A wildcat, for whom a mouse is not too small or a deer too big to kill, lives by stealth and savagery. Men hunt this 25-pound bobtailed hellion from ocean to ocean for sport and to preserve game from its depredations.
Recently two western hunters, Sam Shaver and Wilfred Jossy of Bend, Ore., put down Shaver's dogs in the hills beyond town in the hope of running a cat. There was a new track in the morning freshness, and the hound, Speck, quickly gave tongue. Bonny, an Airedale, followed in whining excitement. The hunters hurried after them.
Sometimes the quarry escapes, but in this instance it was "bayed" in a tree. When the hunters caught up to the dogs, Shaver, who is a government trapper, drew his pistol and tried to make a clean kill. He failed and the cat, only slightly wounded, leaped to the ground (below). For what happened next see the following pages.
THE ENEMIES SQUARE OFF, WITH BONNY PREPARED TO SPRING AND BITE
TOO FAST FOR THE CAMERA, BONNY HAS JUMPED IN AND TOSSED HER ADVERSARY
PRESSING THE FIGHT—AIREDALES ARE FAMED "ATTACK" DOGS—BONNY HITS AGAIN
STILL DANGEROUS, THE BOBCAT SWINGS A TALONED PAW IN COURAGEOUS DEFIANCE
THE BOBCAT'S MOMENT OF FURY ENDS IN THE DUST WHERE IT BEGAN AS SHAVER, JOSSY AND BONNY HEAD FOR HOME
WITH THE CAT AT BAY, BONNY THE AIREDALE (LEFT) TRIES A FEINT WHILE SPECK HOWLS FROM A SAFER DISTANCE
JOE VAN WORMER