By AMY HEGGEN
---- — MORRISONVILLE — A close encounter with a bobcat left Floyd Rock surprised and pretty thrilled.
“I was sitting in my truck, and an animal crossed the logging road in front of me,” the Morrisonville man said. “The head popped up, and it looked like a tiger looking at me.”
During the late-October hunting trip, during early muzzle-loader deer season, Rock was about a mile into the woods on Mason Street, just sitting there watching for white-tailed deer when he saw the bobcat.
Taking care not to make any sudden moves that, even from inside his pickup, might scare off the big cat, he grabbed the camera that he usually keeps in the vehicle.
“He walked right up toward my truck; I couldn’t believe it,” he said.
According to the State Department of Environmental Conservation website, there are about five bobcats for every 100 square miles in the Adirondacks based on surveys from the 1970s.
The solitary animal’s diet is primarily white-tailed deer and rabbits.
“‘You won’t believe what I just got,’” Rock’s wife, Brenda Jean, remembers him telling her when he got home that day.
She figured he’d bagged a deer, but the bobcat, she said, was a bigger thrill.
“He’s hunted his entire life, but he had never seen one,” she said.
In fact, he searched online to confirm it wasn’t a lynx.
“They’re all over the place; you just never see them,” he said of bobcats. “They’re pretty elusive.”
As the crow flies, the bobcat was about 3/4 of a mile from the Rocks’ home, in a wooded stretch of Mason Street where no residences are, Mrs. Rock said.
Her husband had the photos enlarged and shared them with his family.
In one, the bobcat stands behind brown vegetation that blends with its brown, spotted coat — only the white fluff of its upturned tail really catches the eye.
“It just shows what a wonder camouflage is,” Mrs. Rock said.
Another image captures the animal in the open, gleaming yellow eyes and all.
“Such a pretty animal,” Mr. Rock said.
— News Editor Suzanne Moore contributed to this report