The key to seeing one is identification. You might have crossed paths with one but did not now it. They hunt the riversides and will hold tight and let you pass hiding under logs , brush or up in the trees. Their tail is the identifying factor. All predators in Northern Michigan have long tails. Bobcats are the only short tail animal in this category, thus their name , Bob Tail Cat. The best chance to locate one is during March, their breeding season. Late at night the screeching they make during mating is an eery sound that is unnerving . It is like someone torchuring a domestic cat their nearest relative. They have the most beautiful fur cherished by Russia who buys most of North America's Bobcat and Lynx pelts.
I have seen them along the Maple river. I had one pop his head up, we both froze, staring at each other at about 30 yards, then the cat slowly lowered it's head beneath the cover of the rivers edge, never to be seen again....yes they are that good at stealth. As predators they are even better. They travel their territory as lone hunters. They hunt everything from deer to mice...Geese to Coots even fish ! They are an ambush predator, so sneaky that I see more bears than Bobcats. With all due respect to the Dr Zhivago fur coats....the fur does look better on the animal !