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bdhildebrand

What is this animal track

bdhildebrand
17 years ago

This was seen in North East Texas this past weekend. It was huge, about the size of my hand. I'm 6'0, 180 lbs. It was pretty deep too. Any thoughts as to what this is. I'm baffled as it appears to only have 3 toes and I don't know what could fall into that category, unless one or more didn't imprint. I would suggest that maybe it was more than one animal but don't think so as the back pad appears to be intact and completley from only one animal. Thanks for your help.

Image link:

Comments (60)

  • fhfchrish
    8 years ago

    The only three toed mammals are Rhinoceros and Tapirs, neither of which is likely to show up in Texas even with our penchant for introducing wild ungulates. These are double prints, probaby from a deer or a pig.

  • lazy_gardens
    8 years ago

    Unless you see a matching print from the OTHER foot, several of them, don't waste time trying to figure out isolated weird prints.

    It's a doubled track. Some animals habitually walk that way, and you end up with everything from what looks like a single print to triples and almost aligned quads.

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  • Madonna Mamerow
    8 years ago

    Saw this one on the levy near Bolivar Island, Tx.

  • yako_gib
    7 years ago


    I found a whole trail of these going along the side of my dirty road for at least 1/4 mile. I live in far western Kansas. Definitely not 2 tracks superimposed. They were huge as well, I used my site for scale, and that's a size 9 women's, regular width. I've been trying to figure out what it was, nothing seems to match.

  • lazy_gardens
    7 years ago

    Cows?

    Hard to tell in dirt


  • Karsyn Bird
    7 years ago

    I found some too, and all of them were like this, even the partial one that was behind me and not pictured, I'm a women's size 9, I'm not sure if that will be really helpful for perspective. I found these in northern Illinois in the forest near my house

  • lazy_gardens
    7 years ago

    It's a cloven hoofed animal - cow, sheep, goat, elk, moose or deer - stepping almost into the front print with the back one.

  • LuckyGardens
    7 years ago

    The picture that Karsyn took is deer tracks if she lives by the woods, which judging by the photo is correct. For the others, it looks like deer, or wild pig hoof prints but can't tell the marks got disturbed by the rear legs, so unless you find clearer Hoofprints, that'll be great.

  • phillip_christopher39
    7 years ago

    The only animals I can think of with three toes about that size would be one of the Ratites like an Emu or a Rhea. Not long ago, many owners of these birds released them into the wild. Most didn't survive but I suppose some could have.

  • sher9686
    7 years ago

    I have
    one of those tracks today. It was not there about 10:00AM when this fire ant pile was poisoned, but it was there about 4:45PM when my husband
    walked in from hunting. It definitely has a pad below the 3 toes. I have no idea what it could be.


  • vioalexalcaraz
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I would like to know what made these prints. I found a few today in South Texas in Poteet deep into our ranch and I don't think it's hog prints because I've seen their prints before. It looks like whatever made the impression is heavy which is causing the movement into the prints as if the ground was wet and the it caused a squish like print.


  • sher9686
    7 years ago

    We had another track in the veg
    garden today but rain distorted it too much for a clear picture. This track is
    about 60 yards from the 1st one we found in a fire ant mound. We
    have no idea what it can be and with all the game cameras in the area nothing
    weird has shown up. We are in East
    Texas, Chireno area, very rural
    area.

  • lazy_gardens
    7 years ago

    We keep trying to explain that what you are seeing is a cloven-footed animal (deer? hog? cow?) walking, with the rear feet stepping onto the tracks left by the front feet. It is the normal walking pattern of many animals.

    http://cwf-fcf.org/en/news-features/articles/animal-tracks.html 

    "Diagonal pattern

    This next group of animals include the deer, cat and dog families,
    for example, deer, moose, caribou, elk, fox, wolf, coyote, bobcat,
    mountain lion and dog. For the animals that
    use this pattern, the rear right foot lands on top of, but slightly
    behind, where the front right foot was a moment earlier. " (and same with the left)

    To declare something a 3-toed creature, you would have to see more than one footprint - you have to see a trail with multiple identical footprints showing three toes in every instance of the print.

