Capn Hook wrote:Thanks Kellory! I've had to learn most of what I know from books and hunting shows on TV. My Dad took me hunting regularly when I was a kid, but only small game hunting. I learned everything I know about deer hunting from research and talking with friends, not to mention countless hours in the woods. I'll have to follow one or two of the forums you spoke of. It's just hard for me to find the time to read and respond, since I've got a demanding job and a family at home, but I'll work towards learning more in the off-season from guys like you. We all have lives outside the woods. I don't get to spend the time I want to anymore myself, but I try to pass on what I learn, That is a large part of why we are here. What I was getting at about seeing trails from the air was based on this: someone taught me when I was a kid to get down at eye level with the ground to better see trails through the leaves, since the here-and-there evidence is compounded when you decrease the angle,This is true of track by print or trace amount of blood, but not if you are trying to see a larger trend. (Have you ever seen those pictures made of very tiny pictures? You start out small, and slowly zoom out until each and every picture is just a pixel of a much larger picture? ) like looking down an arrow shaft to check the straightness. I suppose this works better in some situations, but not all. Just wanted to share that in case you've never tried it.
Here's one nagging question that I could use some insight on. I hunt mostly in urban areas where deer are concentrated on relatively small tracts of land, and most of the more commonly used trails are used by several deer and other animals every day. It's hard to determine which tracks are 1 hour old and which are 4 hours old. What I do know is that I can tell most of that by looking at the track deterioration, like soil moisture, the sharpness of ridges and smoothness of impressions, and the depressed vegetation.Sounds like you already know most of that answer. Now add in weather, and time of day you are tracking, as well as what you know of deer behavior I'm starting to think that most of my problem may be patience. I need to find the correct trail and stay on it, rather than getting distracted by other tracks or trying to look too far ahead. Depends upon your reason for tracking. Are you tracking ONE deer, or the activity of an area? In areas where there are more deer using the same trails, watch for overlapping tracks, that too can give an idea of timing who was there first/last. I also need to start making good use of a simple tracking stickNot sure what you call a "tracking stick" but if you lose the trail, it often helps to plant a well marked pole, or a bright marker on a tree at the last trace or two, and circle out from that point. you don't lose your existing trail, and may find your deer has doubled back, or taken off at right angles to the existing trail. if it is an afternoon or evening tracking, I will hang a white break and shake chem light on that pole or marker, to make sure it stays marked. If I must continue in daylight, it will still be there, even if it is now dead..
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