Sometime in August, I was out scouting for new marmot colonies in the valley where we do our research and I came across this really strong animal trail that I quickly named the "big game super highway". I hadn't actually seen any animals up there, but the trail looked so good that I knew I had to put some trail cameras up.
This tree seemed like it would provide a really good angle, and what do you know? Some bear must have used it as a back-scratching post because it had bear hair all over it, so I took that as a good sign for that particular location.
In total, I got pictures of 9 species (including 2 hikers) during the 3 weeks that it was up, which I thought was pretty impressive. Here are a few of the highlights:
|An adorable elk calf and his gang (yes, a group of elk = a gang)|
|Adult bull elk showing off his summer rack|
My wildlife detective skills were totally validated!
|There appear to be 3 sets of eye shine behind this black bear, suggesting a female with 3 cubs in tow.|
|This bear looks pretty hefty and kind of scratched up, so I'm guessing he is a male. Luckily, he didn't stop to scratch his back/break my camera this particular day.|
|2 coyotes. They are most likely a mating pair out hunting together.|
|There were several marmots that would sun themselves on the logs here. New colony discovered!|
And the sighting that literally made me jump out of my seat...
|Mountain lion! AKA puma, AKA cougar|
I still can't believe that I got this shot. I had seen puma scat near this trail previously, so I knew at least one lion was using the area, but I was absolutely thrilled to catch this on my camera.
I am looking forward to putting a camera up here again next year as well as finding new jackpot sites like this.