The Elusive Bobcat – Lynx / Great Smoky Mountains National Park

I was camping last week in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the Cades Cove area and scouting one morning when I came across the elusive Bobcat on its early morning hunting routine. I have been photographing in the GSMNP for many years and I knew that the North American Bobcat -Lynx was in this area but this was the first time I have ever seen one. I was able to only squeeze off four frames of it before it cross a log and jumped the river leaving me wanting more opportunities. It is very much a solitary animal keeping to itself and using its stealth abilities to both hunt prey by ambush and avoiding its enemies.

The Bobcat is an adaptable predator that inhabits wooded areas, as well as semi-desert, urban edge, forest edges, and swampland environments. It persists in much of its original range and populations are healthy.

With a gray to brown coat, whiskered face, and black-tufted ears, the bobcat resembles the other species of the mid-sized Lynx genus. It is smaller on average than the Canada lynx, with which it shares parts of its range, but is about twice as large as the domestic cat. It has distinctive black bars on its forelegs and a black-tipped, stubby tail, from which it derives its name.

Though the Bobcat prefers rabbits and hares, it will hunt anything from insects and small rodents to deer. Prey selection depends on location and habitat, season, and abundance. Like most cats, the Bobcat is territorial and largely solitary, although there is some overlap in home ranges. It uses several methods to mark its territorial boundaries, including claw marks and deposits of urine or feces. In its territory the Bobcat will have numerous places of shelter: usually a main den, and several auxiliary shelters on the outer extent of its range, such as hollow logs, brush piles, thickets, or under rock ledges. Its den smells strongly of the Bobcat.

I will return next week for some more camping in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and continue my scouting for this beautiful cat!

Please stay tuned and thank you very much for your interest in my photography. Your comments are always welcomed.

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5 thoughts on “The Elusive Bobcat – Lynx / Great Smoky Mountains National Park

  1. We are camping at Smokey Bear in Gatlinburg and pulled up to the driveway when one crosses right in front of us and down the hill..I tried to take a picture quick but it was gone that fast!

    1. Hi Lindsey,
      Thank you for your interest in my work and sharing your GSMNP adventures! The Lynx/Bobcat are some the most beautiful wildlife I have photographed. Glad you had the opportunity to experience a “live” sighting. Enjoy your time is one of our best national parks in the country. Thanks again for your comments & interest in us, much appreciated!

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