Like many felines, Bobcats are solitary animals.
The bobcat is extremely territorial and marks its boundaries with urine and droppings, as well as by digging up the ground.
Like other cat species, when a bobcat approaches the scent mark of another, it raises its head with its mouth half open, and upper lip slightly withdrawn. This look gives the cat a grimacing or growl-like appearance. It will stand still, rotate its head, or appear to be staring. This behavior is called "flehmen". They will flehm after smelling any unusual odor. When they do this, they are not expressing any anger suggested by the growl-like look, but in fact activating an organ in the roof of the mouth behind the incisors. This organ is called the vomeronasal organ (VNO) or Jacobson's organ. You can see the openings to the VNO on your domestic cat.
They are two small holes in a slightly raised area on the roof. |
This organ allows the cat to detect molecules of substances called pheromones.
Pheromones are too heavy to be inhaled and detected by typical nasal methods.
Pheromones are found in the marking and birth fluids of cats.
They provide a way that cats can identify each other more closely or determine if a female is in estrus, ready to mate.
The male and female interact almost exclusively during the mating season.
A successful male's home range overlaps with those of several females, and may also overlap the territory of another male.
The home ranges of females, which are smaller than those of the males, do not overlap one another.
These cats rarely vocalize, although they often yowl and hiss during the mating season.
A male can tell from a female’s urine when she is ready to mate.
Mating takes place in the winter and the male mates with all the females that share his territory.
The blind and helpless young are born in early spring.
At this time, the female drives the male away from the den, although he usually remains in the area.
Mothers with young are extremely aggressive.
The kittens’ eyes open after a week, but they continue to suckle for eight weeks.
Once the kittens can eat solid food, the female allows the male to return to the den.
Male bobcats are unusual among cat species because they bring food to both the mother and kittens.
As the kittens grow, the whole family travels throughout the family territory, living in a number of different dens.
When the kittens are five months old, they learn to hunt from their mother.
At this time, the male loses interest in the kittens and he returns to his own territory.
The young stay with their mother for six to nine months, or until the next breeding season.
They then find territories of their own.
Rabbits and hares make up two-thirds of the bobcat's diet.
The remainder consists of squirrels and mice.
Bobcats sometimes prey on deer, domestic sheep and goats, and an occasional cat or dog.
The bobcat creeps up on its prey until it is close enough to pounce on and kill the animal.
The bobcat is very strong for its size and kills its larger prey by biting and clawing at the base of the skull.
During a night-long hunt, a male bobcat may travel as far as 25 miles to find prey.
Attractants and Lures can be broken down into four main categories.
In theory, attractants and lures will provide a smell that an animal will find attractive.
This being the case, some trappers and hunters believe that an attractant or lure will have an overwhelming and mesmerizing effect on the animal, causing it to cover great distances to investigate the area of the scent location.
In practice, lure is most effective when used at sets made very close to the animal's natural line of travel.
An animal is much more likely to investigate a smell that is close by than one that is far off.
Attractants and Lures are not a substitute for reading animal sign or knowing animal habits.
- Food attractants and lures which appeal to the animals hunger and include ingredients in their diet, and indicate to the animal that there is food here.
- Curiosity attractants and lures which are scents that appeal to an animals curiosity.
- Matrix attractants and lures which have scents and musk from female animals that are in heat that appeal to a specific animals nature.
They tend to make the animal not so suspicious, because they think one of their own kind was in the area.
- Gland attractants and lures, usually made from the glands of animals, which also have the effect of making an amimal think that another of his kind is on his turf.
Gland attractants and lures will also plays on the territorial nature of most furbearing animals.
Most furbearing animals establish a home range which they protect from invaders.
The smell of an animal that is not a member of their group will usually cause an investigation.
This also works both ways, because a trespassing animal will also investigate the smell to determine what other animals are in this range and which ones to avoid.
For an animal to be attracted by an attractant or lure, first it must smell the scent of the atrractant or lure.
That seems like a simple statement, but this is one thing that many trappers and hunters fail to consider when making scent dispenser locations.
The smell of the attractant or lure travels on air currents.
If there is a steady air current or a prevailing wind, an animal traveling on the upwind side of a scent dispenser will not smell the attractant or lure.
Attract and lure quantity and scents also need to be adjusted for temperature conditions.
As temperature lowers, attractants and lures give off less smell, and attractant and lure quantity should generally be increased as temperatures go down.