Are these footprints of a bobcat or cougar ? I apologize that there is no reference scale in the image, but the footprints measured about 3.5 or 4 inches in both dimensions. I found these while hiking in a less trafficked trail near Mariposa Grove in Yosemite on 11/15/20.

Footprints in snow found on 11/15/20 near Mariposa Grove
in Yosemite

  • @BenCrowell Yea I realize that in hindsight. My wife was nervous and she wanted to move out of that area. I would have done that if we had spend more time there. But from what I can remember they were at least 3.5 or 4 inches in both dimensions. – amijjm Nov 16 '20 at 16:38
  • Are you asking if they were made by such an animal, or asking which of those two made the prints? They look as though they were made by an animal with retractable claws, so not made by a wolf or bear. – Weather Vane Nov 16 '20 at 18:39
  • @WeatherVane, yes I am curious to know if it was made by a cougar or a bobcat. I know it can't be a wolf, coyote or bear for the reason you mentioned. I think it's a cougar, but i am not an expert and wanted to seek help from others. – amijjm Nov 16 '20 at 18:56
  • Perhaps Distinguishing Cougar, Coyote, and Bobcat Tracks will tell you! – Weather Vane Nov 16 '20 at 18:59
  • Welcome to The Great Outdoors, amijjm, and thank you for your interesting question! Please make sure to check out our tour. – Paul Paulsen Nov 18 '20 at 10:55

Based on your estimation of size, they're definitely cougar. Bobcat tracks should be half (or less) that size.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has a nice track comparison page 9with dimensions): Distinguishing Cougar, Coyote, and Bobcat Tracks.

Those tracks are pretty fresh, too. That's a nice find and well photographed.

  • 1
    I don't think they are all that fresh - I would guess ~24 hours based on the frequency of leaves overlaying the prints, and the melt-border around the print. – bob1 Nov 18 '20 at 23:12

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