It’s been rather rainy and cold over the last several days.  After being stuck inside so much, sometimes it’s just nice to get outside and do something and to stretch my legs.  It was one of these moments just a few days ago that I had a small revelation and joy that I wanted to share.

I was out walking around a lake that’s very close to my house and I was just going around and hiking.  I’m a fan of hiking and it’s an easy way to get out a bit and relax.  As I was going, I saw some tracks in the mud.  I’m always a bit curious when I see tracks because I want to know when they were made and what kind of animal it was.

There are lots of places where you can go to learn this information, but it’s pretty neat looking back that I could figure out what kind of animal it was and what direction it was going in.  Later on when I was hiking back out I found some more stuff that was neat.

I found a bedding area and then also an area that had been recently scavenged through with all sorts of grasses bent and moved out of their normal place.  I’m not an expert by any means, but I do know that this is one of those fun skills that you can do and keep entertained all year-long and you don’t think about getting better at it, but when it comes time to put that information to work that it’s really helpful.

Tracking and the Art of Seeing: How to Read Animal Tracks and Sign

The above link is to a book on tracking.  I briefly read through bits here and there over the course of a year.  I never really went in-depth on studying it really good except to tell the difference between hogs and deer.  It’s kind of neat what you pick up though.  To look around for damaged limbs, scat, or scrapings that can help you figure out what happened is a neat skill to pick up.

It sure makes me feel like I’m a better outdoorsman.  I really don’t think I’d ever need to know how to survive in the wild to live there, but then again, no one ever plans on being forced to.  Without being forced to study it, I liked it and when I found something that I didn’t know, I could just come back and take a quick look to see what I thought it was.

So that’s my rainy day archery story.  Sorry if it wasn’t super exciting, but I really enjoyed being out side walking around and felt that just the smallest bit of extra knowledge made it more enjoyable.

Anyways, just a thought on how doing small things throughout the year can help you learn more and be a better outdoorsman with just a few minutes a month.


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