Tracking Game Animals: It’s Elementary

tracking animalsEvery creature that moves on the planet leaves a mark of its passing, regardless of how subtle its movements are or what type of surface it travels upon.

From the little footprint of the Bushman in the heart of the Kalahari Desert, to the lug soled boot marks of the Northeastern deer tracker; from the wildebeest of the African plains, whitetails of the Eastern forest, moose of the Alaskan tundra, elk of the Western meadows to even the bighorn ram living atop the world in the Alberta Rockies–all make impressions characterizing their whereabouts.

Other than a crafty fugitive attempting to “cover his tracks” in an effort to elude capture, all of God’s creatures–man and beast alike–unconsciously make tracks as they go about their daily activities.

While it is a fact that some animals are tougher to track than others due to the wispy imprint they leave and the hard surface of their habitat, there are other recognizable traces of evidence that provide clues to the observant tracker–signs such as scuff marks on a rocky plateau, a broken branch, bent stems of long grass, water marks on an otherwise dry stone, a piece of hair dislodged by a brier, or nipped vegetation where they have browsed.

These are readable to all who can decipher the language.

The ability to read and interpret tracks was once as common to the woodsmen as driving a car would be today.

In fact, it would not be unfathomable to imagine a good percentage of these huntsmen having a better aptitude when it came to reading the spoor of an animal than with the written word itself.

The academia of their woodland skills would be the equivalent to a college degree by today’s standard.

There is a drastic decline in the number of people still possessing these primitive abilities for a variety of reasons including modernization, mechanization, urbanization, and even general inertia on the hunter’s part.

Perhaps the convenience of a simpler, more effective means of capturing one’s prey was the impetus that led to this abandonment.


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