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Anyone know what left these tracks?

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Anyone know what left these tracks?

Postby ShootnMathews » Tue Mar 24, 2015 3:22 am

I found these a week ago at my farm when I took my little boy to our pond fishing. I have grown up hunting in the Appalachian mountains here and have hunted every known animal here. I do not know what left these. All the tracks were very crisp and clear. No slippage or slide marks in the mud on a slope which tells me it was most likely moving at a walking pace. I made some reference marks that I could measure once I got home. The tracks measured 4" x 4" and the stride measured a varied 35"-40". I measured the stride in 3 places. The tracks were definitely canine. 100% sure of that.

When I was a teenager I was stalked through the woods all the way to my uncles back door by a large jet black canine. One big enough to have made tracks this size but I have never seen anything like it since then. Until I found these tracks. Not that I'm implying they are connected. BTW that experience as a teenager gave me horrific nightmares for well over a decade before I finally conquered them.

I took 2 pictures. One with my wife's boot, one with my wallet. I crudely drew a line on the wallet pic to help your orient the track. You can then clearly see the track in the unlined pic. Claw marks and all.

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Re: Anyone know what left these tracks?

Postby ShootnMathews » Tue Mar 24, 2015 3:23 am

I'd love to hear any serious ideas on what this could be.
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Re: Anyone know what left these tracks?

Postby ShootnMathews » Tue Mar 24, 2015 3:24 am

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Re: Anyone know what left these tracks?

Postby Grimstod » Tue Mar 24, 2015 6:35 am

Looks like a rear paw. If it was a front one I could say it is a dog but since its a rear foot Its up in the air to me. :?:
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Re: Anyone know what left these tracks?

Postby ShootnMathews » Tue Mar 24, 2015 11:43 am

I examined several tracks as I followed them. They were remarkably symetrical. By that I mean I could not discern front paws from rear or any such. I went back this past Sunday again but saw no fresh tracks like these. These pictured had also washed away in the rain Friday.
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Re: Anyone know what left these tracks?

Postby jaysny87 » Tue Mar 24, 2015 12:23 pm

hard to say. it would make it easier if you new the length of the distance between steps.

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Re: Anyone know what left these tracks?

Postby ShootnMathews » Tue Mar 24, 2015 5:53 pm

Jay, great post. Claw marks are clearly present, so that marks off the cougar. Could just be an extraordinarily large domestic dog. In any case, I keep my side arm close from now on out there. A dog that big is not something I'd want get in a territorial fight with. Too many coyotes at my farm anyways.
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Re: Anyone know what left these tracks?

Postby jaysny87 » Tue Mar 24, 2015 7:55 pm

ShootnMathews wrote:I keep my side arm close from now on out there. A dog that big is not something I'd want get in a territorial fight with. Too many coyotes at my farm anyways.


Can never be too careful out there.
here's some more food for thought. i know there haven't been wolves in your state since the late 1800's but ill post this anyway.

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Re: Anyone know what left these tracks?

Postby ShootnMathews » Wed Mar 25, 2015 2:33 am

More great info. You've got me convinced that it was probably just an unusually large dog.
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Re: Anyone know what left these tracks?

Postby TJPike » Sun Mar 29, 2015 2:21 pm

That is a heavy animal to make impressions in that gravel soil. In snow or mud dog tracks appear longer not so square as those. They are somewhat mysterious.
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