Do You Know Your Crap?
By Toby Trigger

Posted: November 26, 2017

An outdoorsman sent me a photo of a pile of scat he found recently (Nov 2017) asking what I thought it was.

Determining the source of animal sign in the outdoors is not as simple as just looking at the pile. There are other very important things to think about and are necessary to really know your “crap”.

To narrow it down I used a process of elimination that began with size, location, time of year  and content.  Yes content.


The hair in the scat indicates a predator.  That eliminates a whole bunch of possibilities.


Next was the size.  The sunglasses in the pic helped to get a good handle on how big it is.  So far I had determined that it came from a large predator.


The time of year was November.  So the predator must be in the area in November.  That generally (but not always) rules out black bear.

Next the snow on the ground indicates an animal that is still out and about in late November and walking around in the snow.


So the final factor is location.  The photo was taken in Northwest Montana near Libby.  That information sealed it for me; Grizzly Bear.

By using process of elimination and looking at more than just a pile of excrement you can determine what you are looking at. Scat identification is a skill that when used  can enrich your outdoor experience, it’s also nice to know your crap in the outdoors.


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