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If the animal was hit in the lungs - Blood will be bright red and a little frothy with a water like feel to the touch.
If hit in the Liver - Blood will be very dark and quite thick, almost oily to the touch.
Part of sign tracking is finding and studing breaks in plants. This evaluation can show when it was broken , what direction it was heading and if material transfer was made what you are tracking.
A fresh break is generally greenish yellow in colour and will darken by the hour as the sap dries, it takes approx. 4 hours for a distinct colour change.
Aging a brake can be obtained by making similar break and using the same foliage.
Types of Breaks (some of these may also be result of Chews, Gnawling or Masticated)
Creases (from small bend to complete fold)
Shatter ( most common on ground debris)
Another area concerning this matter is looking at the ground debris for fresh brakes. Dead wood when crushed/broken will show different colour and if it laid on ground for a length of time it most likely has become home to many insects, when disturbed will have sent them into a frenzy. if insects still exposed it will tell you you are close to the subject.
gives a great deal of information, By its size, shape and matter it can tell you what type of animal, time frame and what it has eaten. generally animals leave scat were they feel comfortable, this itself tells the tracker it is a good area to look for animals. Scat is often found near lays or resting areas.
Scats do change colour as it dries, it can be used for aging but first you need to watch/see a fresh deposit to study, scat dries from the inside out so handling would be needed. Another fact to scat study it will be affected by seasons by the type or quality of foods eaten. Always use gloves handling scat and don't inhale the dust if dried matter.
generally webs are built at night by spiders. Disturbed or broken webs can tell the height of the subject. Undisturbed webs over cave or dens entrances are clear indications that the habitat is unihabited.
While out Tracking, where do you look for signs of the quarry?
By studying the terrain in front of you, you can determine the most likely places that people or game will be travelling, humans share a couple of things with animals, they are by nature lazy and habitual… they have a tendency to use the same path each day and travel to the same locations by the easiest route possible… these are what are known as “Lines of Drift”.
Natural lines of drift:
- Parallel to streams & rivers
- Along the long axis of ridge lines
- At the bottoms of valleys
- Along the most direct, easiest route between two inhabited areas
- The shortest easiest route between known trails / roads & other natural lines of drift.
“Military” lines of drift:
- Along the edge of woods close enough to see the edge, but back far enough to not be seen
- Cross open areas at the narrowest point
- Move along the “military crest” of hills & ridges
- Occupy the highest points for observation, but observe below on the “Military crest”
- Bivouacs near drinkable water sources
- As you move, meander a little to keep a tree in front of you (tree, ant mound, telephone pole)
- Pause frequently, always behind cover, within shadow, opposite to the line of danger. i.e.: “on the downhill side of trees, on the deep forest side, at the edge of a wood, or, on the side opposite any natural lines of drift.
(The military crest is found a couple of yards below the actual crest of the hill or ridge)