Back in the 70's I remember seeing one once while quail hunting with my Dad. I was new to hunting then & we were both new to hunting in the Arizona desert. After describing the critter to Dad - told him it looked like a racoon crossed with an otter - he accused me of carrying something other than water in my canteen. Took a trip to the school library (the internet wasn't even a bad thought back then) to show him confermation of what I saw.
From what I've gathered over the years, seeing one seems like seeing a bobcat - not too likely unless your specifically going after one. I remember talking to a Air Force Lt (I was an Air Force brat living on base) who did alot of varmint hunting & said that he'd called in a few of them. It would make an interesting mount if you got one though.
I have only ran into a couple in all the years that I have been hunting in the desert of Arizona. That time all I had to shoot it was a .44 magnum loaded with 240 gr hollow points. I really didn't want to blow in into pieces so I let them wander off never to see another one since.
When I first learned of them I thought there were a lot more than there is. I think they are more of a night animal like a racoon though so that could be some of the problem. A .44 would definately be overkill. I was thinking more like my .17hmr but doubt I will ever get the chance at one.
First make sure your gun is safe, remove the bolt and clean your barrel from the chamber to the end of muzzle. Clean the barrel using butchers bore shine until a patch comes out white. Run a total of 5 separate patches soaked with denatured alcohol through the bore and let dry for 30 minutes. Insert a cleaning rod with a jag and a dry patch into the neck of the chamber. Make sure it will stay there through the next process. Now using another cleaning rod, install a patch that has been coated...