A bobcat walks on top of crusty snow in this trail camera photo. Credit: Courtesy of Earl Brechlin

Among my hunting highlights is a chance encounter with a curious bobcat that hopped up onto a fallen log, stepped between some evergreen trees, and peered directly into the ground blind where I thought I had been stealthily scanning the woods.

The cat was truly impressive — a muscular, athletic-looking critter — and since I’d never heard of a similar encounter from any of my friends, I felt pretty lucky. It got within seven yards of me (yes, I paced it off) before eventually walking away.

Today’s trail camera photo, which was sent in by Earl Brechlin, captures a similar scene.

“We saw the cat moving quickly through the alders at the edge of the woods a few days before,” Brechlin said. “In the shot it’s checking on a spot where we get lots of shots of hare, grouse and squirrels.”

Brechlin’s decision to put a camera up in that spot was a good one. According to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s fact sheet on the species, bobcats enjoy all kinds of food.

“Food sources include mice, voles, snowshoe hare, grouse, woodchucks, beaver, deer (full grown and fawns) and turkeys,” according to the sheet. “They also feed upon insects, reptiles, small birds and carrion. Bobcats hunt primarily by sight and sound, which means they spend much of their time sitting or crouching, watching and listening. Once they’ve located prey, they stalk until they are close enough to make a quick dash, then attack. A bobcat will often cover, or cache, the remains of a large kill with snow, grass or leaves, revisiting the carcass until most of it is consumed … People rarely see bobcats because of the animal’s elusive nature and caution around humans.”

Do you have a trail camera photo or video to share? Send it to jholyoke@bangordailynews.com and tell us “I consent to the BDN using my photo.” In order to prevent neighbors from stopping by to try to tag particularly large bucks, moose or bears, some identities and towns of origin may be omitted.

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John Holyoke has been enjoying himself in Maine's great outdoors since he was a kid. He spent 28 years working for the BDN, including 19 years as the paper's outdoors columnist or outdoors editor. While...