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walker

Bobcats near Mt Lukens

Hi all,

I surprised a bobcat high up on the Rim of the Valley Trail this afternoon. Maybe a month ago I startled another one up on the Lukens fire road above La Canada. Any guesses on what's up? I'm amazed they didn't hear me first. Before this, I've never seen a single cat in the SGs during years of hiking the range. Or maybe it was a young mountain lion? Any thoughts on cat behavior or tips on ID'ing them?

Thanks!
mattmaxon

I've not seen many Bob Cats on Mt Lukens. Probably because there is lots more room for them to roam.

This photo shows a Bob Cat so named because of the short "bobbed" tail



The Mtn Lion OTOH is larger and has a long tail, Tawney muscular coat.

cougarmagic

That's awesome!!  They are out, because the mice and rabbits are plentiful right now, and the weather is nice.  Bobcats, especially in places with a lot of hikers, tend to get used to people and not run off in a panic if they see you.  They usually just look annoyed that you ruined their hunt.
Elwood

Indeed; nothing so sad as the look on the tufted face on an annoyed Bobbie.
VermillionPearlGirl

Gah! Bobcats are so cute! One jumped in front of my car once in Frazier Park and I was completely distracted from the negative possibilities of an animal jumping in front of you car by the fact that it was the cutest thing I'd ever seen in my life ever. (Car and cat were both fine in the end).

But honestly I know absolutely nothing about them. Are they potentially dangerous like Mountain Lions? I mean it helps (us) that they're smaller, right?
walker

Thanks for the photos and the clarification, y'all.

[quote]This photo shows a Bob Cat so named because of the short "bobbed" tail[/quote]

The first one I saw near the Lukens fire road had the short stubby tail and white markings on the ears, but a solid, reddish-amber coat, so it threw me off. The one I saw yesterday looked almost exactly like the photo but with a longer, striped tail. Does their coat change seasonally or as they mature?

[quote]They are out, because the mice and rabbits are plentiful right now, and the weather is nice.  Bobcats, especially in places with a lot of hikers, tend to get used to people and not run off in a panic if they see you.  They usually just look annoyed that you ruined their hunt.[/quote]

Is it possible the population of mice and rabbits is booming in the Station Fire burn area? Maybe there's some good eatin' to be had on the south slope of Mt. Lukens. Then again, maybe it's just because cats can normally remain undetected in dense chaparal slopes, but since the fire, they're easier to spot. The first bobcat I saw actually did just what you said: he stopped and looked, then casually got out of the road and sat under a bush above the fire road looking at me with a sour face for about five minutes.

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