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Friday, September 4, 2009
Here's a puzzle that we probably can't figure out for sure. But since we've had so much fun with tracks here, I'm offering it for discussion. This canine track was in the trail in northern Minnesota. Is it a wolf, or just a very large dog?
Well, I had enough sense to put my jackknife beside it when I took the picture. The knife measures 3.75 inches in length (not counting the loop), closed as you see it. The International Wolf Center says that an average adult wolf track is 4.5 inches long, and only a very few breeds of dogs have tracks this large. What about the stride? There was only this one print in the trail, so I have no way to measure the stride.
Where is the International Wolf Center? Would you believe that it located in Ely, Minnesota. There are approximately 3000 wolves in northern Minnesota and the population there has been stable for over ten years. So it's entirely possible that a wolf track would be found there.
I can't help but make a little joke about my efforts to make tracks here at home. I've been working really hard to get caught up on all the dozens of things that were neglected while I was out hiking. I'm doing better than some homecomings at staying disciplined.
But looking at animal tracks is lots more fun than tracking my tasks!
See One More Trail Story for beaver tracks
See Our Common Mustelid for skunk tracks
See International Wolf Center