Bobcat in Michigan

December 12, 2007


Bobcat, photo by pnygirl1.

Sometimes when I’m not sure what Michigan in Pictures will be about, I look at my Michigan events calendar for inspiration. There were no events, but the calendar also shows hunting information. I saw that on Monday, Bobcat Trapping Season opened in northern Michigan. That jarred me enough to go looking for stuff about bobcats in Michigan.

In this closer view of the cat, BJ says that she photographed this bobcat the Blandford Nature Center in Grand Rapids, that he was taken in from Tennessee as an injured animal and that his name is BOB.

The very excellent University of Michigan Museum of Zoology’s Animal Diversity Web has information & photos about bobcat (Lynx rufus). You can find a lot more in the Wikipedia entry for Bobcat, which says that these cats are phenomenal climbers that are crepuscular (most active at twilight and dawn) and found all over North America. As to their size:

The adult male Bobcat is 28 to 47 inches long, averaging 36 inches; this includes a stubby 4 to 7 inch (10–18 cm) tail, which has a “bobbed” appearance and gives the species its name. An adult stands about 14 or 15 inches (36–38 cm) at the shoulders. Adult males usually range from 16 to 30 pounds (7–14 kg); females average about 20 pounds (9 kg). The Bobcat is muscular, and its hind legs are longer than its front legs, giving it a bobbing gait. At birth it weighs 0.6 to 0.75 pounds (280–340 g) and is about 10 inches (25 cm) in length. By its first year it will reach about 10 pounds (4.5 kg)

Don Harrison has several photos of a bobcat by the side of the road and also old postcards of a bobcat crossing the Military Rd near Stateline, MI and a bobcat at Lake Baldwin. Here’s a video of a bobcat crossing a bridge that gives you an idea of how these animals move.

Finally, any of you who were hoping for bobcat trapping are out of luck as the season is (permanently?) closed south of the bridge according to the DNR’s bobcat trapping page. Here’s the link to report bobcat, cougar and lynx to the Michigan DNR.

41 Responses to “Bobcat in Michigan”

  1. fivecats Says:

    Beautiful photo of a very handsome cat.


  2. I live on Maple Lake which is a small lake in Twin Lake and we spotted a bobcat sunday at about 1:30 P.M. on our lake it was cool!


    • Mary B Says:

      We spotted a bobcat on Sunday, September 27, 2009 at 12:30am heading west on M-55 near Lake City. It crossed the road in front of us…thought it was a small deer at first. After a few minutes we realized what we had seen and it was amazing!


  3. Don Says:

    I spotted a bobcat crossing Old 27 traveling near Higgins Lake and Houghton Lake on July 12, 2008


  4. shirley Says:

    once again–i spotted that bobcat the same day and it was neat..but scary !!


    • alan roberts Says:

      what was scary about it? bigger than a big dog or bigger than a big cat? or just what you were told about some cat? just checking what you know and how you know about your loaction!1 PLEASE rely if you can talk to people.


  5. ellen Says:

    just bought a cabin off m18 and maple valley trail,are there bobcat there?


  6. bayli Says:

    one day me and my mother went to our creek and when my daddy got home he told us that our neigbor saw a cougar
    out there! and a few months later we went out there and we found it dead with 4 baby cats but 2 cats weren’t dead but it wasnt the same one because the other was a male because you could tell!

    bayli ashland,la


  7. Steve Rosema Says:

    My trail camera took 3 pictures of a bobcat 11/25/2008 at 9:56 AM. I also saw the cat in person 11/29/2008 at 8:30 AM. I live in the northern part of Kent county near Cedar Springs. If you like I’ll send you the pics. Steve


  8. Kit Moran Says:

    I spotted a brown and white bobcat at 4:15 pm on Jan. 16, 2009 on Marshall Rd. just west of Baker in Dexter. Beautiful runner!


  9. Bob Jones Says:

    March 27, 2009 Glen Arbor, Michigan

    8:00 a.m. overcast, 35 degrees

    I am sitting at my computer and just saw a Bobcat come trotting out of the woods and around my house and down the driveway. He looked healthy and well fed. It was a beautiful sight. Very exhilerating.

    I haven’t seen him for a couple of years, but he used to show up more frequently. I assume it is the same animal. I believe they are pretty territorial.

    – Bob Jones


  10. kelly Says:

    I have a photo of a bobcat???? Or maybe a young cougar… I had a cougar in my pasture a few weeks ago and a friend of mine got a photo of a cat on his trail cam just on 9/3/09. They are in michigan. Too many people have seen bobcat AND cougar in my area. I am in Custer, MI.


