Fresh Wolf Track in the Mud
While on a recent Moose hunting trip in Northern British Columbia I had the opportunity to hear wolves howling in the distance. Well... not so distant that I was feeling comfortable, I was doing a lot of shoulder checking as I walked! An eerie experience to say the least.
The next morning I came upon fresh wolf tracks
(click for a larger image) and took a picture with my hand next to it for comparison. This is not the largest of the wolf tracks that I came across but it is the clearest one that offered the most detail. You can actually see the "wolf fingerprint". If you look carefully at the picture of the wolf track you can see the toenail impressions.
I have been looking (studying) at animal tracks for over thirty-five years while on my hunting forays and I will often kick the dirt or step on the ground beside a track to do a comparison for freshness. Based on my experience I would suggest that this is a very fresh track (larger image)
. Note how along the edges of the toe impressions the very crisp line in the soft soil. These are the first areas that a track will show signs of age. Those crisp lines will degrade very quickly from, the effects of the sun, wind, rain or dew.
One day I actually hope to see a wolf in the wild.