What made these tracks?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by jasmer, Feb 28, 2013.

  1. jasmer

    jasmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The construction workers gutting the house on the property behind us told us they've seen cougar tracks all over the place. They're smallish, but way too big to be anything like a coyote. They're also shaped differently from our own dog and larger. We live on 5 acres in North Idaho.

    My husband went out last night to go to the store. He got about 5 feet from the house when he spooked something 15 feet away right by the driveway and it ran off oh-so-quietly. To him it just didn't move right to be a dog or a coyote. He came in and we grabbed the shotgun, a flash light, and a camera and went out to see what we could see. We saw fresh prints all over our property. We both hunt, but we really aren't good with predator prints as we don't hunt them.

    So we found some fresh prints and started looking around with the flashlight. It was dark out but it wasn't very late, about 7 or 8. We have a thick clump of trees about 20 feet behind our house. I shined the light into the trees and we saw some eye glow staring back at us. It didn't look like a dog, it just didn't look right. All we could see were the eyes, it was a little low to the ground and perfectly still. I'd expect a canine to sniff the air or something and not be so perfectly still. The tracks are 3 1/2 inches wide. The hubs and I are thinking it's the cat that's been prowling around the neighbor's property.

    Anyway here are some pictures of the prints we saw last night as well as some we found this morning. You can click the links for larger pictures as well.

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    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v248/erod1/0227131912b_zpsc688324b.jpg
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    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v248/erod1/0227131912_zps5514efd7.jpg
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  2. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Look like cat tracks to me, if theyre bigger than a large domestic dog then its either a large cat or a wolf. Wolf tracks are very large as are adult lion tracks but the cat tracks will be lacking claw marks and be shaped differently than dog tracks.
     
  3. jasmer

    jasmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My husband is positive it wasn't a wolf. We have them here but they don't really come this close. We aren't remote enough for them to pop up n our yard. It also didn't move like a canine so we were thinking cat too. Juvenile maybe?
     
  4. kdb7033

    kdb7033 Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm with blucoondawg...dog/wolf/canid tracks would have claws...cats' wont. Scary!
     
  5. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Another possibility is lynx, I don't know how prevalent they are in Idaho but the are larger than a bobcat buy have large feet for their size so their tracks can be very large
     
  6. jasmer

    jasmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There are lynx here but my husband saw it and it was bigger than a lynx. Probably about 100 lbs, he just got a quick look and it was dark, but it was big and didn't seen canid to him. All I saw were the eyes with my flash light on it in the trees, if didn't already know the neighbors dog was hit by a car I would have just assumed that's what it was.

    It just sat perfectly still like if it didn't move a muscle maybe we wouldn't see it lol. We might get a game camera and bait it in and get a picture.

    Canines just seen too animated and squirmy, I've never seen them sit perfectly still and stare like that, bear would have just ran off. The eyes seemed large too, it just struck me as feline. We watched it for a good 10 to 15 minutes and it didn't move or make a sound. We finally got bored and went inside.
     
  7. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you catch it out there again and see the eyes shine, use a good light and try to look at it with binoculars or a decent magnification rifle scope you may get a better look at it's face that way, if it's a lion I would have a shell loaded in the chamber too, lol. I don't trust them at all, we have been getting them around here pretty heavily the last 5 to 10 years.
     
  8. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    100 pounds is about the right size for a young male mountain lion or for a fully mature female one.

    Just because there are no mountain lions currently living in your neck of the woods is no guarantee that a young male lion has not been displaced by his father from his mother's home range and is now looking for a new home.

    True to the city's reputation a few years ago a young male lion was shot and killed by the Chicago Police in an alley on Chicago's North Side.

    A paw print of a young male or mature female puma should be about 3.5 to 4 inches long with 4 equal sized almond shaped toes, arrayed around a three lobed central pad but without any claw marks showing.

    A word to the wise should mention that most of the fatal mountain lion attacks in the last 10 years seems to be triggered by joggers or mountain bikers sparking the cats' prey drive.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2013
  9. jasmer

    jasmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't trust them either. You rarely hear about unprovoked wolf attacks in North America but cat attacks seen to happen every year. I would prefer a wolf on the property, to be honest.
     
  10. jasmer

    jasmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chicken I live in the Idaho panhandle we do have a lot of cats up here, its just the first sign we've seen in our neighborhood.
     

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