Learning the basics, or even the more then basics, of wildlife tracking can be a life saver in the deep woods. There are valuable skills to be gained from learning the signs and tracks of numerous wildlife. It is not just for the hunters. They can actually help protect you. By knowing the different kinds of scat (poo droppings) you will know if you are in bear country or deer country. There is a big difference.

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While those too extremes, still knowing what is out there around you is useful. Plus fun. If you are into wildlife viewing or photography, seeing signs will could give you ideas on where to look. And being able to tell if the tracks are two hours old or two weeks would also save you the efforts of following a trail only to find out that there were no animals to see.

In the event of a real survival need for emergency food, obviously knowing what you are tracking would be life or death situation. The following are some example books to give you an idea of what you might want to study. These are generic North American. There are also specific regional guides if you know you are only going to be in the Rocky Mountains, Pacific Northwest, deep south, etc.

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Courtesy T. Turner – As far as the eyes can see