We were at this location a couple days ago and came across bear tracks. Went back today and discovered a whole lot more.
I should this story back up and mention that when we were at this location a couple days ago, we had parked below and around the corner at a widening on the road so that we could look for a Christmas tree. When we got out of the truck, I immediately noticed a very strong musky, almost skunk like odor. There was a boot path headed into the woods with some flagging. My first impressions of the odor combined with the worn path into the woods was that someone was trapping here. Trapping is legal in Montana. We sort of tried to look for a tree but I was really wary and nervous about being there with the dogs, one of whom was unleashed. We got back into the truck and drove up the road where we went on to find the bear tracks.
So, back to today. A truck had driven past where we had parked the previous day and so now there were truck tracks mixed with bear tracks. We didn’t walk very far when we found all these giant canine tracks and hairy canine scat. Tracks are much too big to be a dog, the print below with my hand measures about 6 inches long and I’m guessing a good 3 inches across. Very, very large canine tracks and hairy canine looking scat? I can only come up with one possibility, Wolves.
Further looking revealed blood drops in the snow and we went on to find a piece of meat that had saw marks on it. There were no bones or fur anywhere nearby. If someone had simply dumped a carcass from an animal they had hunted, I would expect to see a little more evidence.
Having gotten our fill of checking out all these fascinating findings we drove back down the road. We didn’t get too far and we noticed 2 bald eagles and a bunch of ravens. I wanted to get out and see if there was a carcass, but thought better of it since I did not have a clear, open view of the area and I didn’t want to encounter a bear or mt. lion. We decided to just continue driving back down the road.
When we came to the area where we had noticed the rank smell and path into woods, we saw a truck parked there and saw a man out in the woods. Hmmmm…….I immediately thought, someone is out here checking their traps. Furthermore, I wonder if this man left the meat further up the hill to attract animals. However, wolf trapping season doesn’t start until Dec. 15. General season is open now though.
I realize there is some serious conjecture on my part regarding what is really going on here and whether or not one can or should connect any dots. But, I have to say, it was a very unusual day out in the woods.