Adult lynx are solitary, except during the breeding season and when raising young.
Each adult establishes a territory by marking rocks, trees, and stumps with its scent.
Males generally use larger areas than females.
The territories of lynx of different ages and sex often overlap, but adults of the same sex usually avoid each other.
When hunting is good, this territory or "home range" is approximately 15 to 25 km2.
When hares are scarce, lynx may expand this range to double or triple in size, or they may travel great distances in search of food.
Lynx have been known to travel over 1000 km.|
Lynx are good climbers but because of their preference for snowshoe hare they usually hunt on the ground.
They are most active during the night and the twilight of dawn and dusk.
Their sense of smell is poor, their hearing is good and their eyes are well adapted for hunting in low light.
They also have excellent depth perception, which aids in capturing prey.
Lynx hunt by searching places where hares are likely to live, flushing them into the open and overtaking them with a short burst of speed or by ambushing them along frequently used trails.
Females with kittens often hunt cooperatively.
Lynx are found where there are snowshoe hares.
Lynx prefer diverse forest with stands of conifer, softwoods, or mature mixed-wood for cover, and shrubby areas for feeding.
Old growth forests with little understory are not attractive to either species.
Wildfires and some types of logging improve lynx habitat by opening up areas of mature forest for new growth.
Fifteen to 20 years after a fire, the new growth of deciduous shrubs, jackpine, and spruce attracts snowshoe hares, which makes it prime habitat for lynx.
Fire can be particularly effective in creating a mixture of new growth areas, unburned bogs, and mature stands of trees.
Logging in small strips or blocks will also provide areas of new growth, but clear-cut logging of large areas is not favourable for hares or lynx because it removes all cover and most of the food.
The short breeding season of the lynx lasts from mid-March through to early April.
Lynx become more social than usual during breeding and often make excursions outside of their home range.
Gestation lasts about 9 weeks, and a litter of 2 to 5 kittens is born in late May or early June.
The kittens' eyes open at 10 days.
They grow rapidly, spending the summer near their den of tangled vegetation.
Their first winter is spent learning to hunt with their mother.
At the end of the winter, as the breeding season approaches, the family group breaks up and the young search for their own home ranges.
If female kittens are in good condition, they may breed during their first spring, but male kittens do not breed until the next year.
Adult females in poor condition may breed but usually do not produce young.
Kittens born during periods of hare scarcity have a very poor chance of surviving their first weeks of life.
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.