This trail camera photo seems to show some sort of cat, but what appears to be a long tail, like a mountain lion would have, may be a branch. Credit: Courtesy of Nolan Raymond.

Ever since we started sharing the trail camera photos and videos of BDN readers, I’ve been waiting for a submission that would help reignite the age-old debate about mountain lions in Maine.

Many Mainers say they’ve seen the big cats here, while others say they don’t live in Maine at all.

Today, I’ll let you be the judge, and share an interesting image sent in by Nolan Raymond of Hermon.

The photo shows a cat, I think most will agree. Whether it’s sporting the long tail of a mountain lion or the short tail of a bobcat is up for debate. Give it a look and let us know what you think.

Raymond doesn’t know exactly what he captured on the camera, which was set up in Bucksport.

“The mystery cat came into the trail in front of our treestand early Wednesday morning, following a deer trail. My first thought was that it was likely a bobcat. However, after blowing the photo up, there was one piece of evidence to argue that: it appears to have a full length tail, which the bobcat does not sport,” Raymond said.

“It does look a bit small to be a cougar, as those grow to be upwards of 180 pounds, and they apparently don’t exist in Maine. The only other cat it could be is the Canada lynx. They are very rare in Maine, and protected. They are slightly larger than a bobcat, and have distinctly pointed ears, which are not evident in the photo. My educated guess is that it probably weighs about 50 lbs, too big for bobcat or lynx. It’s a mystery! I’d definitely want to hear your two cents on what it may be!”

Well, I’m not a trained big cat biologist, but I’d probably opt for “bobcat.” I think I see a black ring around its short tail, and I’m willing to call the other long appendage, which might look like a tail, as a branch or other object.

But your guess might be better than mine.

Do you have a trail camera photo or video to share? Send it to and tell us “I consent to the BDN using my photo.” In order to prevent neighbors from stopping by to try to tag particularly large bucks, moose or bears, some identities and towns of origin may be omitted.

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John Holyoke

John Holyoke has been enjoying himself in Maine's great outdoors since he was a kid. He spent 28 years working for the BDN, including 19 years as the paper's outdoors columnist or outdoors editor. While...