Hiking is something that people do here all the time and it's also something people travel here to do. Let's be honest, we have some of the most beautiful views, and along with those views comes the possibility that you may run into some wildlife. From deer to bears to mountain goats, the list of wildlife in Montana goes on and on.

Encountering a bear is not super likely; you're more likely to traverse a spot where a bear HAD been, and may return to. How would you know aside from perhaps some paw marks left in the dirt? Well...there could be a "pile" of other identifying materials. But how do you know who that "pile" belongs to? I'll tell you.

For many years, we have used droppings from animals to identify what's frequenting our trails. Not only is it just a good thing to know, especially if you are the outdoorsy type, but it's also a good way to tell if you may be in the path of danger.

Bears typically have different types of skat (droppings) depending on the seasons. As far as late summer or early fall, you will notice more berries in the droppings. If you see droppings that resemble the video below, hopefully you have bear spray with you.

Another couple of animals you could come across while on a hike are deer or elk. I have encountered deer more than once, and I will tell you, those sneaky little stinkers can really freak ya out when you are just walking along and hear the rustle of leaves.

It has also been said that mountain lions, although not seen as often as deer, also frequent trials or areas around the trails.

The next time you are going for a hike, a bike ride, or a relaxing run, keep your eyes open for identifying factors as to which animals may also be sharing that trail with you.

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