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Who Pooped in the Park?

Posted by Gale Bernhardt Aug 4, 2007


Riding and running the trails near my house is never boring. The trails are never exactly the same, changing with volume of use, heavy downpours of rain, snow, human modifications and animal modifications.


Some might accuse me of having a thing about poop. Last year I made awards for my cycling group that included elk poop as part of the trophy. "The Turd Trophy", as some called it, must be in high demand because there are nearly three times the number of people attempting to get the award this year, compared to 2006.


In May this year we rode a trail that was still closed to vehicular traffic and it hadn't been used much. We found nice specimens of moose poop. (Yes they are distinctly different than elk poop.) I carefully collected a few samples to include as part of this year's awards.


Although I've not collected any coyote poop, it is found on the trail all year. Coyote droppings are distinctly different than dog doo because the coyote deposit typically has fur visible within it.


This is the time of the season in Colorado that all of the wild berries are at their best. This morning's mountain bike ride told us that the bears are busy chowing down as much food as possible, preparing for a long winter nap.





Bear poo is recognizable by the loads of plum or berry seeds it contains. The photo is what we saw today. This is one of four piles of poo. That is my size 7.5 shoe next to it. As bear calling cards go, this is a pretty small sample. We've seen samples that were easily six times the size of the sample in the photo.


I think it is interesting to see the calling cards of the animals that were on the trail before us. I like to try to ID the animal by the calling card. If that curious interest makes me "have a thing for poop" then, okay, it's true.



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