I haven’t studied tracking much.
My foundation consists of Tom Brown’s Wilderness Survival Field Guide, gifted to me at age 11, and fading lessons from boy scouts. But since I’ve moved to a house with a small plot of wild behind it, the shrub of interest in observation and classification has begun growing again.
When you’re in the woods and trying to take it all in, you’ll often notice the attention that animal tracks demand, especially in the winter. Most woodland creatures are hidden from view. Unless you can tread inaudibly in a forest, they know when a human is nearby and choose not to seek out friendship.
Becoming a forest detective helps to calm my monkey mind and deciding to spend time walking around the woods is the first step. Focusing on a mystery like “who’s feet fit these tracks” make the world slow down even more.
Stalking involves inching your way through the forest, spending more time stopped than moving, all the while being incredibly attentive to and aware of everything around you.”