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David Brown
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
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
current availability.
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
How to Stay Warm Outdoors in the Winter
Designed for people who plan to spend time outdoors away from heated shelter
for extended periods, this 10-page handout provides a dense concentration of
advice on how to stay comfortable and out of danger.

In the handout are covered:
  • The physics of cold.
  • Your body's reactions to cold.
  • Clothing and equipment, with a review of products on the market at the
    moment. This section alone may save you a great deal of money.
  • Instinctive tactics of wild animals that live through the winter with no more
    external heat sources than the sun, itself.

David Brown is a veteran of over 70 winter ascents in the White Mountains of New
Hampshire, many involving winter camps.

Cost of the handout is $8. Please use a Quabbin Trails
registration blank to order.

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 Wildlife Tracks, Trails
and Sign
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 27 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

Bcat w/card  Photo D. Brown
Mouse trail in shadows  D. Brown
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 400 pages of useful information and is completely illustrated with over
200 photographs, diagrams and drawings. Release for sale by McDonald & Woodward Publishing
Company ( is now slated for sometime early in 2015.
Availability of Trackards and Companion Guide.
The following are known points of sale for the Trackards and Guide::
  • Directly from the publisher: McDonald & Woodward: http.//
  • Amazon usually has an intermittent small supply at a substantial discount. If you buy both, there
    apparently is no charge for shipping:
  • Keeping Track in Vermont carries both in their store:
  • The Mass Audubon shop at Drumlin Farm usually has a
  • I provide both for sale at programs to participants at a 10% discount plus a savings in postage and
Near summit of Mt. Eisenhower
1970. Warm as toast despite
appearances!  Photo P. Gannon
Bobcat scat and scrape  Photo D. Brown
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 and region.
    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
hunting range.

Read a review of the Trackards and Companion Guide in
Northern Woodlands magazine:
See below for a magazine review of the
Trackards and Companion Guide.