I was reviewing the first edit of my latest Saskatchewan adventure when this cool cat strode across the screen. Man, it brought back memories. How still and cold it was that morning last November (20 below)…the incredible quiet of the spruce woods (no breeze, no birds, just pounding silence)… How the little animal glided across the fresh snow on tiny paws that never seemed to touch the ground. I remember whispering to cameraman Jake, “Bobcat.” I forgot where I was for a minute. It turned out to be a lynx, the first I had ever seen in the wild.
The cat was a dusky gray, mottled with brown, good camouflage for the deep spruce habitat where it lives. The black-tipped tail and especially the black tufts on the ears were wickedly cool, and beautiful. It moved effortlessly, crouching and gliding, cat-marble eye flickering. It hunted its way to within 20 yards of our blind and turned, and I made a hand-squeak. The cat turned and padded back to us and looked one more time, then vanished into the brush. The first and probably only lynx I will ever see left my life as quickly as it had entered it.
I looked at Jake and he was smiling, having just laid down some daylight footage of the secretive and night-loving predator. I looked into the camera and said something really profound like, “You never know what you’re going to see out in the woods…” Then, “things like this go to the soul of what we do.” And then we went back to hunting for a buck.
Back at camp that night I asked Brandon and Oneill, local Canadian boys who work and hunt and live outside year-round, how many lynx they see. They see one from time to time, but they said a sighting is not all that common, especially in daytime. I got the impression that seeing a lynx walking around at noon was sort of like us seeing a bobcat on the hunt at midday here in the States. But spotting a lynx is rarer. The guys seemed really impressed that Jake got 3 minutes of lynx footage.
You’ll see that lynx footage on the Saskatchewan episode of my show Big Deer TV on Sportsman Channel later this summer.