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  1. #1
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    Critter tracks on snow rides.

    Mid sized mountain lion next to my clownshoe. Creepy and cool all at once that these critters are out here watching us.
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  2. #2
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    Ive been carying a hunting knife on my solo night rides... mainly for peace of mind. Where was this at?

  3. #3
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    Lotsa deer tracks here in Pennsylvania; foxes are not uncommon and coyotes are around as well.

    I found a single set of turkey tracks parallel to a set of XC ski tracks a couple of weeks ago. Of course I added a set of fatbike tracks!

  4. #4
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    That cat paw track is in the Black Hills of SD. LOTS of cougars around here, but you never see them, and there's never been a cat attack on a human on record (since the European invasion of 1874 or there abouts on Custer's expedition). The GF&P puts the resident population around 250. I think this season's hunt is scheduled to end after 70 females, or 100 total mountain lions are shot. They are up to 17 I think today. Bicycles tend to move like a predator (low, smooth) relative to prey (bounding up and down, stopping, starting) so I think a cat attack is pretty unlikely. Plus the mechanical sound of a bike is a bit unnerving to a cat. They hunt by ambush and don't risk getting hurt.

  5. #5
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    Not sure of species... Probably canine!
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    Critter tracks on snow rides.-image.jpg

    Here's some wolverine tracks on the east end of Eklutna lake outside Anchorage. I did get to see it loping in the distance along the lake. My dog chased it for a solid mile along the lake shore before he finally (luckily) came back.

    Those canine tracks above are coyote.

    Those cougar tracks above are sweet. They pose absolutely no danger to a biker so be sure to have a camera ready!!

  7. #7
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    Hey thanks for identifying mine above as coyote. That's what I felt but wasn't sure, they are so linear and I don't remember seeing many dog tracks like that.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by smthgfshy View Post

    Those cougar tracks above are sweet. They pose absolutely no danger to a biker so be sure to have a camera ready!!
    The tracks pose no danger . But kitty does!! There are a few documented attacks on mtn bikers and at least two fatalities.

    If you have the chance to use the camera you have a better chance of surviving. If not, well generally you find out after the attack its a cougar.

  9. #9
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    Checking out the animal tracks is one of the great joys of being first along a trail with fresh snow.
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  10. #10
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    The OP's tracks could possibly be a lynx, maybe.

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    Sorry the picture sucks but I only took one and it didn't turn out. It was a small brown bear. The pad is just above my foot with the toes to the left. It's frosted over whichs is why it didn't have much contrast. There were still a bunch of salmon spawning in the nearby stream. The picture was in late October. Bears stay active into December around here so it's not unusual to see their tracks. I was putting in first tracks in new snow a couple of years ago on an out and back trail and on the return 5 minutes after the uphill pass I came across a large set that wandered over my tracks and then went down the trail in the direction I had to go to get out. That sort of punches up the "be aware of your surroundings" response.
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  12. #12
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    i used my 907 deer hunting this year to get around. saw as many wolf tracks as deer tracks in northern minn. this was the first season for wolf hunting. i only saw 2 wolf this season in the woods. both about 175lbs +/-

  13. #13
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    Not to hijack the thread but I bumped into a very healthy black timber wolf on my night ride last weekend. A little eerie and glad there were no more than the one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smthgfshy View Post
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    Those cougar tracks above are sweet. They pose absolutely no danger to a biker so be sure to have a camera ready!!
    While not something I concern myself with, don't be fooled. Some years ago my brother in law while out hunting deer one fall, retraced his path only to discover cougar tracks. The cat had followed behind him for a bit.

    Three (?) years ago, a cougar was shot holed up under a RV, inside the city limits of Springfield Ore.

    It is my belief that should one encounter a cat, do NOT run. Turn and face the cat, make yourself appear as large as possible, and stand your ground and yell. Depending upon the action of the cat, I, myself, might make a short charge. Odds are that the cat would run upon sight of you, it in all likelyhood would be as suprised as you.

