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Outdoor Journal

The Chase is on for Bobcat
by Tim Rozewski

On a cold, lonesome, winter morning you might still hear that thrilling sound of hounds traversing through the canyons. Although the citizens of Oregon outlawed the use of dogs to hunt bear or cougar in 1994, houndsmen can and are still pursuing North America's spotted forest feline, the Bobcat.

I had always dreamed of hunting behind hounds during my childhood hunting fantasies. The sounds, the adrenaline, the hike, the mystery….it was all so appealing. This past winter I got that chance while hunting with Northriver Outfitters in the Umpqua River drainage.

Many people have tried to compare hunting with hounds to such things as shooting fish in a barrel or pulling crab pots. It's not at all that easy! After seeing the hunt from early morning preparation to end of the day boarding, I would compare it more to fishing for Marlin while following sea birds. Yes, the birds lead you to the bait, and if you put your bait in the right spot, then the birds have served their purpose. But all the work to get the fish on and in the boat is similar, in a twisted sense, as you have to not only find the hounds, you have to hike or rather scramble up and down canyons to get to the cat. Then, there are no guarantees that the cat is in the tree or big enough for your efforts.

No matter what you compare it to, just listening and watching the hounds work is an amazing spectacle. I thought it was pretty awesome that my lab instinctively knows what to do when a greenhead does a nose dive into the frozen pond….but to watch these small, thin, energy-less hounds do their jobs, wow.

To hunt Bobcat in Oregon you need to have a fur-bearer's license and a bobcat harvest card. Make sure you arrange to buy these in Salem at least a week before your hunt! The guides will recommend low caliber firearms. Be sure to ask if you can hunt with a bow or muzzleloader, as some guides may have justifiable reasons not to. The season runs from December through February, giving you plenty of time to hunt and the best time to get prime hides!

You might even luck out with a 30+ lb cat like this one!

~Good Huntin' - Tim

Contact us for more information about Bobcat hunting in Oregon,
or visit Northriver Outfitters online!