We may not always see lots of wild animals, but how do we know that they’re around? We can look for signs of animals, or evidence, that they can be found around us. You might find:
- Tracks – footprints left by an animal in dirt, mud or snow
- Bark rubbing or chewing – some animals rub their antlers, sharpen their claws or eat bark
- Browse – deer and moose like to bite off the tips of shrub branches, which is most noticeable in fall or winter.
- Scat – everyone poops, including animals.
- Animal tracks guide. Buy one online or get one from the library, or download our Winter Wildlife Tracking guide
- Camera (optional)
- Ruler (optional)
- Go outside! Look for signs of animals on the ground, underneath shrubs and on tree branches.
If you find animal footprints, can you tell where they’re headed? For example, you might see deer footprints leading into the forest, or squirrel prints leading up to a tree.
Can you find footprints from other animals, like dogs and cats?
- How far apart are the tracks from one another? What does that tell you about how big the animal who made them is?
- Can you see your own footprints? How are they different from other people or animals?