Book of February: Trackards

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A constant in my field bag is the laminated set of Trackards created by Naturalist David Brown in 1998. I’ve had the good fortune to spend time tracking with and learning from David and continue to do so each time I use his cards.

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The prints and scat are hand drawn and life size so I can place them beside the sign to help make a determination about which mammal was on the move.

Track 2

No print or scat is too small! You’ll notice that measurements are on the side–helping to determine the size of the print and the straddle (width from outside of one print to outside of other)..

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David has also included the mammal’s preferred method or pattern of locomotion, which is also useful in correct identification. In this case, the fisher, a member of the weasel family, moved from a slanted bound to an alternate walking pattern.

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Another handy thing–he’s made it easy to locate the particular cards by adding the mammal’s name on the edge.

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These two photos are from David’s Web site.

David has found a publisher so the Trackards you purchase may look a wee bit different than mine, but the information is still there. And where I have thirteen cards because he made use of the front and back of each, the new decks contain 26 cards.

While you’re at it, take a look at his books. I have the older version of The Companion Guide to the Trackards and plan to order his newest book, The Next Step.

Trackards by David Brown: Don’t leave home without them.