This weekend was great! A group of trackers traveled to to Bennett pass to see what they could find.
Several feet of snow had accumulated in the area with approximately 2 inches of fresh snow that fell from the night before, with additional flurries here and there as the group snowshoed around Bennett Pass for the day.
Many snowshoe hare, a few Douglas squirrel, and even bobcat tracks and signs were found. The first bobcat trail that was discovered was backtracked about a hundred feet and an odd disturbance in the snow was found. It was nearly a perfect circle etched into the snow about 4-6 ft diameter. There were no other set of tracks leading to it, no noticeable discoloration, and it was slightly offset to the bobcat trail. Unlike members of the dog family, which frequently chase down their prey, bobcats move slowly and stealthily through areas, pausing and sitting frequently, hoping to see prey before prey sees them. They generally do not cover large distances while hunting. Bobcats have what are called “hunting lays,” spots where they lay with their feet under them, ready to pounce on prey passing by. This disturbance in the snow could have been a possible hunting lay for the bobcat. Another speculation is that sometimes bobcats will roll back and forth on the ground to deposit scent from the sebaceous gland. Below are some pictures of the site the tracking group happened upon:
To the left is a picture of one of the trip participants observing the detail of a bobcat track that was carefully excavated out of the snow. They are using natural light to back light the print in hopes of seeing more detail of the track.
What an eventful day and some great bobcat signs. Hope everyone is enjoying tracking season and we are all excited about the upcoming trips!