Just a bit of rambling.

2:35 p.m. on March 3, 2019 (EST)
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I came across these very fresh tracks while snowshoeing yesterday. The bright sun had barely started to soften the shallow tracks on packed snow. At first I was thinking bobcat, but the front and rear prints aren’t direct registered.

The pole is at 120cm so a full pace is about a meter. 

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There are an awful lot of coyotes around here, Thursday night I came across this in the middle of the trail. A short distance farther up the trail there were 2 other smaller carcasses. 1CE96059-0C32-4476-B88B-577552872D72.jpg

So many people feed the deer then wonder why there are so many coyotes around. “Kill all the coyotes, they’re killing the deer we want to hunt!” as if sport hunting is the sole reason deer exist. You want more deer? Leave the trophy bucks and take the smaller, weaker ones who won’t breed. 

9:19 p.m. on March 3, 2019 (EST)
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Yea those are not cat tracks, the claws would have been retracted.

Regardless if you take out all the trophy specimens, breeders will emerge from whatever is left of the herd.  As long as there are mature bucks and does, there will be breeding.  As for targeting certain animals for culling: The small juveniles may be the future's alfa, so going after the small doesn't equate to strengthening the herd.  And I doubt more than a few hunters can judge which animals are weak.

Ed  

1:28 p.m. on March 6, 2019 (EST)
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Nice tracks, Phil.

I have personally noticed more fox tracks this winter, though your tracks look like they might be larger for coyote.

1:50 p.m. on March 6, 2019 (EST)
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Yep, definitely a coyote (or coy wolf hybrid) and a large one at that. 

The packs are getting aggressively bold around here too. This photo is from a couple days ago on a pretty highly used trail near me. It is right next to roads, houses, schools, and the deer carcass was very fresh. A guy I know had his Westie taken right in front of him by a coyote. He watched it pick up the dog and shake it, before taking off with it. 
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2:35 a.m. on March 7, 2019 (EST)
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Fisher tracks?  The tracks look like a member of the weasel family. They have a long body.  Looks like maybe he was running.  Maybe you spooked him.

12:50 p.m. on March 7, 2019 (EST)
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Regarding the sport hunting rant: i haven't hunted in 35 years. I'm a fan of wildlfe, and though I still love to shoot... it's only at paper targets. I would much rather observe animals than shoot them. Having said that, every single hunter (LOTS!) that I know here in MT hunts for meat plain and simple. They don't "sport hunt". We do have increasing numbers of "sport hunters" in this state though... and they are called wolves. I can't tell you how many pictures of barely-eaten carcasses of elk and domestic farm animals I've seen. And yes, coyotes are getting increasingly bold as well. But at least they seem to devour their pray. Nevertheless... I'm all for letting nature take its course,  but if I ever see a wolf or coyote pack attempting to tear someone's pet or livestock to pieces... it won't end well for the canine(s).

5:27 p.m. on March 7, 2019 (EST)
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hikeon said:

Fisher tracks?  The tracks look like a member of the weasel family. They have a long body.  Looks like maybe he was running.  Maybe you spooked him.

 

No, I didn’t get any pics of the tracks in deep snow (5+ feet) but there was no evidence of the belly dragging. 

8:47 p.m. on March 7, 2019 (EST)
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I don't think their belly normally drags on a hard surface.  Doesn't look like the tracks sink more than an inch or two.  But then all I have to see is a couple of photos.

7:11 p.m. on March 8, 2019 (EST)
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The snow where the tracks in the pics are was packed very hard by the wind, and was firm enough that my 250lb self only sank the thickness of my 36” snowshoes. In the soft snow they sank a foot, maybe more. 

10:13 p.m. on March 8, 2019 (EST)
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Enjoy your snowshoeing. I'm in Thailand, far from any snow. 

12:11 a.m. on March 9, 2019 (EST)
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never seen coyote in the whites, have seen fisher cats and fox.  couldn't tell you what made those tracks. more often than not, i have seen the fisher cats in trees rather than on the ground. 

what has fascinated me this winter is the owl situation. nightly call and response from barred owls near where we live. have yet to spot one, but there are at least two or three who frequent our area. 

4:03 p.m. on March 17, 2019 (EDT)
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It was really hard to see what I was getting pics of thanks to the bright sun, but I believe these are fisher tracks. When I’ve seen them they moved in a kind of undulating, inchworm-like motion, and these tracks seem to indicate that. You can see that something is slightly dragging on the right side, an injured paw or prey carried in the jaws? 


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4:16 p.m. on March 17, 2019 (EDT)
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Where do you live Phil?

Fishers often cache food in places like the V of two tree trunks so watch for that. They are both scavenger and killer...and tough.

5:27 p.m. on March 17, 2019 (EDT)
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Jackman, ME, in the northwestern mountains of the state. I’ve seen one fisher up here so far, crossing the logging road we were driving on. It looked pretty big, maybe 3 feet from nose to tail. 

6:06 p.m. on March 17, 2019 (EDT)
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They get up to forty plus inches so 3ft is accurate. I knew you lived up there somewhere just couldn't remember quite where.

December 12, 2019
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