Montana, located in the upper region of the nation, has many ideal habitats for many land mammals and birds. Though a big portion of the state is lightly inhabited, it is home to many native animals, like black-footed ferrets, distinct bird species, amphibians, and reptiles.
But are there bobcats present among them?
Well, Below In this article I’ve explained all the things you need to know about the bobcats living in Montana.
Are There Bobcats In Montana?
Montana is among the few blessed states in the U.S. that still has a booming population of bobcats. Bobcats are native to Montana and are widely spread to every corner of the state, where they discover their best habitat. A few bobcats might roam around human settlement areas and suburban neighborhoods when drawn to cattle or food.
Despite the continually changing conditions and habitats, the population of bobcats has only been increasing in Montana. In 1983, there were about 8,154 bobcats in Montana, and since then the population has only increased. However, there has not been a significant change in the population of bobcats in the state.
Where do bobcats live in Montana?
Bobcats use an assortment of habitats, and because of the broadening spread of urbanization, bobcats have been conditioned to areas constructed for humans.
These cats are well-known to be species of “patchy” nations as they are extremely adaptive and have comprehended to adjust to the vast and unstable landscape. However, they usually like grassy and rimrock areas. Bobcats mostly prefer covered regions with high prey levels in central Montana.
Simultaneously, in western regions, they usually construct dens within caves, in deserted mine shafts, in hollow hogs, or between boulders. They also choose natural rocky areas with big prey engagements and wealthy vegetation for their habitat.
Though they might be active always, they are mostly night-hunting animals. Also, bobcats are very solitary and their elusiveness makes it difficult to spot them in the wild.
Below I’ve mentioned counties that have the most number of Bobcats:
- Cascade County
- Flathead County
- Gallatin County
- Lewis and Clark County
- Lincoln County
- Missoula County
- Ravalli County
- Sanders County
- Silver Bow County
- Yellowstone County
How Large Is A Montana Bobcat?
Bobcats are usually twice the size of a household cat and are the smallest of the native wild cats in Montana. They have a short tail, with a black spot on the upper portion.
The fur is dense, short, and soft. They can be anywhere from 28 to 37 inches in height and 15 to 35 pounds in weight. They exhibit variations in color including light gray, buff, yellowish-brown, reddish-brown, or brown.
Also Check Our Guide On Bobcats In US
Are Bobcats Aggressive In Montana?
No, bobcats are not aggressive in Montana and do not attack humans. Despite the uncommonness of bobcat attacks on humans, they must not attempt to handle or approach a wild bobcat. They typically go unnoticed as they are very timid and want to protect themselves.
Thus, the bobcats in Montana are not dangerous and attacks on humans are unheard of in the state. Also, they prefer to live peacefully even with a large population of humans. Bobcat usually attacks humans only when trying to protect their cubs or when sick.
What do bobcats eat in Montana?
As a carnivore and a professional hunter, bobcats in Montana consume smaller animals such as squirrels, rats, and mice.
Sometimes they also prey on medium-sized animals like feral cats, fawns, wild birds, and domestic chickens.
Though they enjoy eating hares and rabbits, they also prey on larger animals when their preferred food is not available. Thus, its diet relies primarily on what is available and is easy to hunt. Also, their diet changes during the summer and spring.
Can You Kill A Bobcat In Montana?
As the population of bobcats in Montana is not endangered, trapping and hunting are legal within the state borders. The hunting season is split into seven Hunting Districts, with each having its bag limitations and dates. A few districts have it from December to February and others have it from December to March.
Only the residents of Montana can hunt bobcats in their natural habitats and for non-residents, the laws are quite straightforward – no hunting within the state. Only daytime hunting is allowed and electronic callers are prohibited.
To chase and hunt, a current trappers license is needed and to only chase resident hound training license is needed. The time limit is a half-hour before sunrise and after sunset.
Can You Own A Bobcat In Montana?
Yes, bobcats can be owned in Montana, but they come with a few exceptions. Bobcats are recorded as furbearers, so the state issues permit to own them and have limited the number of animals to be owned to only one. However, if the animal is not raised for their body parts or fur, then a permit is not needed to own one.
What To Do If You See A Bobcat In Montana?
It is very unlikely to encounter one in Montana, but here are a few things that you can do to protect yourself:
- Nerve approach one and maintain your distance when in their habitat.
- Keep facing the bobcat and never turn your back.
- When moving away from it, back away very slowly to intentionally create space.
- Never run as this can provoke them into instinctively following you.
- Make loud noises using your bells, camping pans, or hitting your hiking pole.
- You can also throw water at them as they dislike water!
These steps can be followed when they are spotted in the wild, however when you spot them hanging out in your neighborhood then you must immediately report them to animal control.
And that was everything you need to know about the bobcats in Montana. I hope this article was informative and your queries were answered.
Thank You For Reading!
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I’m a passionate animal lover and researcher, I’ve created this website so that people can learn about the size and characteristics of different animal species. My goal is to educate and inspire people to appreciate the diversity of our planet’s wildlife.