First-time turkey hunter Bud Griffith, 44, thought the wooded area near his Kentucky farm was prime turkey territory. Problem was, so did the local bobcat population. According to The Advocate-Messenger, Griffith’s opening day hunt was spoiled in part by a confused bobcat that mistook his face for a turkey.
“I was sitting there with my back against the trees and was making the turkey calls,” he said. Several decoys were set up a few dozen yards from where he sat with a gun in his lap. Griffith did not notice that a bobcat had been stealthily approaching him from behind, keen on a feathery meal. The hunter saw only a blur before he was hit with a swipe from the feline to his right eye, which was thankfully protected by glasses.
“It scared me so bad I thought it was a coyote,” Griffith said. Coyotes are proving to be a major problem across Kentucky and are an especially worrying threat for pets. Coyote hunting in Kentucky is also year-round and has no daily bag limit. As the creature leapt off him, Griffith took up his firearm and scored a perfect shot. It was only after that he realized it was a bobcat.
All in all, Griffith did not come away from the turkey opener empty-handed. After the hunter checked into a local clinic, the Lincoln County warden told Griffith he could keep the bobcat, which was also in the clinic being checked for disease.
Bobcats approach prey their size or larger by stalking from cover and then leaping out with its sharp claws extended. The species have been known to attack sheep, goats, and even deer. Bobcats can take down prey over nine times their body weight, so a turkey is not too much of a struggle. A human hunter however, proved to be too much.
“This is something that our grandkids will be talking about,” he said. “This never happens.”
Griffith plans on mounting the animal in his home. He hasn’t given up on turkey either and plans on going hunting again soon.