→ Type of Encounter:
Discovered Footprints, Hair, or Scat
→ Reported by:
→ Location of Encounter:
Ghost Wilderness Area (WMU 412)
→ Date & Time of Encounter:
→ Details of the Event:
Not really a heck of a lot more to add, really. The tracks emerged onto a cutline about a kilometer below the treeline. I had been hunting (solo) on the north side of the cut, and they came from the south side about 100 yards above where I came out. This was in the Ghost Wilderness Area (WMU 412) on the east face of Phantom Crag around 10 years ago.
It was a Wednesday in November. It had snowed on the Monday, but was melting, with about a 20% coverage in the sunny patches up to 100% in the shady ones.
Having had past encounters with grizzlys in there over the years (again, mostly hunting alone), the tracks immediatly caught my attention. They initially appeared in one of the patchier sections of snow, so the assumption was of course bear. About 50 yards later, it was a shady section, and that is where the mystery began.
What alerted me first was the lack of claw marks, then, the lack of front prints. I wear about a size 10 boot, and measured heel-to-toe, each track was almost equal in size. Five toes of course, but you could very distinctly tell the difference in shape between left/right foot. What was also remarkable, was that over the distance followed, the prints consistantly conformed to the terrain. Bending, occasionally slipping, just doing what a living foot does.
The stride I also measured and again equaled a ratio of 2:1 like the foot.
I must mention, that the age of the tracks in the sun ‘seemed’ fairly fresh but it’s often nearly impossible to pin a time frame down in such a situation. However, in the shade, based upon over 30 years playing around in the bush, I’d age them at less than 2 hours. Moot point really, but worth mentioning I suppose.
At any rate, curiosity once again reigned so I followed as far as I could and then it was over once they led out onto the sunny scree slopes.
I’m not going to say it was the creature or not. Just tracks I observed that I cannot explain. Hopefully this helps you a bit. This report is being filed due to me just noticing a track was documented on Black Rock Mtn. a mere 5km away within a couple of years of when I had my experience.