Friday, August 17, 2007
Scat: feces, dung.
Scattraction: the attraction to scat. (A contraction of scat + attraction) (I made it up).
As you already know, mammalian carnivores have a powerful attraction to stinky things. So why not use scat as a "lure"? Sooner or later some one is going to come along, take a sniff, and make a deposit. Right?
Last month I set two cameras on a fire road where coyotes and gray foxes leave their calling cards. The cameras were aimed at places where one species had "over-marked" the feces of the other. Presumably this tells the passing coyote or gray fox who visited the site most recently.
The only visitors who allowed themselves to be photographed were striped skunks and gray foxes. Since better than half the pictures were blank, many visitors escaped detection.
I suspect some of them were clever coyotes. (This is a frustration I have learned to live with, but I am confident that one of these days I will get their pictures too.)
I didn't want to tamper with the site, but a couple weeks ago I found the hide of a squirrel that had probably been skinned by a bobcat. I added it to the site, which became a kind of olfactory smorgasbord.
The fox sprinkled the scat pile, but he didn't make a deposit.
Instead he decided to make a withdrawal.
But he didn't carry through. The squirrel hide was lying a few feet away. He only rearranged the smorgasbord.