2015: Site 1 - Family unit traveled through, on a weekly basis, during the months of June, and July. Tracks always heading in the same direction - up river. Tracks of family unit: 18 inch, 11 inch and 9.5 inch.
The name derives from Nadina Mountain which is near its outlet. The name means "standing up alone" in Carrier language. The Carrier actually called it "Nadinako." The Nadina River feeds into Francois Lake at its west end, 30 km south of Burns Lake. Source: wikipedia
Photo: Nadina Mountain (2124 m.) Source: Doug Campbell
Bulkley-Nechako E, BC
53.990487, -126.837441See map
June 21, 2015, during a scouting mission, Doug and I came across a number of suspicious tracks along the bank of the Nadina River. Tracks measured 11 inches long and appeared in a straight line in among some bushes along the river bank. This track was just before the bushes. Further tracks were within dry bushes. I would not have been able to maneuver through those dry bushes like that, especially in bare feet, which is what struck me as being very unusual. Tracks appeared old with toes still clearly visible.
There is a small clearing just off to the side. It is possible that this creature had been stalking its prey in that clearing, where I discovered moose sign and also scat. There is a swamp nearby on the other side of the road. It may have come from that location and then used the river to hide its presence by using the natural sounds of the river itself. Sneaking out only when it wanted to.
The location is ideal and offers seclusion. Vehicles seldom travel along the road, but people do use it to travel to Tagetochlain (Poplar) Lake. This particular area has been used for camping on occasion, picnics, fishing and also as a hunter camp. At the top edge of the clearing and just within the forest, a moose hanger has been constructed. The area is not all that large and does not appear as though too many people have used it all at the same time.
June 28th, 2015, we returned to discover a new track along the edge of the river. We found it very close to where the other track had been. This one appeared to have been made by a juvenile. It was not there last week. However, it had rained since we were last out, settling the soil. So the track was not in the greatest condition. The good thing about this discovery is that there appears to be recent activity. At the time I thought perhaps it may have crossed over from the other side of the river. That may not be the case. It may have come from the swamp. Crossing the road where the culvert is and then walked up the river close to the bank. Track measured 9.5 inches long. 5 inches wide at the toes. 3.5 to 4 inches across the heel.
Unusually high structure found near the river where tracks were found. Appears that roots of twinned tree are sticking up with tops facing down. One top appears to be jammed within the soil and roots of a downed tree. Following this down to the river, I discovered a sandy section within the shade of some old cottonwoods and some curious impressions on the ground. Giving the appearance of graves. Longer than normal. Lines were evenly matched between each section and were not running in the same line as the river. This may have been a natural occurrence or may be not. A person needs to examine it more closely.
There is a swamp off in the woods to the side of the road before you reach the bridge area. I spent some time there on July 10th, 2015. I could hear what sounded like a conversation between adult females and also a younger female somewhere in the swamp. I was not able to determine what was being said. Distinct as it was, I could not understand it. There were no other people in the area at the time and I was unable to track down the source. Plus there would be no reason why people would be hanging around in a swamp anyway. I also heard what sounded like one electronic beep. Amplified and in stereo. It was very strange. The bears in the area have been busy in all this heat. They have turned up everything in sight to search for food.
I drove down to Nadina River to spend the night (July 10, 2015) in the back of my SUV. I found no further sign of any new tracks in the area. The heat of the day got to me and at some point I dozed off to sleep. At around 10 PM I woke to the sound of a horn. Conservation officers were parked in front of me. I scrambled to get myself up and outside. I had no fire as a fire ban was in place and I was not fishing so all was okay. They just wondered why I was there and so I let them know.
It is possible that between the heat and smoke of the nearby wildfire at Whitesail Lake, these creatures may have changed their routines. It may also be possible that it just wasn't in their plans to be in the area. Who knows how often they come out to hunt for prey. It may also be that their prey wasn't hanging around this area at the time. Doug and I decided to put this project on hold for the time being. Our attention was suddenly turned to another location. (PGC Project.) There is definitely something going on around these parts. We will be back again to continue the search and will keep everyone informed of our progress.
I have noticed a pattern with regards to Indian Paintbrush flowers in the wilds. In areas where we have discovered structures and tracks, I am finding Coast Indian Paintbrushes. It is as though the animals may be bringing them along as they travel. Seeds possibly drop off their bodies or are left behind through scat. Areas where these varieties are found can be as narrow as a trail width or wider. Scarlet Indian paintbrushes grow around these and are more common in the area where I am finding this pattern. There are other duller shades of red but these ones I am finding are so rich, deep and dark. They really stand out.
Structures and signs of activity we are finding are always near bodies of water. Swamps, creeks, lakes and rivers.
September 4, 2015, Doug discovered tracks around Twinkle Lake area. Roughly 101.5 km along the Nadina FSR. Lots of lakes, swamps (wetlands) and alpine timber area. Near coastal mountain ranges. There were three plus a partial. Appeared to have come from the woods. Then suddenly turned and headed back in to the woods. Tracks appeared to be in a v-formation. 6 foot strides between each track. Then a track turned abruptly. Distance between abrupt turn and last track seen was 15 feet. Doug says the tracks were slightly bigger than his own feet. Roughly 10 to 11 inches long. Appears to be from a juvenile. Outside edge of tracks appear to curve outwards. Tracks were a good half inch or more deep in solid gravel.
Stay tuned for further updates.