Tracking Class Update

Tracking Class Recap

If you missed last weekend’s tracking class you missed a fun and fact filled experience!  You may recall that we had very little snow until the last few days, so the field portion of the class presented less than ideal conditions to find critters.  But Brian drew upon his vast experience in botany and knowledge as a naturalist, weaving into the field trip a lot of details about how to look at what is around you and figure out what was going on.

Here is a brief summary  of what we found.

Tracks: Cow and calf elk;  Whitetail deer, (buck,doe,yearling);  Pine squirrel; snowshoe hare; coyote.

Scat: Elk; Whitetail deer; moose; coyote;  snowshoe hare.

Sign: Elk rubs; buck rubs with deer hair; squirrel middens; snowshoe hare browse; snowshoe hare urine with blood; elk browsing on alder; deer browsing on bittercherry; Pileated woodpecker feeding cavities; Black bear bite marks and bear hair on sign post; elk bed with scat and urine; bear bark stripped tree; spike Bull elk antler shed.

Audio: Chickadees; Ravens; (winter wren).

Aroma Therapy: Grand fir; Bittercherry twig (peach pit/ almond smell/taste);  Wapiti scents;  Western white pine.

Additional:  Lodgepole pine beetle larvae gallery patterns in bark; Whitepine blister rust; Red -Belt fungus; Oregon grape evergreen shrub; Princes pine evergreen shrub.

We will be doing more classes with Brian.  The “Winter Ecology” Class later this month is already filled, but we are looking at adding more to the schedule this winter and will certainly have Brian back for some summer fun and for more winter tracking next season.

In the meantime, whether you have attended one of Brian’s classes and want a refresher, or are new to tracking, below is a link to a really cool website: “Wild Things Unlimited Tracking Identification Guide.”

This site shows a short synopsis of track id and differences for Wolverine, Fisher, Marten and Lynx and gives a short description of each.  It also shows track comparisons for some other critters too.


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Categories: Blog
About The Author:

Phil Hough is the Executive Director of the Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness.

He has hiked the "triple crown": the Appalachian Trail, Continental Divide Trail and the Pacific Crest trail (twice). He has also paddled the length of the Yukon river. Phil's love of wilderness guides him as he works to save the incrediblly wild Scotchman Peaks, one of the last and largest roadless places in northern Idaho and western Montana.

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