|David Brown's Wildlife Services
12 Hotel Road
Warwick, MA 01378
Tel: 978 544 8175
Trackards for North American Mammals
by David Brown
Twenty-six card sides present the tracks and
sign of over 30 wild animals that range across
much of the United States and Canada.
Accurate. Each image was produced directly
from photographs or casts of the tracks and
sign of live, free-ranging wild animals.
Life-size. The images are printed, life-size for
direct comparison with found sign.
Waterproof. The cards are made of
waterproof, synthetic material that is
impervious to water, mud or snow. This allows
the cards to be placed on the ground next to
found sign for comparison of size and
Transportable.The card deck is ring-bound
and measures 6X9", large enough to
accommodate the largest tracks but small
enough to carry in a large jacket pocket or
Packed with information. The cards have
images of tracks and a scat as well as a trails
section that shows typical gait patterns and
measurements that contribute to identification
in the field.
Field-tested for over a decade, the Trackards
are unmatched in accuracy, usefulness and
field usability. The system of identification they
represent is much more likely to result in a
successful identification than any other
tracking guide on the market.
Trackards for North American
Mammals improves on the accuracy and
field useability of every other tracking guide
on the market. It and the companion book are
published by McDonald & Woodward
Publishing Company. Please see below for
The Companion Guide to Trackards for North American
by David Brown
The Companion Guide provides 245 pages of additional information
including detailed measurements of track size, gait appearance,
preferred habitats and other sign typical of each species. Ways to
distinguish similar tracks and sign of different animals are included.
This is all original work representing 26 years of tracking experience
by the author. The book is sized like the Trackards so that both may
easily be carried in the field. Together they represent an identification
system that insures success. Available at select nature bookstores or
directly from the publisher at http://mwpubco.com.
Note. The Trackards and Companion Guide will be available for
purchase at Quabbin Trails and other DBWS programs with a 10%
discount plus a savings in postage and packaging.
The Next Step: interpreting Animal Tracks, Trails
By David Brown
While the Trackards for North American Mammals and its
Companion Guide deal mostly with identification of wildlife
tracks and sign, The Next Step takes the tracking process one
step further, into interpreting the found evidence of a wild
animal’s passage. “Eco-tracking” asks the questions: What
was the animal doing, and why was it here?” Through the
interpretive process the tracker can take the still image
provided by his identification and put it in motion in the mind’s
eye, effectively recreating the event. In this way he can “see”
the animal moving in its habitat and speculate on the
connection between the two.
The first chapter shows how to find the sign in the first place.
Subsequent chapters describe how to read the track patterns
an animal leaves behind in order to determine its gait, in this
way putting the animal in motion. A lengthy chapter then deals
with the author’s notes, drawn from 29 years of experience as
an “eco-tracker,” on many common species of mammals found
widely across North America, A later chapters deals with
tracking tips for finding and analyzing wildlife sign. Finally the
reader is invited to try his own hand at a dozen or so identification and interpretation problems, each with a
photograph and background information about the problem’s context. An appendix provides the author's
solutions and describes recommended preparations for tracking, including clothing and equipment, land
navigation, emergency shelter and recording animal sign for later analysis.
The Next Step is packed with over 570 pages of useful information and is completely illustrated with over
200 photographs, diagrams and drawings. Nominated for the 2016 Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award.
Solution to the tracking problem on the Encounters page:
The trail of a bobcat went straight down the road, stopping
twice to perform a scrape-up in the oak leaves and pine
needles at its edge. Then the cat stopped, made a
double-scrape with its hind feet and deposited a scat
before continuing its route.
Bobcats don't always make the double-scrape, but when
you find it, even in the absence of tracks, the identification
is conclusive. Which cat then becomes a matter of size
Bobcats are mostly stealth hunters that frequent dense
undergrowth, searching for rabbits and hares as well as
other small mammals and ground-feeding birds. In the
winter they often used plowed roads to get around their
See below for a magazine review of the
Trackards and Companion Guide.
|Availability of Trackards, Companion Guide and The Next Step:
The following are known points of sale for the Trackards and Guide::
- I provide all for sale at programs to participants at a 10% discount plus a savings in postage and
- They may be ordered directly from the publisher: McDonald & Woodward: http.//mwpubco.com.
- Amazon usually has an intermittent small supply. All are currently being sold at the cover price.
- Keeping Track in Vermont carries The Trackards and Companion Guide in their store:
- The Mass Audubon shop at Drumlin Farm carries all three publications described on this page..