02-03-15 Field note

Excellent tracking conditions revealed wildlife activity, including bobcat sign, grouse habits, and coyote movement.

Posted on 2/3/2015 by Kellyn Fusfield
MPGN Field Note Bobcat Tracks and Elk Sign Kellyn Fusfield February 3 2015
Bobcat tracks covered the central part of MPG North. Plentiful snowshoe hare sign around the area explained the bobcat’s presence.
The bobcat sat facing south on Camp Road.
This cavity formed by a tree well provided protection for a small animal.
The pace of these coyote tracks revealed that two individuals walked around the southwestern part of MPG North.
Compare the pace of these two sets of coyote tracks to those in the previous image. These tracks show the coyote pair side trotted through this area instead of walked.
A small rodent packed a pathway across Camp Road leading from one hole in the snow to another.
Grouse scat and tracks provide a glimpse into the daily activity of the bird.
The grouse tracks led to a snow cavity where the bird rested. A buckeye camera captured a grouse the morning of February 2nd.
This red squirrel sent me loud warning chatters between mouthfuls of seeds.
The red squirrel prepared at least ten seed caches within 20 feet from the tree it occupied.
Plentiful tracks and pellets revealed the culprits behind this damage to a lodgepole pine. Elk had foraged on the branches and stripped the outer bark from the pine’s end shoots. Cut branches remained on the tree at elk-head height above the ground (inset photo).
The intricacy of the stripped lodgepole cores showed the precision of elk feeding capabilities.