Carnivore Sign, Herbivore Sign

After consulting my copy of Tracking and the Art of Seeing, I’ve concluded that this is probably coyote scat, based on its size and shape. It was a lot softer and wetter than a lot of carnivore scat I’ve found (sometimes it’s nothing but compressed hair!) and contained grass as well as hair. According to the book, dark, wet scat means the animal has probably been eating organs from a fresh kill.

Further along, the edges of the trail were littered with the evidence of a foraging red squirrel. To efficiently harvest black spruce cones, a squirrel had been snipping off the ends of its branches, which it can then collect off the ground. Porcupines do this too, but they have (much) bigger teeth, so you’d probably be able to see the gnaw marks on the chewed-off end more clearly.