Click the PDF icon to the left. Set to print at 95% or fit
to page. Cut around the grey border before folding.
Follow the folding instructions below:
Week 3: Mud Season Animal Tracking
We LOVE mud! It can sometimes provide the best tracking conditions.
Go on a scavenger hunt to find mammal prints in the mud.
PRINT: An impression left by one foot
TRACK: A pattern of footprints
When you find a print, study it closely.
1. Count the toes
2. Do you see nail prints?
3. How big is the print?
4. What is the habitat?
2 toes: deer or moose
4 toes: bobcat, coyote, fox, or a pet dog
5 toes: raccoon, beaver, porcupine, bear, skunk, opossum, otter, fisher, mink, weasel
ANIMALS WE WILL IDENTIFY:
Habitat: Fields to woods
Print size: width—2.5 - 3.5 inches; length—1.5 -2.7 inches
Toes: 4 toes visible in print, pointed nails of
lead toes usually point inward
Note: X visible in middle of print between pads
(same for fox, which is smaller)
Habitat: Fields to woods
Print size: width—1.5 - 2.5 inches;
length—1.5 - 2.5 inches
Toes: 4, nails sometimes don’t show in print
Note: C visible between toes and heel pad;
rounder than coyote print
Habitat: Fields to forest
Print size: front width—3.3 - 6 inches;
front length—3.5 - 8 inches;
hind width—3.5 - 6 inches;
hind length—5 - 8.5 inches
Toes: 5, nails on front feet extend further than hind
Note: Large toe is located on outside of foot
Eastern Coyote Red Fox
Bobcat mud print Bobcat cast
Bear mud print Bear cast
Make a Nature Journal
Create your own mini field guide of mammals in your neck of the woods:
- Take a photo or sketch the print
- Describe the habitat
- Include common name (and scientific)
- Measure the print (width and length)
- Count the number of toes
Make a Plaster Cast of a Print
Plaster of Paris (available at hardware stores)
Cup or bowl to mix plaster
Spoon or stick to stir mix
1. Build a small wall out of dirt around the print
(don’t let any fall into the print)
2. Mix water and plaster according to package directions; should
be pancake batter consistency
3. Carefully pour plaster into print to fill it and extra on top
4. Smooth out top so it will be a flat surface
5. Let sit for 30 minutes to an hour; or overnight
6. Once hardened, dig around and deep under the cast; gently
remove it from the ground
7. Wrap in newspaper to dry overnight; or set in a sunny spot, dirt side up
8. Gently brush dirt off of cast
Note: If you can’t find a wild animal print to study, look for a domestic dog or cat print.
Activities from Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife: