Bobcats are generally not thought of as dangerous animals, especially in areas where the larger, far more deadly mountain lion lurks. However, these pint-sized predators can still be a serious concern to hunters in the field.

Two quail hunters traveling near Prescott Valley, Arizona last Thursday were attacked by a bobcat. The unnamed hunters saw the adult bobcat scamper underneath their vehicle and were met with claws and teeth when they investigated. According to the Prescott Valley Tribune, the men suffered severe lacerations and puncture marks across their chest, arms, and back. The hunter who peeked underneath the car received the brunt of the assault and the cat turned on his companion when the other man tried to remove the animal. One of the hunters eventually shot and killed the bobcat.

Bobcats, like coyotes, may be drawn to decoys or bird calls. Since these animals may carry rabies, it is always wise to be cautious while hunting for birds. Hunters bit by bobcats or coyotes are advised to destroy the animal and save the body for rabies testing. The two hunters took the carcass with them to a nearby hospital, where it was picked up by a Arizona Game and Fish employee while the men were being treated. Testing can be finished in only a few hours, and by Friday the bobcat was confirmed to have tested positive for rabies.

Animals with rabies may behave oddly. The best course of action after spotting a potentially infected animal is to call local wildlife officials. Bobcats can also be scared away by loud noises.

Fortunately, treating rabies with modern medicine is much less painful and intensive than it was in the past. Although treatment is now readily available, rabies is nearly always fatal if left untreated and treatment is effective only before symptoms appear. For people who have never been vaccinated against rabies, a series of costly vaccinations must be administered over a two-week period.

The two hunters are now undergoing treatment while wildlife officials put out additional warnings about the increased number of rabies-infected animals. It was the second rabies-related attack in Yavapai County this year.

Edit added 10/17/2013: This article originally stated that the bobcat was shot with a hunting rifle. It has since been changed to indicate that it was simply shot.

File image courtesy Arizona Game and Fish Department

What's Your Reaction?

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  • LEDETCoastie

    I bet they try to pet rattlesnakes too. I hunt and would never look under my truck at a bobcat.

    • rhaas55

      You don’t have to but I’ve had cats climb into the engine compartment so I would’ve looked to make certain it wasn’t going to get hurt when I started my truck.

      • Joe Smith

        So you would get all tore up and would be getting treated for rabies then, the smart thing to do would have been to stay away from the truck until it left

      • noseitall


        Your hindsight is truly 20-20.

        The hunter had no idea that the animal had rabies or that he would be attacked, but somehow you did.


        Or was it because you got to read the story first?


      • Joe Smith

        So in what way does so called hindsight change the truth in anything I said genius?

        Would the person be tore up?–Yes
        Would the person need treatment for rabies?-Yes
        Would it be smarter to not approach the truck when there is a dangerous wild animal under it? ( rabies or not) again yes

        Would you really need hindsight to use your common sense like I would? No…….sigh

        Amazing that you would have to read an article first to know that these things are possible and should be avoided.

      • Tommycat

        Some people don’t understand that the normal response from a bobcat would be to run like heck when a person comes near. Rabies changed that animal’s behavior.

      • HarryObrian

        Now I can’t figure out if Barry has rabies or not…..

      • DowneyJr

        “You never go full retard!”

      • sunburnspecial

        When bobcats behave in this manner they have rabies. Bobcats do not like to be near humans or their vehicles– if they do there is something seriously wrong and they should be destroyed. Rabies is all too common in AZ.

      • joecool

        I worked in a gas station years ago. One Sunday morning, an old man drove in and wanted us to see what made the horrible screeching noise when he started his car. A few wet spots and pieces of fur where a cat had curled up and gone to sleep for the night!

      • LEDETCoastie

        Fyi, bobcats are quite large and dont crawl into engine compartments.   They can be nasty to deal with.   They should have waited it out,  or just jumped in and started the truck. They normally run from humans,  but even if it is rabid, theyd bbe safe in the truck.

        Sent from my T-Mobile 4G LTE Device

        ——– Original message ——–

  • tony

    Uh, wait…these guys were QUAIL hunting, which is done with a SHOTgun, not a rifle. Decoys and calls are NOT used when hunting quail. Journalism at is mediocrity…..

