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  • #6217
    Gypsy Wanderer Husky
    Gypsy Wanderer Husky
    Survivalist
    exprepper

    Basic Tracking and Hunting tips.
    So. Tracking. Not as easy as you’d think, but there are some basic things to look out for. The first rule is to slow down and use your eyes.

    1. Footprints. Yeah, these things are important. Learn to identify different track types, so you can follow the food, and avoid the things that may try to eat you. Footprints can be the easiest way to identify the start of a spoor.

    2. Grass trail. Thats the easiest way to describe it. If you are in a grassy area, then you should be able to see trails running through the grass. The thing to look out for is what is termed in tracking “shine”. Grass that has been bent over will reflect light differently to the grass around it, making it reasonably easy to identify where animals have passed through. In short grass, the grass that has been squashed by footfalls will also shine, but its a bit harder to spot.

    3. Flagging. This is the term used to describe the direction in which grass or other foliage is bent over. This bend will fall in the direction of travel, which allows fairly accurate estimation of the heading of the animal.

    4. Transfer. This term is used to describe the unnatural placement of an aspect of the natural world on to the top of another. For example, transfer of dirt from a foot to the top of a plant. Other examples are rocks that have been displaced, or mud transferred onto rocks. When dealing with things such as wet soil, the variation between the moisture content of the surrounding soil and the transfer can give an estimation of the time the track was layed, dependant on temperature, humidity etc.

    Hunting. Also seems pretty simple, right? Wander out, find dinner, kill it, profit. Yeah. Not so much.

    Tracking skills are very handy, you have to find the dinner before you can get a shot at it. But there are things to remember specific to the part where you actually get an eyeball on your critter.

    1. Be mindful of the wind direction. The oddest feeling i have when i’m camping and not hunting is seeing an animal and feeling the wind on the back of my neck. Animals can smell WAY better than we can, obviously, and if they catch a whiff of you on the wind, you’re buggered. You may not even get to see them, so always keep the wind in your favour. If you are having trouble figuring out your wind direction, you can pick up some fine soil, or crush up some dry leaves. Hold this at head height, then slowly let it drop from your hand, and watch which direction it flies.

    2. Keep a low visual profile, especially when crossing over ridge lines. A human silhouette is a fairly large red flag for critters. So, always keep your head down when crossing ridges.

    3. Move SLOWLY. Adrenaline can take over when you see an animal when hunting, and lots of people charge in like mad the first time round. This will ruin your chances at a meal, so keep slow and keep low.

    4. Move QUIETLY. The moving slowly bit helps here. Be mindful of where you put your feet, because even if you think you are moving very quietly, your hearing isnt as good as your dinners.

    5. Finally, and probably most importantly, be patient. With a rifle, you can sit on the side of a hill 200+ meters out and get your dinner. With an improvised hunting tool, you are going to have to get in close. Even with a bow that ISNT bodged in the bush, i stalk to within 15 meters before taking a shot. The shortest stalk i’ve ever had took half an hour, the longest so far took about 4 hours.

    Once again, you MUST practice these skills before hand to have a hope of being effective.

    Prepare for the unknown by studying how others in the past have coped with the unforeseeable and the unpredictable.
    George S. Patton

    #6235
    wildartist
    wildartist
    Survivalist
    member7

    The best hunters also know their game, and its habits. This takes many hours of patient observation. And, it varies from season to season. Know your local area and the things that live there. Then follow Gypsy’s advice above.
    BTW, patience and knowledge far outweigh technology. Many hunters would come to Alaska (while we were there) looking for moose with huge magnum rifles. A quiet, middle-aged Native lady who lived in our village would go out to the Minto Flats (a swampy area) and get hers with a .243. Barely considered a deer rifle in the Lower 48. Not only hers, but she would be “proxy hunter” for the elders living in the village (legal in Alaska where people depend on game). So she’d modestly come back with several big bull moose while the “Outsiders” would be paying huge fees to guides and bush plane pilots…:)

    #6237
    Gypsy Wanderer Husky
    Gypsy Wanderer Husky
    Survivalist
    exprepper

    Thank you Wildartist helps to put it into the perspective.

    Prepare for the unknown by studying how others in the past have coped with the unforeseeable and the unpredictable.
    George S. Patton

    #6438
    Whirlibird
    Whirlibird
    Survivalist
    member10

    Take a slingshot along.

    With the slingshot you can scare the deer out of the thicket (hit a tree on the other side of the thicket and drive them towards you), knock a squirrel or grouse out of a tree, take a rabbit on the ground, and none of it requires powder or noise.

    Tracking.
    Harder than it looks or sounds.
    The last animal I tracked went almost 4 miles in heavy mountains. Without 25 years of experience, I’d have lost it within the first 100 yards.
    The last person I tracked, we lost the track after 6 miles, when he got into a car. Again, but for all the practice in the hunting fields, it would have turned out bad.
    You can read about it all day long, but without getting into the field and doing it, it means little.

    Moving in the woods.
    Quiet has its place, but sounding like the animals and moving when they do and where they do is also something to consider. One of my hunting partners sounds like a deer when he moves, all the time.
    He constantly walks into deer and elk yards when we’re out hunting.

    #6442
    Profile photo of 74
    74
    Survivalist
    rnews

    In dry leaves most humans sound like a constant swishing crunch. It’s all about the cadence, plus the fact that deer have small pointed feet that they don’t drag through the leaves. I’ve heard people walking in the woods 20 minutes before they arrive. If you really want to be quite in the woods wait until after a rain to go out.

    #6839
    Hannah
    Hannah
    Survivalist
    member6

    Husky,
    Thank you so much for these tips.
    Hunting/tracking is one skill I’m very lacking in, and this has given me a lot of perspective into both!
    Hannah

    #8169
    bushrat
    bushrat
    Survivalist
    member4

    I would also suggest the need to sometimes track a wounded animal. I know, we’re all great shots and our firearms have tons of “knockdown” power. Wrong. I know we don’t want to, but you might as well get use to the idea that occasionally, you will only wound an animal. For whatever the reason, and the reasons may be numerous, they moved, you moved, your scope is out of alignment, the bullet pinged on a small branch and veered off target, etc.

    Whatever the reason, now begins the “joy” of tracking a wounded animal through the brush. As Gypsy Wanderer Husky mentioned, there are ways to determine type of animal and direction. It’s also good to understand the difference in type of blood being spilled by it’s color and consistency. For example, if the blood is bright red, and maybe a bit foamy, then you probably have a lung shot. If after the shot the animal runs away be sure to take note of it’s direction of travel and then sit down and wait around 20-30 minutes. If it doesn’t feel pushed, it will eventually lay down and die. So, now you just need to locate it.

    Of course, ideally you will have practiced with your firearm until you are comfortable with it, and are able to shoot it accurately over a wide range of distances you will find in your hunting area. But sadly, there will be those times when things just don’t go as planned. So, be prepared. :)

    #8189
    Profile photo of 74
    74
    Survivalist
    rnews

    Bushrat,
    Ya know I bought a new hunting license so I could look legal walking around with my gun. But at this point I would just bring my dog to track a wounded animal.

    #47717
    Leopard
    Leopard
    Survivalist
    member8

    Tracking as a metaphor in life

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