Mid February Bill and I decided to do a trail ride and track census to see what is out there and moving. Of course, because of the ridiculously easy winter, everything is moving...but what a great excuse for a good day's ride on the area trails! We did them all and had a great time!
This is a shot of a maple I dropped to help the deer through the winter. I do about 40-50 of these a year and the deer ravage them during a typical winter. This year? Ho-hum, not interested. Snatch a bud walking by, but, 'nah'...any other year this tree would be stripped...
Below you see a fox track crossing a coyote track. Interesting. You will NEVER see coyotes and fox sharing the same territories. Coyotes hunt them and kill them every time...
Here we see a well used deer trail on the West side, coming onto the property. Not sure where they are headed, but into the interior for sure.
Grouse tracks below. Not many this year.
The tracks below I could not identify. Two creatures, probably mates, low to the ground, and small. Weasels?
The most common tracks we saw were of deer. Everywhere. Plentiful. In your face. Good!
Next two pictures demonstrate the availability of acorns, this late in the winter. Rare!
Turkey track crossing the trail! My wife filmed a flock of 150+ in Westmoreland just the other day. Apparently they did just fine this winter. What is more interesting.. not a single track of a Fisher, or a Bobcat. Not sure what has happened... Up until last year, bobcats on camera all the time. Now, none. No tracks. Nothing. And we have the SE facing talus slopes they seek to den in. We were in the center of the collaring/GPS study done by NHF&G. Go figure. Fisher, GONE! Personally, I feel they were trapped out. In fact, I know they were.
As for coyote...mighty scarce around here. This is one area in the U.S. where half life for a coyote is SHORT. Thank you neighbor!
This photo is taken with my pocket camera the other day, while on the ATV and surrounded by barking loud pups. I am about 75 yards away.
For a bit of silliness...when ever an arrow messed up in some way, years ago a buddy and I would play Robin Hood and see how far into the forest we could wing these wounded arrows. Yesterday while walking trails, I spotted this one sticking strait up in the woods. It was 325 yards from LRDC, and was launched in 2006. Bruce, we'll have to increase our poundage!
Tell me these late season food plots have not been decimated! Not even our food driven Sheltie can find a sprig to eat!
And while Bill and I were out on the snow covered trails? Here is Webster, grooving to heat, and a good piece of jazz.
Let me know what you think!