I was poking about in the woods yesterday, looking at a property line, and noting who else had been out there.  Snow is very, very useful for that sort of long-term observation.  As it has been warm, the prints were a bit hard to decipher but: deer, coyote, domestic dog, fox, domestic cat, bear, squirrel, turkey, possible grouse, mystery critter, and mice.  Everybody uses the same routes, which can make it a bit hard to figure out, especially the dog/fox/cat group if they are at all melted are overlaid.  I suspect there is a dog as well as a coyote, simply because there was a single, big canine coming into the area on a very different route than all the other tracks.  I can’t tell them apart except when there is, as this time, a notable size difference.  And, of course, some of those tracks might be bobcat tracks; I did see one this year in that area, so it is possible.

As for our mystery critter: not the right shape for a dog, (nor the right behaviour unless dogs can climb trees), bigger than a domestic cat, wide splayed toes but not shaped like the possum/coon/skunk types, and Claws.  Take a bird’s toes and attach them to a cat paw, and you’d have it. 

My favorite track this winter was in light, powdery snow; it was where some bird of prey, probably an owl, had struck at a mouse in the snow.  It had missed, but there was a perfect imprint of the tail, and wing tips, with another set of wing tip marks as it took back off again.