Just came across these tracks and am wondering if they are cougar tracks. We were following coyote tracks along a stream and along where where deer take advantage of spilled grain. These are both the same track.
First off welcome to BGH, always nice to meet new folks on the site. From what I know and see it looks to be a lion track but I am no expert. I see no nail/claw marks and the print clearly shows the 4 toes and a lead toe. The size is a bit misleading but that is due to the soft soil and looks as if the cat's paw slipped in the wet mud. Below is a text book answer to what a lion track is.
Mountain lion tracks are generally round with a diameter from 2.75 to 3.75 inches. They show four toes, normally without claws. Their tracks are asymmetrical with a leading toe, which allows left and right tracks to be differentiated. Mountain lion tracks have a large, m-shaped (or trapezoid-shaped) palm pad, which has two lobes towards the front of the pad and three lobes towards the back of the pad. Front tracks are generally larger, wider, and more asymmetrical than hind tracks.
While I was up on the mountains looking for some elk, we spotted some off in the distance. And while I was glassing these elk I couldn’t quite pick up the details of these elk because they were clear out there, and because I couldn’t keep steady enough to get a clear picture of what I was looking at. I told my brother, “I can’t really tell ‘cause I’m shaking.” He gave me the best piece of glassing advice I’ve ever been told (‘cause how many glassing tips can there really be...