Saturday, October 15, 2011

October Tracking Club: Now with Bears and Salmon!

Second Tracking Club of the season: Bears! Salmon! The sandy beaches were littered with carcasses of spent salmon spreading their nutritious rotting selves over the landscape, and live ones splashing in the shallows. The tracks of two black bears made their way through the sandy cottonwood forest down to the river’s edge. The trails made for a great tracking club.

This time we split our ranks and simultaneously conducted a tracking assessment for members of WAS’s Tracking Intensive course. This meant we explored two separate sand bars during the morning finding everything from jumping mouse tracks to beaver scat to the hefty black bear. The mustelids and the cats stayed home, but many of the other usual suspects were present. My favorite station was a dead salmon with it’s brains chewed out. Our question was “who did this?” There were large flat compressions in the grass leading away from the fish, a ragged hole in the head, and three evenly spaced slices over an inch long near it’s tail. There were signs of bears eating salmon all up and down the shore.

A black bear retrieves a salmon from a stream on the British Columbia Coast. Photo © David Moskowitz

1 comment:

  1. Did anybody at Tracking Club get any photos of that?!