Beginner Tracking - Tips?

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ozzy1977

Full Member
Jan 10, 2006
8,558
2
44
Henley
Is that knife really a serious attempt at a tool to aid tracking, looks like the cheap Chinese rubbish sold on market stalls and in tackle shops back in the 80's on the back of the Rambo films
 

Will_

Nomad
Feb 21, 2013
446
3
Dorset
Is that knife really a serious attempt at a tool to aid tracking, looks like the cheap Chinese rubbish sold on market stalls and in tackle shops back in the 80's on the back of the Rambo films
Yeah that's what I thought too, but then I realised it's sold by the Premium Source for the Hardest Kit on the Planet - Heinnie Haynes! :D
I guess even they have their off days! To be fair it must be hard having to add new stock every single day for nerds like me who check that often!
The fact that a firesteel is included as part of the tracking kit makes me suspicious that it might be a gimmick...
I did see that it's British (Sheffield) steel though, and designed by someone who sounds like a pro, so whilst I'd never dream of getting something like that, I'd be interested to hear a review or two from people who know what they're doing...
 
Mar 15, 2011
1,118
7
on the heather
Hi THOaken

The Bang and Dahlstrom book is without question a great book " I don't have the new RM edition so I don't really know the size of the book " but when out and about I prefer to carry the
Brown, Lawrence and Pope book Animals, Tracks trails and Signs its a great wee field guide IMHO with lots of handy stuff in it, mammal tracks and trails, bird tracks, pathways and runs, feeding signs, droppings and bird pellets, skull identification with descriptions of dentition and a brief section on field techniques and only a couple o buck's on EBay 2nd hand.

ISBN 0-600-57444-X

For learning the basics I would probably suggest getting these two books.

Jack Kearney.
Tracking a Blueprint for Learning How

Pathways Press. ISBN 978-0-9658881-1-0

and

Bob Carss
The Complete Guide to Tracking.

ISBN 978-0-7160-2205-3

Use a sketch book and draw the tracks you find would be my No1 tip, making and using a tracking stick could also be handy.
Sand and snow are great but mud can be an especially good place to start looking for clear sharp tracks.
. . .

I hope you crack it Bro because I could definitely use a couple of lessons.
Happy trails.
 
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Feb 27, 2008
423
1
Cambridge
Books are great but they have their limits. Dirt time is where it's at. Tracking is my main interest. Particularly deer. I take an interest in anyone who shares that passion.

Here is an offer. If you can get near Peterborough, we can meet up and I will share what I know. We will start at a local deer park. Some observation; condition of deer, markings, behaviour patterns with weather. Look at scat and other signs they leave. We can even feed them carrots! With that foundation we will move onto going to nearby wood abundant with deer and use the skills learnt earlier in the day to track fallow deer.

if you or anyone else is interested in doing it let me know. It's my favourite hobby and would be nice to share experience.
 
Mar 15, 2011
1,118
7
on the heather
I would try and take up Leigh Robinson's offer THOaken and just jump in at the deep end , nothing beats a good Instructor, as Ivan said earlier

Learning to track from a book is like learning to shoot a rifle from a book. Ivan...

And just to quote my old mum.
"Its easy when you know how , it's the knowing how that's hard"

Deer tend to leave a distinctive chop mark on green vegetation.
.
Roe deer slot's on sand and mud showing cleaves, dew claws and some splay .
. .

Scrape.
. And a male Roe perhaps? this one is over to you Leigh.
 
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Ecoman

Full Member
Sep 18, 2013
934
2
Isle of Arran
www.HPOC.co.uk
Books are great but they have their limits. Dirt time is where it's at. Tracking is my main interest. Particularly deer. I take an interest in anyone who shares that passion.

Here is an offer. If you can get near Peterborough, we can meet up and I will share what I know. We will start at a local deer park. Some observation; condition of deer, markings, behaviour patterns with weather. Look at scat and other signs they leave. We can even feed them carrots! With that foundation we will move onto going to nearby wood abundant with deer and use the skills learnt earlier in the day to track fallow deer.

if you or anyone else is interested in doing it let me know. It's my favourite hobby and would be nice to share experience.

