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#18349 - 03/10/06 04:42 AM Re: by yourself be careful [Re: Terrie]
maimed Offline

Registered: 07/12/05
Posts: 26
Loc: Jersey City, NJ
Au Contraire Terrie-
As my brother-in-law from VT (where catamount sightings have been frequent, if unsubstantiated for more than ten years) pointed out:
As soon as there is a threatened/endangered species confirmed to be present, the authorities would need to assign resources to managing, tracking, habitat studies etc. Much more conservative policy for them is to remain "unconvinced" at least on the record.
& BTW, I just read The Beast in the Garden: A Modern Parable of Man and Nature, which I recommend highly. It's about lions returning to the hills around Boulder CO and even downtown on occasion.


#18350 - 03/10/06 11:48 AM Re: by yourself be careful [Re: maimed]
D75 Offline

Registered: 03/18/05
Posts: 293
Loc: Holiday Inn Express
Those three pictures are canine. (IMO)

Note the front part of the large pad, then look at this.

The geometry of the toe pads also matches canine.

What is missing from the photo is any measure of scale. Next time, put something of a determinate size next to the track, watch, carabiner, or what have you. You can then use that later to establish the track size.

That way it will be easier to decide whether this was an ankle biter or a wolfhound.

Edited by request - (Cropped image is now on

Edited by D75 (03/10/06 03:00 PM)

#18351 - 03/10/06 08:42 PM Re: by yourself be careful [Re: Terrie]
Mim Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/27/00
Posts: 1000
Loc: Gunks
*Drift thread alert*

I was once climbing with my honey and dog at an (undisclosed) cliff. We brought the dog on a ledge so he would not wander around, gave him water, had shade, he could have a nice view of us climbing if he wanted.

We went climbing. Shortly thereafter, a hiker walked by at the top of the cliff and doggy started growling, as he could not be seen, we figured it was fine.

A month later I get this email. "Have you and your honey been climbing at (undisclosed) cliff about a month ago?"
- yes
"Have you heard a mountain lion growling?"

#18352 - 03/10/06 09:00 PM Re: by yourself be careful [Re: talus]
Bolt_Skytop Offline

Registered: 11/21/01
Posts: 422
Loc: New Paltz, New York
I agree coyotes are no big deal. We have a bunch of them on the school property here and besides sometimes leaving pieces of deer around they don't bother anybody. There are also a bunch that live at vassar farms. I can here them howling sometimes, it so cool.

#18353 - 03/10/06 09:18 PM Re: by yourself be careful [Re: Terrie]
talus Offline

Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 1259
lol d75 is wrong, ask Tom Brown he'll tell you what print this is from meow meow.

John Okner Photography

#18354 - 03/10/06 09:50 PM Re: by yourself be careful [Re: talus]
andy Offline

Registered: 03/10/06
Posts: 6
Ok first off, in response to the wolf-like creature being spotted: It is a coyote; speaking with naturalists from the Preserve confirm that these wolf-like coyotes are larger, with white or gray fur. They are technically a mixture of red wolf from Canada and eastern coyote. They have become more prevalent in the region. Normal Eastern Coyote are smaller and more malnourished looking, as described on someone's back porch. So perhaps we can call them Wolfyotes.

In response to Talus' posts: First, you claim as though you "felt I was being stalked". Think about it: If an animal was stalking you, its tracks would be behind you, not in front of you waiting to be found. So stop with the paranoia and appeal to people's emotions. Oh and thanks for the warning: "be careful in the woods!" Thanks, but as a rational, sane individual I already am, there are plenty of other dangers besides Mtn. lions to be aware of: Bears, snakes, rockfall, hypothermia, lightning, killer bees, etc.

And I am suprised at the notion or feel that this is the first mtn. lion tracks in the area. Mtn. lions have been sighted many times over the years, and have had their tracks ID'd. And these tracks look nothing like the pictures.

