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HomeAlgonquin Winter Tracking

Algonquin Winter Tracking Expedition 2008

Tuesday (Day 3)

Tuesday was much colder than previous days. No more freezing rain, just plain freezing!
The day started with a track casting demo by Dan. We found some fine wolf tracks in a small parking lot just off the highway.
A closeup view of the tracks.
First, the tracks are sprayed with a special liquid wax spray. This is necessary in order to preserve the tracks' shape when the plaster is poured into them. If this wasn't done beforehand the liquid plaster mixture would melt the tracks (remember this is all on snow).
Plastic rims were then placed around the tracks to hold the plaster when it is poured into the track.
Pouring the plaster into the tracks.
One of the finished track casts, at the end of the day.
We then split into our usual two groups.

The group I was part of started the day by following the tracks of what appeared to be a wolf, however could possibly have been a dog.

We spent some time analyzing these patterns. This appeared to be where the animal sat for a while, and then either slid or stretched down a small hill to the right.

It then continued in a somewhat erratic trail, which, according to one member of our group, lent credence to the theory that this was the trail of an escaped sled dog, and not a wolf.

Eventually the trail led back to the highway, and we were unable to find any continuation of it to follow.
So we headed off to a completely different area for lunch.

A nice fire for warmth along with tea, soup and sandwiches.

After lunch we spent some time following these marten tracks.
We came across a very nice set of Grey Jay tracks.
And a nice crisp set of marten tracks, where it had jumped down onto the snow-covered road from a snow bank.
In the evening Dan gave a presentation on "Wildlife Tracking Evaluations", which is a new certification program for trackers. It was extremely interesting as he included a lot of the scenarios that he had to solve on his last test. Quite challenging!

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