That's a very generous offer. Next time I'm planning on coming down your way I might just drop you a PM to see if your about if that's OK? I'm always up for learning new skills and this one would be a valuable one. Although theres no need to feed me carrots! :D
 
Feb 27, 2008
423
1
Cambridge
That's a very generous offer. Next time I'm planning on coming down your way I might just drop you a PM to see if your about if that's OK? I'm always up for learning new skills and this one would be a valuable one. Although theres no need to feed me carrots! :D

Please do. Its just nice to share an interest like tracking. I don't know many people who are interested in this sort of hobby!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nI97ca94w8k&feature=share
Nature Documentary HD : The Private Life of Deer
 
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Ecoman

Full Member
Sep 18, 2013
934
2
Isle of Arran
www.HPOC.co.uk
Thanks Leigh, I've never done tracking before but I can recognise a few different prints. I doubt I could tell the difference between a squirrel and a weasel or as earlier a fox from a dog but I can recognise differences. Being able to track an animal through the countryside would be amazing.

Great program BTW. Thanks for sharing.
 

Swallow

Native
May 27, 2011
1,542
2
London
I'm working my way through "Scouting for Boys - The Original 1908 Edition". There's a lot stuff in there.

I would also suggest it's worth bearing in Mind that when Ian Maxwell did beginner talkes at the wilderness gathering they started by establishing the idea that your are already a tracker because it is built in and what you are doing is attuning to your senses.
 

Swallow

Native
May 27, 2011
1,542
2
London
Books are great but they have their limits. Dirt time is where it's at. Tracking is my main interest. Particularly deer. I take an interest in anyone who shares that passion.

Here is an offer. If you can get near Peterborough, we can meet up and I will share what I know. We will start at a local deer park. Some observation; condition of deer, markings, behaviour patterns with weather. Look at scat and other signs they leave. We can even feed them carrots! With that foundation we will move onto going to nearby wood abundant with deer and use the skills learnt earlier in the day to track fallow deer.

if you or anyone else is interested in doing it let me know. It's my favourite hobby and would be nice to share experience.

Definitely Interested.
 

Wolfie

Need to contact Admin...
Jul 19, 2004
194
1
S.Wales
Another good contender for your tracking library should be Foundations for Awareness, Signcutting and Tracking by Robert Speiden.
 
Mar 15, 2011
1,118
7
on the heather
foundations for Awareness, Signcutting and Tracking by Robert Speiden.

Hi Wolfie
I wouldn't mind reading that book myself, if I could find a copy cheap enough that is !, it's another book that's currently going for crazy cash on Amazon and Abe books , the cheapest I've found it so far is $49 buck + pp.
Out of interest and just to give me an Idea of how good the book is before I fork out any cash , how does the book stack up against say Jon Young or David Diaz.
Cheers.
 
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Wolfie

Need to contact Admin...
Jul 19, 2004
194
1
S.Wales
It is soooooo much better than the Diaz book.

I ordered the book direct from trackingschool.com. Similar price I'm afraid but I think it is worth getting. Mainly deals with mantracking so if you are only interested in animal tracking its probably not worth it (although a lot of the skills are applicable to both)

Jon Young's Animal Tracking Basics is excellent but obviously is aimed at animal tracking not mantracking.

Others for trackers to consider, in no particular order, depending on your tracking interests, are

David Scott Donelan, Tactical Tracking Operations
Louis Liebenberg - Practical tracking
Gilcraft - Training in tracking
Louis Liebenberg - The art of tracking

All of these books, and the others mentioned elsewhere, are worth a look. You will find your own favourite depending on your personality, tracking style etc....
If I had to get 3 my choices would be
Foundations in awareness
Animal Tracking basics
Tactical tracking ops or training in tracking.
 
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