The last of the winter snows have disappeared and along with them went the perfect canvas for animal tracks. As I bummed as I am to lose the good tracking snow I’m very happy Spring has arrived. Along with Spring comes mud season which not as plentiful as snow still has the ability to capture a perfect crisp outline of the animal that passed through it. I recently scouted a farm field not far from here. The great thing about the agricultural fields south of here is that they consist primarily of clay and the next best thing to Spring mud is Spring clay. I’ll probably return there tomorrow if I get a chance and do a little plaster casting of some of the tracks if the rain holds off. The best way to approach finding tracks in farm fields is to just walk the edge, there really is no need to venture any further than 10 feet from the sides of the field to find tracks. In fact most animals will be doing the same thing, just cruising the edges. Any animal that ventures out of the bordering brush will definitely leave evidence of it’s passing as long as the clay or dirt is wet. Take for instance the Weasel Tracks I found, weighing in at just under a pound this one left a very distinct track.
Weasels have a heel pad that is easy to recognize once you know what your looking for. The size of the track and placement of the feet also give it away.
Farm fields really offer one of the best places to find and identify tracks. Prey animals are attracted to the crops and the carnivorous animals follow the prey so there is an abundance of sign as long as you keep your eyes to the ground.
If you don’t personally know a farmer then just stop and ask for permission if you can walk the edges of their field to do some tracking, most won’t mind as long as your respectful of the property. It’s a great way to spend some time outdoors especially with the kids and what kid wouldn’t love traipsing through the mud? Happy Tracking !!