An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide –

Bobcat Tracks

1-11-13 bobcat tracks IMG_0550Other than perhaps finding lynx or mountain lion tracks, coming upon bobcat tracks is one of the more exciting discoveries one can make in the woods of New England. Because of their shy and elusive nature, bobcats are rarely seen, but in the right habitat, their tracks can be found. When walking, their front foot picks up before their rear foot touches down. Sometimes bobcats direct register – their hind foot is placed exactly where their front foot has been — while at other times, such as in this photograph, the bobcat’s hind foot touches down beyond where the front foot has been (this is called an overstep). When a bobcat has been walking with an overstep, a close look allows you to see that the bobcat’s hind foot track is more elongated and symmetrical than its front foot track. Because bobcat numbers are increasing in New England, your chances of coming upon their tracks are as high as they have been in the past 50 years. (Thanks to Alfred Balch, tracker extraordinaire, for locating the tracks in this post.)

10 responses

  1. Eugenie Francine

    Alfred, great photo of tracks. I hope to be lucky enough to come across some tracks!

    January 11, 2013 at 1:21 pm

  2. Al Stoops, Nelson NH

    I’ve been seeing a lot more bobcat tracks the last few years than I had previously—and fewer fisher tracks. Used to be I could almost always count on finding fisher tracks, but now I’m more likely to find bobcat.

    January 11, 2013 at 2:26 pm

  3. Pat Nelson

    An excellent photo! Tracks in snow can be hard to get a good image of.

    January 11, 2013 at 2:44 pm

  4. Kathy Schillemat

    No mistaking those tracks–I wish all bobcat tracks could be so clear!

    January 11, 2013 at 2:49 pm

  5. John Patterson

    Mary,     The 1st attachment is of some bobcat tracks in a dusting of snow on the ice in front of our house in Peterborough, NH, right after Christmas.  While the lower left corner shows direct register, the center shows your overstep, which I read is more comon in shallow substrates, as here.  The second and third, from 3 days ago, show some scat right in the middle of a bobcat track.  Got any idea what the color change represents?                                                                                   John Patterson                                                                                    Peterborough, NH By the way, if the pictures are useful to you, they are yours.  Small enough payment for the pleasure you gave us at the Harris Center in Hancock.  

    January 11, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    • Hi John,
      I’m afraid photos you send to me through wordpress don’t arrive. Any chance you could send them to me at I’d love to see them! Lucky you finding scat!

      January 11, 2013 at 5:00 pm

  6. Thanks for the photo and description of bobcat tracks. We had one come through our property just before we built our house. A couple of clear prints were left in the mud – we also heard bobcat cries at night.

    January 11, 2013 at 11:31 pm

  7. Alfred Balch

    It was a pleasure to lead a walk/ hike with Mary and other friends recently. We came upon the Bobcat tracks near the end of the hike- the photography is excellent and the photographer is Mary. Alfred Balch

    January 12, 2013 at 12:17 am

    • Anyone can take a picture — bobcat track-finders are few and far between, Alfred!

      January 12, 2013 at 2:09 am

  8. Hello Mary I’ve been fortunate to photograph a few Bobcats over the past few years. I don’t know how many hours I have spent one this project….countless… but it has been worth it! The first imege in this gallery was taken this year

    Dale J. Martin
    Massapoag Pond Photograph

    January 13, 2013 at 1:30 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s