A Florida man demonstrated humans’ occupation of the top predator spot by shooting a big bobcat that had lost its fear of people. The big cat was killing and eating a chicken a day for a month, and had just killed the last one only feet away from the man  and his children . . .

Florida Farm Where Bobcat Killed 30 Chickens

From local10.com:

“Saturday evening we were sitting in the hot tub and right there, you see the feather on the ground? The cat came out of nowhere, killed a chicken right in front of us, like 8 feet away. Just splattered blood and feathers right in our face,” said Nail. “No fear of man whatsoever.”

I had a similar, but more benign situation occur at my place in Arizona. A kit fox wandered just feet from my children and me as we sat in the hot tub. I have no chickens there, but I wonder if a hot tub might  be a good “blind” to hunt from…  All you need is a source of power, water, cleaning supplies, mild weather… In my case, the kit fox was more fun to watch, and represented no threat.

A bobcat this big could well be a threat to small children, not to mention the 30 chickens. People got to the top of the food chain through hard work. It’s bad policy to allow other species to think they can get there. Bad for them and bad for the people with whom they interact.

Ronnie Nail picked an excellent tool for the job he had to do:

Benelli 12 gauge is an excellent choice to stop a marauding bobcat. While no loads are mentioned, anything from number 2 shot up would be a good choice.

In the comments at the article, one person who hasn’t thought the situation through wishes death for Ronnie Nail. We all die; men, bobcats, and chickens. If the homicidal poster thinks it’s wrong for Ronnie to kill the bobcat, why wasn’t it wrong for the bobcat to kill the chickens, or for the chickens to kill the bugs and ticks they eat while free-ranging on Ronnie’s farm? It’s as natural for men to kill bobcats and chickens as it is for chickens to kill ticks.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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83 Responses to Big Bobcat Killed by Top Predator in Florida

  1. If you can capture a very young female Bobcat, have it spayed, and raise it as a family pet, it will keep the neighbors’ dogs out of your yard!
    .
    (Also, the neighbors’ small children)
    (Also, the neighbors’ kitty cats will tend to disappear. Almost overnight)
    .

      • After viewing the photo, I would also contend that it would likely keep all but the most docile adult neighbors.
        .
        Just put a sign with a photo of the cat and include the following caption:
        .
        “BEWARE OF OUR LITTLE FRIEND”
        ………HER NAME IS ‘PUSSY’
        ………………”MEOW”

        • They’re the only land animal other than humans who torture their prey just to get off on inflicting distress. In my book, that’s evil.

          Albeit, I must admit that there are “good” cats, just like there are good people – I once had a turf war going on with a neighbor’s cat who just loved to bask in my front yard and piss on my car; one day while it was basking I poked it really really hard with a stick (from above – like I was trying to pin it to the tarmac) – it ran away, and I thought, “There! Take that!” Later that day, I looked across the drive, and it was taking a dump on the neighbor’s yard, and I made eye contact with it, and telepathically picked up, “OK, that’s your territory, but why do you hate me?”

          I wept.

      • Holy mother of GOD you’re an idiot! I suppose black cats are even more evil. because they’re black. You’re evil, torturing a domesticated house cat, bred to trust and not fear humans, with a stick. If I knew where you lived I’d piss on your car. Can’t wait till your entire ol’timey, “cats steal a babies breath”, old wives tale believing generation dies off. I have a feeling animal cruelty rates will simultaneously fall.

  2. I shot a yote in our backyard that was literally standing and watching back and forth between my kids, and our chicken coop. Everyone should get a suppressed 300blk!!!

    • I took out a groundhog at 30 paces last week with a .22 Long (not LR) out of my Henry. .22 Long in a subdivision has a time and place over 300 Blackout. But I’d like a 300 too.

    • I just lost 2 chickens over the weekend to coyotes, so the suppressed 300blk is sounding mighty nice right about now.

  3. I came in here to predict someone would be wishing death upon him over this, but I can see that I’m much too late. It seems you can’t scratch an animal’s tummy without incurring a death threat from the anonymous public these days.

    • It always makes me laugh when the animal rights people threaten hunters. Seems like a DGU waiting to happen.

