Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 64

T

Encountering 'cats

O MY KNOWLEDGE, you can't plan a bobcat encounter. For one thing,
they're cats; unpredictable, mercurial cats. Bobcats live in rough places at
low densities across big home ranges. One might suppose they even have a hard
time locating one another, by calls and by scent, at their species' crucial time.
But I've been lucky; that and perhaps I've logged enough woods
time to allow for random crossings of paths.
Once, imprudently, I was cross-country skiing in a place
not well suited to having slats clamped to your feet. I skirted
the "safe" margin of a ledge that looms over a 40-foot drop
to jumbled talus, facing a yawning expanse to the west.
Mountain laurel grows dense there, so I must have been
making noise. But as I pushed out onto snow-mantled rock, I
surprised a bobcat in broad daylight on the precipice lip. We looked at
one another from 20 yards, but the cat's eye's betrayed no alarm. Instead,
it seemed to be forming a plan. Backed against the cliff it could not retreat, so it
streaked by within reach of my ski pole, then disappeared in voids and crevices
farther along the outcrop.
Another time we were camped on a trout stream, enjoying that settled-in span
after a meal and before eyes staring into embers begin that inevitable droop.
There came a sudden stirring, a rush beyond the firelight. Before we could add
up the clues a rabbit dashed through the weakening circle of light between us,
pursued by a bobcat matching its desperate feints. Moments later, squeals from
the darkness told the story of the chase's outcome.
More recently, hot and winded, I rested near the foot of a waterfall, watching
its flume and close enough to be cooled by enveloping spray. The cascade
trumped all other sound, and perhaps its draft in that tight defile carried my
scent downstream. Something moved within the rhododendron boughs that
framed the top of the chute, and a bobcat stepped out of shadow onto the ledge.
It glanced about as a housebound tabby might do upon entering a familiar room,
then stepped across the thin sheet of water spread before the head of the plunge.
It was gone as suddenly as it appeared and never knew it had been seen.
Another bobcat failed, I think, to sense us drift by in a canoe on a quiet
stream. It stood with its front paws up against a tree bole and its tail erect,
stretched out as if posing, looking over its shoulder away from our course. I
pointed and we both gawked until the current pushed us
beyond. But it was there, and so were we. For all I know,
that is how you see bobcats.
64



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015

Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - Intro
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - Cover1
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 2
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 3
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 7
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 8
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 10
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 11
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 12
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 13
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 14
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 15
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 16
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 18
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 19
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 21
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 22
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 23
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 24
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 25
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 26
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 28
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 30
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 31
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 32
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 34
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 35
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 36
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 37
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 40
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 41
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 42
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 43
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 44
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 45
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 46
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 47
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 48
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 49
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 50
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 51
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 52
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 53
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 54
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 55
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 56
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 57
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 58
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 59
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 60
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 61
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - 64
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - BB1
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - BB2
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2015 - Cover4
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