Bobcat Track and Sign: Class or Recess? “Got the trail?” I called. “Yup!” another voice rang out, clear in the white stillness of a snowy forest above a stream ravine. It was a chilly Friday morning at Wilderness Awareness School’s high school program, Community School. Four of us—two instructors and two young women—had fallen into […]
Learn about animal tracking and mammals…
Animal tracking lures us on an amazing journey into the world of nature, and encourages us to open all of our senses to its subtle clues hidden everywhere.
Where is your interest in tracking animals: animal track identification; trailing – following animal footprints over long stretches; track aging – discovering how long the tracks have been there; Gait interpretation – knowing how animals moved through an area without actually having seen them; and more!
Here we teach you to track animals as an interpretive art–one that sharpens our awareness of nature and deepens our understanding of our own behavior. The same routines that make for success in tracking can easily translate to the modern world, enhancing the quality of our lives.
Trackers speak a language which is based not only on a thorough knowledge of tracks, trails and sign, but also on a rich grounding in the natural history, anatomy, and behavior characteristics of animals and the ethnobotany of plants.
The Kamana Naturalist Training Program is an amazing program for those wanting to track. It gives the essential background for building sensory awareness and knowledge of land needed to track animals.
Mammal Mania Meets Mammals Master List I don’t remember her name, but what I do remember about the girl who sat in front of me in 3rd grade had to do with one thing: dolphins. She had dolphin stickers on her notebooks and dolphin earrings in her newly pierced ears. She brought her dolphin […]
Snow: A Rabbit Track and Sign Paradise It was mid-January in Western Washington, and the snow was coming down hard on my yurt seven miles up the mountain from town. The power was out, the roads were treacherous, and no end was in sight. It might have been my imagination, but I swore I heard […]
Twin Trails: Double the Coyote Tracks and Sign The two animals trotted south in the wet sand along the ocean’s edge about 60 feet up from the beach. They passed over the spot where a bald eagle had landed, by the carcass of a seal, across a stream that flowed out of the woods and […]
Skunk Tracks and Sign: Sometimes Better Than the Real Thing It was not apparent at first that the two lean figures in the moonlight were avid trackers. But as their walk slowed, as their headlamps turned on, and as their bodies stooped to stare at the dusty ground, it became clear that these men were […]
Black Tailed Deer Wake-Up It was an early September morning in Western Washington, and I was slowly migrating from animal tracks and sign dreamland to reality. I had slept in the pasture next to my house, taking advantage of the last warm nights before the rain and cold set in. Hearing a rustle to my […]
Raccoons at the Dunes It was around midnight on the first night of a week of tracking on Oregon’s coastal sand dunes with the Wilderness Awareness School‘s homeschool teen program, and I was snug as a bug in a rug underneath my small tarp shelter. My dreams of clear fox prints and porcupine sightings were […]
When asked why I wrote Pacific Northwest Wildlife: A Guide to Identifying and Tracking Mammals, Birds, Reptiles, Amphibians, and Invertebrates, my basic answer is that there was no comprehensive field guide to wildlife and their tracks and signs for our amazing corner of the world. Pacific Northwest Wildlife is specifically tailored to help naturalists here […]
I have never seen a gray wolf in Idaho. In five years worth of leading wolf tracking expeditions, I have heard them and smelt them, read the movements of their bodies in wolf tracks they left behind, felt the electricity of their near, but hidden, presence and sat with them in my dreams. As I […]
There has been a recent surge of interest in the art of tracking and other primitive technologies and outdoor living skills. Why is this? What is drawing hundreds (thousands?) of people every year from their urban and suburban lives out into the woods to follow around wild creatures, make stone tools, learn nature awareness, or […]