Events

Trailing Practice: Sun, Jun 27

posted Jun 3, 2021, 2:43 PM by Jonathan Poppele   [ updated Jun 14, 2021, 1:52 PM ]

June trailing practice will be in Reservoir Woods in Roseville,
a 115 acre undeveloped park with a dense population of suburban deer. Join us as we practice following the trails of deer (and perhaps each other) with the goal of seeing the animal we are tracking. The deer at Reservoir Woods are a little more shy than their kin at Ft. Snelling--but still used to having people around. We may get a glimpse of them, but they are unlikely to follow us around the park.

Sunday, June 27
9:00 am - 12:00 pm

We will gather at the parking lot at the corner of Alta Vista Dr and Stuber Rd:  

Reservoir Woods Park
1901 Alta Vista Dr
Roseville, MN 55113



This is an all-weather event and we spend time off trail. There are minimal amenities at Reservoir Woods. No drinking fountains and a single port-a-potty. Please bring appropriate gear and dress for several hours outdoors in whatever weather we may have that day.

We will meet at 9:00 in the parking lot. We will head out on the trail shortly after 9:00 and return to the parking lot by 12:00 pm. If you need to reach us the day of the outing, please call Kirsten's cell phone at 651-785-4650. Please note that once we are trailing, our phones will be on vibrate and we could easily miss an incoming call.

RSVPs are encouraged, but not required.



Click Here for Directions

Reservoir Woods








CyberTracker Evaluations

posted Jun 3, 2021, 1:34 PM by Jonathan Poppele   [ updated Jun 14, 2021, 3:58 PM ]

About Track & Sign Evaluations

These two-day long Master Classes in track and sign interpretation are led by some of the finest wildlife tracking instructors in North America. These evaluations are one of the best ways to speed up your learning process, advance your skills, and help you gauge your current level of expertise as a tracker. No prior training is required to participate.


Track & Sign Evaluation

September 4-5

On Labor Day weekend, we will host a Standard Track & Sign Evaluation. Standard evaluations are ideal for all levels of trackers, from novice to professional. Questions range from the clearest and most familiar tracks and sign of common animals all the way to obscure sign, partial prints, and the tracks of small or rare species. The evaluator debriefs each question, making sure all the participant don't just know the answer, but understand exactly why that is the answer. The evaluation will be led by Marcus Reynerson.

Cost $275

Marcus has also offered to run a second evaluation on September 2-3. If there is enough interest, we will go ahead and add this second set of dates. The first evaluation is currently filled, with a short waiting list. Please contact us if you are interested in participating (in either set of dates) and we will do our best to give everyone an opportunity to take part.


Track & Sign Specialist Evaluation

May 28-29, 2022

Next Memorial Day weekend, we will host Minnesota's first ever Specialist Evaluation. Specialist Evaluations are designed with experienced trackers in mind. Questions focus on the tracks of small or rare species, partial footprints, and indistinct tracks and sign that may require considerable experience to identify. The evaluation is led by two instructors, offering participants more evaluator contact and exposure to an even greater depth of knowledge and perspectives. For the experienced tracker, there is simply no better opportunity to move your skills forward than a Specialist Evaluation. Casey McFarland will be the external evaluator.

Cost: $375


Registration

Registration is open the 2022 Specialist Evaluation. To register, Contact Us and submit a full payment to Minnesota Wildlife Tracking Project. You are registered for an evaluation when we receive your payment. Because of up-front the costs associated with hosting evaluators, registrations are transferable but not refundable. If you are unable to attend an evaluation you have registered for, we may only be able to offer a refund if we can fill your spot.

Mail payment to
Jonathan Poppele
846 Clear Ave
St. Paul, MN 55106


Evaluators

Casey McFarland is one of the most senior CyberTracker Evaluators in the US and currently sits as President of CyberTracker North America. He has run over 130 Evaluations in 8 countries and 14 US states and was integral to the establishment CyberTracker Europe. Casey is co-author of the forthcoming Peterson Field Guide to North American Bird Nests (Houghton Mifflin summer 2021) and Bird Feathers: A Guide to North American Species (Stackpole 2010), and a contributing author to Mammal Tracks and Sign: A Guide to North American Species (2nd Ed).

Marcus Reynerson is engaged in telling stories that bring to life the complexity of the ways humans are currently living in the 21st century. He was the Associate Producer of the conservation documentary Last Stand: The Vanishing Caribou Rainforest and a contributing author for Caribou Rainforest by Braided River Press. Born in south Louisiana and raised in Kentucky, Marcus currently lives in the Snoqualmie Valley in Washington State, just east of Seattle where he is the Lead Instructor for an internationally renowned environmental leadership program for adults at the Wilderness Awareness School.


