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Animal Tracking Basics
by Jon Young and Tiffany Morgan

      Animal Tracking Basics is Not a guide to animal tracks. Rather, it is a guide to becoming a tracker. Jon Young and Tiffany Morgan outline the basic skills to become a successful tracker, emphasizing awareness skills, journaling techniques, learning how to interpret tracks and patterns, ecology awareness and mapping skills, aging tracks, interpreting bird language, and developing your intuition. Many of the tracking and awareness skills taught at Wilderness Awareness School are presented in this book.

      Animal Tracking Basics includes numerous excercises and games to help you learn more about the community of plants and animals around you. Young and Morgan incorporate a "big picture" approach, showing how knowledge of the landscape can help you find animal runs and beds. Also includes are tips on the use of tracking tools and making casts. Numerous stories by the authors and other experienced trackers brings the book alive with useful and inspiring wisdom. Stackpole Books. ISBN: 0-8117-3326-7-6. 298 Pages. 2007.

Animal Tracking Basics     $20.00     Quantity:

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Mammal Tracks & Sign
A Guide to North American Species
by Mark Elbroch

      Mammal Tracks & Sign is undoubtedly the most thorough treatment of tracks and tracking ever published. This guide brings together clear track and trail illustrations, range maps, and full-color photographs showing feeding signs, scat, tunnels, burrows, bedding areas, remains, and more, to give a wealth of information about hundreds of mammal species living in North America. The book teaches you how to find, identify, measure, and interpret the clues mammals leave behind. Included are essays about the developing science of tracking, along with instructive anecdotes from the author's work as a tracker and wildlife expert.

      The scope of this book is truly astonishing, with nearly 800 pages and more than a thousand vivid color photos, plus sketches, range maps, and diagrams of gaits. The tutorial on gaits is particularly revealing, using stop-motion style illustrations to show how an animal leaves each pattern of tracks on the ground. Size descriptions are included in both English and metric units. Mammal Tracks & Sign includes detailed track and trail data for 135 species, with actual-size track illustrations in one section, plus an excellent section of scat photos.

      Although a bit hefty, Mammal Tracks & Sign is a must for hikers--from beginning naturalists to professional trackers--who want to know what they are seeing on the trail. There's too much information in this book to leave it behind! It is also great reading for those dark winter evenings when you want to be home by the fire. Winner of the 2003 National Outdoor Book Award. Stackpole Books. ISBN: 0-8117-2626-6. 779 Pages. 2003.

Mammal Tracks and Sign     $45.00     Quantity:

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Bird Tracks & Sign
A Guide to North American Species
by Mark Elbroch, Eleanor Marks, and C. Diane Boretos

      Bird Tracks & Sign is a one-of-a-kind and greatly needed book. Most other tracking books are oriented almost exclusively towards mammals, with little or no coverage of birds. But Elbroch's book filled the void, and it isn't just a book to identify bird tracks--this is a virtual encyclopedia of bird tracks, droppings, pellets, cavity holes, feeding signs, roosts, nests, and feather identification!

      Whether your background is as a birder, or as a tracker, or as a wanna-be naturalist, Bird Tracks & Sign will take your outdoor adventures to a whole new level. This book will give you new eyes to see the natural world--helping you to interpret bird tracks you find in the snow or mud, or bird tracks surrounding a picked-over carcass. You may even find a bird carcass picked over by something else, or maybe a roosting site, bird droppings or a skull. Whatever you find--even a single feather-- it is a clue to a story, and Elbroch's book is the key to reading that story. No other book like it has ever been written.

      Bird Tracks & Sign is organized with sections on tracks, droppings, feeding signs, and feathers, meaning that you can use the information you have to identify the bird that left it, rather than having to know the bird to look up the associated tracks and signs. A handy reference chart inside the front and back covers of the book helps with speedy track identification. Bird Tracks & Sign is easy and fun to use, and it will help anyone learn more about birds. Stackpole Books. ISBN: 0-8117-2696-7. 456 Pages. 2001.