  • sher9686
    7 years ago

    lazy_gardens,
    a cloven-footed animal (deer? hog? cow?) walking, with
    the rear feet stepping onto the tracks does happen sometimes but none of
    them have a pad on their feet. Now the cats, fox, wolf, coyote, bobcat,
    mountain lion and dog do have pads but none of them have a toe or claw the size
    of my thumb. And to see more than one
    footprint I would have to have found the track somewhere other that a pasture
    or overgrown vegetable garden. I
    understand your frustration because you have not personally seen the track but
    it doesn’t make our query unimportant. I’ve
    lived and hunted in the Piney Woods for the past 35 years, (I left the town
    life when I was 30), and have seen and heard some strange things, so I don’t
    discount other people’s observations lightly.
    Perhaps you should try being as gracious.

  • lazy_gardens
    7 years ago

    OK, let's rule out the rare and strange: What species of animal that can survive in your area has a foot that would leave a track like that? Not a chupacabra, Jersey devil, swamp thing or escaped velociraptor, but a known species of 3-toed critters.

    The closest 3-toed critters are the tapirs of Central America, and that's not what their footprints are like. Ostrich or emu have three toes, and they have been known to escape and survive, but their tracks don't look like that.

    "to see more than one
    footprint I would have to have found the track somewhere other that a pasture
    or overgrown vegetable garden
    "

    Which is why if you are identifying species present in an area, you go to places where they will leave decent tracks. The sandy bottom of washes, road edges and dirt roads, stream banks are excellent. To get to your garden, that creature either dropped out of the sky or walked in ... if you see FLPs (funny-looking prints) again, check the perimeter of the area to find better examples.

    And I lived and hunted in the "piney woods" too, with deer, elk, bear, pumas, bobcats, coyotes, wolves, wolverines, and bunnies.

    When that cow lands her hind feet, she'll leave a really weird track.

  • sher9686
    7 years ago

    You must have hunted in a different Piney Woods than I have,
    I meant East Texas. Some of the animals you say you have
    hunted in the piney woods most commonly are found in open country such as
    prairies and plains like the badger (or wolverine) avoid heavily wooded areas
    and habitats with rocky soils. Unless you are hunting in a managed club, East Texans
    go to Colorado to hunt elk. That is because by the late 1800’s, records
    indicate that elk were only present in the Guadalupe
    Mountains of far west Texas.
    Currently, free ranging elk exist over a large portion of west Texas
    and on high fence ranches throughout the state.
    The LA black bear have only recently been sighted in East
    Texas and they are on the state endangered species list, so they
    cannot be hunted. We do have bobcats, coyotes, wolves, deer, and “bunnies”. And I have seen one puma 4 years ago in my
    front yard, (I claim about 5 acres as my “yard”). That was the year my 35 outdoor cat
    population went down to 2 as did my neighbor’s cats. We couldn’t figure it out because of the lack
    of tracks until I saw the lion. A few weeks later I did find a single track at
    a creek’s edge. The only sightings since in the area have been one hit by a
    vehicle and a rancher shot one. SFA is
    very interested in puma sightings and keeps a detailed log of them; SFA is in
    the closest town to me. Perhaps you should talk about what you have first-hand
    knowledge of rather than just your Internet searches.

  • lazy_gardens
    7 years ago

    My "piney woods" were in the northern Rockies.

  • phillip_christopher39
    7 years ago

    The person that posted this picture referred to it as a three toed coyote track. I agree that some tracks may be hog or deer tracks that have been altered by the hind foot but it's fairly obvious that this is not from a cloven hoof animal.


  • lazy_gardens
    7 years ago

    Phillip ... From the presence of the rear pad, shape of the pad, and the claws ... that is some sort of dog family creature that was unlucky with a trap or a fight. Species depending on where I saw it and its size. I would have to see a trail of similar tracks, 3-toed on all feet, before I started thinking of chupacabras.

    ..

