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Swampy McSwamp
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I have no experience in wolf or coyote tracks.. but if it were a dog, it would be a specific and large breed.. even the impression of the nails is a little too defined for dog.. I think. Looks large as well.. I would think you are correct in the wolf idea, if they are in your habitat. In my neck of the trees, I would immediately think panther.. but all we see is either small game, boar, gator, or panther tracks.. and the occasional horse hoof print.
 

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It's definatly canine but hard to tell by the pic, in the future lay an object of known size next to it so the size can be seen better. In the mud like that if it was a cat you would be able to see the tri-lobed rear pad.
Also I have to ask Grovvy Mike, with all due respect, if he is sure about cats having five toes? I've never seen that and in my Animal tracks book by Olaus J. Murie all of the cats have four toes.
 

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Opps, sorry. I jst moved the pic over and saw the radio next to the track.
I'd say you have a wolf on your hands there! They can measure 4.5 inches.
 

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It most likely isnt a cat, their prints do have 4 toes but as far as I can remember their nails tend to not leave the print. Also their bottom pad is 2 lobe top and 3 lobe bottom.
I'd say Wolf if there are any up in your area.
 

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Immortal
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Also I have to ask Grovvy Mike, with all due respect, if he is sure about cats having five toes? I've never seen that and in my Animal tracks book by Olaus J. Murie all of the cats have four toes.
My bad. When I took the pics of wolf tracks in Alaska they were next to Grizzley tracks - I was thinking "bear" and typed"cat"

cats and dog tracks show 4 toes, bears show 5.

This may help:

Families: (adapted from Tom Brown's Field Guide to Wilderness Survival 1983 NY: Berkley Press)

Cat family: Rounded tracks with four toes on both front and back feet. Claws are retracted and don't show. They direct register, placing back pawws in the frontprint. try following a house cat around and see what you can determine about their range and activities. Wild cats, of course, have a wide range from their home den.

Dog family: Four toes on front and rear prints, claws showing. They indirect register, with back feet falling behind front feet. Follow a pet dog and see what you can notice about its range and activity. Wild dogs tend to have scent piles to which they return, and more than one den.

Weasel family: Five toes in front and five in back, with claws usually showing. Skunk-like smell.

Raccoons, opossums and bears: Five toes in front and five in back, with claws usually showing. Racoon travels around water, oppsums ive in logs or stumps, and a bear travels widely and hibernates in dens.Basically the shape of the track pads pulled into longer patterns than the weasel, cat or dogs.

Rodent family: Four toes in front and five in rear, with some 5 and 5. These are gnawing vegetarians.

Hoofed mammals: Heart shaped
 

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My bad. When I took the pics of wolf tracks in Alaska they were next to Grizzley tracks - I was thinking "bear" and typed"cat"

cats and dog tracks show 4 toes, bears show 5.

This may help:

Families: (adapted from Tom Brown's Field Guide to Wilderness Survival 1983 NY: Berkley Press)

Cat family: Rounded tracks with four toes on both front and back feet. Claws are retracted and don't show. They direct register, placing back pawws in the frontprint. try following a house cat around and see what you can determine about their range and activities. Wild cats, of course, have a wide range from their home den.

Dog family: Four toes on front and rear prints, claws showing. They indirect register, with back feet falling behind front feet. Follow a pet dog and see what you can notice about its range and activity. Wild dogs tend to have scent piles to which they return, and more than one den.

Weasel family: Five toes in front and five in back, with claws usually showing. Skunk-like smell.

Raccoons, opossums and bears: Five toes in front and five in back, with claws usually showing. Racoon travels around water, oppsums ive in logs or stumps, and a bear travels widely and hibernates in dens.Basically the shape of the track pads pulled into longer patterns than the weasel, cat or dogs.

Rodent family: Four toes in front and five in rear, with some 5 and 5. These are gnawing vegetarians.

Hoofed mammals: Heart shaped
Thanks Mike, I'm certanly no animal track expert and thought I was going to learn something new.
 

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Photographed in an area with low probability of Dogs.
So you think Wolf or Coyote?


wolf for sure... and he has a slight problem with the outer toe (closest to the radio)... big one, running about 140 or so (give or take a few pounds)

what was the spread from the rear prints to the front one there.... saying that this is a front paw... what is the distance to the one farthest back on the same side of the prints....
 

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2REP 4e Compagnie
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My first guess would be a large dog. As a panther, it doesn't look quite right and if the pic was taken in Wisconsin I don't know of any large cat populations in that area.

It could very well be a wolf as the size would be right and there are numerous wolf populations that have been reintroduced to the wilds up in your area. If you're lucky you might be able to spot members of a pack and get some cool pics.
 

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Right Hand Man
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
That would be awesome! We do have a significant population here in northern Wisconsin. But for many these prints are closest they'll get to seeing one. Very elusive animal.
 

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Look carefully at the front pads. See how they are slightly elongated? That is a textbook large dog or wolf print. Most dogs typically have a smaller more round pad. McKenzie Huskies and some Malemutes are known for their big ole paws as well. With all the hybrid breeding nowadays...

I think it's a smaller wolf, possibly a lone male. Wisconsin and Minnesota typically have smaller packs and territories so maybe you can catch a glimpse.

I rarely see them anytime but the dead of winter or on fall caribou hunts.
 
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