Are there any outfitters in the Iron/Ashland County area with an opening ??
bobcat outfitter 2019
Truoter, I also drew a tag, northern Vilas, first season, my mistake on my application, more time later. I spoke with 3 dog guys about running, was told they would give me a call, not. I also contacted a couple of local trappers they gave me some tips, but with all the snow I struggled, had tracks near my sets, but no cat. Took me 13 years. I’ll go out of state on a predator hunt from now on.
Next tag you get I would suggest start making connections with some local hound hunter's or maybe a friend or family member know's someone with hounds that live and hunt in the area you want to hunt. Also I'm not a member, but the Wisconsin Bear Hunter's Association probably would be a great source for contacts since a lot of it's members who have hounds don't just use their hounds for bear's. I've been fortunate to meet people where I live who own hounds and made great friends with them. So on my first and second bobcat tag all it cost me was my license purchase and being so long ago, probably some gas expense for the days we hunted(don't remember who drove). My second Bobcat I got a couple miles north of my residence. A person doesn't always need a Outfitter for a game species or fish species they want to pursue or have a tag for, just sometime's take's getting to know people or make contacts. Going that route always save's on your expense total along with probably making some new friends.
Bobcat outfitters are nearly impossible to find or book. I found less than 10 outfitters north of Hwy 64. Most of them were booked apparently years in advance.
There is no single place or site where a directory of bobcat outfitters can be found. If you are a bobcat outfitter, I suggest making this post the directory. That way customers can find outfitters.
I found my outfitter by chance on facebook.
The outfitter was 100 per day plus 500 if tag filled.
I hunted 4 days and stayed at the hotel for 4 days. The hotel was 100 per night.
So I hunted 4 days at 200 per day ( outfitter +hotel) = 800.
A 100 dollar tip for the outfitter made it 900.
Toss in 200 for gas and meals made it 1100.
Had I filled my tag on the first day, it would have been 600 for the outfitter plus 100 for gas/food, if I did not stay at a hotel.
Great description trouter. Sounds like a great hunt.
I stop in that gas station, general store , diner every time I head up to our place in Iron river mi. , good food.
The Evening Report
Once again, I was on the long road north to fill my bobcat tag. My usual trek is due north to Lake Superior. But for this cat, the road runs along Lake Michigan.
The spot in the woods is just north of the Menominee Reservation. I met the outfitter at the general store southwest of Crivitz.
The sun had just begun to rise when we were driving down country roads, covered with old snow, looking for fresh bobcat tracks.
Bobcats have bigger feet than a fox or a coyote. But they are smaller than wolf tracks. The distance between tracks, or their stride, is what first catches your eye.
But things were slow. There was not as much new snow as we had hoped. To be honest, there was just a dusting of it. Less than ideal.
The guide was driving his less than new pickup truck. It rattled and it had a cracked windshield. The other guide had a similar truck. They used iphones and CB's to keep in touch. Service is spotty in the north, but the old school CB's nearly always worked.
The other guide reported seeing fresh bobcat tracks. We met with him on a "not yet plowed" county road. The outfitter was on his snowmobile. My outfitter put his dog on the snowmobile and they both drove off in the woods. He dropped off the dog where he saw the fresh tracks and the game was on.
The dog had a radio collar and we watched him on handheld units. I listened for the barking dog. When the cat and the dog crossed the next road, some 3 miles away, 2 fresh dogs were added to the hunt. Now it was a 3 dog hunt.
The dogs pushed the cat north to a river. This was a problem. If the cat crossed the river, the dogs might drown attempting to cross the river.
The outfitters were not pleased about the risk to their dogs.
Turns out the cat and the dogs made it to the river. But none of them crossed it. At the edge of the river stands a gigantic pile of boulders. The cat had wiggled into the pile and with 2 feet of snow on the top, was safe from dogs, hunters, and just about everything else.
We were outfoxed by the bobcat.
Excellent, well written report. I wish you all the best and hope you fill that tag!
The Evening Report
It began with a race from the Dells to Crivitz, the goal was to make it to the Northwoods town before the snowstorm arrived.
Mission accomplished. The snow began after my 3 hour drive ended.
The snow began at 5pm and lasted all night. In fact, it was still snowing as I made it to the general store on Hwy 64 which was to be the daily rendezvous place with the outfitter.
The family owned and operated store served gas, breakfast, had a post office, plus hunting goods, beer and nuts and bolts. The eggs and fresh baked bread were the feature of the store.
The outfitter was a local who not only knew every backroad in a county full of backroads, but he knew his way around the national forest which seemed to stretch in every direction.
The game plan was to drive down snow covered roads, looking for animal tracks that crossed the road. The quarry was bobcat.
The issue is that bobcat tracks and coyote tracks look very similar in the snow. On paper, they are very different. But old tracks or tracks that have been filled in with drifting snow are not easy to read.
The outfitter had a worn out 4 wheel drive truck. It rattled and was loud, but the driver was genuinely gifted in driving on unplowed roads that had a foot of snow on them.
Fisher tracks are easy to identify. So are fox tracks. We only saw wolf tracks twice, but their big feet make them easy to identify. There were not many other animals seen. The exception was a flock of turkeys hanging out with a pair of otters at a pond.
The first day we scouted the roads for 2 hours or so and then found a good set of tracks. The outfitter unpenned his 2 hound dogs, and the dogs and the old fat customer followed the trail through thick brush, open woods, and over unfrozen creek bottoms.
The dogs and the young outfitter had a great time. I was a huffin' and puffin' like a guy in a heart attack commercial.
The tracks turned out to be coyote tracks. We never did see it. It had begun to circle around the dogs and was coming in our direction, but at the last minute, it winded us and so we did not get a good look or a decent shot at Wiley E. Coyote.
The outfitter and his pair of dogs made it back to the truck a full 10 minutes before I did. I was embarrassed but too winded to care.
The next day we scouted for 8 hours and did not find any bobcat tracks.
I made it home for the Packer game.
We will try again next weekend.
Good luck Trouter !!.....Please post a recap after you're done....I like others have also been building points and are going to have to figure out how to plan a successful hunt after many years of sitting on the sideline to build points.
trotter, sent you a PM