Notice that the leading toe here. On a cat, this does not work but you can draw a C between the pads. So, it is a left. In this video, I go into detail on how to tell apart the frequently confused tracks of domestic dogs and mountain lions. so clear, you can make out all the details. the three-lobed heel pad. My second depends if I’m hiking alone. Coyote tracks are often confused with the domestic dogs' footprints. NDN Such traces are more easily identifiable in wet mud, ferm mud and ferm snow. Happy Bushcraft Halloween – Tree Monster. The hind track is narrower than the front one. nice imprints and this was the best quality track I show the maple-leaf sort of shape of canine tracks, Sales from all stores give The overall shape of the track is also a clue. Expert trackers look for the following to identify mountain lion tracks: 1. There are three distinct lobes at the “bottom” or back of the heel pad of felines. hats, stickers, and many more items. If you are interested, I found a great article online that goes into more depth about the difference between cat and dog tracks:  Canine vs. bottom is the left front track. A nice pair of mountain A lynx’s track is very similar to a cougar’s track but is slightly smoother and blurred around the ages. More than one set of tracks often indicates a female with young or a group of sub-adult lions. These are real beauties! But we often forget that each animal is also a unique individual. I followed the cougar into this hidden Large males can reach up to 180 pounds but that is very uncommon. I believe it may be coyote, but my notes from when the picture was taken indicate the presence of domestic dog tracks in the same area. In the coming week, I will post a few mountain lion tracks for you to practice. the left or right track? If you look closely, you will also see a claw The cougar had another clue that confirms this is the right You may be seeing this page because you used the Back button while browsing a secure web site or application. Every Child Outdoors (Get E.C.O. This track is 24 very clearly defined her. Kim A. Cabrera - Desert Moon Design. Size: Not useful. The cat had been in the brush, and then it Mountain lions do use the same routes Later this week, I will post a, You can see that bobcat tracks are quite a bit smaller than adult mountain lion tracks. and longer than the front track. The narrowness of the overall track (Thanks for the photo donation, Paul!) You can read more about that strange experience in my post about the Feline Tracking Course. Kids especially seem to remember this and it almost always works for identification. The leading toe is Immature males may leave tracks as large as their mother’s. year! Brilliant article,Thanks for the wonderful insights Steven. is the lack of claw marks. scent on the bushes, then moved on. into the wet sand, the big cat left no claw marks. cat's wrist. For anyone who uses or is learning ASL, American through 5. shows the imprint left by the dewclaw, which is toe less clear than the others above. This mountain lion track was found on a dusty road. The cougar’s name was Spirit, and he was an amazing teacher. the track. Falls, hypothermia and getting lost pose much larger risks to the hiker than does an animal attack.  Years ago, I took a class where we borrowed a mountain lion for the day. The coyote tracks Signs of Love - pawprint. Instead we should enjoy our wonderful opportunity to get to know this wild creature. drawings by Kim A. Cabrera. Imagine your fingers are the toes of a Mountain Lion. Thank you! The overall shape of cat tracks is a circle. Key characteristics: The cougar’s asymmetrical elongated paw print will display four toe pads in a semi-circle, with no visible claws. Most small carnivores like bobcats, fox, or coyote will leave significantly smaller tracks. Note that the animal is walking from the right of the picture to the left. My first reaction is always excitement at finding the track. They are.3.inches long. It is toe number 3 and it is It is equivalent to your own middle found in the set. Click here for instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your browser. pad, which is located even further up the cougar's The next, day, I followed still obvious here though. think it was from? The shape of the heel pad is also distinctive. They are deceivingly similar and can throw off even a seasoned tracker. 3. track on the right. ). Animal Tracks Den, Copyright © 2018. approaches four inches. The larger, full heel pad tells you it is a front Yes, I keep trying to do this………lol……….anyway, I would love my son to see this info, cause he is out and about in the woods of NH, and the mountain lion is back. where you can purchase I carry a small ruler in. right front track of the mountain lion. Where can I send it? Large dog tracks can easily surpass the largest cougar tracks. The Two mountain lion tracks 2. Indian Pride items for all tribes. We are celebrating ten years online this Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Beartracker's Animal Tracks Den is provided as a Seeing claw marks steers me toward a canine. Unfortunately, I discovered that I do not have a better picture of canine tracks. mountain lion track. We can use this similarity to interpret whether a track is a left or a right. tracks. I think they may be Cougar tracks. The track at the If you don't see Tracks: Mountain lion footprints are generally round with a diameter from 2.75 to 3.75 inches. tracks of a mink. The pad in the mountain lion track above is on the right and characterized by a three-lobed shape on the trailing edge (see arrows in picture above). This cougar track shows no evidence of claw marks, even though it is in deep mud. In this photo, the front track has been almost obliterated by the hind print. If you wish to help keep this site The Shape of the Heel Pad: The heel pad of mountain lion tracks and other felines is more “lobed” than the heel pad of dogs. 4. heel pad shows the three parts, or lobes, very While very similar to the lynx, the gait of a cougar is slow and deliberate, resulting in prints that leave a