There is nothing quite like spotting a freshly severed deer leg on the trail to quicken the pulse and heighten the senses. This effect is magnified when that trail branches off your driveway.
The leg was mostly stripped clean of meat, but undeniably fresh. There are a number of possibilities as to the transporter of said deer leg, ranging from the mundane to the dire. A coyote could have dropped the leg after stripping it from a scavenged carcass. Or it could have been the mama bear who's been loping around this mountain for the last couple of years. Or it could have been -- and I watched the treetops as we headed back home -- the elusive mountain lion.
It's probably the coyotes, though. Wolves have reestablished themselves a few mountains over, and it's put pressure on the coyote population. There's a sister pack that's been hanging around for awhile, and they have regular conversations with the Newfoundland down the road.
That said, none of us will be venturing down that path alone for the remainder of the trip.