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  1. #1

    Default What time of day to find cat tracks

    I'm into my third season of hunting with hounds in Montana for bobcats and I hunt a lot of coons in the off-season in other areas of Montana/Wyoming while working on projects. My seasons the past few years has been a steep learning curve for bobcats, hunting with two younger hounds and learning productive areas to hunt that can be accessed throughout the season with the extreme weather patterns we have experience the past few years.
    My questions is and maybe one of the houndsmen on the forum can answer this question, even if they don't hunt in Montana. When do most hunters find their freshest bobcat tracks? And do you have better luck running a older tracker later in the day when the temps rise? I have mostly been hunting from several hours before daylight until 9-10 AM and heading home, if I don't find a track to run with my dogs. The pressure can be heavy on weekends while the bobcat quota is open, and I'm wondering if going out later in morning and attempting to find tracks that may have crossed behind the parade of cat hunters may be more productive. Because any open road will have houndsmen driving the roads from 2-3 AM until daylight. I appreciate any direction. Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Bitterroot Valley, MT
    Posts
    927

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    I tend to go out early in the morning just because if you find a track, it can take all day to run it.

    What I feel is far more important is a fresh snow, and going out right afterwards. Those tracks you know the timing of and are easier to see.
    "There are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness, that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy, and its charm." ~TR

    "He was a mighty hunter before the Lord." ~Genesis 10:9

  3. #3

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    Thanks for the feedback. I went out several times last year in the middle of the storm and found no tracks, so I think waiting until the snow stops would increase the chances.

  4. Default

    Cats generally hole up during heavy snow. When the snow stops they start to move. I like to look from @ 4 a.m. thru @ noon. Much later than noon and it can be difficult to catch a cat before dark.

  5. #5

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    Thanks Gerald, that was one of my problems last year, was not waiting for the snowfall to stop before attempting to locate tracks. I would only find a few hare/rabbit tracks during the snow and maybe a coyote or two. The unpredictable weather from dry conditions to blizzards hasn't help me either. Good luck this season

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Wherever the bugles are
    Posts
    417

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    I have always gone out about an hour or so after a storm comes through but I dont like to try and run a track late in the day so I always hope for a overnight storm to find tracks right at first light hope that helps.

  7. #7

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    Yes I'm with Gerald Martin what he says is what I do as well

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    Gerald said it, he was right on. Myself and my hunting buddies use snowcats to get away from the guys running all the main roads. I wish you luck, push your younger dogs, you may have to go with them on a bobcat though. Bobcats tend to make more tracks then lions by circling a lot while they hunt, it will confuse a young dog until the cat is lined out. We tend to go from 4 or 5am to 12pm also, unless I know it is red hot and has crossed behind us. Have a fun season, Terry

  9. #9

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    Thanks Terry, I plan to get a "reliable" snowcat by next season, until then it's a Ranger and my truck. I walked out multiple bobcats tracks last season that ended in a jump followed by a complete loss. My two dogs completely screwed up multiple tracks, and several were older than I should have attempted to run. I got one up a tree in early March this year, and that was it. I hope this year is more productive and thanks for the direction.

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