Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 3

W

Soft Kitty, Warm Kitty

HILE OUR UNIVERSE sprang into existence about 14 billion years ago,
the little ball of fur known as the bobcat only hit the scene 20,000 years
ago similar to many of the species we know today. Originally ranging throughout the eastern U.S., its current range has been constricted for the normal and
obvious reasons but the bobcat is still found in much of Pennsylvania excluding
the western third and the southeast corner of the state. They are highly adaptable and can be found in close proximity to large cities. A friend in southwest
Connecticut snapped a photo of one traveling through her front yard this past
spring. Its basic habitat needs are for woodland and for resting and activity areas
like rocky ledges, swamps, or briar thickets.
While bobcats are in fact soft, they are not to be trifled with. The bobcat is
about twice the size of your house cat. Average males weigh about 28 pounds
and females 15 pounds. They are solitary and crepuscular meaning they are
most active at dawn and dusk. Bobcats hunt by sight ambushing or stalking and
pouncing on their prey.
The bobcat menu looks a lot different from the bear or coyote menu. Unlike
our opportunistic omnivores, bobcats are strict carnivores. Bobcats can take down
prey that is eight times their own weight, but prefer mammals between 3 and
13 pounds. Dinner of choice is usually a bunny, but if the opportunity presents
itself, mice, squirrels, opossums and the occasional dove or turkey can find its
way onto the dinner table. As long as its meat, it’s on the menu.
What about deer? Well, deer are prey and bobcats are predators. So will a
bobcat eat a deer? Sure. Interestingly enough from the Pennsylvania fawn study
(the largest conducted in North America), bobcat predation occurred most often
in late summer and through winter. Indeed, bobcats have the capability of taking
down a full grown deer. But this usually occurs in harsh winters with deep snows.
So while our soft kitty has the fortitude and constitution to make a meal of
the whitetail, they constituted less than eight percent of predator mortalities in
the Pennsylvania study. Similar or lower predation rates by bobcats
have been seen in other areas in the Northeast.
Happy kitty, sleepy kitty, purr, purr, purr…

By J. T. Fleegle
PGC Wildlife Biologist

DECEMBER  2012 

3


http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=587503&mode=2 http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/gateway/PTARGS_0_2_120875_9113_631752_43/http%3B/pubcontent.state.pa.us/publishedcontent/publish/marketingsites/game_commission/content/about_us/wildlife_management_team/jeannine_tardiff_fleegle_ci.html http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/gateway/PTARGS_0_2_120875_9113_631752_43/http%3B/pubcontent.state.pa.us/publishedcontent/publish/marketingsites/game_commission/content/about_us/wildlife_management_team/jeannine_tardiff_fleegle_ci.html

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013

Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013
Contents
Another Doorstep
Whitetail Predation
Pymatuning and Conneaut
Grinnin’ a Gobbler
Want to Be a Successful Turkey Hunter?
One for Officer Grove
Pennsylvania Otters — A Success Story
Kestrel Numbers Climb at SGL 205
From the Field
Field Notes
Conservation News
Making a Difference
What Should I Be Doing This Month?
Off the Wire
Another View
The Naturalist’s Eye
Straight from the Bowstring
Lock, Stock & Barrel
Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Another Doorstep
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Whitetail Predation
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Pymatuning and Conneaut
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 7
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 8
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 10
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Grinnin’ a Gobbler
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 12
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Want to Be a Successful Turkey Hunter?
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 14
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 15
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - One for Officer Grove
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 18
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Pennsylvania Otters — A Success Story
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 21
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 22
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 23
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Kestrel Numbers Climb at SGL 205
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 25
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - From the Field
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Field Notes
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 30
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 31
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 32
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 34
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Conservation News
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 36
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 37
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 40
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 41
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 42
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 43
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Making a Difference
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - What Should I Be Doing This Month?
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Off the Wire
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Another View
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 48
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 49
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - The Naturalist’s Eye
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 51
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 52
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 53
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Straight from the Bowstring
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 55
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 56
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 57
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Lock, Stock & Barrel
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 59
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 60
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 61
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - BB1
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - BB2
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - Cover4
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