Bobcats, Rats and Worms. Oh My!
One of the coolest things about hunting is that every single time, I learn something. I usually see something pretty cool too. Well, this time was no exception. I hunted 4J after work on Friday the 11th. I had been trying to get the pigs to come into pond area but they always came when I wasn’t there – I can just picture them laughing at me whilst devouring corn and buck ration! Bastards! So, I decided to sit in the pond stand from 5pm to midnight in case they were coming in early. Well, at 645ish a female bobcat came out of the woods and headed down to get a drink. I was ready. I sighted her in on the ATN X-Sight and let her have it at 60 yards! This was my second bobcat. I had shot a male at 90 yards earlier in the year with a tac flashlight…no night vision. It was neat to see her slink down to the water. When I went to retrieve her I realized she was pretty dang big.
Now, taking a bobcat is cool but little did I know I would see something even cooler! While washing her off and getting her ready to take to the taxidermist, I noticed that her intestines were protruding from the exit wound. Her entrails proceeded to fall out on the grass. I immediately noticed worms…segmented nematodes all over her intestines. I proceeded to remove her stomach and evacuate the contents. She had about 6 rats in her belly! Nasty, black rats. I had never seen a rat on this ranch…I guess this explains why. These worms were also in her stomach so clearly a gastro-intestinal parasite (zoonotic). I looked up the worms online and it appears they are Cylicospirura species (Nematoda: Spirocercidae). I found references in veterinary journals to this worm and its prevalence in cougars, feral cats and bobcats.
Enjoy pictures of the worms and stomach contents. You have to admit, it’s pretty freaking’ cool. And really, how many people can say they’ve examined worms and stomach contents of a bobcat they’ve killed?
I have asked TPWD to help correctly identify the worms.