Animal tracks?

The purpose of this forum is to help people identify things they've seen while out hiking: wildflowers, trees, birds, insects, small animals, animal tracks, even geographical features like buttes or streams
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Blazersin7
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Animal tracks?

Post by Blazersin7 » November 24th, 2019, 10:46 am

Hiked up McNeil Point 11-24-19 and saw some strange tracks in the fresh snow. Not sure if they're animal tracks honestly. Any idea what made these?
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Blazersin7
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Re: Animal tracks?

Post by Blazersin7 » November 24th, 2019, 2:40 pm

The best snaps of what I have
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adamschneider
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Re: Animal tracks?

Post by adamschneider » November 24th, 2019, 3:05 pm

At first I was like, "why would he not be sure if those are animal tracks"? But now I see why... those are weird. :)

The only other explanation I can think of is maybe something below the surface causing mini-sinkholes? (Pocket gopher farts??)

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Bosterson
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Re: Animal tracks?

Post by Bosterson » November 24th, 2019, 3:13 pm

I'm guessing there was a bit of a crust on the snow that it broke through. Hard to tell without having a better picture directly over one of the prints so we could see the pad, but I'm guessing bobcat.
Will hike off trail for fun.

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retired jerry
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Re: Animal tracks?

Post by retired jerry » November 24th, 2019, 3:38 pm

That looks sort of like mine, my foot for scale
20191120_130331.jpg
I was thinking bobcat

I also saw coyote tracks but the picture wasn't good

pcg
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Re: Animal tracks?

Post by pcg » November 24th, 2019, 5:40 pm

Blazersin7 wrote:
November 24th, 2019, 10:46 am
Hiked up McNeil Point 11-24-19 and saw some strange tracks in the fresh snow. Not sure if they're animal tracks honestly. Any idea what made these?
For track ID purposes, always try to take a zoomed-in photo from directly overhead, of a single track, with something in the photo for scale. In addition, provide a gait pattern, which you’ve done. Judging solely by appearance, these look awfully catty, and I think the tracks are coming toward the viewer. The gait starts out as a direct register (hind foot steps exactly on top of where front foot just was) walk, then the gait slows down and the feet no longer directly register (so you see more tracks) and the animal pauses and moves around a bit investigating something (or maybe it’s looking for good footing in the crust) then resumes walking and then stops and messes around again. Difficult to say more without a close-up pic and something for scale, bit I’m pretty sure that Nate is correct.
Last edited by pcg on November 24th, 2019, 6:49 pm, edited 9 times in total.

pcg
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Re: Animal tracks?

Post by pcg » November 24th, 2019, 5:46 pm

retired jerry wrote:
November 24th, 2019, 3:38 pm
That looks sort of like mine, my foot for scale
I was thinking bobcat
Again, an overhead closeup would be helpful to see, in addition to the gait. However, this appears to be canine from the oval shape (cat overall shape is round) and the toe pad symmetry (cats lack this symmetry). The X-shaped negative space and closely-spaced small front toe pads (relative to other toes) fit coyote. The gait is a common overstep walk (i.d. RH steps in front of where RF just was) for a coyote walking slowly.
Last edited by pcg on November 25th, 2019, 8:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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retired jerry
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Re: Animal tracks?

Post by retired jerry » November 24th, 2019, 9:26 pm

cropped:
20191120_130331re.jpg
The snow was pretty hard so it wasn't a very good track. No toenails present.

The other tracks I saw, coyote?, had toenails

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Blazersin7
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Re: Animal tracks?

Post by Blazersin7 » November 24th, 2019, 10:11 pm

Wish I had taken more time to capture a better pic but I was tired and trying to beat sunset. Tracks weren't there on my climb up, only the descent. I'll post 2 more pics I took from my video clips. I unfortunately doubt it will confirm anyone's beliefs but oh well. There was a thin layer of soft ice on about 1'-1'6". I couldn't see much detail in the footprint when hovering above. Here are 2 more snaps and the lighting sucks
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aiwetir
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Re: Animal tracks?

Post by aiwetir » November 25th, 2019, 4:11 pm

Small mammal on a pogo stick.
- Michael

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