April 18, 2021

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Tracking in the Snow

Yesterday’s snowfall made for some good tracking today, part of the day anyway. I spent around two hours this morning trying to find some Cottontail tracks and struck out. I wouldn’t have minded if it were close to home but it was an hour each way to get to the some land I have permission to hike on. The area is perfect habitat for Cottontails, swampy lowland with thick, thick brush but they just weren’t on the move today. In fact I saw no tracks there at all of anything except two Whitetails. It was a disappointing outing on the one hand but anytime I get to spend outdoors alone is a great time.
I came back up to the mountains later in the day to look for Snowshoe Hare and got the needed track images of those with no problem and some Porcupine scat to boot. It really helps if you know what the animals preferred habitat is to find their tracks. Cottontail and Snowshoe Hare rarely overlap as Snowshoes prefer coniferous forests and Cottontails bottom lands with dense brush. Once you see the two tracks there is no mistaking the snowshoe for anything else. While their tracks are usually obscured the sheer size and shape give it away. So next time your out try to learn the habitat of different animals and that will give you some insight as to which animals track you may have found. If you get a minute check out our new app on the iPhone for tracking at www.mynaturesite.com

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