Winter has engulfed our world in the ten days. This is the little trail that connects our clearing to the forest around it.
My wildlife cameras helped clue me into the action. Just before our last big storm, a hulking buck passed a camera in the mist of pre-storm clouds. I have no doubt that this big guy is the boss of all the bucks around here.
During his foray into the center of our trail system, the mountain lion was undoubtedly stalking a small group of elk who have arrived to spend the winter in our meadows. I saw the tracks that the lion left as he hid behind trees and boulders, trying to approach the elk herd without being seen. Then, I saw his bounding tracks as he rushed toward a spot where there was a trample of elk tracks. At that point, I couldn't pick out the lion tracks anymore because they were in midst of such a trample.
I didn't find an elk carcass so I doubt that the lion had a successful hunt.
Today, I found out that I'd hit paydirt at one wildlife camera, getting photos of this lion during his nocturnal hunting.