Tracks and Tracking {Free eBook}

It can be hard to get enthused about braving the cold for a winter nature walk.  But there is one activity that can make your snowy trek more enjoyable — tracks and tracking! Tracks and Tracking by Josef Brunner is a fully illustrated free eBook guide to discovering the animals that left those tracks in your neck of the woods.

It is generally understood that a track means the imprint left on the ground or snow by a passing creature. From its form and appearance the initiated are usually able to tell the species, and in some cases the variety, of animal that made it. Where the latter is not possible, a succession of tracks—the trail, in short—is almost invariably the means of reaching a proper decision. The expert considers not only tracks and trails, but also the “signs,” among which are the behavior of animals under certain circumstances, blazed trees, bear logs, beaver stumps and cuttings, excrements, etc., etc….

It is believed that a thorough study of this book, including the illustrations, will enable the reader to become as well versed in tracking lore as he could by years of actual experience in the woods.

The book is divided into four sections by the ways the various animals are proportioned:

  • Length of body proportional to height (deer, dog, cat, etc.).
  • Hind legs very long in proportion to front legs (rabbits, squirrels, etc.).
  • Short legs relative to the length of body (ferret, otter, etc.).
  • Disproportionately thick bodies with very short legs (beaver, porcupine, skunk, etc.).

There is also a section covering various birds.

Tracks and Tracking was written with a hunting emphasis, but the book provides a wonderful way to become familiar with the winter animals near your home — and it’s free!

Free eBook

  • Print out the illustrations of the tracks provided in the book and make a track notebook.
  • Provide space on a notebook page for the location where tracks were spotted and include the date.
  • Take a picture of the tracks to add to your tracking notebook.

Additional Resources

Animal Tracking
Great primer from the U.S. Search and Rescue Task Force that includes easy-to-print track cards near the end.

Animal Track Quiz
Once you have familiarized yourself with the tracks, take a quick identification quiz.

Winter Tracks
Free guide from the New York Department of Conservation.

Animal Tracks
Nice chart from Hiking Michigan.

Animal Track ID Cards
Neat cards to cut out from Hobby Farms.

Animal Tracks Guide
Free pocket guide with track dimensions.

Animals in Winter
Notebooking page from Ranger Rick.

Tracks in Winter
One more from Ranger Rick that is more directed.

Nature Journal Notebooking Sets {Free Download}

Nature Journal Notebooking Sets {Free Download}
These are simple pages — not directed pages. The idea is that the observer can illustrate, draw, and write what he sees. He can include a title — or not. He can include a large drawing or a small drawing.

Drawing & Writing Notebooking Paper {Free Download}
Room at the bottom for a description and room at the top for a drawing, illustration, or picture.

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