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I meant to ask a Ranger before we left...

We saw this scat on the hike up to Columbia Point, which is 1/3rd of the way to Upper Yosemite Falls. March 14 2017. A warm couple weeks just after the big March snow storms.

I took a picture because everyone thought the bears were still mostly hibernating, so I thought I would check if it was recent bear activity. Could be human or even dog? It was just off the trail, so I'd hope not human!

I forgot scale was important, so I didn't intentionally include any clues -- the right-most dropping is on top of a twig which might help give a sense of scale. There is also a fly on the middle one.

Scat Scat Zoomed

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    Probably a dog or coyote. If it was from a bear, there'd be bear bells in it, and it'd smell like bear spray. – Olin Lathrop Mar 16 '17 at 12:39
  • Who is "everyone"? The rangers? I'm no scat-reader, but I wouldn't rule out bear solely on the basis of the mid-March date. See nps.gov/yell/learn/nature/denning.htm. Although this is about grizzlies in Yellowstone, it suggests that black bear might be out in a warm mid-March at lower latitudes. – ab2 ReinstateMonicaNow Mar 16 '17 at 16:57
  • I wasn't ruling them out, I was theorizing maybe the bears had started to come out. Regardless, looking at coyoto scat online, I think this is dog. Too consistent and no fur! – rrauenza Mar 16 '17 at 17:47
  • @Charlie Brumbaugh Yes, on leash. – ab2 ReinstateMonicaNow Mar 16 '17 at 20:42
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    Definitely dog doo. Coyote scat is weird looking and always full of weird stuff. – M.Mat Mar 18 '17 at 9:06
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Based on Olin Lathrop's suggestion, I searched around for coyote scat and found this resource:

https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Mammals/Gray-Wolf/Identification

It points out that dog scat (compared to coyote/wolf) doesn't have a tapered end and has a very consistent appearance due to commercial dog food.

Coyote (or wolf) would have a tapered end and would contain hair and possibly bone fragments.

Given the uniform consistency and shape, I'll suggest it is dog.

  • If you are not expecting other answers to show up and you are satisfied with it you can feel free to accept this answer. The comments suggest that a lot of other users agree that dog is the most likely. – Paul Paulsen Feb 26 at 14:11

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