WAGNER, S.D. (KELO) — Barb Pechous’ Sunday morning coffee was a little extra exciting this week.
After opening her back door and preparing to make her coffee, Pechous heard turkeys in her backyard she could tell “they didn’t sound normal.”
“All of sudden this cat came out of the tree,” Pechous said. “I happened to have my camera right there. Normally it’s not the perfect lens and settings but I got lucky.”
You can see two photos Pechous captured in the slideshow below.
Pechous lives near Wagner and took the photos around 6 a.m. on the morning of June 13.
“I’ve never seen a bobcat, period,” Pechous said. “A lot of people thought the tail was too long to be a bobcat. It does have a longer tail, but it’s not out of the ordinary.”
Pechous said she’s shared the photos with animal experts in the area who confirmed it was a bobcat.
“It was a beautiful cat,” Pechous said. “Bobcats are common but chances of anybody seeing one, it just doesn’t happen. It’s extremely rare to catch one on camera.”
The owner of the Avon, Lake Andes and Wagner newspapers, Pechous said photography has always been a hobby she enjoys.
After noticing the bobcat, she slid open her screen door and started shooting photos.
“It walked through the yard and it didn’t like my camera clicking,” Pechous said. “It went out in the long grass and pretty soon it came back out and got closer to the turkeys.”
Then the turkeys got up in the trees and the bobcat was looking at them. After a hiding out in the long grass, the bobcat eventually moved on and “the turkeys won.”
Pechous said after sharing the news in the neighborhood, she heard two cats and one chicken have been missing from neighbors.
According the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department, bobcats can be found “in most counties in western South Dakota as well as eastern South Dakota counties adjacent to the Missouri River.” The GFP says bobcats can be found in “rough, rugged country along riparian areas, rocky buttes, timbered draws and creeks, as well as, throughout the Black Hills.”
Bobcats are considered “active throughout the year, but are rarely seen.”
Hunting and trapping of bobcats starts Dec. 26 in both West River and East River and ends Feb. 15 in both West River and East River. Nonresident bobcat season is Jan. 8 to Feb. 15.
Bobcats are unrestricted in West River but the limit is one in East River.