Tag Archives: predator

Scouting for Food

Beautiful female Coyote, Photo by David Mitchem, Aug 2014.
Beautiful female Coyote, Photo by David Mitchem, Aug 2014.

This healthy female coyote was scouting for food around the Mitchem’s home, including checking out their cats on the porch.   Keep your small pets and children close and be aware.   Most coyote packs send out a scout or two who then call the remainder of the pack in once he/she has found available food.   There are always coyotes following whitetail deer, as well as other small animals such as the plentiful rabbits we have here at Oakridge.  

David asked me to post these pictures and remind everyone to be cautious as these were taken just off their back porch.  It’s a good idea to not leave pet food out overnight that would attract unwanted predators.   Below is another nice picture of the same coyote.    And as always, live life outdoors!

Female Coyote, Photo by David Mitchem, August 2014.
Female Coyote looking for food near the deer feeder; Photo by David Mitchem, August 2014.

 

Bobcats in Oakridge

Bobcat walking to water; Photo Courtesy of D.Burrows, February 2013.
Bobcat walking to water; Photo Courtesy of D.Burrows, February 2013.

Bobcats, Lynx rufus are normally elusive and nocturnal, but our game cameras are picking up more instances of their presence here.  Even in the day time.  This beautiful cat was walking toward a 40 gallon water tank we have in “the back 40”, where we have a turkey feeder near-by.  There is a water barrel continuously supplying water; therefore, it has become a regular to this spot.  We are glad to be in the  cat’s territory, representing a healthy, balanced environment; they are a vital part of our ecology.

Bobcats primarily eat rabbits, woodrats, mice, squirrels, voles, gophers, birds and reptiles.   Occasionally, they will take young deer, although most likely they take advantage of carrion.   Like most cats, they hunt by stealth and are not capable of extended chases.  Their leaping pounce from cover can be up to 10 feet.

Bobcats are territorial, with the female having a home base, excluding other females.  The male’s territorial range may include the ranges of several females.   In Texas, studies indicate some 48 cats per 62 miles.  There is a “carry capacity”, of a particular area usually determined by food and water availability.  And since kittens can sometimes be killed by adult males, a natural balance can be achieved.  The bobcats also will/can adjust their home ranges to compensate for varying factors.  Like coyotes, they are consummate adapters and survivors.

Bobcat at Deer Feeder off Trails End; Photographer Unknown, 11-07-2013.
Bobcat at Deer Feeder off Trails End; Photographer Unknown, 11-07-2013.

Did you know:  running at full speed, bobcats can have a bobbing motion similar to a rabbit; they can live up to 13 years;  their natural mortality fluctuates with the seasons;  kittens purr when pleased and play like your normal house cat; typical litters are 2-4 kittens; kitten dispersal can be from 9 months to 2 years, depending on how skilled at hunting they are; they can not expect to eat well, or mate until territory established; over time, they are loyal to their established territory, marked by scat and scrapes; they spend most of their lives alone; their natural predators are humans, domestic dogs, coyotes, foxes, owls, eagles, hawks.

There is so much more to know and appreciate about this remarkable predator.

Ongoing Hog Removal in the Ranch

Here’s the first hog trapped on Oakridge this month.  Douglas Mason & crew have worked to remove 212 hogs from the Ranch so far this year, both by using traps and dogs to track & hunt these predators who can be dangerous to both humans and livestock.

First trapped hog of the month; Photo by D.Mason, June 2013.
First trapped hog of the month; Photo by D.Mason, June 2013.

Douglas & his crew of ladies & men with dogs, shown here with Cody Moore, work diligently to keep the growing number of wild & feral hogs to a minimum within Oakridge Ranch.  As noted on the main Predator page, Douglas donates much of the meat to the hungry.

290 Pound Feral Hog; Photo Courtesy of Douglas Mason, June 2013.
290 Pound Feral Hog; Photo Courtesy of Douglas Mason, June 2013.