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Winter Issue

Makin' Tracks

Tracks in the Snow

A Mystery Solved

NatureNorth's Tracking Guide


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Making Tracks!

More Tracks!

By Doug Collicutt (Click links for more images.)

Wolf Tracks

Here, a wolf has trotted down a bush road beside a snowmobile track. Most large mammals will make use of "our" trails and roads to make their journeys easier. They will often take advantage of the packed snow of a snowmobile trail, especially when the snow is deep.

Another time, on this very road, I had one of my most eery wildlife experiences. I'd been walking down the road when I came across a set of fresh wolf tracks that lead towards me, then veered off the road and into the bush. On the way back home, along the same road, I encountered wolf tracks again, coming back out of the bush and continuing on the road in the direction I had originally come from, with some prints directly on top of mine. There was no doubt, I'd had a close encounter and not even known.

Dog Tracks

This is more typical of a dog's tracks, where all 4 paws are visible, not overlapping. This track is from a 14 year-old Doberman/german shepherd cross, weighing 60 lbs, with bad arthritis in it's hind quarters. Of course, I couldn't tell all that from the tracks! It's my dog's tracks! Remember what I said about foreknowledge of what's around?

Human Tracks

Here's some human tracks. Is this a picture of the tracks left by two people walking together or of two people walking the same way at different times? The fact that the two sets of tracks bend and wander a bit in synchrony suggests that it was two people at once, but really, you can't tell for sure!

Fisher Tracks

My family was privileged to actually see the guy that made these tracks. I, of course, was immensely jealous, as I hadn't accompanied them that one time! I've yet to see a fisher in the wild, not that many people have. I raced back to where they had seen it, with camera at the ready, but had to settle for pictures of its tracks.

Mystery Trail

Is this the trail of a small mammal "beetling" across the snow? After I took the time to examine this line closely, it proved to be a long crack in an ice sheet that had formed after a freezing rain. Always look closely at what you find!

Thanks for learning about Animal Tracks in the Snow! Bye for now.

Don't forget to check out our guide to critter tracks:

NatureNorth's Tracking Guide

You should also check out: Tracks in the Snow in the Classroom!

And some other winter articles: Black Spruce - My Christmas Tree | Goldenrod Gall Fly

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