  11. Bob Jones Says:

    September 27, 2009
    Glen Arbor

    I submitted a comment last March about my resident bobcat, which came trotting through my yard. Well, he/she was back about a month ago, August, early in the morning, same as before. I was on my porch having my coffee and he/she sauntered by about 50 feet from the porch and walked across my lawn. I spoke to him/her, and it stopped and looked at me curiously and kept on going. I was elated.

    – Bob Jones


  12. Tom Nalley Says:

    I go Deer Hunting on private land 10 miles east of White Cloud and about 2 miles south of M-20. On the evening of November 14, 2009 my friend Bruce Huster from Rockford and I spent a couple of hours in my deer blind to see if we could spot some deer. No deer came in to view but at 5:30 as we were getting ready to leave the blind we saw some movement about 70 yards from the blind. A Bobcat was walking down a trail that runs in front of the blind. The closest it got to us was 35 to 40 yards, and it stayed in view for 10 minutes. It was the first time either of us had ever seen a Bobcat in the wild. I was surprised how big it was, it was as big as a medium sized dog and must have weighed 30 pounds or better. The other thing we noticed was how beautiful his coat was. The area around my blind is a mix of hardwood and pine forest next to a large swamp.

    Tom Nalley
    Grand Haven


  13. farlane Says:

    Very cool Tom – thanks for sharing your story!


  14. Lucy Says:

    Last spring, my boyfriend and I were out shed hunting on private land (mine) and I came upon a bobcat! He/she was sunning himself; he was as surprised as me, and he did leave in a sauntering hurry (not a wild dash..). Anyway, I have been looking for him ever since. Got myself a bobcat call this fall, and my whole goal is to see him again; he was beautiful. Don’t believe I’ll shoot him, but now I have a bobcat gun. (Sorry folks) I have read all I can on Bobcats, and look regularly on my partially wooded/swamp/farm property for signs of him. To purposely find him again (rather than stumble on him) is a personal goal, because everyone says it will never ever happen again. Have become obsessed with him! I expect one day to have pictures of him, for occasionally I find his tracks. And, no dogs to find him! Central Lake Michigan


  15. Bob Jones Says:

    Well Lucy, not sure why a person would shoot a bobcat, but each to his own.

    I live across from the Sleeping Bear Dunes near Glen Lake, and my resident bobcat has come through here a couple of times this year. One time he took a bird from my feeder area right under our window one morning – and the other time we were sitting on the deck and he came out of the pine forest stalking something, then pounced on a chipmunk and carried it away, all about 40-50 feet from us. It was awesome.


  16. michelle Says:

    we saw a bobcat while on a bike ride with our kids on a dirt road near Interlochen Michigan. Near Traverse City but a bit more secluded.


  17. lkowalski Says:

    I have a bobcat roaming my property in Benzie County. The bobcat has been sighted by myself, my son and husband, and we have pictures from our trail cam. Over a year ago we started to see large cat tracks in the snow around our house and now we have actually seen it in person. I personally got within six feet of it as it was busy stalking chickens when I came upon it, I startled it and it pounced off out of sight in two bounds. Must be very satisfied with where it is at as it is very large maybe 30 to 50 pounds at least.


  18. mike Says:

    Wanna talk close encounters, twice now I have opened my front door only to find one of my full grown kitty male kitty cats throwing down with this bobcat. the thing was only 2 to 3 feet away and in a matter of seconds I was looking a a giant ball of fur flying with teeth and claws, on my front porch. this was a fight. I live outside Bitely and in the middle of deer country were all the wild things are but this one is totaly new to me.


  19. 150 7 MAg Says:

    I saw a beautiful bobcat while bowhunting on my hunting property in north eastern Gladwin Co. I was awaiting knee replacement surgery at the time so that kept me on the ground in a pop-up blind. It was early October and the ferns were still rather high when I noticed some movement about 25 yards in front of me. At first I thought it was a tiny fawn; then a coyote. I was shocked and thrilled once the bobcat came into full view. He headed right for me and didn’t seem to alarmed at this new object was in his territory. He stopped about 2 or 3 feet from the blind and just staring at it and then casually walked away. I was worried for a while wondering if the animal would get curious and decide to jump in the blind. I got a real close-up look at it and remember being amazed at how large it was. I have a 40 pound brittany and this cat was easily in the 30 to 35 pound range. I’m pretty sure that in a one on one fight I could take down a bobcat but I would look like I went through a paper shredder. It was one of the most exciting hunting experiences I’ve had.


