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Soreness, Bad luck timing, exhiliration, memories, but Heartbreak: My First Called-in BobCat Experience

Bobcat eCaller Motion Decoy 2D Decoy

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#1 TheGDog

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Posted 07 January 2018 - 12:40 PM

Vlog video to follow:

2nd set of the day... slight downhill path. At my sit location on a criss-crossing trail my view of the uphill part of that bisecting trail is partially blocked by some stuff, but only at the extreme right of my peripheral vision. Where the trails bisect... just a little down from that I have the MOJO Critter and the 2D Rabbit Decoy and the crappy ICOTec 300 pointing into the wind (downhill) which is also the East, where the sun is coming from.

I'd been on that set for a lengthy time, patiently working the caller. Giving good lengthy pauses in-between calling (it's a base model and I think it's repeats the sequence just a bit to quickly).

I sit with rifle in hand (93R17 .17 HMR) and buttstock to shoulder so I'm pointed at the Motion Decoy and Stationary 2-D decoy. With trigger hand working the caller. Grassy and brushy so wanna make sure I can get on target fast.

So finally, I'm so sore from holding this position on the Tripod stool for soo long, I just gotta get up and stretch my legs, figure it's time to grab the decoys and move along.

DAMN IT! Right as I get halfway stood up, and am checking the uphill terrain... BOOM... right there... maybe 10yds away behind a small bush... my eyes see his nose and the tufts of his earsjust in front of that bush. DOH! I continued to stand up, because I was already past halfway standing, figured I don't dare try to sit back down, figured the motion would bust me.

But upon rising I regrabbed the rifle with hand in front of the trigger guard. Freeing my other hand to cantilever off my knee to rise. So now I gotta get my damn hands to the right places without him seeing me! Move a little bit...see him sorta turn his head...freeze.

About the time I get my hands where they need to be and began trying to rotate the barrel towards him, pausing whenever he moved. He began sniffing at the air while looking toward the decoys... eventually he looks at me. I freeze again, still not rotated enough yet to attempt making a shot. I'm wearing full 3D leafy suit, hat and mesh gaitor, so he doesn't bolt right away.

He stares at me for a lengthy bit. He is a buffed little homey! Strong looking cheek bones and jaw! Those yellow eyes look soo cool! And the side-burns... neat! The tension of trying to salvage the situation of blowing it from standing up too soon is taking it's toll and I'm starting to get buck fever. And the fact that I got ZERO sleep the night before (forgot the Chicken Pot Pie I ordered has lactose in it, Dang It!). And.. sure enough... he starts to notice the trembling in the "leafs".

He decides to retreat, but does so cautiously. Each time he would turn his head to reteat a little more... I'd attempt to rotate and get more to where I could have a chance at taking a shot. Then he'd stop while behind a little bush and turn to look back, so I'd freeze again. By this time I'm pretty sure he knows what's up. Smart little bugger too... he kept his eye on me until he got behind this other tallish narrow tree bush that was between us... and then when he did... he travelled directly away from me head toward the chaparral.. so that's when I stopped trying to play the freeze game and stepped out.

I get out and turned right about the time he leaps over the first of several small pieces of that reddish buck-brush. I watch his leaps which temporarily expose his location, so I can try to at least take a shot while he's bounding away. But like I thought, it ain't happenin' thru that brush with that little .17.

Because I took a shot... I went up and intently scanned the area/dirt peering inside the entrance to this ULTRA thick and gnarly chaparral. When I was satisfied there were no traces of any blood... I went back to the set location... made a quick little Vlog, gathered my stuff and moved on to set #3... only to have the MOJO critters topper eventually break where the spring steel immediately exits the top of the coupler. Lovely.

NOTE: He was white faced, with very Reddish color to the coat.


"None of us was born knowing ANY of this. If someone else can do it, You can TOO!" - TheGDog.