clear impression in the snow or mud. - My What are those details? By comparison, here are the dimensions for bobcats: Front:   1.625 – 2.375 inches long X 1.375 – 2.5 inches wide1, Rear:    1.563-2.375 inches long X 1.188 – 2.5 inches wide1. number one. track that demonstrates the concept of asymmetry Mountain lion tracks are roundish with diameters ranging from 2.75 to 3.75 inches. stalked through the brush, then pounced and landed Put your right hand over the image and notice If you are lucky enough to see one of these…, Mountain Lion Track – Picture has been annotated. If the mountain lion track at the top of this post looks too perfect, that’s because it is! Coyote tracks front prints are larger than the rear ones. the force with which the cougar landed here in the Tracks Tracks of lions, especially in snow or mud, can be used as another indicator of the sex of a lion or whether a female might have young with her. custom tracking items. The completeness It is located on the inside of the There is a leading toe. The right the same place. Dog tracks tend to be longer than wide (see oval in picture below). particular mountain lion track was the best of a set tracks. It is located on the outer side of the wrist, Above is the left hind track, narrower Here is another left No claw marks are usu… This was made by the same sixth "toe" that is located way up high on the big canids, such as coyotes. normally show up in a mountain lion track are toes 2 Note that the animal is walking from the right of the picture to the left. Animal tracks are easiest to find in mud, soft garden soil, sand, and snow. The arrows show the trail trouble at all, however. Mountain Lion tracks are asymmetrical. For cats, the position of the toes with respect to the heel pad lets you draw an arc between them (see arc in picture above). If you are interested, I found a great article online that goes into more depth about the difference between cat and dog tracks: The substrate the animal is traveling through, Dirt time is always best when learning to track. which helps keep this site online as a free So the front feet should make noticeably larger tracks than the rear ones. Tips for Reading Mammal Tracks Make it a habit. The animal passed back Above this was a steep There is also obvious Thank you and happy tracking! Their paws are asymmetrical with the “middle finger” being the toe that is farthest forward. leading toe. Instead we should enjoy our wonderful opportunity to get to know this wild creature. the Yellowstone River in Montana by another tracker. Despite sinking deeply Front or hind? online, donations are accepted through PayPal. It is 3/4 inch across. As always, there are exceptions. I first encountered the cougar's trail as tracks coloring book, T-shirts, sweatshirts, So keep your mind open to all possibilities when you see a track. This is a nice example of Do not confuse bobcat tracks in snow or mud with that of a fox or a coyote. The front paw prints are about 2 1/4” to 2 3/4” long, and about 1 3/4” to 2 3/8” wide. Remember, the animals don’t read the same textbooks that we do! pawprint of a cougar. March 2011: Oregon: Citizen reported a mountain lion jumped through a fence and sent in hairs suspected to be from the lion. The tracks of these two species are frequently confused because dogs are one of the only animals that make tracks of the same approximate size and shape as those of the cougar/mountain lion. I will discuss my favorite way first. Dogs and coyotes have one indent at the bottom of their pads. the bluff and ended up on the sandy river bank at Check for claw marks. Illustrations can help you distinguish tracks in the field, but reading mammal tracks is a skill that improves with practice. It is a little difficult to see on this particular track, so you will have to try it yourself. You're right! imprint in the tracks. as well as an X-shaped negative space in the middle. Tracks. If you look closely at the It rarely leaves an imprint in a track. In order to post comments, please make sure JavaScript and Cookies are enabled, and reload the page. Among these cats, the cougar has the largest footprints. But, in 1998, while conducting a spring deer pellet survey near Hubbard Lake, in Club Country, I came upon a clear set of cougar tracks in the mud by a beaver flooding. was part of a trail that I followed where the big the left front track of a mountain lion. The cougar’s name was Spirit, and he was an amazing teacher. 6. the middle, adult deer track on the left. imprint from the carpal pad. and I can probably create it. Custom name items and more are These are the left and right front there claw marks in this track? Mammals page, Back to the Note the size of the track and whether it shows claw marks. Bobcat tracks will be much smaller—less than 2 inches wide—which is smaller than the print of a 6-month-old mountain lion kitten. This photo was taken on These superior products are designed to snugly fit you Mercury Cougar. The width of this one asymmetry to the alignment of the toes. The four that If the rain was heavy enough to create mud, you might be able to find deeper tracks and more clues to what’s lurking outside. This angle makes him look smaller than he is. I live in New Mexico, near the Jemez mountains. I carry a small ruler in my tracker’s pack. The following sections give you some tips for identifying mountain lion tracks. The 3 toes that are almost in line are always on the outside of the foot. service. Their paws are arranged just like our hands! details that tell you this is a front track. The mountain lion paused here for a moment, front foot. It is discomfiting to realize you are not the only large predator on the prowl that day. very well. They show four toes, normally without claws. The grey fox has claws that can retract. Most Mercury Cougar mud flaps available on our website combine a sleek, contoured design with either a trend-setting black finish or a shiny stainless steel one that will dress up your vehicle in style while preventing dirt and tar buildup. The cougar had no This mountain lion came out Mountain lion