Ever see one ? They are all over northern Michigan in large numbers. The problem is they don't want you to see them and they are good at that. The Bobcat ( Lynx rufus ) is fast, secretive and is very aware of you presence. My experience with them is they slink low to the ground, freeze and wait for your move. If they sense detection they slip away and flee the area. A domestic cat uses the same stealth. The Bobcat however has a coloration that is a very natural camouflage and he weights about 30 pounds. They enjoy the winter as much as the Wolverine. The Lynx is slightly larger with tuffs of fur on his ears and larger feet for snow support. The lynx ranges further north into Canada. Basically they are identical.
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 !
Sweet Is The Lore That Nature Brings