What are the best bobcat lures and what they do for you.
In the most basic terms a bobcat lure is a mixture of ingredients that a bobcat will spend several moments investigating. Some bobcats will come to your trap set to try and figure out what the strange smell is. Some bobcats will know some of the smells in the lure and they are interested in them like food odors, bobcat smells, musk’s or plant extracts. Some lure works on the sex drive or territorial responses. Some lure ingredients are exotic to a bobcat and I think this causes more time at a bobcat set. To me, the best bobcat lures have a combination of odors to keep the cat at the set longer. Bobcats are animals that live in a simple world, a more complex built and engineered lure makes the bobcat spend more time working the lure. I’m not saying simple lures do not work, but they are limited in there scope. Now lets look at some of the different aspects of bobcat lures.
Factors of great bobcat lure – I have testes all kinds of combination of lure ingredients, but more importantly I have seen what they do on a trap line out in the real world.
How long before you have to re-lure at a set – Really good lures will last for 10-15 days out in mother nature before they lose there odor. Top notch engineered bobcat lures will last a month at your set before you have to re-lure. What you will find with most trapping lures on the market is that most will be useless in 7 days. I have played with some major players in the lure market and they lost most of their odor in 3 days. Just because something smells good in a just opened bottle has little to do with what they smell like in a few days. Why are most lures dead in such a small amount of time? Like I said before, most lure is made to trap trappers, not animals. Most lure makers don’t even know how long their lures last of in the weather, even good steady weather.
I have spent a lot of time and have wasted thousands of dollars finding ways to keep odor in my bobcat lures while out in the weather. This is not a easy task, but it is one that separates so called bobcat lure from really productive cat lure. Cat Collector lure will last 30 day minimum is a dessert environment and even longer in higher humidity like most of us have in the east. Cat Fancy will last 20-30 days. Rub Lure will last about two weeks, but is killer on rub sets. Trailing Scent for bobcats is the shortest living bobcat lure I have available to trappers. It last about 10 days. This is because of the nature of having a liquid based lure. It may have a shorter life span, but when used on cage traps, nothing even comes close to Predator Control Group’s Trailing Scent to increase your catch with bobcat cage traps.
Bobcat trapping tip for cage traps – Trapping bobcats with cages is a serious way to take bobcats in places that you can not use footholds or don’t wont to use foothold traps. One thing I have noticed is that bobcats sometimes have a hard time figuring out how enter the trap to reach the lure and cat toy in the back of the cage. They have a tendency to circle a cage, and not line up on the opening of the cage. Bobcats need to be told where to go. So I use Predator Control Group’s Trailing Scent to line up the bobcat into the opening of the cage. You don’t need to use trailing Scent like fish oil, it is very strong and making a huge line of this lure is wasting money. About four feet from opening of the trap, adds drops about every six inches to the front of the trap. Then give them 4-6 drops about half way in the trap to get them where you want them. This has made a would of difference to me while trapping bobcats with cage or box traps. I have tried fish oil and like products, but the results really let me down. You can also use Trailing Scent for bobcat at foothold trap sets and snares. Again, there is no need to use a oz or even a half oz per set, you only need drops.
Bobcat lure needs to hold up to rain – Lets face it, we all have to deal with rain while we run traps for bobcat each fall and winter. Using a bobcat lure that does not hold up to rain is a massive drain on your bottom line. If you have to re-lure after each rain, you will have to burn through a lot of lure. This burning through lure is a waste of your money and time. A good bobcat lure is designed to NOT wash away with a little rain. Cat Collector, Rub Lure and Cat Fancy will be fine even if they are under water for a few days. This way you will not have to be a professional lure buyer and human lure applicator. Instead you can be a bobcat trapper that catches plenty of spotted cats.
Catching bobcats in cold weather – Lets start off with a major bobcat trapping myth. Its goes something like this, you have to have a skunky or rank lure to trap bobcats in cold weather. I have heard this no less than a thousand times. It does sound good, but falls short out in the real world. Bobcats have a very good sniffer. Just think about it a moment, a bobcat can smell a female in heat from hundreds of yards away and then they can track the little odor that comes off the footpads of the female to get a little loving. Breeding season is in February and March, this is winter. Now lets look at lures in the cold. A good cat lure will not freeze and will be made to reach out in the cold, but not in the way skunk does. Skunk is not a bad odor for bobcats, but its not the best when it makes there eyes water. They are not coyotes or fox. I have staked down hundreds of skunk at a set and have not caught a bobcat, till I could not smell the skunk odor. The ones I did catch were probably caught by the sight appeal of the skunk tail showing above the ground. Skunk is much better in a bobcat lure if it is a side note of the smell and not the main odor.
What you want in the cold weather is a lure that does not turn off in cold weather. A lot of the musk’s shine in the cold to coat an area with odor. If you smell Cat Collector lure and think that it is not loud enough for cold weather, what if it was 2 times stronger? What if it is 50 times stronger to your nose? Well a bobcat smells far more than 50 times better than you do, so Cat Collector, Cat Fancy or RUB Lure is a lot stronger to a bobcat than it is to you or me. Plus, I sell a lot of Cat Collector lure to Canada and Alaska for lynx, fisher and martin trapping in some very, very cold weather. More importantly is that I get more and more re-orders of Cat Collector to Alaska and Canada.
Getting a reaction from bobcats – This is the big one. I am reminded of the late great Bill Nelson. He said that bobcat react to good bobcat lure, but most bobcats could care less about what most trapper use for bobcat lure. So they think bobcats are cold nosed.
Well made bobcat lures normally do a few things for you at a bobcat set. One they have to be something to get and keep a bobcats attention. You have to stop a bobcat to catch one at a flat set, dirt hole or rub set.
Well designed bobcat lures will get the interest of bobcat is a few different ways. Again I am reminded of Bill Nelson. He thought the best lures were call lures, but not in the modern way today’s trappers think about call lures. Bill strived for lures to reach to animals from different angles of reaction. These reactions were what he referred to as calls and he wanted his lure to have more than one call in each lure formula. Most cheap lures re-lie on hunger for bobcat lures. Hunger is a call, but not the best option for bobcats. Saying that, most good cat lures will have a slice of food odors in the mix. Another call would be sex or territory odors. This is much better than just hunger, but when mix together you have a better chance to catch the attention of a bobcat. Another call is curiosity, this is a strong call to a well made bobcat lure. Another call in a good bobcat lure is ingredients that cause a chemical response to a bobcat. This may be, but limited to cat nip or cat mint, amino acid’s or certain fats.
For a bobcat lure to be hitting on eight cylinders, it should have three or four of these calls working in harmony and not fighting each other. When you get all these calls talking to the brain and nervous system of a bobcat, you have his attention and he will spend around you sets.
Get a rubbing action – This style of set is not new, but it does take a lure that gets the reaction you are looking for. You are not looking to get a bobcat to get close to a rub lure and rub set, but to rub the odor on his face and neck. Most bobcats lures will not do this. I have designed and tested Rub Lure for this specific style of set and reaction.