If you’ve been out skiing lately, make that…if you’ve been out skiing away from everyone else lately, I’m sure you’ve seen a ton of wildlife. Here in Jackson Hole, it seems like everything is on the move right now and on my last tour I saw about 15 moose, 10 deer, an ermin, 3 bald eagles and bear tracks on the skin track from the day before. The bear tracks looked pretty fresh, maybe even just a few hours old, but it was hard to tell if they were from a grizzly or black bear.
The claws were pretty visible, which is normally a sign of a griz, but in the snow, the claws would show up rather well with both species. The good thing about seeing signs of bears this time of year instead of the spring is that, in the spring…bears are fresh up from a long nap and wicked hungry. Now…in the fall, they are probably gorged on game carcasses and ready to go into hibernation. Either way, its hard to be very mobile with skis and skins on your feet if you encounter a bear on the trail, so its really up to the bear if he/she wants to eat you or not. Luckily…p-tex, carbon fiber and gore-tex probably don’t taste that great, so at least we have that going for us.