Early winter is time for walking, rather than running. Too much snow for the rig, too little for the sled. This interferes with the dogs' fitness of course, but ideally leads to some time one-on-one. And with snow on the ground I can tell what kind of animals have crossed the path, too.
Solan and I inspected "Blind Silver Puddle", on the other side of the logging road from where we live. All seemed to be well. Solan thought we might be able to catch up with the fox that had been there some hours earlier, but he had brought along a real killjoy who said it couldn't be done.