It was a beautiful sunny day today, perfect for a winter walk. The snow is too deep for my short-legged companion Annie to accompany me on an off-road snowshoe hike, so I took advantage of the marvelous gravel roadways on Crex Meadows, not far from home and blessedly unplowed after the latest 3-4 inch snowfall the other day. It was just enough snow for animal tracks but not too much for an easy walk for both of us.
Annie and I were in luck today. Shortly after parking and beginning our walk, we encountered large canine tracks. I have had training to conduct carnivore tracking surveys and I knew immediately that these were wolf tracks.
We followed the tracks for a quarter mile or so, then began noticing a second, then a third set of tracks, all going the same direction.
Annie checked out an RLU (raised leg urination) and left her own mark. Annie went ahead of me and was sniffing around at a site where there appeared to be a commotion.
Upon closer examination, it appears that the wolves had a tussle over a bird, perhaps caught by one of them, perhaps already dead. All that was left were a few feathers. I think it may have been a Canada goose but I do not know for sure.
We also found wolf scat (full of hair – likely from a deer carcass. Annie had to pee next to the scat.
The tracks then continued West and eventually went back down to one set on the road. The others disappeared into the woods and wetlands.