    • “If the homicidal poster thinks it’s wrong for Ronnie to kill the bobcat, why wasn’t it wrong for the bobcat to kill the chickens…”

      Or for the homicidal poster to wish death or Ronnie?

  4. First time we went coyote hunting my son tuned up his predator call and after a short time a big bobcat came in. It wasn’t the proper season so the cat got a free pass. Fun animal to watch.

  5. I’ll be the first to say that Ronnie did the right thing to protect his family and he chickens. Unfortunately, it is a shame the cat was where he was doing what he was doing.

  6. Ok, since there are no animal huggers in here I’ll play the part. Man, this is hard pretending to be a retarded moron. I guess a true animal first hugger would suggest the bobcat had all the right to be there and if he didn’t like it he should’ve packed up and moved away from the bobcats habitat. Well, that is as retarded as I can get. Anyone else here do any better? I mean really go insane and make batshit crazy stupid arguments for the bobcat.

    • Here is a go:

      We have plenty of humans but not enough bobcats. If the murderer would just have put out cat food for the beautiful animal, everyone could have lived in harmony. The peaceful, beautiful, animal was only restoring the balance of nature by eating the invasive chickens that the destructive man had introduced into its environment. Everything was peaceful and in balance before man came along. Man is the problem here, not the beautiful animal, which never harmed anyone.

      There is not a single documented case in the last 1000 years of a bobcat attacking, killling, and eating any child, anywhere, ever. They never attack people.

      Nature is never the problem. Nature is always in balance, beneficial, and beautiful. Man is always the problem and causes all problems everywhere. Remove man from the earth, and peace will return.

      There. I now step out of my deep green persona.

    • Keith and Dean,

      I doff my hat to your efforts, sirs. You have earned a great rest for allowing your mind to even try to sample the feces that passes for synaptic firing in those that make those arguments.

      I offer the suggestion that you don’t attempt this more than once per lifetime though. The side effects could be harmful. We just don’t know.

  7. A cat that big is more than a threat to small children. No, it probably isn’t going to kill an adult, but if it got it’s claws on one while scared or trapped, it’d make that adult wish he were dead.

    +10 for protecting his family, friends, neighbors, and pets.

  8. I wish there had been a better way. I hate to see those beautiful cats killed, but he did need to protect his family.

  9. That is a HUGE bobcat which could inflict serious harm on any adult. In fact it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that HUGE bobcat could inflict life threatening injuries to an adult if it really tried. Remember, in addition to having sharp, long (3/4 inch or longer) canine teeth, bobcats have sharp claws (in excess of 1/2 inch on that beast) that would shred a person’s relatively delicate skin.

  10. That bob cat was going to pay for those chickens……honest. He was turning his life around. He was a gentle giant of a bob cat.

      • The evil farmer shot that bobcat for no reason whatsoever… He was surrendering and in the process of returning the chickens he had borrowed.

        That happened not too far from me here in central FL. We have Florida Panthers here as well, I saw one as roadkill about 15 years back, looked like he weighed about 100 lbs.

  11. Nice size bobcat. Glad that no one was hurt. I was reading in my local newspaper about the problems with wolf-coyote hybrids in the northeast USA. These have the size & strength of the wolf and the urban adaptability of the coyote with a little bit of feral dog genes thrown in for good measure. Apex predators adapt pretty quickly to their environments, and as the human population density continues to increase world wide, there are going to be more frequent interactions between man & beast. Man is an apex predator ONLY when he has his tools. Bare handed combat against a sizable wild cat like a mountain lion, or a pack of coyotes, or wolves, the human is at a VERY distinct disadvantage.

    • “These have the size & strength of the wolf”

      I wouldn’t go that far.

      Large wolves can be well over 150 pounds and any healthy adult wolf should be at least 80 pounds or so. A really large coyote in the Northeast would rarely exceed 45 pounds. Nevertheless, a single coyote that size is a serious threat to small children and a pack of such coyotes could do some serious damage to an adult.

      Fortunately, coyotes are quite wary and seem to universally shun adult human contact.

