The Bluff Creek Project, an ongoing study of wildlife through the use of trail cameras at the historic site of the Patterson film, has ran into a strange problem. Something is vandalizing the cameras. They're also finding strange tracks in the area. You don't think it could be...?
At the trailhead we had some lunch before we headed out. We were unarmed as usual and had only walking sticks and bear spray. The trail to the camera location was greatly overgrown and was lost easily. Right away we noticed large track impressions on the trail that we had assumed to be from bears. The mud on the trail had hardened and the animal that made the tracks did so in the mud as the impressions were deep in the dry ground and our footfalls only produced compression of the grasses, which leads me to believe that the trackmaker was there at least a week before when it was raining. The tracks were indistinct and only a few registered, the width was about six inches at the ball of the foot and about four inches wide at the heel. None of the tracks that I saw had any clear indication of toes. Some of the better registered tracks measured over 15 inches in length dwarfing my size 12 heeled logging boots with no obvious indications of a composite register or "one track on the other one". I had assumed that there were bear tracks at the time as bears are common in the area. I didn't think much of them at the time and proceeded to check the trail cameras. This is where things got interesting.
For the full article with lots of photos, click here.