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Animal Tracking:
Who, What, When, and Why??

Animal tracking gives you information about the neighborhood you're hiking in

Tracking wildlife has been a life long fascination for me.

And if I had a lot of time on my hands, I'd go to tracking school and get really good at this.

But for now, I've got to teach myself about how to spot the signs of animals moving across the hiking terrain I'm passing through.

Which might come in handy for you, if you're fascinated by the animals leaving their calling cards, too.

Wouldn't it be great to answer all of those questions above, based solely on a foot print?

Imagine the thrill of seeing a huge wolf print, freshly put down in the mud, like the photo above! I was so excited I couldn't see straight!

  • Until I found the grizzly scat about half a mile later...then I was on pins and needles.

So you can use tracking to learn about your neighbors, but also to keep yourself out of harm's way.

Because I'm so into this subject, I've gathered together a lot of resources on this subject. Let me share a few of them with you here.

First off, the grim reality: that we have to fight to preserve wild animals.

In the United States, it's a matter of political will, paving over the wild places, and misinformation.

Interested in field guides?

  • Take a peek at my favorites here.

Or try this fantastic gold mine of tracking information , from a school located in my neck of the woods: the Cascade Mountains of Washington State.

  • Talk about a great place to go for some serious "dirt time"!

Here's a site with interesting visuals, making it easy to watch for mammal signs and tracks.

For a comprehensive source on mammal information , try the MaNIS website.

Here's a wildlife tracking intensive that looks fascinating.

And how can we leave out Tom Brown, Jr's tracking school? Again, if time and resources permitted, I'd be on the first plane to this animal tracking mecca.

That should get you started.

Let me know if you'd like more resources.

Little by little, I'm getting better at it, and I'd be delighted to hear from you about what you're doing to learn this fascinating outdoor skill.

Have a hiking question? I'd be happy to answer it!

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