Author Topic: tracking animals  (Read 5959 times)

Offline caverdude

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tracking animals
« on: January 24, 2015, 04:08:02 PM »
Is there a good north american field guide to help with tracking? 
http://www.amazon.com/National-Audubon-Society-American-Mammals/dp/0679446311/ref=cm_wl_huc_item  found this



http://www.wikihow.com/Track-Animals

The link above seems like a good start on tracking, anyone know of any other good source?


nelson96

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Re: tracking animals
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2015, 04:14:58 PM »

Offline caverdude

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Re: tracking animals
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2015, 04:51:35 PM »
yes I did too, my question was for those who own and know of good guides

Offline Cedar

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Re: tracking animals
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2015, 04:55:32 PM »
When I got my mantracking credentials when I was in SAR, the best place to start learning is on sand. Find a sandbox, a beach or a stretch of sandy river. Start by going barefoot if you can. Walk straight. Run straight. Walk straight and then curve to the left... then the right. Walk backward. Try weight. Go up a hill, down a hill. Look at the indentations on each quadrant of the single track. Where was there more pressure/depth? Where was there less? Works pretty much the same way for animals.

Look at the depth of the heel, the toes, the left side of the track on a turn, the right side on a turn. A stop. What is the average stride at a walk, jog, run, lope, pronk?

If there is a dent to the right of a track, there was more pressure to the foot in that area , so the person/animal likely went to the right. Sounds simple, but until you study and see many tracks, then it finally is the ah-ha moment. More pressure to the toe and not the heel, digging in up a hill, or running fast.

On a deer, large bucks splay their toes a bit, does tend to stay with their toe points more together. All running deer will have splayed front hooves. Does hind feet will be outside their front feet tracks, younger deer in general tend to step their hind feet into their front track.

Look for 'shine' in grasses. Left and right hoof/feet will often not match each other, so its important to study both. Again, know what the stride ought to be. Look at the definition of the tracks edge. Is the mud cut sharply? Or has weather and time began to round the corners? Look for detail, like the fine lines around the edge of the pad, can you see them? or have they faded with time? Look at the small mud balls and broken pieces of dirt, that have broken free from the large foot cutting the soil. Are they still moist? Are they sun dried? Are they cemented back to the soil?

I don't remember the book/s I used for making my field cards, but I learned alot from them. This is one of the books I think I liked.
http://www.amazon.com/Browns-Field-Nature-Observation-Tracking/dp/0425099660

I think one of my favorite animal trackings was for a Greater Kudu male who had broken his horn off. I had to track it from where I saw him last without the horn, and it took me 3 hours to track 1/4 mile to where I found the horn. I so impressed the boss.

When I was mantracking in SAR, I had a ski pole that I had measurements on.. so if I knew a person I was looking for, and knew their height, I knew approximately what their stride was.. and by holding my skipole at the measurement, I knew about where to locate the next track at. Especially helpful in thick/tall grass, brush etc.

Cedar
« Last Edit: January 24, 2015, 05:07:15 PM by Cedar »

Offline caverdude

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Re: tracking animals
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2015, 05:04:12 PM »

I don't remember the book/s I used for making my field cards, but I learned alot from them. This is one of the books I think I liked.
http://www.amazon.com/Browns-Field-Nature-Observation-Tracking/dp/0425099660



Cedar

Good thoughts cedar thanks. I added that book to the wishlist

Offline Carl

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Re: tracking animals
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2015, 05:09:20 PM »
I have TOM BROWN Jr's book THE TRACKER and really like the way his writing delivers information. it is a 1978 book and  Focuses on a twentieth-century frontiersman initiated into the secrets of the trail by an old Apache tracker, recounting his tracking adventures in New Jersey's Pine Barrens, the Grand Tetons, the Dakota Badlands, the Grand Canyon, and Death Valley...yea ,I copied and pasted.

Though it may be a bit dated,animals still act the same and make the same tracks...

nelson96

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Re: tracking animals
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2015, 08:02:55 AM »
yes I did too, my question was for those who own and know of good guides

Sorry, I can't help you there.  I learned from watching the animals themselves. 

.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2015, 08:16:00 AM by nelson96 »

Offline caverdude

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Re: tracking animals
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2015, 08:14:03 AM »
Ok i ordred tom browns book and a few field guides to north american animals to go with it.