tracks all four tracks, indicated by the top arrow. Good job! Look down at the tops of your hands. The cougar had walked up the road, possibly following a bear and her cubs. The trail of a bobcat in fees for this web site. weeks previous to this find. Can you make out a leading toe here? But sometimes it is hard to find the time (and the animals) to practice our tracking. The slide show has photos of cougar and dog tracks side by side, with features highlighted so you can learn how to tell apart their tracks. track. Finding cougar tracks is one way that experts can confirm the presense of a cougar in an area. tell me about it. the presence of the dewclaw imprint, which is not as cougar's wrist and normally does not leave an with its tail facing some bushes. notice all This is the cast of the greeting cards, postage stamps and more in my new store. The first thing to notice Cats have retractable claws, which rarely show in most substrates. clearly. Coyote tracks have claws, but they don't show if the ground is … Beauties too! A side-by-side comparison The two free service, but your trails of two species. are going in both directions. track. tracks that were found heading up the edge of a dirt Geography. Dirt time is always best when learning to track. of this tracks makes is ideal for studying the of all four footprints that I found. tracks in snow! Beautiful right hind and right front in the wet sand with all four feet. species. I am in overall outline. road. tracks on the right are cougar/mountain lion tracks.  Years ago, I took a class where we borrowed a mountain lion for the day. front is below, closest to the ruler. E-mail me and Look at the Below this was a short Cougar or Mountain Lion. 6. When seeking better traction, cats may use their claws. There are two toes on the outside of the track and one inside of it. showing a cougar track on the left and a coyote Letter C shows the carpal This track is part of a set of tracks that were found heading up the edge of a dirt road. You are visitor number: exiting back into the brush again. This is the complete This was due to find where he'd come from. exited. Letter A points to a small claw mark on toe number The leading toe here makes this one the Mountain lion tracks are very large. The cougar is the second largest member of the cat family in the western hemisphere (the jaguar is the largest) and the largest of the North American wild cats. Was taken on the outside edge of a set of tracks that were found up! Lucky enough to see one of these… … I hope you are not only... And one inside of it number four and getting kids interested in nature the! The bottom of the hind foot C shows the hind print to look at the trailing of... Into it top arrow Guide to animal tracks Den is provided as proven. Is older and less clear than the rear pad yields information males may leave tracks as large as mother! Lobes at the same routes over and over like bobcats, fox or! Tracks in this photo are going in both directions is toe # 1, you can see X! “ bottom ” or “ m ” bushes, then pounced and landed in the photo above the. For most of their species this in mind because animal tracks Den which... # 1, 2, and he was an amazing teacher ” or “ m ” shows the three of! Photo donation, Paul! the claw marks scent on the left front pawprint of dirt. Males can reach up to 180 pounds but that is located on the.. The right track by the red arrows my first reaction is always excitement at finding the track the... Left hind track is narrower than the other toes wonderful insights Steven for you to practice our tracking,! Is often diagnostic of dog which the cougar 's wrist easily identifiable in wet mud, mud... Tracks that were found heading up the edge of a set of all four feet nice. Most substrates enough to see one of these…, mountain lion made pounce! Find mountain lion for the wonderful insights Steven trouble at all, however if the mountain.. Carry most of their pad ( see red oval in picture below ) is older and less than! 9Th and 10th confirmed cougar observations in 2019 Among these cats, the animals ’! Instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your browser gear up coyote tracks front prints larger! Tracks Den, which rarely show in most substrates makes him look smaller than the others above this... Jumped through a fence and sent in hairs suspected to be accepted as a free service, but donations... Can you find in the above photo don ’ t do that with toes 1, 2 and. Trouble at all, however stalked through the brush and entered the edge of mountain. Landed here in the tracks were those of a dirt road the trick is to look the! Imprint left by the red arrows the three-lobed heel pad is usually about the size the... Risk assessment, mountain lion track was found on a dusty road animals. Admit to a little apprehension toe that is very similar to a track! Service, but Reading Mammal tracks make it a cougar ’ s because it is hard find. For studying the structure of mountain lion footprints are generally round with a diameter 2.75... Is farthest forward photo are going in both directions had stalked through the brush and entered the edge of set... Him on my email, and then it pounced, and he was an amazing teacher few. An electric experience see this X clearly in mud or snow the cougar's tracks to of. Track like this with diameters ranging from 2.75 to 3.75 inches note that the animal that left it quality... Lion track at the trailing edge of a mink him on my email address tracks posters, greeting,! Then it pounced, and 3 without cutting off part of a dirt.... See one of the overall shape of canine tracks, as well as an X-shaped negative in! Insights Steven verified by biologists, making these the 9th and 10th confirmed cougar observations 2019! The size of the track is also a clue to the left or a of! ( 2nd toe ) sits further out than the front one previous to this find hind! Sub-Adult lions sure JavaScript and Cookies are enabled, and he was an amazing teacher lion footprints are generally with... Reading Mammal tracks make it a cougar “ 2 ” the animal is walking from the right of letters...