Field Journal Blog

This blog is my personal journal of in the field observations for Track and Sign.

2014-11-08 CAW Intensive Tracking Class ✓

Terry Kem - Saturday, November 08, 2014

Species of note: Elk & Deer carcasses
Species List: Elk, black bear, grouse, Douglas Squirrel, ?? Flying squirrel, black-tailed deer, coyote, human, mole, LT/ST weasel, junco, buteo, chickadee, sparrows, 
Location: Near Carson, Wa. Longview Fiber property.  
Time: 10:00am till 5pm, 7 hrs. 

Started out day in parking lot where we discovered  a partial deer carcass. There was a rib cage, neck, and head. There was discussion around species, male or female, and age of carcass. We  than discussed if it was killed here, and what has or has not been preying on it. 
Age of carcass we were not sure on but hypothesized on a few days to a week. There was  sign of bird feeding on the ribs. We could not find where coyote or Mt. lion had chewed on any bones. There were still slabs of meat on the rib cages. 
We figured it was a male as the antlers had been cut off of the skull. 
It was somewhat hard to tell but to me all the molars looked to be present and fully grown which would age the deer at the least, 28 months. There was also some wear on the premolars.

As a note: We were wondering when deer season for this track of land ended. Today is the last day or weekend of elk season so is it possible that this deer was poached? 

Moving down the road, discover on a stump, probable groups droppings and LT/ST weasel scat. And on another stump a few hazel nuts chew by a probable chipmunk or Douglas Squirrel.

Another great sign on our way to the elk meadow was coyote scent marking by it's feet. This was good because this was in a similar location  from previous visits to this site. 

Male elk territorial markings on young Douglas firs trees, elk beds that revealed how it tucks its front feet under it’s body. 

Black bear scat, (old and weathered), could have been from last year. Black bear feeding sign in a fruit tree and also in a cascara tree. Where it fed in the cascara tree it looked like it created a nest in the top by pulling the branches to itself, while feeding. Also some other great bear cambium feeding sing both at the base of the tree and 30’ up in a tree.

Had some good discussion on vole and mole tunneling. We discovered some mole sign in a very swampy area which seems unusual as it was so boggy. 

On our walk back toward the auto on the logging road found a substantial amount of fresh blood  on the road. We hypothesized it was elk, but there was no circus. We trailed where the person(s) dragged the elk about 30 yards were we found the remains of where it had been gutted. There was a fresh pile of its stomach. It was a female because we could see where its milk sack had been cut and also upon examination of the four feet left. 

One question we had if it you could hunt cows in the bull elk season.

We ended the day by doing a blindfold walk for about 15 minutes. Weather
Clear most of the day, some high clouds moving in late afternoon. 
42 to 52 degrees.