Animal Tracks

Animal Tracks

"When we walk together in a good way, we learn to see the world through two eyes. We receive the gifts of Mother Earth through stories". (Elder Albert. D Marshall and Louise Zimanyi, Walking Together). Embarking on a winter animal track hunt is like joining Mother Nature's treasure hunt, where we stroll harmoniously, decoding the tales of furry friends and enjoying a dual view of the wild through both scientific sleuthing and awe-inspired wonder! The snow-covered canvas becomes a whimsical storybook, brimming with the playful imprints and secrets of our furry companions.

What do you do?

1. Choose Winter Wonderland:

  • Select a snowy location with diverse wildlife, such as national parks or winter-friendly habitats.

  • Research animals adapted to winter conditions and their tracks.

2. Winter-Ready Gear:

  • Dress in layers for cold weather, wear insulated, waterproof boots, and bring warm accessories.

  • Equip yourself with a winterized field guide, tracking app, camera, and binoculars.

3. Track in the Snow:

  • Explore snowy areas, focusing on fresh tracks in the snow for better visibility.

  • Identify tracks based on size, shape, and pattern, then follow the trail quietly. Document your winter discoveries.

  • For more information check out the Canadian Wildlife Federation

https://cwf-fcf.org/en/resources/DIY/outside/tracking-down-winter-wildlife.html

 

What do you need?

  • Insulated, waterproof boots to keep your feet warm and dry.

  • Layered clothing.

  • Insulated gloves and a warm hat to protect your extremities.

  • field guide or tracking app to help identify animal tracks in snowy conditions.

  • Navigation tools such as a map and compass or a GPS device.

  • First aid kit to handle any minor injuries or emergencies.

  • Backpack to carry your gear and any additional necessities.

  • Insulated water bottle to prevent water from freezing in cold temperatures.

  • Optional 

    • Walking stick for stability and assistance in measuring track sizes.

    • Snowshoes or crampons, depending on the depth and consistency of the snow.

    • Hand warmers for added comfort during prolonged exposure to the cold.

    • Binoculars for observing animals from a distance

Safety Considerations:

Ensure you dress in layers, wear insulated gear, and carry extra clothing to protect against the cold. Be mindful of frostbite and hypothermia risks, and check the weather forecast before venturing out. Maintain a safe distance from wildlife, using binoculars and cameras for observation. Familiarize yourself with the behavior of animals in winter, as some may be more aggressive or protective during this season.Carry a navigation tool, first aid kit, and inform someone about your plans. Be aware of potential hazards, such as slippery surfaces, and stay on designated trails to minimize the risk of accidents in winter conditions.

Benefits:

Physical Benefits:Engaging in an animal track hunt in winter provides physical exercise through walking or snowshoeing, promoting cardiovascular health and muscle endurance. The cold weather also challenges your body to regulate temperature, boosting metabolism and overall fitness. Additionally, the sensory experience of navigating snowy terrain enhances balance and coordination.

Spiritual Benefits:Connecting with nature through winter animal tracking can foster a sense of spiritual well-being. The serene, snow-covered landscapes and the act of observing wildlife in their natural habitat may inspire awe and a deeper appreciation for the environment. This connection with nature often brings a sense of peace and spiritual fulfillment.

Emotional Benefits: The winter animal track hunt offers emotional benefits by providing a serene and meditative experience. Being immersed in nature and observing wildlife can reduce stress, anxiety, and promote a positive mood. The sense of accomplishment from identifying tracks and exploring winter landscapes contributes to a fulfilling emotional experience.

Intellectual Benefits: Animal tracking in winter stimulates the intellect by requiring observation, deduction, and problem-solving skills. Identifying different tracks, understanding animal behaviors, and interpreting signs in the snow enhance cognitive abilities. This activity also fosters curiosity and a continuous desire for learning about the natural world.