The wildlife tracking apprenticeship headed out for a day of trailing in the pine forests of the eastern cascade mountains. As we wandered out into the beautiful fall landscape, we saw the tracks of a variety of animals including elk, mule deer and coyote.
Our main goal was to pick up the fresh trail of an elk. After wandering through the crisp air and sunshine, we found the relatively fresh trails of not 1, but 6 elk wandering together.
These we followed through challenging terrain and a variety of tracking substrates. We saw where they had bedded down together, where they grazed and browsed, and where a large bull started following this group of 6. In several spots we observed where he trashed some small shrubs and left some antler rubs. His fur was still stuck to the sap.
We ended the day having learned more about elk, ourselves and about the skills of trailing. All of us are already looking forward to another visit to the eastern cascades.