Friday, January 11, 2013

Tracking A Bobcat, Part Two

   We recently had great fun following Bobcat footprints through the snow.  Along the way we saw some beautiful, rugged country.  We saw some really neat things... including Fisher tracks.  Of course, we enjoyed observing the habits of the Bobcat that were recorded in the snow.
Hike along as we follow the Bobcat.
tracking a bobcat
We figured (and figured right) that the Bobcat would head for that rock ledge up the mountain.
In true wildcat style, the bobcat walked up these fallen trees rather than bypass them.
The Bobcat walked up this blow-down on the right, crossed over on the big branch, and then went up the main stem of the (left) fallen log.
tracking a bobcat
 Log running is obviously a habit of Bobcats.
Investigating rocky ledges is another habit of bobcats.
Bobcat sign
We have seen alot of Bobcat sign here at this rock outcrop in the past.
The Bobcat left the big rock ledge and continued up the mountainside to the next rock ledges.
On the trail of a bobcat
At the base of those ledges, some fresher tracks came along and went basically the same direction as the tracks we were following.
tracking a Bobcat
 One of the Bobcats went down this fallen tree trunk.
Bobcat footprints on log in snow
 Then it went directly over to another fallen log and walked its length.
Bobcat tracks on log
 Next the Bobcat went over a mound of soil from an uprooted tree.
 At the far side of the mound the Bobcat jumped the dip.  It made two bounds before resuming its stride.
Bobcat tracks - the jump
 Here is a photo of the Bobcat tracks when it hunkered down to make the jump.
Bobcat tracks - the jump
 We found numerous animal tracks on a rock outcrop.  The Bobcats and other animals ran all over the various ledges of this platy sandstone outcrop.
Bobcat tracks on rock ledges
 There is a scree slope beside the rock outcrop that probably adds to the area's attractiveness to the Bobcats.  By the amount of activity in this particular area, we could say that this is Bobcat country.
Bobcats love rocky ledges
   We didn't expect to follow the Bobcat tracks until we found it... not in this rugged country... we did anticipate finding some great stuff.  We did find plenty, eh?
   We paused from our tracking to explore an iced-over rock shelter... that's a story in itself for another time.
Icicles on a rock shelter
    We were also sidetracked when we came across some Fisher tracks.  Now that's exciting because fishers aren't commonplace here in North-central Pennsylvania!  I'm sure you know what we did.  We turned aside from the trail of the Bobcat and followed the Fisher's tracks through the snow.
 Wouldn't it be great if we could trail the Fisher until we find something really neat?
Fisher tracks in snow
 Yes, I reckon it would be great.
Great exercise, great experience, great views, great education..
Want to hike along when we follow the Fisher tracks?  See my next post.


  1. Those fallen logs are like a Bobcat superhighway Dana.

    Those Fisher tracks look very fresh. Am I right ?

    Looking forward to continuing our walk.

    1. Sybil,
      Yes, walking a log is easy going, even for people... it keeps you up out of the brushy, viney stuff that trips you up. Unless, of course, the logs are snow-covered... that's a different story.
      The Fisher tracks were much fresher than the Bobcat's. I think they were only a day or so old.