Saturday, January 31, 2009

More Cat Tracks?

So, a few days after the fabled Rexburg cougar eluded the mighty hunters, I was home for lunch one day. As I casually munched on my sandwich, I happened to look out the back window to see a solitary line of tracks crossing the back yard. From a distance, they looked relatively fresh, and quite large.

Curiousity piqued, I put on my boots and went out to investigate; the pictures here show what I found.

I'm no expert tracker, but going back to my Cub Scout days, I remembered that cat tracks tend to be wider than dog tracks, and you don't see claw marks in cat tracks. Not having tracked many mountain lions, I would assume that their tracks would also be bigger than this, but I have to confess I don't really know.

There is a certain large dog in our neighborhood who, in the past, has never entered my yard without leaving a rather large pile of "sign" as his calling card, and there was none of that to be found here, and I haven't really seen him around this winter. (My empty CO2 cartridge is the only reason he wasn't sent home tie-dyed on several occasions last year, something that will be remedied come Spring!) Of course, there wasn't any cat-style scat either.

I stopped short of putting my nose to the ground to sniff for cat spray, as I had to go back to work in those same clothes, but after analysis, I think these are dog tracks. It was interesting, though, to see them next to the various housecat tracks like these that meander around the yard.

Whatever it was, it was definitely a much larger animal! Perhaps some of you cougar experts out there can give me an expert opinion?

We have, on occasion, had a moose in our backyard too (although not this year). I would like to see what kind of tracks he would leave.


Allyson said...

Yikes! You guys stay safe and away from those cougars!

oldcowboy said...

Looks like a big dog track to me. Cougars have a w shape for their back paw.

Vernile said...

I'd vote for dog tracks.

Jeppesens said...

Interesting mystery you have evolving. Hope you had a fun day skiing.

Jillyn Whitehead said...

I'd say it was some kind of moose wearing cat slippers. I'm no expert though...