Tough winter for predators

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Posted by Ballpark Frank ( on 11:00:02 02/21/15

In Reply to: The end..... posted by Gerry


Thanks for posting these storytelling photos. I know exactly what you refer to about the typical snow depth along the side of the road by the S curves. Seeing how much sage is showing around Blacktail and in Lamar would be startling if I hadn't already seen evidence in Auwingwalker's recent hike report. Your photo evidence corroborates what he reported.

If past dry/warm winters are any indication, we can expect the coyotes to start approaching the road, and engaging in begging behavior. The severe lack of snow allows the ungulates to stay healthier and stronger than usual, which deprives the predators of their normal winter food source. Historically, under such conditions, the coyotes start hanging out on or near the road, begging handouts from human benefactors. We might see one or more of the famed "limping coyotes" before full on spring arrives. I remember one female that hung out between Blacktail and Tower one winter many years ago. She always looked normal from a long distance, but as soon as a vehicle neared her, she developed a conspicous limp. It was an Oscar worthy acting job that insured sympathetic, but misguided, motorists would feed her. I have to wonder what the scavengers (eagles and ravens for example) do in the absence of carcasses.


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