Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Tracking and Stalking

Tracking is an ancient activity and an excellent way to become more attuned to the natural world.

Though many people associate tracking and stalking with hunting, it can also be a technique used by wildlife observers and photographers.

In fact, the aim of many trackers is non-intrusive because getting too close to animals can cause them to abandon their young, disturb nesting grounds, and damage their foraging areas or patterns.

There are many books on reading tracks and stalking techniques. Several techniques focus on very mindful walking.

The Fox Walk is a technique that allows you to feel the surface of the ground and slowly compress, leaves, and sticks to minimize noise.

In stalking, one steps very slowly - about 1 minute per step. You minimize all body movement.That includes freezing if the animal looks up and holding still it until the animal is no longer focused on you.
If you're taking children along, it can be both frustrating and instructive to try to get them to be this quiet and more slowly and observantly.

It's also fun and educational to create a track box alongside a trail, practice wide-angle vision, focused hearing and stalk each other.

Tom Brown's Field Guide to Nature Observation and Tracking

Tom Brown's Science and Art of Tracking
Tom Brown's Field Guide to Nature Observation and Tracking
A Field Guide to Mammal Tracking in North America
Animal Tracking and Behavior
Tracking and the Art of Seeing: How to Read Animal Tracks and Sign

Field Guide to Tracking Animals in Snow

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