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First Cat

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kelcher

Well-Known Member
Oct 18, 2001
724
174
53
Iowa
Too bad they aren't shootable yet in our county. Cool picture though.

bobcat-2022-1.jpg
 

Daver

PMA Member
Jul 9, 2001
6,515
1,820
113
Iowa City
Just a curiosity...if you are just starting to see cats in your area...what does your turkey population look like? I would be interested to hear your thoughts in the future if the cat numbers rise and the turkey numbers fall, etc.

You will absolutely see fewer squirrels in your timber IMO...for many deer hunters though, that is a good thing. :) I think you will notice fewer turkeys too, but will be curious to see.
 

hillrunner

PMA Member
Nov 17, 2003
2,262
739
113
NW Iowa
They are an elusive critter, I get a few pictures every year, but I almost never see one. I like having a few around, I'd love to shoot one sometime. We've had cats for a while in Western IA and the Turkey numbers have been very high at the same time. I'd happily give up a few turkeys to have a few cats around. The woods would be pretty boring if it was all deer and Turkey.
 
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IowaBowHunter1983

Super Moderator
Staff member
Feb 11, 2014
3,720
2,735
113
SC Iowa
Just a curiosity...if you are just starting to see cats in your area...what does your turkey population look like? I would be interested to hear your thoughts in the future if the cat numbers rise and the turkey numbers fall, etc.

You will absolutely see fewer squirrels in your timber IMO...for many deer hunters though, that is a good thing. :) I think you will notice fewer turkeys too, but will be curious to see.
I am overrun by turkeys and get cats nonstop

Not saying there isn't a correlation. Not saying there is.

I did talk to DNR at length about this topic. They swear there is zero correlation....
.....
 
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kelcher

Well-Known Member
Oct 18, 2001
724
174
53
Iowa
Not panicking guys, just curious. I think it is pretty cool to catch one on camera. They are on my list. Might head south to try and get one this Fall. Not sure how the DNR decides when to open up a county for hunting.
 

Daver

PMA Member
Jul 9, 2001
6,515
1,820
113
Iowa City
I am overrun by turkeys and get cats nonstop

Not saying there isn't a correlation. Not saying there is.

I did talk to DNR at length about this topic. They swear there is zero correlation....
.....
I have talked with several DNR personnel, at length, over the years about this too and yes, they remain convinced that there is no cat/turk correlation. I remain skeptical that their opinion is correct. The key reason why is that the normal reasons, which are very valid BTW, given to explain the very precipitous turk decline do NOT explain what I, and other neighbors, have personally witnessed.

That is...1. Predators taking out nests - very valid IMO. 2. Weather/rain - that floods nests and/or kills poults from exposure - also very valid. BUT, and I cannot stress this enough...when our turk population was in free fall, about 10'ish years ago now, we COMMONLY found dead, ADULT turkey carcasses. The primary reasons given by the DNR, again, very valid IMO, affect eggs/poults, not ADULTS.

Every adult carcass we found in those days was eaten, usually freshly. On one particular day my son found 4 or 5 fresh dead adults, which I found terribly unusual, as in all my years I rarely if ever found a dead adult turkey carcass...let alone 4 or 5 in one day! It so happened that when we came out to the road after several hours in our timber, we met some neighbors at the road...guess what...they reported finding several dead turks that day too! What the...? Roughly 10 dead adults in say 300 acres or so. Unreal.

So while I do not dispute that nest predators and weather can really do a number on overall numbers, I do not for a minute think those factors explain finding so many dead adults in such a tight time frame. Through the years I have come to wonder though if there was some sort of disease factor that killed the birds and then something, bobcat or otherwise, found them and ate them up. That is a plausible explanation to why we found so many dead adults in the time period IMO. There is some "movement" on this front as more and more agencies are studying why the turk pop has dropped so much over a wide range of the whole country. Be glad you still have good numbers...I miss a good spring gobbler hunt.

But it is also true that our steep decline in turks coincided perfectly with the rise of bobcat sightings...so I am still leaning towards that being a factor. Thus concludes today's rant. :)
 
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JNRBRONC

Moderator
Mar 27, 2003
9,075
1,064
163
My first bobcat trailcam pic was back in 2013. That first year I only had one three pic series. This year, I've gotten more pics scattered across multiple cameras and properties. Seems that most of them are in the middle of the night, with only an occasional dawn/dusk pic (no pics midday). So if they are middle of the night hunters, not sure if they are climbing huge oak trees to get the turkeys off the roost. Maybe in thicker timber the cats are day time hunters and encounter turkeys on the ground?
 

kelcher

Well-Known Member
Oct 18, 2001
724
174
53
Iowa
So since we got this first trail cam pic I have had two in person sightings in our county. One maybe two miles from where that camera was and one about 10miles away.

Crazy how a guy could not see any in the area ever and then in a matter of a few months have multiple sightings.
 

cybball

PMA Member
Sep 19, 2003
1,011
372
83
Central Iowa
My place in Ringgold Co is full of cats. I get pics on a pretty regular basis and I see them in person on quite a few hunts. They are really cool to see and watch. Back when I trapped (around 2005 to 2015), I caught a couple in Madison county. Had to let one go before you could keep them (which was fun). I do like having them around, but wonder about Turkeys as Daver said. I'm not seeing much for turks and see lots of cats, but do believe all of the other factors have taken their toll.
 
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I got a pic of a female and three kittens about a month ago, pretty cool. South-central. Our turkey population seems to be doing just fine and I definitely consider myself lucky in that regard. Nest raiding predators (namely racoons) will always be harder on ground nesting bird populations than coyotes and bobcats getting adult birds. Trap coons, skunks, possums, fox, etc before worrying about bobcats.
 

Rut Nut

RUT_NUT
Sep 23, 2003
296
83
28
71
pella
We have lots of bobcats and lots of turkeys. I had 3 bobcats by my stand this morning. A momma and two young. We have been trapping coons during the summer with permission of game warden for crop damage and have averaged over 100 coons a year the last 4 yrs. This probably has helped the bird population as much as anything.
 

hillrunner

PMA Member
Nov 17, 2003
2,262
739
113
NW Iowa
We have lots of bobcats and lots of turkeys. I had 3 bobcats by my stand this morning. A momma and two young. We have been trapping coons during the summer with permission of game warden for crop damage and have averaged over 100 coons a year the last 4 yrs. This probably has helped the bird population as much as anything.
That's a lot of coons. That had to have a big impact.
How big of an area are you trapping to get that many?