Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics > Primitive Skills & Earth Skills

tracking animals

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Is there a good north american field guide to help with tracking?  found this

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

I found a whole bunch with the search words "tracking animals".

yes I did too, my question was for those who own and know of good guides

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.

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.



--- Quote from: Cedar on January 24, 2015, 04:55:32 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.


--- End quote ---

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


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