I do not know if the snowshoe hare population is in a natural decline, or if the increase in coyotes is taking its toll on our local area. Today, I set out with my trail companions to scout a small new hunting ground. Our usual spots are without tracks this season, which worries me as we have always left hares to reseed the area. We were glad to see plenty of sign once we entered the woods– I did not jump to any conclusions, however, as one animal can make it look like a parade just walked through.
Catching movement under a fallen tree, I made my way over while preparing for a shot. I think I was more surprised than the partridge when he realized I was there and busted through the branches– I do not know what was louder, the sound of his wings or the pounding of my heart against my chest. We continued to check every piece of good habitat until we were both confident that nothing was there. Working back through the section of woods, I kept a close eye on the snow and searched for new tracks that a hare we pushed might have made. Unable to find any, my trail companions and I were sure that we did not miss anything– we will have to revisit this spot again later, as I think it is promising.