Bear or bobcat track?

Bchiker

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Feb 22, 2017
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After a very long hike through the Pines this weekend (not far from Atsion), I stumbled across animal prints that were not too familiar to me. Way too large to be a big dog (as we had one with us and could easily compare) and way too wide to be a deer.

Here's the picture so you could see for yourself. I could only come up with a smaller black bear or large bobcat to fit the size. I even noticed what looked to be claw marks near the top. Also the indentation looks like the animal could be a bit husky as well. What do you think?
 

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tsqurd

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Jul 29, 2015
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I don't think that is a bear. Bears have a padded foot with 5 digits that is almost human like. Cant say that Ive even seen a bobcat print, but i think they only have 4 digits and would be considerably smaller then any bear print ive seen.

Almost looks hooved to me. based on that picture, id guess horse. Do you have anymore pictures?
 

Boyd

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Also, if possible, make your photos smaller before you post them, 4.5MB is quite large and it wouldn't even open with my slow Verizon DSL connection here. :)
 

Bchiker

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Feb 22, 2017
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I don't think that is a bear. Bears have a padded foot with 5 digits that is almost human like. Cant say that Ive even seen a bobcat print, but i think they only have 4 digits and would be considerably smaller then any bear print ive seen.

Almost looks hooved to me. based on that picture, id guess horse. Do you have anymore pictures?
Definitely not hooved. A horse print is not that large. I wish I had laid something to compare it to. I was thinking possibly a black bear cub? I mean no other animal is that large with that wide of a print that resides in the Barrens other than a small black bear or a bobcat of some sort... maybe the Devil? (Only kidding of course) haha
 

Bchiker

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Feb 22, 2017
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Also, if possible, make your photos smaller before you post them, 4.5MB is quite large and it wouldn't even open with my slow Verizon DSL connection here. :)
Sorry! I posted from my iPhone so I really couldn't change the sizing at the time.
 

Bchiker

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Feb 22, 2017
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I found this print picture comparison. Could be a wolf? But it looked too wide, "fat" to be a wolf print.

The other picture is a small black bear print that I found on Google. Looks quite similar? Not sure. Maybe I'll find an animal print expert somewhere. Nevertheless, it's just my curiosity!
 

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Bchiker

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Feb 22, 2017
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Ahh, you beat to the punch. Had to dig through my archives but couldn't find, so i snapped a pic of a print. Here is a big bear print in sand:
Yes! Was definitely not that large!

But like I said, could be a black cub? I'm not even sure how common (and how many sightings of) black bears are throughout the Pines...

Then I was thinking a coyote, but I would think they have quite skinny prints.
 

tsqurd

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Also, the print appears to be quite round, with fairly sharp edges, vs the softer pad + digits in the pics of the bear prints
 

ecampbell

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This analogy is not so far fetched. Bear tracks are asymmetrical, sometimes you can see a heel and they are elongated. I liken it to the human arch but not sure of the function but visually similar.
I photographed this one in 2005 near Batona Camp. It did not turn out very well due to little contrast in the sand. There was a large one walking straight down the road with a little one crisscrossing back and forth, typical kid. It is helpful to put something in the picture for scale.
IMG_0028p.jpg


Bear track.jpg
 
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NJChileHead

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Hi BCHiker,

My initial impressions of the track: first, it is not a cat print of any kind, as there is evidence of claws (cats have retractable claws and they don't typically show up in the track). Second, I am hesitant to say bear, because what I see of the claws is that they are consistent with the toes in the track, forming a 'teardrop' shape that you see often in coyote tracks. My impression is that this not a single print and that this is a coyote (or dog) print, with a second track from the same animal on top of it. Coyotes often step in a 'direct register' which means that they will step almost into their own track. This gives the impression of a larger sized print with more toes. I think if it were a single bear track, that the heel pad depression would be cleaner and easier to see.

Here's an example of direct registry in a canid track, which makes it look a bit like a bear:

 
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