Hunting Bobcats with Thermal Scopes

Hunting Bobcats with Thermal Scopes

Bobcats are some of the most elusive and cunning predators in North America. These medium sized cats often pose a significant threat to livestock and can even turn on domestic cats or dogs. Homesteaders want them dead and fur traders want to buy their fur, which gives many hunters great incentive to trap or shoot them. 

On the practical side, understanding their behavior, characteristics, and implementing effective countermeasures is crucial for protecting valuable assets like livestock. 

The North American Bobcat typically weighs between 13-30 pounds, standing at 21 inches high. Although they are about twice the size of an average house cat, opinions vary on whether to classify them as big cats or simply animals “on the upper end of the small cat scale.” Bobcats rely on stealth rather than sheer strength for hunting, making them elusive and challenging to track. They are crepuscular creatures, primarily active from three hours before sunset until about midnight and from before dawn until three hours after sunrise. 


Unlike hunting deer or hogs, baiting and pursuing bobcats is not as straightforward. These elusive creatures go out of their way to remain hidden outside the winter and fall hunting season. One effective tactic is to use bobcat calls, especially during their mating season from fall to early spring. Predator calls imitating the cries of wounded animals are also viable at other times of the year. 

In the daytime, one can use a predator call in conjunction with a lure to “bait” a bobcat. 

Unlike deer, wild pigs, and other prey animals, bobcats are hunters themselves, and will be conscious of wind direction. They will frequently go “downwind” of a lure, and hunters can use this to their advantage.


Protecting Livestock 

If your livestock, particularly chicken coops, are falling prey to bobcat attacks, it's essential to equip yourself with the right tools. Bells on your perimeter wire and motion detection trail cameras can alert you to predator movements, but they may not be enough of a deterrent by themselves. It is more beneficial to kill the animal rather than simply scaring it away to prevent future attacks. In such cases, an accurate rifle mounted with a thermal scope paired with a predator call becomes crucial for effective predator management. 


The Sightmark Wraith Mini Thermal Scope 

For the blue-collar everyman with predator problems on his property, the Sightmark Wraith Mini Thermal scope offers an effective and economical solution. This high-performance digital thermal scope outmatches traditional night vision and operates seamlessly in both daytime and nighttime conditions. 


Key Features 

  1. Thermal Imaging Power: The Wraith Mini Thermal scope utilizes a 384x288 resolution thermal sensor for crisp images.
  2. Versatility: With five thermal color palette modes and nine reticle colors, this thermal scope suits any time of day and any game animal.
  3. Optical Precision: The OLED display offers rich color and temperature operation, while the 2x optical magnification with 1-8x digital zoom ensures optimal image quality for close or medium engagements.
  4. Multiple Weapon Profiles: Five configurable weapon profiles eliminate the need for re-zeroing when switching rifles.
  5. Recording Capabilities: The built-in camera with audio recording preserves memorable hunting moments on a high-capacity memory card (256gb max).
  6. Rugged Design: The aluminum housing, temperature resistance from -4°F to 122°F, and a 1400-yard detection range make the Wraith Mini Thermal durable for challenging outdoor environments.
  7. Long Battery Life: With a battery life of 3.5 hours on video mode and 4.4 hours on preview mode, along with USB charging capability, this thermal scope is a reliable companion for night hunters.


Combating bobcat predation on livestock requires practical strategies and effective tools. The Sightmark Wraith Mini Thermal scope stands out as a reliable solution, offering a combination of advanced features, durability, and user-friendly design. By understanding bobcat behavior and investing in the right equipment, individuals can take proactive steps to protect their livestock from these elusive predators. 

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