Mystery Tracks

Recently I found an intriguing set of tracks in the deep snow, just over a ridge from the edge of one of the lakes.

The track field guide I own is useless for deep snow (we have about a 15″ base now), where instead of nice neat paw prints I find these clusters of tracks where an animal leaped and bounded through the drifts. Each of these groups of prints was roughly two feet long, with about three feet of clear snow in between where the animal leaped. So, something bigger than a squirrel, smaller than a wolf, and more athletic than a porcupine. Fisher? Marten? Fox? You tell me.

9 thoughts on “Mystery Tracks”

    1. Hm, nope, no wallabies in northern Wisconsin. Actually I’ve gotten a bit better at recognizing tracks since I posted this and I’m wondering if these might just have been the result of a deer running in deep snow.

      1. I’m a bit late in on the conversation, but the deer is what I first thought… those long, gangly legs would do that drag thing the way these tracks are, I think, and the animal seems tall and heavier than a fox as it sank down very low.

        Great blog, I’ve just come here for the first time and am rooting around. I’m glad to see you at least have snow, we in Western Mass have had the least snow ever since I’ve lived here. Litterally only 3 storms that warranted plowing. Incredible. I haven’t tracked or snowshoed or anything ONCE!

  1. I’m looking at the identical tracks in my backyard in Cincinnati. It’s a deer, bounding through the snow. His front legs make the two parallel marks, then his back legs come down together in the trailing hole. That’s the way a deer runs. When they walk they make four prints but when they bound they make three. – Tim

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