      • Apparently these wolf/coyote/dog hybrids are averaging 100 pounds, hunt in packs and don’t spook easily. They are more aggressive than coyotes, and unlike wolves, thrive in an urban environment. I remember seeing feral dog packs in the abandoned housing developments outside of Houston TX back in the 1980’s. It was crazy to watch a cocker spaniel team up with a couple of terriers, a German shepherd and 4 or 5 mutts and hunt as a pack. A person might be tempted to call out,” Here poochie poochie” and get torn up and eaten. I’ve seen coyotes wander thru the neighborhood of my subdivision, but they weren’t anything near 100 pounds, more like the 40-45 you describe. I don’t want to see any packs of 100 pound animals hunting in my neck of the woods, any time soon.

        • But you have packs of GREATER than 100lb critters hunting in groups in your neighborhood, Sir. They aren’t called “packs”, they’re called “Gangs”.
          .
          They are more vicious than the four-legged creatures to which you refer.
          .

    • We have had a stay imposed on ‘yote shooting in certain counties here in the eastern part of the State because of the presence of the reintroduced red wolf.

      I think the reasoning is based on fear wolves will be shot by mistake. Or something.

      Anyone arguing in favor of the wolf population needs to look long and hard at what will result if the cross breeding continues. There won’t be any pure red wolves left.

  12. I like having other predators (bobcats, wolves, coyotes, etc.) around. They provide valuable services in terms of keeping pest species populations in check. I’d rather not kill them unless there’s a reason to do so. But if you start being a threat to somebody’s safety you’re going to get turned into a rug. Plain and simple.

  13. Im sorry.
    I don’t care if the cat is /was hurting his profits.
    Your families safety that’s another story.
    Such wasn’t the case here. You don’t shoot an endangered species over a few dammed chickens.
    The farmer should be fined more then his loss of chickens would ever have cost.

    • I’m sure you don’t, since it wasn’t your livelihood being jeopardized. His was, so I don’t blame him for disposing of a dangerous pest.

      • Two points. Yeah I don’t recall Bobcats being an endangered species, and livelihood? Look at that house. He didn’t build that raising a few chickens. I guarantee you, this guy’s a hobby farmer at best.

    • Was he supposed to wait until one of his children was attacked and perhaps killed?

      I’m as diehard conservationist as they come against WASTE, but comments like this make me shake my head. There’s conservation and there’s ignoring the realities of the world around you.

      • My humble apologies to all.
        I was thinking Panthers……Heat stroke upper 90s here…
        But
        Im still not for killing a cat over a few chickens my livelihood or not.
        If a family member or even a pet was involved a whole nutther ball O wax.
        I wont apologize for being against killing big cats not enough are left in this world.

        • And if anybody cared enough to demand an apology for your conviction against killing big cats, man; you’d totally have us by the balls right now.

  14. There’s a lesson to be learned by all of us: never steal another man’s chick. And keep your paws off his c0ck, too.

  15. So you would rather have this huge bobcat kill your little dog, cat or CHILD? 30 chickens is good trade.

  16. Would it have been unreasonable (really don’t know) to call someone who might be willing to capture it alive and relocate it to another area … sparing livestock and removing potential threat to humans?

    • Kinda like calling, and waiting for the police when someone is kicking down your door. No, and hell no. So, to answer your question: Yes, and hell yes.

    • Yes, hunting livestock is a learned behavior, he would have found a new ranch and continued killing chickens. Moving the cat would only have displaced the problem, not solved it.

    • I agree it would have been a better solution, but there’s still a world of difference between killing an animal because it’s a threat to your family and doing so because you simply enjoy it.

    • My girlfriend brought up this question after my buddy and I went out to kill done coyotes that kept attacking my parents dogs. Short answer? Yes, a bit unreasonable. Longer answer? Animal Control wouldn’t, because it wasn’t a dog or cat. Private parties charge out the ass for live capture. A couple of .22 mags were a much cheaper solution.

  17. What a majestic looking creature. I like bobcats. But, I love chicken and eggs more. Guess he hadda do what he hadda do. I would do the same if it was happening to me.

    • I know what you mean, I love eggs, eat about a dozen a week. When Robert cats (technical name) start laying eggs, I’ll start looking at things a little different.

  18. Bobcats in CA are nocturnal, and its rare to see one- even wildlife biologists are jealous if you do.
    They are also about 1/2 the size of that one- have a pic from a trail cam I set years ago, of one living and using trails only 75 yards from houses in a subdivision. But they can adapt too- there was a story about a mother having a litter in a shed in a San Diego golf course a year ago, I think- and fine with people looking in on her.