    Looking at the originally posted picture ... There are definitely dew claw holes in it (I overlooked them earlier) which I have marked with red dots. In snow, soft earth and mud, or when running, the dew claws often make marks. So boar or deer is most probable, given the area. They don't splay out like pig dew claws (and the garden would have been trashed), so my bet is on deer.



    http://www.bear-tracker.com/deer.html 

    http://www.bear-tracker.com/deertracksandfeet.html 

  • phillip_christopher39
    7 years ago

    Lazy.. just kiddin'. ;-) Although I find Sasquatch, the Chupacabra and visitors from outer space fun to speculate, I have no confidence that any of them exist. Well... maybe aliens but we're gunna build a wall for them. ;-) However, I do know that some strange things do occur and I try to keep an open mind about them. e.g. I knew a fella that had what I jokingly referred to as Mickey Mouse hands. When I met him and shook his hand for the first time I noticed that he had only a thumb and three digits. His hand was about the same size as mine but his fingers were slightly larger giving the hand a natural configuration as opposed to just missing the little finger. I have been interested in evolutionary mutations most of my adult life so I wasn't surprised when he showed me his other hand and although it was just opposite.. it was exactly the same as his right hand. I was then convinced that it was a genetic or evolutionary mutation and not just a deformity. In our part of Texas.. we have had many reports of "Chupacabra" sightings. There are photos, videos and even a couple of dead ones have been found. They are canids of some sort but all are almost hairless and strangely shaped. DNA tests show them to be a cross between a Mexican wolf and a Coyote. I was just curious about the possibility of the three toe tracks being a genetic mutation. I agree that there should be a succession of three toed prints to confirm a hereditary mutation. The person that posted the picture didn't mention other prints although there should have been and it would have been helpful. Without that, I'm confident that you are correct.. it is probably not a mutation but probably an injury or double impression.

  • Jacob Kunzmann
    5 years ago

    hey i live up in Massachusetts and i found tracks like the ones in the first pic, it was about 2200 and i saw this thing going across my yard so i ran up stairs and opened the window and was looking with a flash light. I couldnt see anything but i could hear it walking through the woods. i know it wasint a moose, bear, dear by the way it was walking... any ideas??

  • Double Bit Craftsman
    5 years ago


    I was taking a walk through and unused part of our land and found this track. My first thought was a mountain lion, but I immediately discredited that because I lived in extreme western Kansas, half a mile from the Missouri border. Mountain lions are pretty rare here. My second thought was a tree stepping on its own track once, but that wouldn’t explain the pad behind the three toes. Maybe it crossed paths with a coyote or something else. I couldn’t check for other tracks because the path is about a foot wide and everything else was heavy tall grass that had been matted down, without tracks. Probably just a big coincidence.

  • Valdimar Hreidarsson
    5 years ago



    These keep popping up in our yard. We live in Thailand. The diameter is about 2+ inches I guess. At first I thought it was a dog but obviously that cannot be the case. We have cats that are on the larger side but their paws are not near as big as these. It´s not a question of only one print, there are lots of them and consistently showing only three toes pointing forward. Sometimes it looks as if the animal has been fighting or playing judging from the position and varying depth of the prints.

  • Cristianc Conejo
    5 years ago

  • Cristianc Conejo
    5 years ago

    I’ve also seen these unknown tracks in Leon country, tx

  • Jewel Niles
    5 years ago

    I live in southwestern PA and took a photo of the same thing this morning. It was large. I thought it was because the snow could've melted a little causing the track to look bigger but there were cat prints going up the same path in my driveway that were normal size. I'm unableto upload my photo but i stood next to thetrack for size comparison and it was half the length of my foot. I'm a little creeped out to find out it wasn't a deer...lol

  • HU-82002173
    5 years ago

    Chupacabra?

  • John McCloud
    4 years ago

    Found this yesterday 6/20/19 in Dibble OK . No deer tracks around. Just this lone 3 toes print

  • James Jones
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    I just seen the same thing amongst other deer tracks.

  • Mac Adams
    4 years ago

    Saw this in NE Texas yesterday. There were multiple of them which rules out double stepping animals. Compared to my 10.5 boot. What ever it is, it’s big

  • sher9686
    4 years ago

    I hope someone can get a pic of the animal soon so we will at least know what we're looking at.

  • Paul Bailey
    4 years ago

    fouke monster?

  • HU-815996385
    4 years ago

  • HU-815996385
    4 years ago

    Help identify

  • HU-412434138
    3 years ago

    I found these tracks near Lake Lavon in Texas. There were multiple tracks of the span of it least 200 yards where the dirt was exposed. I dont think its a hog, maybe a deformed one? But these tracks almost all look the same on this chat.

  • Lauren Johnson
    3 years ago

    Palo Pinto Lake near Mineral Wells, TX

  • Reeve Potter
    3 years ago

    I should have taken a reference for size but I was restricted by following the tracks.

