While Bette was doing camp chores I was supporting a Snow Tracking class. Of course it snowed each day covering up all the tracks. I guess you do snow tracking after it snows.
I did learn a lot about animal tracks, gaits, and investigating such things from the instructorJim Halfpenny. Jim's well versed in tracking, winter ecology, and mammal carnivores large and small.
We did find a few tracks in the afternoon field sessions. The class made plaster casts of coyote tracks in a plowed pullout (picture below).
t's quite a process. You try to clean the track as well as you can. Then spray it with this wax, covering all the snow to seal the track. Quickly mix up some plaster to milkshake consistency, and gently pour it into the track before the plaster sets. Cover with a plastic bag anchored by a perimeter of snow blocks. Cover the whole thing with snow to insulate, so the plaster sets. Wait a half hour or so...
We had hoped to find wolf tracks, but settled for a wolf. The black wolf, probably a Druid Pack wolf because of the mange, was by an elk carcass above the Yellowstone River. The wolf was waiting for us to leave, and is standing below the large conifer in the middle of the picture. You can double click to get a larger view. I took it with the zoom on our little point and shoot.
Jim also shared with us the website of his friend Lily up in Ely, Minnesota. Lily is a black bear, and has a webcam in her den where you can see her and her new born cubs.