Reading Sign

I'm not into hunting much, although I have occasionally hunted small game to supplement my protein intake during leaner years of self employment. 2015 was a year of many meals including small game meat. That year I was running out of money and rapidly running out of hope I would be able to stay here in wilderness much longer. Prospect of having to take a job in some toxic city was giving me nightmares. Fortunately, wild game and edible wild plants are plentiful and I was able to hang on until landing a new contract late that summer. As a result, I've developed a bit of skill spotting signs of wild game activity. Signs like this one left by a young mule deer buck marking his territory.

Having scraped a nearby conifer–breaking off a small branch–it then pawed the ground and left scent. I spotted it as it dashed away through the forest a short distance away up hill. The size of its paw marks indicates a young buck just beginning to practice its marking technique.

Not a good photo of it. Mule deer are pretty hard to photograph around here.