Late Season Predator Hunting
With deer season over and the onset of winter blues in full swing, predator hunting provides outdoor enthusiasts stricken with cabin fever the opportunity for some late season hunting adventures. Missouri predators include bobcats, coyotes, and the red and gray fox. Predator hunting can provide some exciting hunts, with minimal equipment needed. The hunting season for these furbearing predators runs from November 15 through January 31. Electronic calls may be used to lure in predators, but the aid of artificial light is prohibited. Sounds that are effective in luring in predators include rabbit squealers, coyote and fox pups in distress, and fawn distress calls.
Hunters pursuing predators should be well camouflaged and set up in locations that offer long viewing distances. Predators will sometimes approach within close distances, often taking hunters by surprise. The ability to remain still and watchful is critical when hunting predators that have keen senses of sight and smell.
One of Missouri’s most elusive of all predators is the bobcat. These solitary felines are rarely seen by humans, however their populations remain healthy. Bobcats prefer heavy forests with thick underbrush, cedar thickets, broken or rocky outcroppings, bluffs, glades, clearings and timbered swamps. They are good swimmers and excellent climbers. Active all year-round, they may be up and about by day or night, but they hunt primarily at dawn and dusk. They prey mainly on rabbits, but their diet can include small rodents, squirrels, turkey, quail and deer, especially fawns. When it hunts, a bobcat relies on its keen eyesight and hearing, rather than smell. It stalks, and then pounces on unwary prey.
Bobcats, like otters, must be delivered to a Conservation Agent for registration or tagging before selling, transferring, tanning or mounting, but not later than April 10. It is illegal to purchase or sell untagged bobcats or their pelts. Contact your local Conservation Agent for tagging or registration of your bobcats and otters before April 10.
Predator hunting provides the perfect opportunity for hunters to do some late winter hunting. With minimal equipment and a chance to get outdoors, predator hunting can provide some of the most challenging and rewarding of all hunting experiences. To have your bobcats or otters tagged in Clark County or for any other conservation related issues, contact Conservation Agent Rudd Binsbacher at 660-727-1414. Good luck and hunt safe!