The Location

Evaluations will be held in and around Ft. Snelling State Park. Located in a metropolitan are of over 1 million people, Ft. Snelling boasts remarkable wildlife activity and diversity. The Minnesota Wildlife Tracking Project hosts our monthly Tracking Club at Ft. Snelling, and have recorded the tracks and sign of over 20 species of mammals there including otter, mink, weasel, skunk, fox, opossum, and at least four species of tree climbing squirrels.

June Tracking Club: Standing Still

posted Jun 3, 2021, 1:22 PM by Jonathan Poppele   [ updated Jun 3, 2021, 1:22 PM ]

Come join us for our next Tracking Excursion at Ft. Snelling State Park: 

Sunday, June 20 
9:00am - 1:00pm

We will gather at the Ft. Snelling State Park visitor center:

Ft. Snelling State Park
101 Snelling Lake Rd
West St Paul, MN 55111


The word "solstice" is Latin for "sun stands still" and refers to the points on the horizon where the sun rises and sets. For a few days around the solstice, the locations of sunrise and sunset slow their northern progression to a standstill before moving south again. The solstice marks the beginning of astronomical summer, when many animal begin to slow their rhythms down from the frenetic pace of spring. We will plan to do the same--taking a cue from the sun by slowing our movement across the landscape to take a long look at the tracks and sing we encounter.

This is an all-weather event and we spend time off trail. Please bring appropriate footwear and dress for several hours outdoors in whatever weather we may have that day.

We will gather at 9:00 outside of the Visitor Center. We will head out on the trail about 9:15 and return to the visitor center to wrap-up and share. If you need to reach us the day of the outing, please call or text Jon's cell phone at 612-388-4700. Note that cell reception is poor in much of the park, and calls do not always come through.

You need a State Park pass to drive to the Visitor Center. The parking lot at the Historic Fort is closed for construction.

RSVPs are encouraged, but not required.

Click Here for Directions

Ft. Snelling Visitor Center







May Tracking Club: A Full Fledged Gathering

posted May 10, 2021, 10:51 AM by Jonathan Poppele   [ updated May 10, 2021, 10:52 AM ]

Come join us for our next Tracking Excursion at Ft. Snelling State Park: 

Sunday, May 16 
9:00am - 1:00pm

We will gather outside the Ft. Snelling State Park visitor center:

Ft. Snelling State Park
101 Snelling Lake Rd
West St Paul, MN 55111


The trees are leafing out, the canopy is filling in, and early nesters are beginning to fledge. With spring in full swing, let's gather at Ft. Snelling and see what kinds of tracks and signs the local denizens are leaving behind.

This is an all-weather event and we spend time off trail. Please bring appropriate footwear and dress for several hours outdoors in whatever weather we may have that day.

We will gather at 9:00 outside of the Visitor Center. We will head out on the trail about 9:15 and return to the visitor center to wrap-up and share. If you need to reach us the day of the outing, please call or text Jon's cell phone at 612-388-4700. Note that cell reception is poor in much of the park, and calls do not always come through.

Important Notes

We will continue to encourage masks and social distancing during our gatherings, but will begin to follow the "two out of three" guideline outlined here by the New York Times. Please have a mask available and plan to wear it at any time you are less than six feet away from anyone outside your household. When maintaining social distance (blackbirds are great at teaching social distance), feel free to remove your mask.

You need a State Park pass to drive to the Visitor Center. The parking lot at the Historic Fort is closed for construction.

RSVPs are encouraged, but not required.

Click Here for Directions

Ft. Snelling Visitor Center






Trailing Practice: Sat, May 15

posted May 7, 2021, 11:22 AM by Jonathan Poppele   [ updated May 7, 2021, 11:25 AM ]

Trailing practice returns to Reservoir Woods in Roseville this month,
a 115 acre undeveloped park with a dense population of suburban deer. Join us as we practice following the trails of deer (and perhaps each other) with the goal of seeing the animal we are tracking. The deer at Reservoir Woods are a little more shy than their kin at Ft. Snelling--but still used to having people around. We may get a glimpse of them, but they are unlikely to follow us around the park.

Please wear a mask and plan to maintain spatial distancing of a bit over one deer's length. If we are successful, we may again be able to use actual deer to check this.

