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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One of the finds (unfortunately no recent deer sign) on a scout into hardwood stand Friday evening has me stumped.

Been searching animal track publications for the last two days and my best guess on this is an oversized Bobcat or a small / young Canadian Lynx with only three toes.


Snow Plant Freezing Twig Slope



The snow base was about two feet, with lots of varying surface (blown drifts, stiff crust, four to six inches powder, ...) when I ran across these tracks and found a section of very clear tracks on some crusty snow. I looked long and hard, thinking some toes on furry paws just blended together making two look like one. But no, the 'middle toe' was just too distinct. Could there be vestigial dewclaws? IDK.

They measured about 2 3/8" wide, no claw marks, and appeared feline to me. Staggered sets and size made me think more toward a small Canadian Lynx. I need to get more camera traps out.

Now that I 'pulled my pants down' with a long post to show how little I know, I await someone's short simple definitive explanation (even better if from a wildlife biologist).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
No idea. Are you by a nuclear powerhouse?
The thought definitely crossed my mind ('possibly a mutation, natural or disease caused').

It is often a few degrees warmer here than the surrounding area. I've tested periodically for radon gas, results were always low levels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Go back and look for bigfoot tracks in the area .
Unfortunately, this time of year the biggest I see are most often coyote tracks. Less often see squatch tracks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Those are tracks leprechaun snowshoes make. Very rare. Follow the tracks and take his pot of gold before Bernie does lol.
Never saw anything around here yet resembling Lou Holtz. Vile creatures though, there should be a bounty like for coyotes to eradicate them useless bastages.

I'm really surprised now, and really expected one immediate reply with a simple explanation for my further embarrassment.

I should have known you guys would just toy with me. :(:)
 

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Never saw anything around here yet resembling Lou Holtz. Vile creatures though, there should be a bounty like for coyotes to eradicate them useless bastages.

I'm really surprised now, and really expected one immediate reply with a simple explanation for my further embarrassment.

I should have known you guys would just toy with me. :(:)
Big cat tracks for sure, what part of the state, if you don’t mind me asking?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Big cat tracks for sure, what part of the state, if you don’t mind me asking?
Not at all. Northern Lebanon (middle-east UP). :)
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Did the tracks just melt a little with the sun shine? The two outer toes look round and the one in the middle looks a little triangle shaped.
That is a possibility, though I looked and looked at both the 'two' outer toes, and the 'middle' one, trying to see how four or five toes appeared like three, and just kept coming back to 'no way, that is three toes'. I also noticed the one that appeared somewhat triangular, but most others were very round and I repeatedly thought, 'maybe heavy fur'.

My best guess is they were within approximately 24-hours fresh, and conditions, including the immediate surrounding, had no sign of melt. In fact, I'd estimate some sublimation rather than melt, but very little, if any, of that.
 
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One of the finds (unfortunately no recent deer sign) on a scout into hardwood stand Friday evening has me stumped.

Been searching animal track publications for the last two days and my best guess on this is an oversized Bobcat or a small / young Canadian Lynx with only three toes.




The snow base was about two feet, with lots of varying surface (blown drifts, stiff crust, four to six inches powder, ...) when I ran across these tracks and found a section of very clear tracks on some crusty snow. I looked long and hard, thinking some toes on furry paws just blended together making two look like one. But no, the 'middle toe' was just too distinct. Could there be vestigial dewclaws? IDK.

They measured about 2 3/8" wide, no claw marks, and appeared feline to me. Staggered sets and size made me think more toward a small Canadian Lynx. I need to get more camera traps out.

Now that I 'pulled my pants down' with a long post to show how little I know, I await someone's short simple definitive explanation (even better if from a wildlife biologist).
Looks like 3 toes to me. The stumper is that it appears that all 4 paws are affected. That seems to be an almost impossible consideration. Interesting quandary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
I hadn't seen that particular website, but it also describes "front and hind track shows four toes" just like all other references*. Of course Cougar are also much larger than the subject.*

That pic looks like the shot angle may have missed the fourth toe (on the left, obscured by the snow?), or maybe it lost a toe.

*edits
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Until I learn better, am going with, "teenage mutant ninja lynx".
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hard to tell, but is it possible that the cat's (whichever it is) just has ice or snow packed toes and were pushed-up out of normal shape!?!
IDK, but sort of doubt it as it was fairly dry and well enough below freezing that urged me to go out in the first place. I really enjoyed the trek as most steps only sunk in about three or four inches, free of wet / sticky snow, and it was almost as easy as walking without snowshoes.
 
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