ranging from large Cervids like deer, all the way down to the smallest of mammals, birds, and insects. Until now, I had never seen a Bobcat on the property before in my decade of wildlife videography. How I stumbled upon this elusive creature was purely by chance. It was actually a mother doe that alerted me to the young Bobcat’s presence.

The mother doe, her 3 month old fawn, and a young buck had come up to eat near the blackberry bushes on the ranch property. I wasn’t recording any footage at that particular moment since the deer had just arrived for the evening. A few seconds later, something in the blackberry bushes had startled the mother doe and sent her off on a raging fit of huffing, puffing, snorting, and stomping the ground. She was alarming her fawn of the present danger (though I knew not what the danger was at that moment) and she started to take her fawn back towards the woods along with the young buck. The doe continued to huff, puff, and snort as she ran back into the woods, stopping every few dozen feet or so to look back in the direction of the danger.

After the doe, fawn, and young buck ran back into the woods, I still had no idea what the heck got her all riled up like that. I knew that it couldn’t have been any of the fox kits I’ve been observing since early may. I’ve seen the fox kits running around the deer before with no problem what so ever. I also knew that it couldn’t have been any feral cats because the deer don’t care about them either. So, I got closer to where the mother doe kept looking and waited to see what was there.

It was about 7:30p.m and I had finally caught a quick glimpse of something moving in the bush. At that specific moment, it looked to be the same size as a 4 or 5 month old fox kit, like the ones I’ve been observing. But I knew it couldn’t have been one of them. I waited in anticipation for what ever it was to make its identity known.

Finally, the creature emerges from the bush, sits up, and looks directly at me. At first, I thought I was just looking at another feral house cat and a large one at that. It was sitting in a slightly darkened area in the bush. I figured since I had never seen this specific cat on the property before, I would go ahead and get a better look at it. I zoomed in on the cat and made a bunch of camera adjustments so that I could get a better look at the cat’s features as it sat in the slightly darkened area of bush. My heart started racing after realizing what I was seeing. BOBCAT!!!! I was so exited; I could barely keep my video camera still. I never expected to actually find, much less document one of these elusive wild Bobcats on video in the wild.

This young Bobcat is similar in size as a 4 or 5 month old fox kit. Bobcat mothers usually give birth in April or May, so I would have to guess this to be a young 4 month old Bobcat. A Bobcat kitten is usually weaned at two months, but they will remain with the mother for three to five months. Since I’m guessing this young Bobcat to be roughly 4 months old, the mother and siblings are probably very close by. A Bobcat’s usual range is about a 2 mile radius.

My chances of coming across another Bobcat, much less catching one on film in the wild again, is probably very small. After all, if it wasn’t for the complete vigilance of a mother doe, it’s very possible that I would never have seen and captured this Bobcat on video.

If you would like to see more of my wildlife videos (videos that have file sizes that are WAY too large for YouNews™) you can see them on my YouTube channel at Http://www.YouTube.com/user/WilliamSage

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