Caleb always walks
By last night’s scat on the trail
With nary a sniff.
Looked up why animals leave scat in the middle of the trail ALL the time, and found:
- Coyotes use scat to communicate and so they usually deposit scats in the middle of trails or near the borders of their territories where they are easily seen.
- Bits of plant material (stems, seeds, husks, and stalks) indicate an herbivore source. There’s almost no scent to the droppings of a plant-eater, although those that have gorged on berries leave (believe it or not) sweet-smelling dung.
- Scat filled with animal material (scales, bones, and fur) was left by a carnivore, and usually has a rank smell.
- Listen, as well as look. A mass of flies indicates a pile of fresh scat. If you hear flies buzzing but can’t spot any scat, you may have a fresh predator kill on your hands. Leave the area immediately.
- Moose pellets are larger than those of deer. Deer and rabbit pellets are about the same size, but deer pellets are pointed; rabbit scat is rounder.
- Mink, weasels, marten, and fishers leave their calling cards on prominent objects, such as rocks and logs, in the middle of the trail. Their spoor are compacted, twisted bits of fecal material and hair, but if you find seeds in them, you’re on the trail of the omnivorous marten.
- Mouse droppings are the size of rice, very rough, wrinkled, and irregularly shaped. Squirrels produce smooth, oval pellets that are slightly larger.
- Wild cat scat is more segmented, as opposed to the loglike canid feces.
- Piles of scat at a tree’s trunk were left by a raccoon or a raptor. Look up for a nest or roost.
And if you really want to get into the details, there’s THIS!