Ice-fishing trip results in first Illinois bobcat sighting

The author got a good look at one of these shy creatures, but no bobcat photo in a recent ice-fishing outing.
Probably the last place I expected to see my first Illinois bobcat was during a winter fishing trip in west-central Illinois. I spent several days in a deer stand this season without a single sighting. I went bird hunting a dozen times. No bobcats were spotted.
 But this weekend I drove over to the Mississippi River, just north of Quincy. I thought I could do some jigging and maybe catch a mess of crappies and panfish.
 About an hour into the adventure, I was still getting shut out. But at one point, as I was changing up my presentation, I glanced to my right, and about 100 yards downriver I saw a big brown cat strolling toward me. I stood up and looked closer. It was indeed a bobcat. I froze, hoping he would not notice me and get close enough for me to snap a photo. At about 70 yards I reached into my coat pocket for my phone, in my mind running through the process of how I was going to pull it out, aim and get that photo.
 Alas, the cat caught my nervous movements trying to pull the phone/camera out of my pocket. He stopped in his tracks, then darted into a patch of woods. He was gone.
 The fishing trip soon ended with not a single fish in the basket. But I did get my bobcat sighting.
 Next time I’ll be a bit smoother with my phone camera work. Maybe I’ll even practice pulling it out of my pocket.
Categories: Illinois – Andy Palmer

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