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Thread: Why don't we track?

  1. #1

    Default Why don't we track?

    I just did a poor man's Africa hunt. The local black man and white South African man were both superb trackers (not wounded game just recent traveled game). I marveled at their skills that kept proving true. The local black fellow was the best hunter that I've ever encountered, by far. When we see an amimal that runs, especially a deer, we just, for the most part move on. They follow tracks and signs until they see it and get a shot. They seem to know 1 minute old tracks from 30 minutes and one day.
    I'm a very lucky hunter, but my mentors and friends never tracked.
    Could we stand to learn a lesson, or does it just not work in the US and Alaska?

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    It can be applied anywhere you go.

    Its a skill that takes a long time to learn, but with practice and knowing what to look for anyone can do it.

    Look at some of the US Customs and Border Patrol Officers that chase illegals crossing the borders.....Those guys all know how to track, and can tell how many people are in a group....what they are carrying....and if they are packing drugs or not...

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    Member GrizzlyH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rifleshooter View Post
    I just did a poor man's Africa hunt. The local black man and white South African man were both superb trackers (not wounded game just recent traveled game). I marveled at their skills that kept proving true. The local black fellow was the best hunter that I've ever encountered, by far. When we see an amimal that runs, especially a deer, we just, for the most part move on. They follow tracks and signs until they see it and get a shot. They seem to know 1 minute old tracks from 30 minutes and one day.
    I'm a very lucky hunter, but my mentors and friends never tracked.
    Could we stand to learn a lesson, or does it just not work in the US and Alaska?
    Yep, those guys are amazing and real hunters. I kinda look at hunting in the same way as going grocery shopping. Never go to the store hungry. You'll by out the store. Same goes for hunting. If your hungry enough you'll follow those tracks. Me.. I'll follow moose tracks till they go into a mud bog ugly ars spot and I say screw it. Then I drop my packsack and pull out a sandwiche and yell, so there mr moose.
    I can do the impossible right away. Be patient, miracles take me a bit longer.

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    Of course we track......and the results are spectacular


    Dont you?
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

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    Default tracking

    Dry tracking is hard. All other tracking is pretty easy unless you don't see.

    Though you're right; it isn't a natural skill; I think it's one that needs not only to be taught, but also shown. Least that's how it was with me anyway.

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    Member jkb's Avatar
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    Love tracking caribou groups when you see fresh pee spots you know you are close.
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming-----WOW-----what a ride!
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  7. #7

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    Well..... I'm the luckiest hunter that most know.... I subscribe to my city folk gone country dad's advice that each step changes your entire sighr picture...scan again, go real slow, see the animal before he sees you and then you get a good shot instead of running vs covering territory and shooting at running game. both work, but I like slow and good shots more.
    I think that a good hunter is often humbled by the skill of another, and wow I've been, but whern they did at me it was luck(except dad's opinion).
    I'd sure like someone better to teach me to track......gosh you should have seen that black african guy's skill walking around a herd of Kudu in only shadows, with wind favor, explaining all of the whys like a christian surgeon operating. Told me once to hide my white face by crawling behind looking at the ground! I wanted to strangle him a few times when he refused to let me shoot saying "I find you better" or "no worry....you lovw hunt very much, for you, I find he again today or tomorrow", (on 300, 000 acres) and he did. I saw a dead cobra and this guy showed me where and how 5 Eland had walked up on the cobra and stomped it after it struck at one of them twice.he also showed how flat soled boots are a must as far as noise! Thats right, flat....no grips on the sole....just soft and very flat, really ...try it, slipper like. anyway, if you can pamper yourself, for $3750 plus airfare plus about $500 in tips to all involved (part of salary for cook, trackers, skinners, guide, maids, etc.. PM me. Hell, I ain't rich, just came across a few thousand and decided to spoil me and her instead of the kids. Taxidermy is delivered, but extra of course. Much homework done...best value. I'm saving to go again....

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    I track all the time and if I'm with someone I like to point out events that the track tells. I do believe hunting shows that decide to come back the next day to find the game suck worse than most but the film is worth more than respect for the game.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    rifleshooter,
    I think tracking is an art that is still done a lot but at localized spots. Your African tracker was likely raised in a family that tracked and lived off the land - it was a necessity and passed on skill set. In the Midwest where I live, you are lucky to be able to hunt a large enough tract of land to be able to use tracking skills with any degree of success. However, get away into larger areas of turf with less population ( like AK ) and I am sure you will still find many that have the skills to do so.
    I was taught how to spot sleeping foxes many many years ago in our farm country by methodically scanning open farmland with binoculars. It was amazing how much game we simply pass by - over the years I have refined this into a great still hunting technique for almost any game animal I have chased.
    Weather tracking, or still-hunting, one common factor is constant - GO SLOW! I have found if you think you are going too slow you are still going too fast!
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    Member B&C 04's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smokey View Post
    rifleshooter,
    I think tracking is an art that is still done a lot but at localized spots. Your African tracker was likely raised in a family that tracked and lived off the land - it was a necessity and passed on skill set. In the Midwest where I live, you are lucky to be able to hunt a large enough tract of land to be able to use tracking skills with any degree of success. However, get away into larger areas of turf with less population ( like AK ) and I am sure you will still find many that have the skills to do so.
    I was taught how to spot sleeping foxes many many years ago in our farm country by methodically scanning open farmland with binoculars. It was amazing how much game we simply pass by - over the years I have refined this into a great still hunting technique for almost any game animal I have chased.
    Weather tracking, or still-hunting, one common factor is constant - GO SLOW! I have found if you think you are going too slow you are still going too fast!
    Well said, to add I equate successful tracking skills to having patience. If you have none your tracking skills are going to suffer at best..

