Hunters look for sign when searching for critters afield. The fresher the better! Each critter leaves behind a special gift that is unique to its diet, location, and size. This information can be essential when patterning and tracking their quarry.
Deer hunters examine crap to see how fresh it is. If it is in a pile, the critter was standing still. If the droppings are spread out in a line, they were moving. Bedding areas tend to be full of crap. Some crap is in pellets, some pellets are pointed at one end, and some clumped together. These characteristics can determine a deer’s sex, health, and if they are in rut.
Knowing your Crap is important to hunters. Bears, turkeys, and other critters change their diet seasonally. You can dissect the droppings and identify their current food source. You may see corn, berries, acorns, or grains in the crap. Concentrations of crap help to identify roosting, bedding, mating, and feeding locations.
Dissecting crap in Science class was always fun. “Owl Pellets” contained whole skeletons of the mice and rodents the owls had consumed. Students eagerly could reassemble and identify what was for dinner. What fun!
The other day I went snow goose hunting on the eastern shore of Maryland. Tens of thousands of snow geese flew over our huge decoy spread. These big birds each create about 1 lb. of crap daily. Many lost theirs as shots rang out. We hunted in white jump suits and lay amongst the decoys. Our heads rested on a decoy’s back as we watched the geese toll into our field.
The shooting was exciting and fast. At the end of the hunt we trekked back to our trucks. My boots were heavier than normal so I stomped them onto the roadway. Huge waffles of goose crap were loaded onto the cleats of my hunting boots. This was just more proof that there were a “crap load” of geese in that field!
For more Montana Grant, visit his website at www.montanagrantfishing.com