“aging“: the weathering of a track, or the activity of estimating its age by examining the signs of weathering in and around the track and trail, and using that information to deduce the age of the track.  It’s all got to make sense and agree.

“Coyote Mentoring”: “… a distinctive and highly effective educational approach developed by Jon Young and Wilderness Awareness School over the past 25 years …  This approach develops the capacities of students for learning, problem solving, and full expression, and re-awakens their natural sense of wonder.”

“Neoichnology”: (Greek néos „new“, íchnos „footprint“, logos „science“) is the science of footprints and traces of extant animals. … Neoichnological methods are used in order to study the locomotion and the resulting tracks of both invertebrates and vertebrates.[1]

Tracking Concept“: (as used here)  Any aspect of reading the tracks and trail of any being or object through time, and across any surface that will hold a track (touch your finger to clean glass, or a dark iPad screen, then play with the light).  These include; methods, definitions, track structures, body and substrate movement, how to find and read both tracks and trails, and illustrations of the tracks of specific animal species, the influences of all the layers involved, and signs

Visual Zen koans … a visual form of the ancient enlightening technique

Definition: “Zen koan” … a paradoxical anecdote or riddle, used in Zen Buddhism to demonstrate the inadequacy of logical reasoning and to provoke enlightenment. (definition from Google).

weathering“: the process of change in a track.  This begins as the track is being created, includes all of the ways the appearance, contents, shape, or existence of the track are affected by external environmental events, and lasts for the lifetime of the track.  The laws of physics, chemistry, etc. have much influence in this process.  A few examples: variations in color of the substrate, alterations from the original shape of the track, location of the track itself, and the absence or presence of objects, related or unrelated to the track.

Books and articles:

Bezener, A., & Kershaw, L. (1999). Rocky Mountain nature guide. Edmonton: Lone Pine Pub. ISBN: 1-55105-178-8

Brown, L. (1977). Weeds in winter. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. ISBN: 0-395-25785-9

Brown, T. (1999). The science and art of tracking. New York: Berkley Books.  ISBN: 0-4251-5772-5

Brown, T., & Morgan, B. (1983). Tom Brown’s Field guide to nature observation and tracking. New York: Berkley Books.  ISBN: 0-425-06177-9

Burt, W. H. (1998). A field guide to the mammals: North America north of Mexico. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. ISBN: 0-395-91098-6

Elbroch, M. (2003). Mammal tracks & sign: A guide to North American species. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books. ISBN: 0-8117-2626-6

Falkingham, P. L., Marty, D., & Richter, A. (2016). Dinosaur tracks: The next steps. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.  ISBN: 978-0253-0210-21

Farrand, J. (2006). Familiar animal tracks. New York: Knopf.  ISBN: 0-679-74148-8

Foster, S., & Caras, R. A. (1998). A field guide to venomous animals and poisonous plants, North America, north of Mexico. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. ISBN: 0-395-93608-X

Halfpenny, J. C. (1986). A field guide to mammal tracking in North America. Boulder: Johnson Books.  ISBN: 0-933472-98-6

Halfpenny, J. C. (2001). Scats and tracks of the Rocky Mountains: A field guide to the signs of 70 wildlife species. Guilford Conn.: Globe Pequot Press.  ISBN: 0-7627-1241-4

Heinrich, B. (2002). Mind of the raven: Investigations and adventures with wolf-birds. New York: Ecco. ISBN: 0-06-017447-1

Kricher, J. C., & Kricher, J. C. (1998). A field guide to Rocky Mountain and southwest forests. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.  ISBN: 0-395-92897-4

Liebenberg, L. (2001). The art of tracking: The origin of science. Claremont: David Philip.  ISBN:0-86486-293-8

Martin, A. C., Zim, H. S., Nelson, A.L. (1961). American wildlife & plants a guide to wildlife food habits. (1951 – McGraw-Hill) (1961 – General Publishing Company, 30 Lesmill Rd., Don Mills, Toronto, CA.).  ISBN: 486-20793-5

Murie, O. J. (1987). A field guide to animal tracks. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. ISBN: 0-395-18323-5

Murie, O. J. (1974). Peterson Field Guides: Animal Tracks. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company. 0-395-91094-3

Peterson, R. T. (1990). A field guide to western birds: The completely new guide to field marks of all species found in North America west of the 100th meridian and north of Mexico. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.  ISBN: 0-395-91173-7

Reid, G. K., Zim, H. S., Fichter, G. S., Dolan, T., & Kaicher, S. D. (2001). Pond life: A guide to common plants and animals of North American ponds and lakes. New York: St. Martin’s Press.  ISBN: 1-58238-130-5

Rezendes, P. (1999). Tracking & the art of seeing: How to read animal tracks & sign. New York: Harper Perennial.  ISBN: 0-06-273524-1

Robertson, K. (1986). Signs along the river: Learning to read the natural landscape. Boulder, CO: Roberts Rinehart. ISBN: 0-911797-22-X

Searfoss, G. (1995). Skulls and bones: A guide to the skeletal structures and behavior of North American mammals. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books.  ISBN: 0-8117-2571-5

Sibley, D. (2003). The Sibley field guide to birds of western North America. New York: Knopf.  ISBN: 0-679-45121-8

Stall, C. (1989). Animal tracks of the Rocky Mountains. Seattle: Mountaineers.  ISBN: 0-89886-185-3

STEBBINS, R. C. (2003). Western reptiles and amphibians: Peterson field guides. New York: HOUGHTON MIFFLIN.  ISBN: 0-395-98272-3

Stokes, D. W., & Stokes, L. Q. (1986). A guide to animal tracking and behavior. Boston: Little, Brown.  ISBN: 0-316-81734-1

Taylor, R. J. (1998). Sagebrush country: A wildflower sanctuary. Missoula, Mon.: Mountain Press. ISBN: 0-87842-280-3

Terres, J. K. (1987). The Audubon Society encyclopedia of North American birds. New York: Knopf.  ISBN: 0-394-46651-9

Wernert, S. J. (2000). Reader’s Digest North American wildlife. Pleasantville, NY: Reader’s Digest Association.  ISBN: 0-7621-0020-6

Young, J., Haas, E., & McGown, E. (2010). Coyote’s guide to connecting with nature. Shelton, WA: OWLLink Media.  ISBN: 978-1-57994-025-6

Zim, H. S., Smith, H. M., & Irving, J. G. (2001). Reptiles and amphibians. New York: St. Martin’s Press.  ISBN:1-58238-131-3


Tom Brown Jr’s Tracker School
529 Route 9, Unit 10
Waretown, New Jersey 08758
(609) 242-0350

Wilderness Awareness School
PO Box 219, PMB 137
Duvall, WA 98019
(425) 788-1301