Those of you with any science background should be familiar with the principle of Occam's Razor: the simplest explanation is the best. In this case, the simplest explanation for tracks that don't look like cougar is that they aren't cougar.

This principle applies to many naturalists and mammologists feelings towards regional mtn. lions. The majority agree that they are out there, but that their numbers (when compared to other species) are simply too small to be reproducing on any large scale, yet. The accepted theory is that people have gotten them as pets(don't believe me? I have several in my garage) and when they grew too big they drove them out into the wild and let them go. Many people living in NYC can confirm other crazy pets as well. In any case, DNA evidence would likely wrap things up.

So don't believe the hype. The Preserve knows about lions, as does the DEC. But because they exist don't think that every large print is a cougar's. Let's see some real mtn. lion tracks, and we can discuss this further.

#18355 - 03/10/06 11:31 PM Re: by yourself be careful [Re: andy]
GOclimb Offline

Registered: 03/26/01
Posts: 2362
Loc: Boston
Here's what google has to say:


#18356 - 03/12/06 01:00 AM Re: by yourself be careful [Re: GOclimb]
onionman Offline

Registered: 07/09/01
Posts: 178
The website:

which I've attempted to link here:
Canine VS Feline Tracks

has an excellent description of how to distinguish cat and dog tracks. Since I have no experience whatsoever in tracking, my opinion doesn't count for much, but it looks like a canine track to me. The distinguishing features are:

1. The inner toes are much farther forward than the outer.
2. The heel pad looks very triangular.
3. The track is longer than it is wide.

Looks like the front left paw of a "big" dog to me. I can't determine the "big" from the picture, that's just based on the description that was given.

#18357 - 03/12/06 03:05 PM Re: by yourself be careful [Re: onionman]
Leemouse2 Offline

Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 459
Loc: Rosendale, NY
I live just north of New Paltz in Rosendale, back up onto preserve land, and have a quite a large pack of coyotes that den nearby. We hear them far more often than we see them, but we do spot them occasionally as well. One is black, and about the size of a German shepard. Another we have seen is more grayish and wolf-like in coloring. They are not small like the western coyotes (eastern coyotes are between 30 and 50 pounds) plus I suspect they are not "pure" coyotes but are coy dogs (coyotes that have interbred with domestic dogs). The black one in particular is HUGE. I was actually walking with my two dogs in the woods one time, they run all over the place, and I looked up at the top of a cliff and saw a black dog face peering down at me. From that distance I mistook him for my black dog, who is about 75 pounds. So I called him, the face disappeared, and at the same time Mugsy, who it turns out was right behind me, pokes me with his snout. Spooooky.

When I lived out in the Catskills (Boiceville) we'd hear bobcat occasionally. Very scary and unmistakeable (once you know what it is). Could easily believe there are mountain lion out there too.
It's hard to be brave when you're a chicken.

#18358 - 03/13/06 01:48 AM Re: by yourself be careful [Re: d-elvis]
chip Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2679
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
I have accumulated a fair bit of personal experience with cougar, of all places, here in Delaware. We have had a mountain lion around for about ten years, that roams up and down seasonally. This past fall, hiking at night in the local state park, one of my dogs freaked a bit and I found the beast eyeing me from under a bush about 30 feet away. At first I didn't see him even with my Soliris on full power until he blinked and the shape became obvious. I've come across very fresh prints a number of times and even a couple cached killed deer over the years, later coming back and finding evidence that it was probably watching me the whole time. This was the first I had sited it in at least 8 years. I'm convinced this one wants nothing to do with potential human interactions. On the other hand, there may come a time when it is injured or sick enough to attack a stinky polypro wearing runner like myself, especially as my running speed drops.
The DEC will deny, but have been releasing individual couger. I know this and it has been confirmed by a friend. They wish to avoid public outcry, at least until the cats are firmly established again.
I have seen Linx in the Catskills during winter (very loud screaming outside my tent due to camping right under a den) and the tracks are nearly as large and similar to a cougar, perhaps another possibility as to what you saw.

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