Tracking book for a beginner

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Ophiological Genius
Sep 3, 2004
Animal Tracks and Signs by Bang and Dahlstrom.

Tracks and Signs of the birds of Britain by Brown Ferguson Lawrence Lees


Full Member
Dec 23, 2006
Animals tracks, trails & signs by Brown, Lawrence and Pope. Hamlyn Guide.
Very informative with plenty of pics.
Feb 27, 2008
Animal Tracks and Signs by Bang and Dahlstrom.

See if there are any bushcrafters near you who know a bit of tracking. Meet up. Books are very limited and dirt time with someone with a bit of knowledge will quickly cover most books.

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
McBride, BC
I was about to ask where you live, it isn't readily apparent.
I'll make an educated guess that you don't give two whits about
mule & white tail deer, black & grizzly bears, wolves & coyotes,
cougars, lynx and bobcats, mountain sheep or goats
moose, elk, bison or cariboo. Then there's the sknks, porcupines, Fishers, mink,
beavers and so on down the line.
You can kiss the deer on my front door step. All the others within 20 minutes.

Personally, I like to figure out who the little critters are which leave tracks in mud puddles.
Birds, beetles, worms - whatever.
Who has passed by here?


Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Apr 15, 2005
Animal Tracks and Signs by Bang and Dahlstrom.

Its a great book and makes a walk in the woods far more interesting.
I'm sorry but I have not read a good tracking book. Too much about what tracks look like maybe. So I apologise if you don't want to know what I write.

It is more important is to learn about the animals, birds and insects you need to track well and the ability to see what others won't look for.
How do they live. Where do they go to sleep, where and how they travel - on footpaths they make themselves and use all the time like your English rabbits & hares and deer or wander from place to place like moose & wolf. Do they like to travel in the open or in the forests.

Learning to tell badger, fox, wolf and deer tracks is easy if you've a good print and it is whole. Look for tracks that are not whole. Can you see what they would look like if all there? Most drawings of tracks are clear and easy to read. But animals don't always travel on wet mud or snow. Look hard at places like gravel or hard forest. Learn and think like the animal and guess where it might go. Look for bits of sign and tracks - not whole ones. Animals sometimes leave bits of fur or hair when they pass over, under or through things. Look for those signs too.

You need to learn what they sound like, how they behave in different circumstances. Tracking fox or hunting animals you may not see or find trail. But other birds make alarm sounds and tell you what is scaring them. I heard this happen in England too.

Learn to use your ears and your sense of smell. Most animals have distinct and different smells. Fox or wolf smell quite different from passing moose etc., And good trackers can smell which sex and individual animals they track so they know whether it is one animal or more they are tracking.

I hear you now have beaver in the UK. Do you know the beaver leave tracks in the lakes and streams?

You can eventually learn to see where mice and other tiny creatures pass over rock or concrete surfaces if you know how they like to travel. Tracking is not just about knowing what an animal such as a mouse track looks like its about knowing what the mouse or animal is doing. When you know that you may learn where it is going to go next so no need to follow all the track.

Insects and worms can help you. If a spiders web is over a trail you are following then if you know how long the spider takes to build his web then you know whether the trail is fresh or old. So if it was raining during the night and you are following in the day after and you see worm trails in fresh tracks then the animal may have passed by when the ground was very wet because worms don't travel much during day when drier. Sometimes I've used bits of thin cotton or stick placed across a trail/track to see whether anything has disturbed it and when it was used. When I was younger I often wet bits of ground or put sand from a river on trails to make it easy for animals to make tracks easy to read and identify.

Good luck.

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