Do your children ever play spy or detective, or maybe veterinarian? Whether your kids have an interest in detective work or animals, or if they just love any excuse to get outside, animal tracking can be a great lesson in observation.
Before you head off on your tracking adventure, download the animal tracking guide below for animal tracking tips, as well as pictures and descriptions of common animal prints across the United States.
Where to Start
Tracks made in softer earth are typically more distinct and easy to identify, so look for spots with:
However, if you don't have any land in your area that fits the ideal terrain for animal tracking, remember that there are other signs of animal activity, such as fur and feathers, broken or gnawed branches and tree trunks, scat, and more. Encourage your child to be aware of his or her surroundings and to look for signs of life beyond prints.
When to Start
It's typically easiest to track prints in the early morning or late afternoon, as the sun will cast a shadow inside of the grooves of each print and make them easier to see.
The time of year for print tracking does not matter as much as the weather and environment you and your child will be tracking in. As mentioned above, tracks made in new snow or mud are easier to see and identify, so winter ...