    It was a short trail on a lakeside beach in OK Falls BC Canada, so above the Rocky's.

    It was a bit more then palm sized and there was aspicously a hooded woodpecker burried in the sand along its trail.

    I assumed its a coyote but it also struck me a destinctly different and while we we have lots of deer this is a beach surrounded by houses I'm a tourist town.

    Not to mention each print was just like this.

    I found your debate because of this so I thought I'd throw my two cents in.

  • astonally
    3 years ago

    This strange 3 toed print was massive! That is not a human foot beside it either. There is a coyote print below the 3 toed print to give some scale. These were found in the winter at a wildlife preserve in Missouri. I just saw an even larger 3 toed print this morning that looks exactly like this on in Arizona!

  • Lee Hendrickson
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    This was in New Mexico in 2015 that is obviously my glove and that is a casting of a dinosaur print from the museum with my granddaughter for size


    I followed that track across the desert for over a half a mile with a stride of 6 to 7 feet between I should have taken a video of the trail but I didn’t

  • HU-812127917
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    I’m located near Lake George in the Adirondack region of Upstate New York and spotted these in the woods yesterday, roughly 200 yards away from the shoreline of the lake. They have me totally stumped - not as pointedly defined as a turkey track and seemingly too large for most other types of fowl. Any ideas?

  • HU-130292925
    2 years ago

    Ok, all of the people trying to say that this is a double track, least of all some kind of deer double track, have clearly not seen it. I have seen several of them around a muddy creek in Marshall TX. Out in the Nesbitt area. Both left and right prints, and they were everywhere. There's no way that they could all have been any kind of double prints. There's also something stalking the wood around Nesbitt that doesn't sound like anything I have ever heard. I have lived here since I was a kid and sit outside at night all the time. My mom used to take us owl calling in the middle of the night when I was younger and I gained a great fondness for the sounds of nighttime animals. I have never heard anything like it before. Whatever it is, there are several of them that call back and forth to each other and only very late at night.

  • HU-405323647
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    The closest thing I have seen is a cassowary track.

    https://wanderstories.space/content/images/2020/02/raspberry-falls-track-cassowary-footprint.jpg


    (I'm not saying cassowaries are roaming Texas making the originally posted print.)

    https://st.hzcdn.com/simgs/8922488404c4b1cb_9-6717/home-design.jpg

  • HU-893921578
    2 years ago

    This is fascinating. I live on the Eastern Shore, Maryland. It is farm land and I live in a small retirement community. No one could identify the tracks in my back yard. I thought deer too. Love hearing about others trying to unravel the mystery.



  • HU-59382132
    2 years ago

    Have photos of same tracks in East Central Arizona, 1 and 1/2 miles from Fort Apache

  • ramatsu
    last year

    My daughter has been seeing a lot of these on Whidbey Island, WA.



    Seems too clean to be a double print, but still waiting to hear whether they have seen a string of identical ones together.


    FWIW, they also saw some albino deer in the same area, but I can’t find anything about hoof mutations in albino deer. (I know white cats with blue eyes often have extra toes, which is surely unrelated but made it occur to me.)

  • AL Ready
    10 months ago

    I saw these tracks in NE Texas in Cass County TX in a timber property looking for our dog. The rain was 2 days prior and a clear print the size of my hand like in earlier pictures here. The track was strolling down the road through the property. The stride isn't wide, say compared to a human or deer. The impression was from a larger animal with a defined claw. We've seen a lot of animals out here but nothing like this. I read one article that they saw it looking back at them but couldn't define what it was they were looking at. Keep posting maybe we will get a thermal imaging of this critter/animal/unknown species.




  • Old Forester ( Zones 8a-6a ) Ga/NC
    10 months ago

    To me, your tracks appear to be deer that have walked over another track.

  • MyKoL LoKyM
    10 months ago
    last modified: 10 months ago











    I should have taken pics yesterday while gardening. It rained last night and distorted the tracks. Not a deer. I recognize deer tracks. I'm in Northwestern Alabama.

  • MyKoL LoKyM
    10 months ago
    last modified: 10 months ago





    This could be the answer some are looking for.


    Searched my yards and found this print near an ant bed. (Between my fingers).

    The print is to weathered to really be worth photos so I took this of the ant bedbed alsoalsoalsalso

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