While bobcats are not particularly tough, they do deserve respect. Bobcats can kill adult deer, so they’re capable of injuring a human.
Many hunters have taken bobcats with the .22 LR cartridge while hunting squirrels. Pelt hunters might use one of the hotter .17 rim-fires. However, Outfitter Johnnie Dale recommends using .22 caliber or .243 caliber center-fire rifles for hunting bobcats over bait. He would rather a hunter bring his favorite deer rifle than anything else because an opportunity might be fleeting and it might be the only one presented over the duration of a hunt that can last several days.
Dale places his baits at ranges of 50- 125 yards from the same tree stands he uses for hunting deer and feral hogs. The long distances decrease the chances of a bobcat spotting a hunter as it studies the area before approaching the bait. Long ranges relative to the small size of the quarry and possible low-light conditions require a good scope.
For close-range shooting, Dale recommends a shotgun loaded with No. 2 shot, which is also handy to have in hand when trailing a wounded bobcat into one of the Carolina bays of the Coastal Plain, which have some of the thickest vegetative cover in the world.