"The wise man can learn from even the fool." - TheGDog

"Life is like a big sh*t sandwich, the more "bread" ya got, the less sh*t ya have to eat." 


#2 hatchet1

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Posted 07 January 2018 - 01:36 PM

BOB 1..DOG 0..THANK GOODNESS FOR THE 3D LEAFY CAMO!!


Edited by hatchet1, 07 January 2018 - 01:37 PM.

"REMINDING CALIFORNIANS THAT "MAN" IS THE ULTIMATE PREDATOR..NOT SILLY MOUNTAIN LIONS....."

                                            " in memory of cecil the lion & P-32..never forget"


#3 DKScott

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Posted 07 January 2018 - 02:30 PM

Congrats on the cat!

 

Nothing says hunting like a truckload of gear. You should try duck hunting you'll love it.


"One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am - a reluctant enthusiast....a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it's still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards."
― Edward Abbey

#4 TheGDog

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Posted 07 January 2018 - 04:11 PM

I learned a lot though.  When coming back down from looking for the blood... I noticed something important that I didn't think about.  The top surface of the MOJO Critter... I noticed it was a smooth surface so it was reflecting the sun light.  I'm thinking it'd be a good idea to stick some Velcro fuzz on the top of that to prevent reflection.  Obviously he was hanging up, which I understand is common for BobCat's to do. Also.. I had that 2D Montana Decoy for a Rabbit, which looks really good...especially at a distance.  But I got to thinking about that also. Since that decoy has the bunny, and it has the eye... the BobCat would be warry on his approach of not wanting to blow it on the stalk since to him, that Rabbit looks like it is looking at him.  Got me to thinking that perhaps I needed to space the two a little more distance from each other, maybe put the 2D one more into the wind direction? So that when they loop around the back side they'll be focused on the motion one more?

Also I learned that when rising from a seated position I need to remember to do so slowly and take the opportunity to pan my 360 visually as it comes into view. I was thinking if I had done that... maybe I could have possibly set back down without risk of him noticing anything since just my head would be possibly in his view of me.

And next time... I really need to bring the shotgun instead. The only reason I didn't take it this time was because I hadn't yet fabricated a block for the magazine to restrict it down to the 3 rounds the regulations stipulate. (And on that topic, why the heck is there a limit on shotgun rounds... but I don't remember there being a limit for rifle rounds? Like what is the thinking there?)

The other thing I learned was to realize that when it comes to them trying to wind the decoys by circling around and getting down wind of them... in the terrain I was in there... they are likely to utilize that thick chaparral to do the circling... so it's likely that even if he did initially appear within the view angle I had... he'd still end up ducking into the think and then emerging downwind of them up the hill like that.  My flaw was thinking that with the seating position I took... that it gave me the widest viewing angle, while still being in the shade and still being beside vegetation so the leafy suit can do it's job and blend me in.  I guess what I'm saying is next time I have to think about the plan keeping in mind how they hang-up on approach and ensure more than anything that my location ensures view of all the downwind area.  I guess I kinda thought he'd make his attempt coming in from the side, advancing in sidewind from that shadowy grove area across the opening where these two trails bisect.

The other thing I need to do differently is not try to hold the rifle completely at the ready. I was sitting there with a MonoPod trigger stick so I had the rifle setting on that for like maybe half the set, with the buttstock pressed against my shoulder.. so forward hand with finger over barrel to hold it from moving within the yoke.  But doing so for such a long amount of time is too fatiguing. And since I was using my arms like that... I didn't have my elbows rested across my thighs leaning forward like I typically do, which alleviates a lot of fatigue and soreness from my lower back injury.

