Living in the mountains you must be constantly aware of your surroundings. It is just something you learn to do instinctively. For the past several weeks the deer and other ground critters have been active around our house as evidenced by the photos I have posted. This morning there is not a single squirrel, deer, turkey anywhere. That strongly indicated that we have a predator lurking around but with the tall grass and weeds it would be hard to see. A couple months ago we had a mountain lion (I saw it) around and the other animals disappeared for two + weeks. I may not see it but what ever it is I know it is out there. Even the birds are quiet today.
For any joggers in our area I would discourage them from running down our road as that kicks in the lion's prey drive and they will stalk and attack from the rear. We keep our fur friends close and use extra care when we even go out in the fenced in back yard.
All indicators are that when the deer leave there is something to be watchful for. The deer and elk usually hang around most of the summer and fall unless something forces them out of the area. It could be a poacher or predator - both are the same in my book except the poacher is a bottom dweller and the predator is doing what it needs to survive. I'll keep the camera handy in case I can get a glimpse of what it is.
Photo courtesy of Google images...