17 August 2014

Fur Prospecting

Second son and I set out this morning to walk what we think will be part of our line later this winter. We wanted to look for sign and activity and enjoy a waning berry season. We're on the down hill side it would seem, raspberries are full and beginning to wane a bit, pin cherries, thimble berries, and blueberries are in and pretty much peaking, dew berries are long gone.

We're planning on going for Pine Marten, Fisher, Beaver, Fox primarily, mink and muskrat are secondary. I know my ground pretty good and where most of these critters are to be found. This part of the line makes a large loop through my lowlands and the beaver valley, up into some old growth and into some heavy pines, back to my main logging road that has offshoots throughout the property.

Then we were into the main attraction. We rolled around in this patch of blueberries like a couple of fat bears, ate our fill and I picked a canteen cup full to take back to my wife.

Once out of the moss and the Labrador tea, it opens up into a goodly size beaver swamp. Below is a comparison of what it looked like today vs. back in the winter.


Beaver sign was heavy, this valley runs another three miles or so to the south and there are numerous colonies. This particular area is close to the headwaters of the stream that cuts through the valley.

Moving back up into the forest.

Spotted the track below in a muddy stretch. The toes are narrow and elongated, with claw tip marks. It's not a coon track as there is no space between the toes, they touch in the track. It's a bigger than a skunk track and the claws are shorter than most skunk tracks I've seen. Too big to be an ermine.

Fisher Track
Marten track

 I took a nice chaga horn from this birch a little over a year ago, tremendous regrowth!

Heading up the creek.

Out of the woodlands and onto my main trail, found approximately 12 to 15 different scat piles from fox and wolf. Several had bone chips. I flagged a coupe obvious trails to explore next weekend.

We enjoyed the walk out, all the while marveling at the temperature. Today's high of 57 degrees Fahrenheit on August the 17th is abnormal even for our area.

Our walk back was mostly in silence, the odd chill in the air and the day's exploration had us both thinking of fall, which rode the wind today. While it might not be visible yet we could both feel it.

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