Today on DSO we join Adam Fox and his nephew Nate as they go tracking with members of the Portland Tracking Club. They get together on the last Sunday of every month. On this trip they met at Oxbow Park, just east of Gresham, Oregon and went tracking across the floodplain. Adam brought along a digital audio recorder and recorded the adventure for us. He also took some photos that are posted here and this is what he wrote about them.
As you listen to the MP3’s keep in mind that the same questioning process I use with Nate can be used by anyone to help figure out what made a certain track. Questions like, How many toes? Are there any claw marks? Do the tracks look like any other animal tracks I know? Having a copy of Peterson’s Field Guide to Tracking by Olas Mauree is also really handy. I did not have my copy with me on Sunday. The cougar track photo is really a nice one. In this picture you see the left front track has been stepped into almost but not quite perfectly by the left rear foot. The cougar jumped up onto a log, looked around and jumped back down. This picture is of the jumping up track. There are claw marks in this picture. Cougars rarely show their claws but it used them in this case because it wanted extra traction for the jump. Note the slight amount of sand pushed back at the rear of the track, that indicates the cat pushing off to jump. Also note the AA battery used to indicate scale, keep in mind most cougars have front feet that are almost 1/2 an inch larger than the rear. That’s a rear track you’re looking at, get a battery and do the math. Here kitty kitty, nice kitty. The Blacktailed deer track is nice too because it was just an hour or so old. Note that it shows the dew claws at the back, something you don’t always get to see in a deer track.
We have some music on the show from a German band called Loudog and a comment about Canine Search and Rescue Teams. Contact us a firstname.lastname@example.org