A Tracker's


Trailing Wildlife

A recent antler rub is sometimes all we need to know we're still on the trail.To follow a trail freshly laid by a wild animal, let’s say a buck or a sow, until we see the animal; to move silently along the trail, taking advantage of cover and the breeze so that the animal is never alerted to human presence, until we can watch as it nibbles vegetation or rests in its bed – that is what trailing is about.

Traditionally, it is the hunter’s skill.  Now, it is increasingly useful to wildlife researchers, biologists, park rangers, citizen scientists and anyone who wants to observe wildlife closely and sense what the Wild requires.

It is up to you to identify and list all the hazards that may be present in your area and to research best practices for how to avoid or respond to each.  Think outside the box; include widow makers, for example, if you live in a forested environment.

When considering the best way to avoid the dangers that certain animals present, some people may decide not to follow their trails.  Hit that trail when you’re ready, and know that you can find ways to be there so that you and the animal can both be safe.

© Nate Harvey, 2015