    • Toltepeceno Delsur
      • City_Of_Champyinz

        Nobody hunting quail is going to use a distressed quail predator call when trying to shoot quail. Tony is right, i have never heard of anyone using any type of quail call when hunting quail. You jump shoot them with a dog, you do not call them to you… Although Joe below seems to show a product like that that I am not familiar with… Your link is to a call that a coyote hunter would use.

    • Joe Smith

      Total Recall Electronic quail call helps hold your birds, wild ones or newly released ones, in the area. It is also available in Chukar, Hungarian Partridge, California quail, and Pheasant. Google it

    • buzzardsgottaeattoo

      Mediocrity would be an aspiration for some of these so-called “journalists”. I’ve read that many website news agencies are aggregates, and somebody in the Phillipines or Indonesia is transcribing these stories. It explains the level of professionalism these days, apparently proper English, spelling and punctuation are no longer required to be a “journalist”, let alone a college graduate. Even the coming rollout of Core Curriculum says that 4 times 3 doesn’t have to be 12.

      • Portia2708

        Hahahahahaah…you mean unlike the professionalism constantly witnessed in these stories about hunters shooting themselves,etc? hahahahahahaha…Hunters are funny…not as bright as they should be, but very funny

      • City_Of_Champyinz

        Your comment is the essence of stupidity. You must be a real intellectual powerhouse.

      • Portia2708

        Yep, I am…got a master’s degree…but, keep tryin’…you must be a hunter…you are funny and not terribly bright…LOL…love funny comments from people who like to sit in tree stands and wait for an animal to show itself so you can take your big gun and shoot it and then, you can pound your chest like you are all brave and heroic…funny, funny guys!
        Subject: Re: New comment posted on Rabid Bobcat Ambushes Arizona Quail Hunters

      • Portia2708

        I have got a great life…one whereby I actually LIVE in the world and don’t feel the need to sit in a tree, waiting to kill something and then feel all proud of myself…LOL…funny idiots…hunters all

      • Tommycat

        Millions of hunters. You’re bound to have at least one who hurts themselves.

        Interesting story, a person I know has a collection of exotic swords. He slipped while dusting, and sliced open his hand. The doctor looked at him and asked what happened. He said it was a sword that did it. Before the doctor’s next question, I said, “He was cleaning it and it went off.”

    • Hamer1024

      It never said they were using rifles to hunt quail. The article states: “The hunters eventually shot and killed the bobcat with one of their hunting rifles.”
      He probably had it in the rack in kis truck.
      Even think of that?

    • Kabong30

      Hug it out, y’all

    • DaveGinOly

      The article doesn’t say these hunters were using decoys or calls, just that their use can draw bobcats and coyotes.

    • NE_Heights_Elitist

      Yawn. All that is irrelevant to the greater story. Pat yourself on the back bro!

  • azooper

    I would rather be attacked by a mountain lion then a bobcat. Bobcats claws and teeth are much more sharp. They jump on you and stick their claws into you and you may as well forget it. You will be in pain for months.

    • Watasi

      A mountain lion can kill you in seconds. Killing a human by a mountain lion is childs play.

  • Wiley Bill Custis

    One time the neighbors cat crawled into my engine, didnt know it till I started the engine the next morning. I never could get used to that 3 legged cat, not sure why the neighbors wanted to keep the damn thing.

  • Moose442

    PETA’s OUTRAGE in 3, 2, 1…..,

  • Portia2708

    I LOVE stories where hunters get HUNTED…how COOL is that? Now, the hunters KNOW how it feels

    • Ergo

      i feel the same way when blacks attack rich white liberals

      • Jesuslander

        That NEVER happens because rich White liberals have an entourage of military trained, fully weaponed goons escort them to the gun control rallies.

    • noexcuses

      And all of your food appears by magic?

    • City_Of_Champyinz

      Another stupid comment saying the same thing?? you need to get a life, you are clearly an idiot.

  • Kravi


  • Johnny Reberto

    When there are more trappers afield there are less instances of disease in furbearer populations. One rabid bobcat fighting another will spread the rabies within their population. Trapping is the best management tool for predator management. I took several mangy coyotes last year who were spreading mange among their population. They were living a painful and pathetic life. Hunting dogs occasionally get caught but with no foot damage. It’s unnerving for the uneducated to see but all animals can be released unharmed if the trapper is using the correct trap for the species targeted.

  • Watasi

    These guys must have had the IQ of a rock to not recognize the totally abnormal behavior of that animal. Rabies is a horrible way to die for any animal!