Found a gut pile today, smack-dab in the middle of camp. Good thing there were no kids on site. At least the crows, fox, and coyotes are happy.
Not only was there a gut pile, but there was also bloody tracks from the poacher dragging it away. We followed the tracks all the way through camp, right on the main roadway, and out to the closed gate. There were tire tracks showing where a truck had pulled in to haul the carcass away.
We spent the rest of the day following trespasser's tracks, and looking for more evidence of where they may have come from - which neighboring property. The tracks from the guts lead us in a circle around camp. A frustrating amount of miles bushwhacking through multiflora and brambles, and still no real evidence who the perpetrator was. We did, however, conclude that they seems to be brazen enough to use one of our picnic shelters as their hunting blind. It was a straight shot from their to where the deer fell. Strangely, this trespasser managed to avoid all of our trails cameras we have hidden throughout the property. We wonder if we have a snitch.
After that we went back to our maintenance building to regroup, warm up, eat lunch, and I needed to tend to my feet. I had not figured on bushwhacking today, and my work boots are still being broken in. This means the heel on my right foot is hamburger at the moment.
Our next mission was to finally take down the last known contraband stand in the trees. Not an easy task. It was an impressive thirty feet up. Fortunately my co-worker is an experienced climber with all the safety equipment. I got to be look-out. I was pretty sure I smelled someone out there, though there were no tracks, no sounds, and no movement to be seen. We got the stand cut out of the tree and hauled it back to the truck.
Our final mission was to scout one last area that has historically seen illegal traffic through it. History repeated itself and tracks were found. No gut piles, no stands, but lots of tracks. These may lead to something though. This set walked by one of our hidden trail cameras. Once we can get to it without leaving a trace, maybe we will be able to catch and prosecute at least one of these fuckers.
7.6 cold miles of bushwhacking for trespassers. On the plus side, I get to explore parts of the land that usually does not see a whole lot of (legal) traffic. It's not all bad.