Step Inside for a Scat Scan

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Perry

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Thread starter #1
I am a total novice at identifying flora and fauna but am eager to learn. Many times we don't see animals in the back country but often they leave behind their scat. We have many members who might be professional wildlife biologists or at least know their sh*t. @scatman may be one of them, hrm. So, I thought it might be educational to have a thread where we could post pictures of scat to be identified by our highly qualified scat scan crew in hopes to provide a way for us novices to learn more about our environment.

Along with posting pictures it might be helpful to post details about the location, elevation, time of year, etc. to aid in accurate identification. I'll defer to our scat scan crew for exactly what details would be most helpful.

So, I'll go first. I'm fairly sure the picture below is from a mule deer. It was taken in late October in the Wasatch Mountains at approximately 6,000 ft. The 72mm lens cap added for scale. Can we get confirmation from the Crew?

DSC05449.jpg
 

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Miya

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#2
Not really looking forward to the pictures that will be shown, but I love this idea! I never know anything I am looking at, scat, animals, flora, fauna, rock formations, etc. and beyond!
Thanka for the great idea!
 

blueeyes

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#4
I am a total novice at identifying flora and fauna but am eager to learn. Many times we don't see animals in the back country but often they leave behind their scat. We have many members who might be professional wildlife biologists or at least know their sh*t. @scatman may be one of them, hrm. So, I thought it might be educational to have a thread where we could post pictures of scat to be identified by our highly qualified scat scan crew in hopes to provide a way for us novices to learn more about our environment.

Along with posting pictures it might be helpful to post details about the location, elevation, time of year, etc. to aid in accurate identification. I'll defer to our scat scan crew for exactly what details would be most helpful.

So, I'll go first. I'm fairly sure the picture below is from a mule deer. It was taken in late October in the Wasatch Mountains at approximately 6,000 ft. The 72mm lens cap added for scale. Can we get confirmation from the Crew?

View attachment 72037
Next semester in Medical Micro for the lab sections we have the students go looking for fresh scat. Collect it and bring it back to see what parasites are in the scat. We call it Fecal Fest it is a competition and the student who finds the most parasites wins.

I love this idea! Scat Scan..

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
 
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#5
That photo reminds me of a place on the Uncompahgre Plateau just out of Delta, CO where the elk scat is so thick it literally carpets everything for a good square quarter mile. It's an area out in the open surrounded by scrub oak and gets good sun, so probably makes a good bedding ground. I've never seen a single elk there, but I suspect it's because they go there only in the winter (no pun intended).
 
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#6
I am a total novice at identifying flora and fauna but am eager to learn. Many times we don't see animals in the back country but often they leave behind their scat. We have many members who might be professional wildlife biologists or at least know their sh*t. @scatman may be one of them, hrm. So, I thought it might be educational to have a thread where we could post pictures of scat to be identified by our highly qualified scat scan crew in hopes to provide a way for us novices to learn more about our environment.
I may know some sh*t, but most people just tell me I'm full of sh*t. :D This is a great thread though. Here's some more for you.

I originally thought this might be cougar scat, but after researching online and double checking with @Artemus, now I'm not so sure. There appears to be no tapering at the end . So what do you think, Coyote perhaps? I saw this on Parleys Ridge, about 7400 feet while bushwhacking through scrub oak. The bigger oak leaves are approximately 4 - 4.5 inches long.

scat_01.jpg
 

Kmatjhwy

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#8
This is Great with having a thread on animal scat and such. Know some on the subject so will hep out on my two cents worth on the subject.

Yes this might be Bobcat. Now don't think it is Coyote. Along with more tapered ends, Coyote scat can be more hairy also at times. Sometimes with the Wild Cats, by their tracks and sign might be the only way that you will know that they are in the area. In my life have only seen a few wild cats ever.
 
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#9
Perry, either mule deer or elk. The congealed nature of some of the pellets suggests elk more than mule deer but I'm having a hard time wrapping the brain around the actual size of the pellets.

@scatman if those segments are ~2 inches long, then coyote, most likely. They don't appear to be felid scat as bobcats and lions usually dig a scrape before pooping, like a house cat does.
 

Kmatjhwy

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#10
Perry, besides Mule Deer, Bighorn Sheep came to my mind also. Bighorn Sheep scat can look like this with being small and a little dimpled on the sides. But I don't know if Bighorn Sheep were in the area you saw the scat though. Posting this for whatever it is worth.
 

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#11
@scatman if those segments are ~2 inches long, then coyote, most likely. They don't appear to be felid scat as bobcats and lions usually dig a scrape before pooping, like a house cat does.
The segments were at least two inches long. When I was comparing scat descriptions online, they mentioned that a cougar will sometimes scrape like a house cat, but not always. I thought about Bobcat when I first saw it, but decided the scat was too large to have come from a Bobcat. No evidence to back that thought up though, just a feeling. I need to start carrying a small ruler with me on my hikes so I can get some precise measurements.

So @Outdoor_Fool, if the segments had been less that two inches would that lead you to believe it might have come from a felid cat? Or are there segments greater than two inches?
 
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#12
I am assuming you were in Utah, and therefore out of current wolf range (yes, I know there may be a wolf or 2 there now, but finding their scat is not likely). If much larger than 2 inches, I would have suspected domestic dog, even with the obvious hair in that 1 segment. Of course that depends on how close you were to a trail and other possible variables. Since you were bushwhacking, and probably well away from a trail (your legend precedes you), probably not a domestic source. If a segment was an inch or so, potentially fox, or a few other smaller carnivores.

Without the opportunity to inspect it, the scat appears to contain digested meat with some hair (obvious) and likely bone fragments wrapped inside. These scats tend to have less twisting and tapers at the end. Once the meat is gone, the scat is primarily hair and bones and is likely to be tapered/twisted.

Thanks for mentioning the ruler, pictures with a ruler included are so much easier to ID!

And bushwhacking in scrub oak? You are the MAN!
 

Perry

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Thread starter #14
Got a good laugh envisioning that, even though I'd probably be curious enough to do it too.
When I took the pic of the deer scat I was fumbling around in my pockets looking for a quarter or something like that. I rarely have change in my hiking pants so I had to improvise with the lens cap. I do like the idea of a small scale so I'll have to look around.
 
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#15
Got a good laugh envisioning that, even though I'd probably be curious enough to do it too.
That would be a sight for sore eyes. :) The problem is, if I get a 6 inch ruler, I will end up measuring everything. Plus, I'll eventually need a pencil and a journal to record my entries. As you can see, this is starting to add up fast. Since I mosey to begin with, I'll be slowed down to around three miles a day. So in Highline Trail terms, it would take me 33 and 1/3 days to complete. :D
 

Nick

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#19
I like this thread. I could use a scat scan on this here piece of dookie. Found on top of a rock in a side canyon of the San Juan River. I have no idea, but there are otters known to frequent the area. Kind of looks like one of those no-bake cookies to me...

poop.jpg
 
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#20
I like this thread. I could use a scat scan on this here piece of dookie. Found on top of a rock in a side canyon of the San Juan River. I have no idea, but there are otters known to frequent the area. Kind of looks like one of those no-bake cookies to me...
Looks like some Cliff Bars I have eaten in the past too. :)
 

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