Cunningham Family's Adventures Thru the USA


Jacksonville, Florida Saturday, November 26, 2011

So Bill, Bill’s Brother Ken and I went hunting in the woods today. We all really enjoyed it.

Well -laughs- at first, Bill and his brother brought the children out to check on his bait and search for animal tracks…

However, Bill accidentally hurt himself and a return trip home was in order.

After a minor reboot, I decided to tag along and they returned to the woods.

At any rate, the first task was to get across this stream… The boys wanted to trample through it but me being a girl, did not. I hate wet shoes. So we walked well out of our way to find a log to cross on.

Man, he made it look so easy. I guess that confidence comes from walking scaffolding in the past. I however, was a bit more wobbly…

And even though it wasn’t a very long way down, I still didn’t want to end up all wet. -laughs-

Once across, the real fun could begin…

My mind started racing with all the new and interesting facts that the kids and I have been working on at home. We have been learning how to track,  how to build a fire and how to start a fire, about snake bites, scorpion stings, about general first aid and  what to do if you become lost. The main thing I forgot about was to my eyes open to whats in front of me. -laughs-

Yes, I about walked face first in to that huge spider.

A golden silk spider, in fact.

And as with most spiders, there is little real danger from encountering this type of spider. The spider will bite only if held or pinched, and the bite itself will produce only localized pain with a slight redness, which quickly goes away, the bite is much less severe than a bee string. Typically, the webs are made in open woods or edges of dense forest, usually attached to trees and low shrubs, although they may be in the tops of trees.

Anyways, the first thing the boys wanted to show me was the deer spot, which was also what Bill had hurt himself on.

With the bait already set, we waited…

And I took pictures.

At some point we got tired of sitting there and decided to hit the trails. The first thing we came across was boar marks on this tree.

Cool. That is a great sign. So on we went..

With no luck, we returned home.

Overall, an awesome time.

How to Identify House Cat Tracks

If you have found some animal prints, you may be wondering which species of animal put them there. While some prints may require an expert to identify, others are relatively easy to distinguish.

House cat animal tracks are easily identifiable by examining their distinct size, shape and presence or lack of claw marks in their print.

So first, you want to look for claw marks. If claw marks are visible, the animal print likely does not belong to a cat. Cats keep their claws sharp and, therefore, do not use them for general movement. Their claws are usually retracted while walking and running but will sometimes be visible when pouncing.

Next, count the number of toes on the front and back prints. Cats have five toes on the front feet but only show four in their print; but there are four on the back.

If you are carrying around a ruler or tape measure, measure the animal prints. Most domestic cats make prints that are about 2 inches long. The width of the cat print should be slightly greater than the length.

Now examine the main pad of the paw print. Cats have more of a rounded pad while dogs have pads that are more triangular in shape. The rear edge of a cat pad will have three rounded lobes.

Next, check for visible fur marks in the print.

Cats have fur between their pads which often shows up in prints. The fur markings look similar to brush strokes, and you will see them between the pad prints, especially between the main pad and the toe pads.

Finally, look for other evidence such as scratching on trees, fences and other wooden objects. Cats often sharpen their claws or mark their territory on wooden structures.

How to Identify Wild Dog Tracks


To accurately identify different animal tracks takes practice. Every animal has a distinct print, and with time, you will be able to identify these prints made with ease.

First, look for 4 toe imprints. All dogs have 4 toes.

Next, look for a small space between the pad of the foot and the toes. A wide gap indicates a track from another type of animal.

Then, determine if the track from the front foot is larger than the track from the hind foot. If the front and back foot leave the same size imprint, it is probably not a wild dog.

Finally, look for nail prints above the toes. The nail prints on the middle toes should be prominent. You may also be able to see lighter prints for the outside toes.