Bird Tracks and Sign     $35.00     Quantity:

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Animal Skulls
A Guide to North American Species
by Mark Elbroch

      Mark Elbroch has done it again! Taking a subject matter that is seriously under-represented in the literature, he has produced a tome that is more than simply "better" than anything else on the market; it is entirely encyclopedic in scope, with more than 700 pages detailing the skulls of 275 North American mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. Animal Skulls includes hundreds of photos and exacting illustrations, plus tables of measurements to help you identify skulls with precision and confidence.

      Elbroch's book is a welcome resource to me. As a teenager I occasionally brought skulls to the university to compare them with others in a display cabinet. But it was never convenient to do so, and I am far more busy now as an adult. Some skulls I have identified with the aid of other bones on hand, or purely through process of elimination when there were few choices to confuse them with, but other skulls became unsolved mysteries when I lacked the necessary resources or time to explore them further. Now, with the aid of Elbroch's book, I am thrilled to identify with certainty several mysterious skulls that have sat in my office for years.

      Animal Skulls is technical in its detail, with lots of measurements, tables, and many new words for the lay person, but it is formatted well, and easy to grasp the fundamentals quickly. In my first pass, I made educated guesses, then checked those species in the book to either confirm or refute my hypothesis. If wrong, I simply guessed again. In other words, if the technical jargon seems daunting, at least you can get started without it and pick it up as you go.

      There is nothing I hate more than walking away from a mystery, and now, with the aid of Animal Skulls I won't have to. Having Elbroch's book at my finger tips is like having the university display case right in my own house!

      In addition to skull identification, Elbroch provides some basic forensic training, teaching you how to interpret marks, breaks, and punctures to determine what kind of damage may have been inflicted while alive, at death, or sometime later. Elbroch shows how to approximate the age of animal (younger or older) when it died, and reveals how to determine the animal's sex, at least in some specimens. Also included in the book is an overview of techniques for cleaning skulls using hot or cold water or live beetles. Animal Skulls is an essential book for any naturalist's library. Stackpole Books. ISBN: 978-0-8117-3309-0. 727 Pages. 2006.

Animal Skulls     $45.00     Quantity:

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Tracking & The Art of Seeing
How to Read Animal Tracks and Sign
by Paul Rezendes

      Tracking and the Art of Seeing is both a field guide and a work of art. Paul Rezendez is a wildlife photographer by trade, and the book is filled with stunning photos of the animals and the tracks they leave behind. But this isn't just a cute picture book for the coffee table. It is a tracking manual that is technical in its details, and also a sheer pleasure to read.

      In addition to the stellar photography of the animals and their tracks, the book includes detailed sketches of the tracks and gait patterns, as well as photos of the actual feet that made them, plus photos of animal scat and signs. The text covers a wide range of North American species, including rodents, hoofed animals, bears, raccoons, opossums, and members of the weasel, rabbit, dog, and cat families. Rezendez describes not only the signs the animals leave but also their lifestyle and habits throughout the year. Tracking and the Art of Seeing is most comprehensive in the author's home territory in the eastern states and does not cover some of the West's most common animals at all, including mule deer, pronghorn, prairie dogs, and badgers.

      The key difference between this book and some of the other top-notch tracking guides on the market is mostly in the organization of the information. For example, Mark Elbroch's Mammal Tracks & Sign (see above) is organized to help you identify an animal in comparison to others by tracks, scat, and sign. Tracking and the Art of Seeing covers largely similar information, but it is organized more like a chapter book, in which the whole story about a species is covered as a unit.

      Tracking and the Art of Seeing is ultimately more than just a tracking book. It is a guide to finding your connection to the world around you. It is a wonderful example of what an outdoor reference book can be, a source of information as well as inspiration. Collins. ISBN: 0-06-273524-1. 2nd edition, 1999. 336 pages.

Tracking and the Art of Seeing     $25.00     Quantity:

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Tracker's Library Bonus Package
-Everything you need to Get Tracking!-
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See also
Tracking Field Guides
Tracking Videos


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