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Practical Tracking: A Guide to Following Footprints and Finding Animals Paperback – March 8, 2010
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About the Author
Louis Liebenberg is managing director of CyberTracker Conservation, an associate at Harvard University, and author of The Art of Tracking and Field Guide to the Animal Tracks of South Africa
Adriaan Louw is a leading trainer of ecotourism guides in South Africa, past chairperson of the Field Guides Association of Southern Africa, and professional member of the International Society of Professional Trackers.
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Top Customer Reviews
The authors are excellent trackers themselves, but equally important, all have trailed animals in Africa with some of the best trackers in the world, and it shows in the insights they share. But this isn't just about tracking in Africa. The authors have tracked on other continents as well. Indeed, Mark Elbroch lives and writes in North America where he is the Initial Evaluator for the CyberTracker evaluations of tracking skills, and where he has authored or co-authored some of the most respected field guides available. As the authors write, "Remember--tracking transcends location, and if you do not recognize the name of some animal, do not be distracted from the overall discussion. It doesn't matter what sort of animal you track, the concepts are all the same." Consistent with that introductory comment, the book uses animals from both continents to illustrate the tracking principles they're teaching. So you get pages like 104 (the trail of hippos) right next to 105 (an American badger's burrow) when discussing spoor recognition. The topics covered are also varied, ranging from recognizing gaits and track patterns to anticipating spoor and making predictions to anticipating danger and safety, and many others.
What I liked best were the first person stories interspersed throughout the book by the authors, providing personal insights into the authors' experiences.Read more ›
If you're drawn to stories like I am, I would suggest paging through the book and reading all the stories first (they're italicized for easy reference). They impart the spirit of the book, which you can then flesh out by going back to the regular text. It's chock-full of the kind of solid, practical knowledge you would naturally know if you grew up in a hunting culture. You'll find well-presented sections on foot and body structure, gaits, and sign aging. I'm particularly taken with the chapters that cover the qualitative aspects of tracking such as stealth, speculation, and sensory awareness.
With the addition of this book, tracking field guides become ever-more-useful tools. If you are a beginner, I bet you'll find chapter 8, a mini course in learning to track, to alone be worth the cost of the book. Don't skip a single page if you have the passion to silently trail an animal, and when you catch up with her, to secretly part the grass and watch her.
But why would stories be helpful to you as a tracker? I have found stories to be a good adjunct to teaching and learning tracking, and the authors seem to be in agreement. In fact, stories are used educationally in many subject areas. Ask a good teacher how she gets a new concept across to a struggling student and odds are she'll tell you she wraps it in a story.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The three authors of "Practical Tracking" are among the best trackers in the world. The lead author, Louis Liebenberg, was the founder of Cybertracking, a South African based... Read morePublished on May 25, 2013 by gt surber
I was not happy with this book, only because it is a book for Africa and hunting. I just bought the wrong book. Read morePublished on December 14, 2012 by Betty White
I live in the rocky Mountains and this has made every outing a little more meaningful. Great information in an accessible format.Published on December 8, 2012 by Dankman
I'm writing this review not because I think I can do better than what the others have said but because there is simply not enough praise for this book. Read morePublished on November 25, 2012 by F. Strain
I have had the pleasure of meeting Elbroch, and I assure you this man has a lot to teach all of us. I have not yet had the pleasure of meeting the other two authors, but I... Read morePublished on July 1, 2012 by Brendan
This book differs from other tracking books in that it covers both North American and African animals. Read morePublished on May 11, 2010 by Linda