    Coyotes are the more predictable danger, to your dogs and cats, and toddlers- just because they are so numerous and well adapted to urban and surburban spaces.

    But Mountain Lions are starting to make news feeding on humans now, in So Cal. A homeless guy in Hemet got his head chewed on, while sleeping, and a Palms Springs groundskeeper at a golf course was stalked by, and narrowly missed being attacked by running thru and closing a gate on one, at dusk, in the last year.
    The wild fires in past years pushed a lot out of the mountains, towards the suburbs, and now the severe drought is doing same.

    Read “Beast in the Garden” if you are interested in lessons learned in Boulder, CO, for treating wild animals like house guests in your yard. The key word is “habituation”, and why its so dangerous, left un-checked.

    The shame of it in CA, is that hunting predators, like hunting game animals is the only tool for Fish and Game, and worked, just like managing deer herds, when populations get out of balance, until some 15 years ago when the PETA types pitched a fit and changed the law… The result that well meaning animal lovers forget, is the cats starve to death, slowly, diseased, get hit by cars having to stray out of their habitat into the suburbs from their own unchecked population growth. Mature cats predate upon one another, and juveniles when that happens.

    At one point I recall the game warden on Camp Pendleton saying the biologists on base had radio collared and were tracking 13 lions. This in a territory that is at most, big enough for one possibly two pair of adult lions, which if I recall correctly- need something like 24 deer a year, to stay healthy. Not a surprise that the deer hunting season there on base has dropped by a few days, to reflect lower pre-season surveys, and the take lower too, every year in last four that I have hunted there.

    Same happened in the Cuyamacas- recall seeing herds of deer up there, 20 years ago, in the oak meadows and grasslands. Not anymore…and the last time I camped at Green River campground, this in the early summer 10 years ago, with my toddlers, was when they told us, “oh, by the way, we have a lion wandering the trail over there (about 10 yards from the tent spaces) but dont worry, its not aggressive…we are keeping an eye on it”.

    My wife being a wildlife biologist and game warden in past life said, “we are packing up now”, and I agreed.
    I am still incredulous that park staff even thought that way…a year later I am sure their views changed:
    http://articles.latimes.com/1994-12-13/news/mn-8439_1_mountain-lion-foundation

    http://www.cougarinfo.org/attacks4.htm

    • I used to hunt in the Cuyamacas back in the early 70’s. Mostly for yodel dogs.
      Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

  19. PS: TL:DR, sorry the post got so long I missed the edit update-

    “Get a dog!”

    The bottomline in CA, is this- you have to have a wildlife depredation permit to shoot a lion, legally, unless its in the act of actually killing something. If you want to be proactive, to save your chickens and goats, like my buddy who lives in a suburb next to hills, your options are…limited.. When he started losing a chicken or turkey a night, and then a goat, to coyotes coming over the fence, he called Fish and Game, who said- its illegal to use poison, and since he was in a municipal border that forbid shooting- he was out of luck.

    Until he got a dog- this breed- laid back, not fancy, a working dog,
    that’s up all night doing its job, patrolling the property,
    and no animals lost since it matured to adult hood and understood its job:
    https://www.akc.org/breeds/anatolian_shepherd_dog/index.cfm

  20. I think my house cats would like to eat the neighbor’s chickens. I really do think a big farm cat could take down a chicken.

  21. 10 or 15 years ago a bobcat attacked a golfer here in Tucson. The guy’s buddy had to beat it to death with a 5 iron. Animal control had been out earlier to check out the bobcat, I went to the gym with the animal control guy and asked him about it. Per him the cat wasn’t doing anything odd, other than sitting there on the side of the fairway checking out the golfers. Half an hour after they left, it attacked a golfer and died for it’s trouble. It was determined to be rabid and they guy that was attacked had to go through a painful round of anti-rabies shots. I would suggest that anytime you see a wild animal that doesn’t properly defer to man be careful! Unless you have a handy 5 iron around.

    BTW, the animal control guy wore a Tee Shirt with “I WORK WITH WILD ANIMALS, IF YOU SEE ME RUNNING TRY TO KEEP UP!” on it.

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