  20. farlane Says:

    Wow! That’s a really cool story – thanks for sharing it.


  21. Tom Kalahar Says:

    1/12/11 6:30 am Today at my storage unit, N.Michigan & Champagne, Saginaw, Mi.48604, saw a bobcat as I drove up to my unit at the edge of the building. It walked away as I got out of my truck. I stopped and looked at it for a few seconds. It walked towards me a few steps and then turned an ran for the ditch on the other side of the fence. Had to check pictures to see that it was indeed a bobcat.


  22. Allie Says:

    I was driving home today from school and actually saw a bobcat in Petoskey. It was really snowing out and so I was trying to be careful.. I saw something cross the road slightly in front of me and so I slowed down and realized what it was and slammed on my brakes.. I ended up in a ditch, but I didn’t hurt the beautiful creature.


  23. fred oakes Says:

    I saw a bobcat while hunting in oceana county near the county line of muskegon county. I saw it eating a small animal at the same time it saw me and bolted away with its breakfast. A few days later i found some tracks and followed them into some dense briars..figure he was rabbit hunting again…i saw him from time to time but only for a few seconds. Never be afraid of a bobcat,he is WAY WAY more scared of you than you are of him. I consider the MICHIGAN BOBCAT to be my favorite animal in the world..just a step above the bengal tiger and brown bear…fred oakes


  24. Bob Zeller Says:

    I am a wildlife photographer living in San Angelo, Texas which is in the west central part of the state. I have seen many bobcat around here but could never get a decent photo. But last November I was at one of my favorite haunts, the Big Bend National Park, in far southwest Texas. Prowling around the approximately 750,000 acres I was driving near the Boquillas Canyon. All of a sudden a bobcat jumped out of the brush, then sat down under a large Mesquite tree. I stopped the car, only about 50 feet away and got some amazing photographs. After about 5 minutes he bounded away, the almost immediately a coyote trotted by. It would have been exciting if the two of them had a confrontation.


  25. C p Says:

    Be sure to report your sightings to the DNR. It is helpful for us all. You can do it online or call them.


  26. farlane Says:

    Great idea Cp! FYI folks here’s the link to report bobcat, cougar and lynx to the Michigan DNR.


  27. alan roberts Says:

    I have a bobcat and she is a baby. she is five years old. And as domesticated as your cat. She sleeps with me and needs to rub on me She has a collar on and that is what people know can’t under stand she will not hurt you and you have seen they don’y even get near you. Let me know if they get close!!!


  28. farlane Says:

    Just came across a cool photo of a bobcat at Otter Creek in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore:


  29. […] Michigan animals on Michigan in Pictures including our Bobcat article. Share this:FacebookTwitterEmailMoreDiggStumbleUponPrintRedditLike this:LikeBe the first to like […]


  30. Matt Pelak Says:

    Last night I was driving to my gfs house and saw a bob cat jet across the rd at about 12:00 at night on oct 9 2012…I also live in the northern part of kent county in the cedar springs area….this is the second bobcat I seen in Michigan…I first seen one in Baldwin mi turkey hunting in 2004


  31. Will Says:

    I was just wondering..where did all the bobcats go. Wher I grew up, Muskegon Mi back in the day ( the 70s) it was very common to see people walking around town with bobcats on a leash. the cat called a lynx ass well.


  32. My hubby just found a trapped bobcat, and it is illegal to trap in this area…it is still alive. He is hoping the DNR will help him save it. It is pretty large about 30 inches. Hate to see an animal suffering. The bobcat scream is an eerie sound one never forgets. He and my son hunt and have had the bobcat and cub come right below their tree stands while hunting. Very exciting for my son! He has also seen a lynx in the Traverse City area one time while hunting. It was significantly larger than any bobcat he has seen.


  33. ben parker Says:

    i saw a bob cat on 10-12-2013 at 10.30am while bow hunting in mason county in scottville sitting in my tree stand it came in under me an stayed for about 20 mins then walked north away from me really cool stuff!


  34. Chris Says:

    Solar light on my shed came on so I looked out and there was a bobcat standing there maybe ten feet away from my window. It turned and headed down my driveway probably looking for one of many rabbits that seem to hang out in my yard. I’m in Willis, MI near Ypsilanti. Never seen bobcats around here before… What surprise!


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