Sign Tracking With Scouts

I’ve got a group of scouts coming out this afternoon for a mammal tracking exercise.  With the snow conditions being what they are (two inches of ice on top of three feet of snow), there won’t be any clear prints or patterns to see.  When people are moving along on the crust of the ice, you can be sure that most animals are as well.  So the type of tracking we’ll be doing is sign tracking.  This consists of any marks an animal makes on the landscape that aren’t footprints, and includes chews, scrapes, scat, hair, and more.  In this part of the world we rarely get clear print or pattern tracks except in newly fallen snow, in mud, or in damp sand.  So developing a keen eye for sign is the most valuable tracking skill in these woods because it’s the one thats used the most.

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