Winter Tracking II- Gait Studies- Why and How

What are Gait Studies? Gait refers  to the movement pattern the animal is using and the corresponding gait pattern is left for trackers to interpret. In human terms, walk, jog, run, sprint, sit, stand, kneel, etc, etc. Think of an action an animal can take and where its feet need to go, in what order, in order to do that movement. The pattern of tracks left behind is what we read to determine what the animal was doing.

Gait studies often intimidate our students into glazed eyes and forlorn stares reminiscent of my 10th grade math classes… We start throwing out weird tracker jargon and it starts to feel very conceptual and foreign. So I want to focus on a couple things, what can you learn to interpret if you put the time in to understanding gaits and some ways of going about learning them in the first place. The winter is an obvious time for this because we get to see strings and sets of tracks all over the place we never get to witness in the summer!

Why Study Gaits…

Source: Winter Tracking II- Gait Studies- Why and How

Author: keithbadger

Educator, naturalist, tracker, author, blogger, teaching primitive skills, survival skills, nature awareness, and long distance walker. Keith holds a Masters Degree (MST) from Antioch New England in Environmental Studies, and has taught at the Thayer High School in Winchester (with Dennis Littky) , NH, High Mowing School in Wilton, NH, and at Plymouth University, Plymouth, NH. Between 1992 and 2016 he created, developed, and taught the Naturalist Program at High Mowing School, before breaking with compulsory institutional education and taking a walk on the wild side.

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