Predator Season in Full Swing


Trapping and predator season are in full swing as Rich Faler shows in the above photo. Faler trapped his limit of one bobcat in Pennsylvania and describes it in a Facebook post:

Got my Pennsylvania bobcat today. We’re only allowed one a year. This one was a monster at 31 pounds and would have no trouble bringing down a deer. I’m not sure about a fully mature buck, but this hefty cat could definitely kill a yearling. I used a flat set on state game lands about 20 feet from a dirt road.

101_0079Winter is the prime season for predators, since their fur is the most valuable. Using a predator call is the easiest way to take a bobcat or coyote, and you can use most of your favorite hunting gear as long as it’s camouflaged. Predator callers have greatly improved in quality, accessibility, and price in recent years, and making dying rabbit calls is as easy as pushing a button.

Trapping is a second method of culling predators, yet it requires great skill and is best learned at the hand of a professional. As a young boy, I tried trapping and landed a Siberian husky in my first set. What that dog was doing two miles from the nearest house, I’ll never know, yet it got a sore foot and I received a big learning experience.

By culling a fox, coyote, bobcat, or other predator, you can feel good about reducing the predator population; you’ll be helping such prey species as whitetail deer, wild turkeys, grouse, Bob White quail, ring neck pheasants, and other wildlife. Predators are so prolific in some parts of the country that ground nesting birds have all but vanished. I live in Western Maryland and grew up hunting bountiful flocks of quail and pheasants. Today, both species have been totally eliminated, and efforts to reintroduce and begin new flocks are futile due to the number of predators. For every predators that dies, a multitude of prey species live.

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Joe Byers
Joe Byers has more than 1,000 magazine articles in print and is currently a field editor with Whitetail Journal, Predator Xtreme, Whitetails Unlimited, Crossbow Revolution, and African Hunting Journal magazines. He’s spent the last three decades depicting the thrill of the chase and photographing the majesty of all things wild. Byers is a member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association and numerous other professional and conservation organizations.