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Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Need help identifying animal tracks in snow. on 03/06/2012 10:03:15 MST Print View

These were taken this past saturday in Wisconsin. I'm not sure if it is a wolf or cougar track. There is a large population of wolves in the area, and a cougar has been spotted in the area, but cougars are really rare here.

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Scott S
(sschloss1) - F

Locale: New England
Hard to say on 03/06/2012 10:23:49 MST Print View

In your top picture, it looks like there might be evidence of a claw--mountain lion tracks don't show claws. But it's hard to rule out mountain lion given the quality of your pictures. The tracks are about as wide as long (which would suggest cat), and there aren't obvious claw marks. Also, it looks like the animal was directly registering (i.e. the front left foot stepped almost exactly where the front right one did), which is also something that cats usually do and dogs/wolves don't.

Got any better pictures?

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Hard to say on 03/06/2012 10:27:12 MST Print View

Sorry Scott, these are the only two I have. I was surprised at how far apart the tracks were, which as you suggest points to direct registering. The prints were almost 3 feet apart.

Lyan Jordan
(redmonk)

Locale: Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
Need help identifying animal tracks in snow. on 03/06/2012 10:47:41 MST Print View

By the general shape (no index digit, middle digits about equal length), and hint of claw in top photo, I'd guess canine, But if the print are one ontop of the other from a feline it would look about the same. Hard to say.

Edited by redmonk on 03/06/2012 10:52:49 MST.

j lan
(justaddfuel) - F

Locale: MN
Re: Need help identifying animal tracks in snow. on 03/06/2012 12:24:07 MST Print View

Not lynx?

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: Re: Need help identifying animal tracks in snow. on 03/06/2012 13:22:18 MST Print View

"Not lynx?"

That would be a very large lynx, at 3 feet apart.

j lan
(justaddfuel) - F

Locale: MN
Re: Re: Re: Need help identifying animal tracks in snow. on 03/06/2012 13:46:43 MST Print View

Just asking because I have seen Canadian Lynx near that area and they can be up to 41 inches.
lynx

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Need help identifying animal tracks in snow. on 03/06/2012 14:22:55 MST Print View

"By the general shape (no index digit, middle digits about equal length), and hint of claw in top photo, I'd guess canine, But if the print are one ontop of the other from a feline it would look about the same. Hard to say"

Agree.

Scott S
(sschloss1) - F

Locale: New England
Canid on 03/06/2012 15:29:18 MST Print View

Looking at the second picture again, the tracks look more elongated than in the single picture above. And I can sort of see claw marks. I'd vote canid now, too, but tracking is an art, not a science.

Sharon J.
(squark) - F

Locale: SF Bay area
comparison on 03/06/2012 16:00:05 MST Print View

I'd guess feline, but I'm no expert. Here's a nice site tho

http://www.bear-tracker.com/caninevsfeline.html

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
DNR response on 03/06/2012 20:17:36 MST Print View

The person who sort of oversees the Wisconsin DNR's role in wolf pack study says this is a wolf track. That jives with most opinions on here. Thanks everyone!

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Wolf on 03/06/2012 20:21:29 MST Print View

I'm thinking wolf too. Partly the track but also the pacing. Tracks can be confussing but often a look at the pace of the tracks clears things up.