Wolf College Deer and Elk Tracking Dec 7

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Dietrich
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Wolf College Deer and Elk Tracking Dec 7

Post by Dietrich » Mon Nov 18, 2013 6:19 pm

Hey, I'm signed up for a Deer/Elk/Their Predators tracking class on Dec 7 with the Wolf College, if anyone else wants to go and has $45 bucks or so laying around with nothing to do but go into the rainy woods near Ranier and follow animals around.
Chris Chisholm is a great guy, very knowledgable. With a class or two like this, one can test for the Animal Trailing portion of the Cybertrackers International certification. I just got certified as a Level 1 in "Track & Sign," and am hungry for mo.
Post Apocalyptic tie in? Does anyone expect to be hungry and need to find mobile fresh meat? Or assist with regular hunting, for that matter. I'm not a hunter, but the skills are useful for tracking people too.
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Re: Wolf College Deer and Elk Tracking Dec 7

Post by pasha » Tue Nov 19, 2013 5:42 am

I second everything that Dietrich said. See you guys there.
Here is the link.
http://www.wolfcollege.com/classes-work ... -elk-deer/
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Dietrich
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Re: Wolf College Deer and Elk Tracking Dec 7

Post by Dietrich » Tue Nov 19, 2013 1:57 pm

Whoops, thanks for posting the link. I is a dumbass.
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Re: Wolf College Deer and Elk Tracking Dec 7

Post by Black November » Thu Nov 21, 2013 3:51 pm

I may also be interested in this. I'll let you know.
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Re: Wolf College Deer and Elk Tracking Dec 7

Post by lupus lefou » Sat Nov 23, 2013 2:14 am

wow, that's very badass. I want to do that, sometime soon.
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Re: Wolf College Deer and Elk Tracking Dec 7

Post by maxisback » Tue Dec 03, 2013 2:42 am

Bwahaha! when I read "mobile meat" all I could think of was the dogs in the desert and jokes about 'mobile Arab C-rations' LOL ROTFL!!!!
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Re: Wolf College Deer and Elk Tracking Dec 7

Post by Dietrich » Mon Dec 09, 2013 4:32 pm

AAR:
Pasha and I carpooled to the site, which was on the far hinter-flanks of Mount Ranier Park. With us were Chris Chisolm the instructor, his wife Kim, and two others. It was very cold; low twenties, I think, with patchy snow on the ground. We started right in the Horse Camp, and tracked a couple of mama elk and their calves across a field. Then we went about two miles back along the road, and parked across from a big field that had lots o' elk sightings. We picked up an elk track and followed it to a bluff overlooking the river, then went east along the bluff following it. Throughout the day, we alternated between moving quickly along the top of the bluff looking for fresher sign, and dropping down to the river plain looking there. The substrate up top was wood with a lot of blow downs, and occasional game trail. At the bottom it was frozen sandbar and alder/cottonwood thickets.
Here is what it looked like below:
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While along the riverbank, we did find a lot of other tracks: river otter, fox, beaver, coyote, and more elk. Found otter scat, and a log that a beaver had eaten off of as well.

Once we climbed out, it was getting on 3:00, and we decided to walk back along the highway to an old railroad grade that is known as an elk thoroughfare with lots of antler rubs. We followed one elk through the woods for a while, but light was failing. In a field of broken brush and snow near the cars, we followed a deer that had bounded through the thick vegetation, which was weird since they usually use more easily traversed passages. We found a coyote had followed the scent, and postulated that the reason the deer had started bounding through the thick stuff may have been to evade pursuit. However, we found where the deer had bedded down, and that the coyote had urinated on the spot. So probably the deer had just bounded through the thick brush in order to find a hard-to-get-to spot to sleep, and the coyote was just investigating later and marked the spot either from frustration or just for territory. We followed the deer after it woke up and moved on, then ran across the tracks of two elk cows and calves, probably the same ones we found at the start of the day!

On the way out, we saw the elk herd at the edge of the field we were at earlier in the day. It was cold as heck throughout the day, my water bottle froze. By the end I was getting dehydrated because sucking the icy water through the hydration tube was so cold I avoided drinking enough, and was cramping up by the end of the day. STILL sore.

So, we learned a lot about substrates, winter behavior, and following sign quickly in general. It is always a pleasure being in the woods with someone as knowledgeable as Chris and Kim, lots of good tips and info just from watching and listening. For instance, at the edge of a clearing while looking for animals, stand in the shadow of a tree and cover face with gloved hand to break up the outline of the human face. Just one of the nuggets of good info.

Looking forward to the next outing.
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