A Florida turkey hunter didn’t just bring in turkeys. His calls also brought in a curious panther.
Hunters call in predators often. You may get a coyote or a bobcat to come investigate your calls, because they’re looking for the same quarry you are, right?
Well, this turkey hunter called in something a little bigger than a bobcat. Bobby Reichert, on a turkey hunt in Hendry County, Florida, was met with a large Florida Panther.
“He hit that decoy twice, spun it around and it freaked him out,” Reichert said. “He darted off to a palm tree and just sat there. He was looking around, then walked right over, sniffed it and bumped it and went back to the palm tree.”
The Florida panther population is growing quite rapidly, with more encounters being shared on The Panthers of South Florida Facebook page. The Facebook page has become a place for people to post pictures of Floridian panther car collisions, killings, sightings, or attacks. It is also becoming a place for political controversy.
The more sightings, encounters (one hunter even had one attack him last year), and car-panther collisions means that Florida will have to deal with the rising panther population in the next year. Hogs and deer herds on public land have been decreasing likely due to rising panther population.
Reichart’s panther sighting was just that, a sighting. But if provoked, panthers will attack and may become more of a problem, especially for hunters, soon.
All photos via The Panthers of South Florida Facebook page