Hrmm... I brought the Monopod because the idea was I'd use it for shooting at the bunnies when walking in to that location. It's the Trigger stick so I can adjust it's height quickly and it can go tall for standing shots.  There's some long straighter sections of narrow meadow in in there wedged between chaparral where I'd seen them in the early morning on previous hike-ins. I guess for the calling sessions I'll have to either just not use a rest (which would *probably* be fine since the distances in that brush are short). Or bring my BOG Bipod. But it doesn't adjust as rapidly like the Trigger stick can. I bought that Mono Trigger stick for another place which is flat, lotta low brush, lotta open space between trees. At that place had Bunny expose himself at 80yds but whatever crappy walking stick I had at that time... the twist lock mechanism failed on me when I tried to adjust the height and blew that opportunity. Upset me because it was the biggest bunny I'd seen in there to date.
 


"None of us was born knowing ANY of this. If someone else can do it, You can TOO!" - TheGDog.

"The wise man can learn from even the fool." - TheGDog

"Life is like a big sh*t sandwich, the more "bread" ya got, the less sh*t ya have to eat." 


#5 hatchet1

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Posted 07 January 2018 - 04:20 PM

Way to talk it out dog.. In order to harvest El gato..one must become El gato.. Meow.

"REMINDING CALIFORNIANS THAT "MAN" IS THE ULTIMATE PREDATOR..NOT SILLY MOUNTAIN LIONS....."

                                            " in memory of cecil the lion & P-32..never forget"


#6 socal duckie

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Posted 07 January 2018 - 04:41 PM

Can someone tell me if he killed something.... way to much to read and no fing pics....

STAND UP FOR WHAT YOU BELIEVE IN! DON'T JUST TALK THE TALK....DO SOMETHING!

 


#7 socal duckie

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Posted 07 January 2018 - 04:42 PM

..... and thanks to hatch I’m on my 3rd Brown over ice 🤦‍♂️

Edited by socal duckie, 07 January 2018 - 04:42 PM.

STAND UP FOR WHAT YOU BELIEVE IN! DON'T JUST TALK THE TALK....DO SOMETHING!

 


#8 hatchet1

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Posted 07 January 2018 - 04:55 PM

No mammal was harmed during the duration of this post duckie.

Edited by hatchet1, 07 January 2018 - 04:56 PM.

"REMINDING CALIFORNIANS THAT "MAN" IS THE ULTIMATE PREDATOR..NOT SILLY MOUNTAIN LIONS....."

                                            " in memory of cecil the lion & P-32..never forget"


#9 hatchet1

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Posted 07 January 2018 - 04:56 PM

Oh..and DRINK IT!!

"REMINDING CALIFORNIANS THAT "MAN" IS THE ULTIMATE PREDATOR..NOT SILLY MOUNTAIN LIONS....."

                                            " in memory of cecil the lion & P-32..never forget"


#10 GUNDOGLOVER

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Posted 07 January 2018 - 05:03 PM

He prolly killed a six pack just typing the post.



#11 TheGDog

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Posted 07 January 2018 - 05:07 PM

Oh sorry... forgot to post the video Vlog link.

https://youtu.be/__XzibOS4FE


"None of us was born knowing ANY of this. If someone else can do it, You can TOO!" - TheGDog.

"The wise man can learn from even the fool." - TheGDog

"Life is like a big sh*t sandwich, the more "bread" ya got, the less sh*t ya have to eat." 


#12 TheGDog

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Posted 07 January 2018 - 05:12 PM

So... you think I'm drinking because I'm I have attention to detail in story re-telling? Interesting.


"None of us was born knowing ANY of this. If someone else can do it, You can TOO!" - TheGDog.

"The wise man can learn from even the fool." - TheGDog

"Life is like a big sh*t sandwich, the more "bread" ya got, the less sh*t ya have to eat." 


#13 popx5

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Posted 07 January 2018 - 05:13 PM

I couldn’t read it all.... thanks for the short version Matt.

Go back and kill something. Take picture and post.

#14 GUNDOGLOVER

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Posted 07 January 2018 - 06:22 PM

Glad the grandkids weren't in here when I played that.



#15 BOWUNTR

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Posted 07 January 2018 - 07:59 PM

Use a bow... it's way easier... Ed F







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