Winter Wildlife Tracking in the Field
The snow-covered winter landscape can feel desolate and inhospitable. But snow also transforms the north woods into a canvas on which animals trace their stories. Learning to identify and interpret wildlife tracks and sign transforms the blank white tapestry of the snow-covered woods into a vibrant collage of animal activity. Wildlife tracking, the study and interpretation of footprints and other sign left behind by animals, may be the most ancient of all sciences. Tracking begins with identifying the animals that left their marks and grows over time into an intimate understanding of the interconnected lives of those animals. Wildlife tracking awakens our curiosity, broadens our awareness, and helps us to feel more a part of the natural world that surrounds us. This class will introduce you to the fundamentals of this ancient art, and give you a foundation for continuing your own exploration of animal tracks.
In this class you will learn the fundamentals of identifying animal tracks and trail patterns in the snow, work in small groups to build a collective knowledge and understanding of the natural world, and begin to build a connection to the northern landscape by literally walking in the footsteps of other animals.
You will need the following tools for this class:
- Small notepad and pencil (pens freeze in the cold)
- Dress for spending a full day outside in whatever weather we have that day. I recommend dressing in layers. We will have periods of time that we are moving about, and periods when we are sitting still for extended periods.
- A comfortable day pack for your gear
- Tape measure and/or ruler
- Smartphone or tablet with iNaturalist software installed
- Insulated water bottles or thermos
Once registered, students will receive a confirmation email with further class information. Please call us if you haven't received it within 24 hours.