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    Member kantill's Avatar
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    I track within reason, I am not going to follow a animal up and down a valley that looks like this \_/.

  12. #12

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    Check out Tom Brown the tracker.

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    There are several reasons I donít track moose, for one thing where I hunt there is no sand. If a moose makes a hoof print in sand it is easy to tell if itís fresh by looking at the edge of the print and knowing the effects of wind etc on the track. You canít see the effects of wind, temperature and sun on a track in grass or leaves. If I could what good is it, the moose would be long gone by the time I track the animal 100 yards and I all ready know where itís going. Letís not forget a good moose area will have tracks going in different directions. Some people say they can tell what sex the moose is by looking at the tracks and pellets, unless you find the animal, I wonder how much is just having fun with your hunting partner?

    Not that I would ever do something like that.

  14. #14
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rifleshooter View Post
    I'd sure like someone better to teach me to track......gosh you should have seen that black african guy's skill walking around a herd of Kudu in only shadows, with wind favor, explaining all of the whys like a christian surgeon operating. Told me once to hide my white face by crawling behind looking at the ground! I wanted to strangle him a few times when he refused to let me shoot saying "I find you better" or "no worry....you lovw hunt very much, for you, I find he again today or tomorrow", (on 300, 000 acres) and he did. I saw a dead cobra and this guy showed me where and how 5 Eland had walked up on the cobra and stomped it after it struck at one of them twice.

    Hell, I ain't rich, just came across a few thousand and decided to spoil me and her instead of the kids. Taxidermy is delivered, but extra of course. Much homework done...best value. I'm saving to go again....
    Thanks for posting, tell us more, what all (species) did you hunt, how much time on the ground, etc.
    That sounds like one Excellent time.
    I'd love to hang with a guy like that and just learn learn learn.

    I know this is not really what you are asking as I believe my tracking skills are nowhere near what they should be but,

    I mostly hunt by Ambush, not following or pushing game for the sake of taking meat that is "Not Surprised, Amped up or Full of Fear/Adrenaline" So I don't really pursue the idea of following tracks beyond what I need to see where they are traveling in the small area of my focus, then plan a stalk/waiting point, or interception point, from what I see.

    But yeah, I could do infinitely better at reading what I am seeing no doubt. Good Thread.
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    Why don't we track?

    Remember, with over 90% of the hunting population living in the lower 48 and over 90% of them only hunting on opening week(end), tracking there is a fine way to drive game into someone that is on stand. It's been that way for a long time and so, American hunters have largely lost the ability to "track". A large portion of us (Alaskans) have our hunting roots in the lower 48.

    Though it relates mainly to whitetail hunting, look for books about the Benoit family from Vermont. Trackers extrodinair. I think one was written by Larry Benoit & a couple by Bryce Towsley.
    Gary

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    Because most people don't have the ability or learned skill to do it.....me included. I'm a pretty good tracker of wounded animals and do superbly in even splotchy snow. With the absence of snow and presence of heavy grass and cover it's harder than hell to track. That said my trackers in Tanzania could track buffalo in grass over my head as fast as I could walk.......IMPRESSIVE!!!! That said over there if you track and animal 10miles from starting point and shoot it you walk back the the land rover and drive it on over to the animal. Not so much here. I'd think tracking bears in the spring with the help of snow machines would be doable. or tracking deer in snow if the right conditions presented themselves.

    Brett

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    Well...well..why dont we track.hmm..well I myself have been tracking for as long as I could remember being an Apache from Az. but it is definitely a skill that must be driven into you day after day and is not often practiced any longer,i cannot say I have tracked much up here, but same concept for all terrain goes...as there are many differences tracking too me is tracking and im pretty **** good at it..as the scouts of my people were among the best if not the best and those skills are handed down,but it would be nice to see more hunters out there tracking there game.but everyone has there own method.

    have a safe winter hunt.

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    In winter, when theres fur to be had, 90% of all my kills are from tracking, 'cause there aint no light 22 hours a day. Run abou 15mph stedy with some ungodly riding over unseen terrain can keep your full attention....thats just 'round here , maby more of it Northward...


    Traps hunt 24/7 anyway, but tracking is a very nessessarry skill if someone wants to make a good living hunting.
    Same gos for Caribou in winter, the tracks on the tracks, and knowing whats fresh, whats old, and whats making the prints.

    This changes in late Feb when the sun is up enough to keep scanning, but even then, Wolves, Wolverine, Otters, Fox, Bears and Caribou move many miles a day, and getting up on them over a 20 mile ride requires tracking skills and knowlage of the animals habits.
    Any decent Hunters has a fair idea about what hes looking at with tracks, just depends on conditions and terrain.
    I bet Tracking in the SE is an experiance in itself.
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

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  19. #19

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    In the parts of Alaska where I hunt, there are restrictions and limitations on what is a Legal Critter. I am not good enough to determine whether an animal is legal and worthy of me spending much time tracking them down to find out. ONLY exception, is a big lone bear in spring on the snow. All other times, I let my eyes do the walking and I track their movements from a distance. It is just too easy up here to find game, without tracking, for the most part there is no need for it.
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  20. #20
    Member AKsoldier's Avatar
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    I track to a point. I'm completely self-taught and really don't know what I'm doing, but I can for the most part tell the difference between old and new tracks, and I look for other animal signs like rubs, bedding areas, feeding spots, etc. I think it's natural for any hunter to develop a certain degree of tracking skill, but it's nowhere near the art it once was, at least here in the U.S. That's half the fun of hunting though, at least to me. I enjoy learning something new and honing my skill every time I am out.

    The other 299,300,000 people can have it.

    Noone has a more intimate understanding of, or deeper appreciation for freedom, than a soldier who has fought for it in a country where it does not exist.

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