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Okefenokee Swamp bobcat sighting

It was one of the worst days in my adventure travel life. I stupidly had my GoPro filming as I was navigating a narrow stretch of cypress trees in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. An immature night heron caught my eye and I sharply turned the canoe to take a picture. My GoPro tipped over and fell into the bottom of the swamp. Thank god an Okefenokee Swamp bobcat sighting turned the tide.

Okefenokee Swamp

Chilling and enjoying the view – See the log on the other shore? That is where he first appeared

Camping at Big Water

After a grueling ten mile paddle in low water from Stephen Foster State Park up ten miles to Big Water, I was ready to relax. I was also still bummed from losing my GoPro. I put my chair in the corner of the raised platform and enjoyed the sunset and the gorgeous view ahead of me and tried to forget the loss of my favorite electronic gadget. Although the sun set behind me, there were still beautiful colors ahead.

Okefenokee Swamp Big Water

Big Water Camp – The site of the Okefenokee Swamp bobcat sighting

Okefenokee Swamp bobcat sighting

Suddenly I looked over to the other shore and spotted a dog like animal crawling along the bank. At first I thought it could be a panther. They have actually been a few sightings this far north. Then thought it could be a coyote. I grabbed my zoom lens and hoped it would come closer, so I could at least identify what animal it was.

Okefenokee swamp bobcat

Okefenokee Swamp bobcat sighting

I was afraid my movement to get my zoom lens would cause it to bolt into the swamp. Fortunately, the bobcat kept moving towards me. He then stopped and checked me out and turned. I saw the small tale and could clearly see that it was a bobcat. I was also able to snap about four pictures. He never ran into the swamp although he did take a detour around the shore directly across from me and then reappeared along the shore further down.

Okefenokee swamp bobcat

The Okefenokee Swamp bobcat approaches

Okefenokee Swamp Georgia

Okefenokee Swamp bobcat sighting

Bobcat bucket list

There is that little tail – Bobcat checked off the bucket list

First wildcat takes a check off my bucket list

In this post:

Adventure travel bucket list

I wrote: I have never seen a wildcat before. I would love to see a tiger, puma, or even a bobcat. Well that item was finally checked off as this bobcat was my first wildcat. It made it more gratifying that the sighting was not from a car or a safari guide’s van, but in the wild on a trip that I had to bust my rear end off through swamps full of alligators.

Adventure on!

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8 Responses to Okefenokee Swamp bobcat sighting

  1. Marilyn Kircus November 16, 2016 at 7:42 pm #

    Thanks for posting. I never saw a bobcat in Okefenokie NWR during the winter I volunteered ther but did enjoy lots of bird species, including wintering Sandhills cranes. My biggest faux pas was backing a 80 something year old gentleman on top of a small alligator. We all survived without a dump.

    • Traveling Ted November 17, 2016 at 8:44 pm #

      Hi Marilyn,

      I definitely was lucky to see this beautiful animal. On a couple of occasions, I had alligators submerge and then remerge underneath my boat smacking there head on the aluminum bottom. Scared the heck out of me, so I know how you and your octogenarian felt 🙂

  2. Marlys Schuermann November 24, 2016 at 7:39 am #

    Wow! That must have been a really great experience. My only sighting of anything “wild” is in a Zoo! Hahahaha

    Did you get to recover your GoPro from the swamp? Yikes!

    • Traveling Ted November 24, 2016 at 1:37 pm #

      It was an amazing experience Marlys. Thanks. No, my GoPro is now sadly part of the Okefenokee Swamp. I bought a new one in Tampa when I returned to civilization.

  3. Sophie @ Sophie's World December 1, 2016 at 4:11 pm #

    Wow! Haven’t seen nearly enough nature and wildlife in the USA. On the list.

    • Traveling Ted December 3, 2016 at 4:28 pm #

      Seeing a bobcat is one definitely for the list although quite a challenging one. I have been searching for wildcats for 30 years without any luck. Then when I least expect it, this guy basically almost walked into my camp.

  4. Agnieszka Walewinder December 15, 2016 at 3:53 am #

    Ted, camping at the Big Water sounds like a plan! 🙂

    • Traveling Ted December 26, 2016 at 7:58 pm #

      Hello Agness,

      It was an amazing experience.

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