Today I was up early again wondering how much damage I could do to my snowshoes. I decided to strap them on my pack and walk along the dirt road to the east for a mile or so before I would strap them on my feet and head out into the bush.
The capricious thermometer failed to mention one thing when I checked it this morning, that 17 degree reading it gave me did not include a vigorous wind chill that immediately and painfully gnawed into my exposed skin as I walked the edge of an open cornfield. The sun was just starting to peek above the cloud filled horizon and I could tell that I was not going to have good light this day.
A mile or so into my hike I notice the tracks of a coyote that had been going in and out of the tangle of autumn olive that grew along the road. It was clear from the tracks that the coyote was of the same mind-set as me; he was using the plowed edge of the dirt road to make his trek easier for himself as he traveled between each of these thickets of autumn olive. The coyote was apparently searching the understory of these impenetrable thorny hedges for a meal because they all contained a labyrinth of rabbit tracks and trails.
I traced his every move for several hundred yards as I walked along the roadway, I could see where he had gone in and out of the brush until I finally came upon a spot where I could see a chase had taken place and I could see far back under the brush where the coyote had dug the rabbit out from under the snow. a few drops of blood in the snow here and there traced his movements to the end of this thicket where it was clear that he had his meal.
Apparently he ate most of the rabbit on the spot, and then decided to take a morsel or two with him for the road. The coyotes tracks came back into the road way and this is where I found this tuft of skin. A little further down the road I found this rabbit leg with some skin attached as well.
As for me I continued on my way and enjoyed a couple hours up in the woods on my snowshoes on this chilly winter’s day. ~ Mark~