Saturday, May 15
9:00 am - 12:00 pm

We will gather at the parking lot at the corner of Alta Vista Dr and Stuber Rd:  

Reservoir Woods Park
1901 Alta Vista Dr
Roseville, MN 55113



This is an all-weather event and we spend time off trail. There are no amenities at Reservoir Woods. No bathrooms, no drinking fountains. Please bring appropriate gear and dress for several hours outdoors in whatever weather we may have that day.

We will meet at 9:00 in the parking lot. We will head out on the trail shortly after 9:00 and return to the parking lot by 12:00 pm. If you need to reach us the day of the outing, please call Kirsten's cell phone at 651-785-4650. Please note that once we are trailing, our phones will be on vibrate and we could easily miss an incoming call.

RSVPs are encouraged, but not required.



Click Here for Directions

Reservoir Woods







Trailing Practice: Sun, Apr 25

posted Apr 13, 2021, 9:02 AM by Jonathan Poppele   [ updated Apr 13, 2021, 9:33 AM ]

Trailing practice returns Ft. Snelling for April. The matted leaf litter of early spring offers some of the best substrate for finding and following fresh trails. It's even better after a recent rain. But rain or shine, we will plan to follow some trails--and likely get a chance to watch some deer going about their morning as well.

Please wear a mask and plan to maintain spatial distancing of a bit over one deer's length. We are often able to get quite close to the deer at Ft. Snelling, so we may be able to check this first hand.

Sunday, April 25
9:00 am - 12:00 pm

We will gather in the parking lot south of the Thomas C. Savage Visitor Center
Thomas C. Savage Visitor Center
Fort Snelling State Trail
St Paul, MN 55111

This is an all-weather event and we spend time off trail. With COVID, the Visitor Center is not open and there are limited amenities: Outdoor biffy, no drinking fountains. Please bring appropriate gear and dress for several hours outdoors in whatever weather we may have that day. Please also take precautions for ticks, as we expect to follow deer trails through prime tick habitat. Ticks are active all year and we have friends who have contracted Lyme disease in Minnesota in January.

We will meet at 9:00 in the parking lot. We will head out on the trail shortly after 9:00 and return to the parking lot by 12:00 pm. If you need to reach us the day of the outing, please call Kirsten's cell phone at 651-785-4650. Please note that once we are trailing, our phones will be on vibrate and we could easily miss an incoming call.

Important Notes

You need a State Park pass to drive to the Visitor Center. The parking lot at the Historic Fort Snelling visitor center is currently closed for construction.

RSVPs are encouraged, but not required.

Click Here for Directions:

Ft. Snelling Visitor Center












Tracking Club: April Showers

posted Apr 9, 2021, 10:19 AM by Jonathan Poppele   [ updated Apr 13, 2021, 8:49 AM ]

Come join us for our next Tracking Excursion at Ft. Snelling State Park: 

Sunday, April 18 
9:00am - 1:00pm

We will gather outside the Ft. Snelling State Park visitor center:

Ft. Snelling State Park
101 Snelling Lake Rd
West St Paul, MN 55111


The snow is gone, but recent rain showers have left us with lots of great mud to capture tracks. Migratory songbirds are returning from the Neotropics. Frogs are singing in vernal pools. Trees are beginning to leaf out. And muskrats and beavers are busy marking the shorelines along the rivers. It's time to get out and explore this changing of the season.

This is an all-weather event and we spend time off trail. Please bring appropriate footwear and dress for several hours outdoors in whatever weather we may have that day.

We will gather at 9:00 outside of the Visitor Center. We will head out on the trail about 9:15 and return to the visitor center to wrap-up and share. If you need to reach us the day of the outing, please call or text Jon's cell phone at 612-388-4700. Note that cell reception is poor in much of the park, and calls do not always come through.

Important Notes

Please wear a mask and plan to maintain a distance of roughly one deer length from those outside of your household.

You need a State Park pass to drive to the Visitor Center. The parking lot at the Historic Fort is closed for construction.

RSVPs are encouraged, but not required.

Click Here for Directions

Ft. Snelling Visitor Center





March Tracking Club: Signs of Spring

posted Mar 10, 2021, 8:05 AM by Jonathan Poppele   [ updated Mar 10, 2021, 8:06 AM ]

Come join us for our next Tracking Excursion at Ft. Snelling State Park the day after the Spring Eqinox:

Sunday, March 21
9:00am - 1:00pm

We will gather outside the Ft. Snelling State Park visitor center:

Ft. Snelling State Park
101 Snelling Lake Rd
West St Paul, MN 55111


Spring is coming a bit early this year in the Northland. Record high temperatures in early March have erased our snowpack and brought out the smells of early spring. We will likely get a few more snowfalls before the trees leaf out, but deep winter appears to be behind us. How are the animals shifting their behavior with this warming weather? Have the woodchuck come out of hibernation? Are the deer finding early spring growth to feed on? We will head out onto the landscape and look for signs of spring.