  15. #15
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    I'd be alot more freaked to see a wolf than a cougar on a ride! Stand down big cats. Make yourself large, loud, aggressive, tall, and face them down if you come upon one. I don't know what the hell your supposed to do with a wolf. Poop in your pants? Piss yourself? Then you won't be as tasty.

  16. #16
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    Some brown bear tracks over at the trails at about christmas time last year kinda late for them to be out. The funny part is the bear followed a sled trail that probably someones kid was riding in for about half mile.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Critter tracks on snow rides.-anchorage-20111119-00130.jpg  

    Critter tracks on snow rides.-anchorage-20111119-00128.jpg  


  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bevalhalla View Post
    The OP's tracks could possibly be a lynx, maybe.
    Sorry, but I don't think so. 5 reasons...1)lynx tracks are not distinct in winter, even on hard surfaces.. They have too much fur covering the bottom of thier pads to allow individuals pads to register. 2) habitat. Lynx are very rare in CO and they only exist in very small, highly specific habitat types - dense coniferous forest inundated by snowshoe hare. 3) size. Those tracks are too small to be lynx. Mtn lions have smaller feet proportionately. 4) depth. Those tracks are fairly deep considering the substrate. 5) width and shape. Lynx place more weight on their front pads than their rear, so the level of plantar pad definition is indicative of Mtn lion. Also lynx tracks are fairly wide. Wider than Mtn lion tracks. For these reasons the clues point to Mtn lion. As far as safety....yes attacks happen, but are so rare as to warrant them almost improbable and not worth the time it takes thinking about it.

    fwiw.... My background is wildlife biology studying wolves, coyotes and foxes. I have taught tracking classes and have worked as a tracker for the state of Maine, studied canines in NC, WI, MN, AK, UT, and Ontario and presented papers at multiple wildlife symposiums.

  18. #18
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    I really hate to burst everyone's bubble here.....wolves pose even less threat to humans than Mtn lions. I've personally trapped and collared/tagged over 80 wolves from puppies to 85lb adults and not one has ever made an aggressive move toward me. I have used tranqs and used no tranqs, chased packs from kill sites to do necropsies on their prey and stuck my head in a den with mom and 7 pups squirming behind her. My best advise stands, get out your camera and cherish the moment you see one of these tracks or animals you all have been posting. They are why we go out there....and of course to ride our sweet rides.

  19. #19
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    Cool tracks everyone. I saw a lot of deer tracks on my commute yesterday. I know there is a cougar that spends time in the gully. I know there are a lot of foxes back there also, but I wouldn't know if the tracks I see are fox, coyote, cougar, or just a dog. Whatever they are I am getting a lot of animal tracks on my trail.
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  20. #20
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    I've had numerous "close encounters" with wolves, cougars,moose, wolverines etc and by best advice is to stand your ground and make a lot of noise. Never run away.

  21. #21
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    i thought cougars attack joggers all the time

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by smthgfshy View Post
    I really hate to burst everyone's bubble here.....wolves pose even less threat to humans than Mtn lions. I've personally trapped and collared/tagged over 80 wolves from puppies to 85lb adults and not one has ever made an aggressive move toward me. I have used tranqs and used no tranqs, chased packs from kill sites to do necropsies on their prey and stuck my head in a den with mom and 7 pups squirming behind her. My best advise stands, get out your camera and cherish the moment you see one of these tracks or animals you all have been posting. They are why we go out there....and of course to ride our sweet rides.
    That's good to know. I came across a Wolf on a trail about two months ago and it made me distinctly uncomfortable :-) It wasn't so much that I saw the wolf, it was that I suspected that the rest of the pack was just a little further back in the tree line.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by flobukki View Post
    i thought cougars attack joggers all the time
    That's why jogging is bad for you.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparrow View Post
    I'd be alot more freaked to see a wolf than a cougar on a ride! Stand down big cats. Make yourself large, loud, aggressive, tall, and face them down if you come upon one. I don't know what the hell your supposed to do with a wolf. Poop in your pants? Piss yourself? Then you won't be as tasty.
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    more critters

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    Left to right:
    northern sconny canus lupus, river otter (they slide and then run and slide...), FatBack, Labradors.

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