Wildlife Tracking: The Elusive Bobcat

Posted on by Kathie Fife

Just a few days ago I crossed paths with the tracks of the snowshoe hare.  It was a nice surprise to see that a bobcat had traveled through the same area within the last 24 hours.

bobcat tracks in the snow
              Bobcat tracks in the snow

I followed the tracks for a short distance wondering if I would find any signs of struggle in the snow where the bobcat may have preyed on the hare. So far, it seems the hare is still alive, but I will be very curious to see if the hare makes it through the winter with a hungry bobcat hot on its trail.

The photograph above shows where the bobcat jumped off a fallen tree into the soft snow.  The front foot is splayed out in the snow with impressions of the front claws. The back foot landed behind the front, almost overlapping the front.

bobcat tracks in the snow
             Bobcat Tracks in the Snow

The photograph above gives a good indication of the size of the bobcat track next to the native Lycopodium obscurum, or commonly known as Ground Pine. When the temperatures rise above freezing during the day and night temperatures fall below freezing the tracks will become bigger.  At this time of year it is easy for the tracks to become so large that Fish and Game often receives calls from landowners claiming that they have a mountain lion on their property.

Bobcat Scat

Bobcat Scat

Although not rare, the bobcat is a solitary, quiet, and elusive hunter.  Under strict management in New Hampshire, bobcats are currently protected from hunting to allow for a thorough study of their current habitats, including their prey and how forest management plays a role in the species fitness.

As always, please be mindful and respectful to property and wildlife.

All content including images are copyright Kathie Fife Photography.  Please contact us for permission for use before downloading and or copying.  Thank you.

 

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