This is an all-weather event and we spend time off trail. Please bring appropriate footwear and dress for several hours outdoors in whatever weather we may have that day.

We will gather at 9:00 outside of the Visitor Center. We will head out on the trail about 9:15 and return to the visitor center to wrap-up and share. If you need to reach us the day of the outing, please call or text Jon's cell phone at 612-388-4700. Note that cell reception is poor in much of the park, and calls do not always come through.

Important Notes

Please wear a mask and plan to maintain a distance of roughly one deer length from those outside of your household.

You need a State Park pass to drive to the Visitor Center. The parking lot at the Historic Fort is closed for construction.

RSVPs are encouraged, but not required.

Click Here for Directions

Ft. Snelling Visitor Center




Trailing Practice: Sun, Mar 14

posted Feb 28, 2021, 11:02 AM by Jonathan Poppele   [ updated Mar 10, 2021, 9:01 AM ]

Please note the updated date for March.

Trailing practice returns Ft. Snelling this month. We are getting into shoulder season for trailing. The matted leaf litter of early spring can offer some of the best substrate for finding and following fresh trails. Old snow or hard frozen ground, on the other hand, can make identifying fresh trails extremely difficult. But no matter what the substrate, we usually catch sight of some deer at Ft. Snelling and have a chance to watch their behavior. Or, as the case may be, have some deer watch our behavior.

Please wear a mask and plan to maintain spatial distancing of a bit over one deer's length. We are often able to get quite close to the deer at Ft. Snelling, so we may be able to check this first hand.

Sunday, March 14
9:00 am - 12:00 pm

We will gather in the parking lot south of the Thomas C. Savage Visitor Center
Thomas C. Savage Visitor Center
Fort Snelling State Trail
St Paul, MN 55111

This is an all-weather event and we spend time off trail. With COVID, the Visitor Center is not open and there are limited amenities: Outdoor biffy, no drinking fountains. Please bring appropriate gear and dress for several hours outdoors in whatever weather we may have that day. Please also take precautions for ticks, as we expect to follow deer trails through prime tick habitat. Ticks are active all year and we have friends who have contracted Lyme disease in Minnesota in January.

We will meet at 9:00 in the parking lot. We will head out on the trail shortly after 9:00 and return to the parking lot by 12:00 pm. If you need to reach us the day of the outing, please call Kirsten's cell phone at 651-785-4650. Please note that once we are trailing, our phones will be on vibrate and we could easily miss an incoming call.

Important Notes

You need a State Park pass to drive to the Visitor Center. The parking lot at the Historic Fort Snelling visitor center is currently closed for construction.

RSVPs are encouraged, but not required.

Click Here for Directions:

Ft. Snelling Visitor Center











February Tracking Club: Otter go Tracking

posted Feb 12, 2021, 10:04 AM by Jonathan Poppele   [ updated Feb 17, 2021, 7:03 AM ]

Come join us for our next Tracking Excursion at Ft. Snelling State Park:

Sunday, February 21
9:00am - 1:00pm

We will gather outside the Ft. Snelling State Park visitor center:

Ft. Snelling State Park
101 Snelling Lake Rd
West St Paul, MN 55111


North American River Otters are just plain fun to track. That they are also good indicator of the health of an aquatic ecosystem. Since 2009, the National Park Service has been conducting track and sign surveys along the Mississippi River to study our metro area otter populations. For the past couple of years, we have been sharing our sightings of otter track and sign with the National Park Service through our iNaturalist project, the Minnesota Metro Otter Survey. Come join us as we search the shores of the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers for signs of these inquisitive aquatic members of the weasel family, and learn to distinguish their tracks and sign from those of other animals.

This is an all-weather event and we spend time off trail. Please bring appropriate footwear and dress for several hours outdoors in whatever weather we may have that day.

We will gather at 9:00 outside of the Visitor Center. We will head out on the trail about 9:15 and return to the visitor center to wrap-up and share. If you need to reach us the day of the outing, please call or text Jon's cell phone at 612-388-4700. Note that cell reception is poor in much of the park, and calls do not always come through.

Important Notes

Please wear a mask and plan to maintain a distance of roughly two otter lengths from those outside of your household.

You need a State Park pass to drive to the Visitor Center. The parking lot at the Historic Fort is closed for construction.

RSVPs are encouraged, but not required.

Click Here for Directions

Ft. Snelling Visitor Center



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