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pcg
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PostFri Oct 25, 2019 1:13 pm 
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I was wondering when I would come across one, as the population grows it seems more and more likely. This was just before the last snow event. It rained hard for several hours immediately before this, so the track was at least a few hours old, but the scat was quite fresh. There was very little suitable substrate for tracks in the area, save this one little patch of bare ground. Off trail in an undisclosed location. Still hoping to put eyeballs on one!

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treeswarper
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PostFri Oct 25, 2019 7:18 pm 
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Nobody cleaned up the poop? eek.gif

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What's especially fun about sock puppets is that you can make each one unique and individual, so that they each have special characters. And they don't have to be humanĖĖanimals and aliens are great possibilities
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Pyrites
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PostFri Oct 25, 2019 10:25 pm 
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Not even county disclosed? Except for Wahkiakum their fairly large.

Best.
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gb
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PostSat Oct 26, 2019 4:19 am 
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Great that you kept the location undisclosed. Thats good thinking.
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moonspots
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PostSat Oct 26, 2019 5:10 am 
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gb wrote:
Great that you kept the location undisclosed. Thats good thinking.

up.gif

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treeswarper
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PostSat Oct 26, 2019 6:31 am 
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gb wrote:
Great that you kept the location undisclosed. Thats good thinking.

Yes.  Had you mentioned the county it was in, everybody would know exactly where to look. rolleyes.gif

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What's especially fun about sock puppets is that you can make each one unique and individual, so that they each have special characters. And they don't have to be humanĖĖanimals and aliens are great possibilities
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Bootpathguy
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PostSat Oct 26, 2019 7:06 am 
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Excellent observation

Are you a researcher?

Very cool!  up.gif  up.gif  up.gif

I too would love to see a wolf

Did you set up your trail camera in the area?

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Gil
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PostSat Oct 26, 2019 8:53 am 
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Cool!

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Navy salad
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PostSat Oct 26, 2019 11:46 am 
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How can you be sure this is from a wolf and not a large dog? (Not skeptical, just curious) The scat?
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pcg
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PostSat Oct 26, 2019 9:12 pm 
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Navy salad wrote:
How can you be sure this is from a wolf and not a large dog? (Not skeptical, just curious) The scat?

Good question. And you pretty much answered it. There are a few dogs, such as great dane, that make a track thatís hard to distinguish from a wolf. So you need corroborating evidence. All dogs tend to wander, but wolves save energy and usually travel in straight lines. Often you can use this information to rule out a dog, but in this case, because the ground was covered in vegetation, there was no track trail present. There was a hiking trail within 100 yards which dogs undoubtedly frequent. However, I saw no sign, scat or tracks, of a domestic dog on the trail. Indeed, the only canine track we found that day was this one, which was a distance off the trail. What convinced me was the scat we found just 50 feet away. It contains no dog food and no vegetation. Itís all protein (the dark goo), hair, and bone fragments. It has the shape of a canine scat and not a feline scat or bear scat, and itís too large for coyote. That information, and knowing that wolves are in the area (I did my Internet research) convinces me the scat is wolf, and the presence of the scat so close to the track convinces me that the nearby canine track that appears to be wolf, is actually wolf and not a domestic dog look-alike. It is likely that the wolf that left the scat did so a few hours after the track was made, since it had not been rained on. It may not have even been the same wolf, but itís enough to convince me. Fun stuff!

Bootpathguy wrote:

Are you a researcher?

Iím not a researcher. Animal tracking is a hobby for me.

Bootpathguy wrote:

Did you set up your trail camera in the area?

Yes, I did have a trail cam set up the night before where my wife and I were camped a few miles away, but captured nothing. Not even a deer.
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Sky Hiker
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PostMon Oct 28, 2019 4:14 am 
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Large dog
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pcg
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PostMon Oct 28, 2019 8:30 am 
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Sky Hiker wrote:
Large dog

Why? How did you determine?
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timberghost
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PostMon Oct 28, 2019 8:38 am 
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Looking at the feces
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Navy salad
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PostMon Oct 28, 2019 9:12 am 
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Here's a wolf scat pic from the web that looks similar, although a bit stringier and not as wet:

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pcg
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PostMon Oct 28, 2019 9:52 am 
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timberghost wrote:
Looking at the feces

The scat contains protein, hair, bone, and nothing more - no grain or dogfood. I agree it's possible that there is a large feral dog loose in the area that has a track similar to wolf and is eating wild animals. But given that this is in the locale of a documented wolf pack, how likely is that?

Navy salad wrote:
Here's a wolf scat pic from the web that looks similar, although a bit stringier and not as wet:

Stringier appearance can result from hair content or the presence of grass, which canines eat as well. Wetness results from a higher protein content and also how fresh the scat is when photographed.

In general, all canine scats have a similar shape or form. In this case, I believe the diameter and quantity rule out coyote. Coyotes also make latrines, meaning they will poop again in the same spot, giving the appearance of a higher quantity. However, that is easy to recognize because some poo will be drier, and that's not the case here.

Track identification is determined not just from appearance, although in many instances that's sufficient. But more often, a conclusion is reached after considering a number of factors. For example, if I'd seen this track in a local dog park in Seattle, I wouldn't have given it a second thought. And, if I hadn't found the scat, I would have suspected wolf, but not been certain, since someone could be wandering around in the area with a great dane. The scat, and the unlikelihood of someone being off-trail with a great dane in an area where a wolf pack is known to reside is what makes me believe it's wolf. Am I 100% certain? Nope. But wolf is my final answer, unless someone more knowledgeable than myself provides good information to the contrary.  smile.gif
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