For my wife’s birthday I bought her a game camera. We set it up on our property to catch pictures of the elusive lynx, not a bobcat but a real lynx. On three occasions we have seen her march through our yard in the daylight. She weights 60 to 70 pounds. My brother-in-law discovered her tracks several years ago and told me I had a mountain lion. Then we began getting occasional sightings of her stomping through the yard. She’s raising a litter every year. Last summer, we saw a half grown one. The camera has been up for several months but still no lynx.
I would like a photo of the lynx; she has long black hairs on the tips of her ears, even in the summer she has a wonderful coat.
However, we have some clear night shots of a bobcat who we have seen before. It has spots on its ears and is twice the size of a house cat. We also have a pair of gray foxes that feast on scraps my wife throws out for them, in the area where our bird feeders hang. Then we have raccoons on the camera each week; I have to live trap them and haul them off because they tear down the bird feeders. Wild or roaming house cats also appear on the game cam. We clear off the pictures each week.
Since we don’t have a dog, there are several nocturnal invaders; one being a couple of opossums that make nightly checks. They are not photogenic and when the flash goes off they scurry away. Then there are armadillos. I remember a man calling my partner and I years ago saying he thought he had one in his shop and asked us to come check it out. He said, “I don’t want to kill the dang thing if it’s protected but I have lived all my life in Arkansas and never seen one.” That’s what it was. I have shot them in the daylight but they are not easy to kill. They root up flowerbeds looking for worms and grubs. They make a big mess. In the 1940s they came into Texas and have since spread north.
I live on the upper end of Beaver Lake, a quarter mile from a neighbor with some pasture land and woods around the house. We have about a dozen neighborhood deer that eat on my Bluegrass and soon we will have a crop of new fawns. I hardly see any bucks except in the fall. I salt them. They don’t bother anything since I don’t garden. There are plenty indicating that the program was a huge success. It’s neat to start for town and have a dozen deer lift their heads and watch you go out.
My daughter was coming out to the house last fall and had to stop for a mountain lion on our road. Arkansas Fish and Game doesn’t want to have to ear tag them and keep track of them since they would be an endangered species. But there have been cougars in Arkansas since the 1960s.
I know hunters that set those cameras up and find some big bucks. They aren’t given away cheap, but if you suspect there is game coming by they will capture their picture.
God Bless You and America. Keep praying even though the rain has started.
Western novelist Dusty Richards and his wife Pat live on Beaver Lake in northwest Arkansas. For more information about his books you can email Dusty by visiting and clicking on ‘Contact Us’ or call 1-866-532-1960.


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