Minnesota Tracking Club is a social group for anyone interested in the art of wildlife tracking. The group meets monthly, usually at Ft. Snelling State Park and occasionally at other locations in and around the Twin Cities metro area. Monthly gatherings are facilitated by certified wildlife trackers with many years of experience in track and sign interpretation. Tracking club excursions are open to everyone.
Trailing is the art of following fresh animal sign, with the goal of seeing the animal that left it. To support our members' growing interest in trailing, we host monthly practice sessions at a variety of locations in and around the Metro Area. Our primary focus is following deer trails, but we also spend time observing deer behavior and creating our own fresh trails to follow. Because we are focused on finding and observing animals, there is little conversation or guidance offered during trailing practice.
Bird Language Sits
Birds talk to each other. We can learn to understand it. And it's fun! Bird language is the art of interpreting the calls, postures and behavior of birds to identify the locations of predators and other forces on the landscape. Experienced bird language observers regularly use their skills to locate Cooper's hawks in suburban neighborhoods, and to identify the approach of hikers in the back-country two minutes before they come into view. We host regular Bird Languages Gatherings and offer mentoring and resources for people interested in learning to facilitate Bird Language sits.
Wildlife Tracking Surveys
The Minnesota Wildlife Tracking Project partners with research and conservation organizations throughout the state to conduct wildlife tracking surveys. The lead trackers on our surveys hold Level III or higher certification in Track & Sign Identification, and have extensive experience in wildlife tracking and wildlife research. Each of our projects also includes a strong educational and Citizen Science component. We support interested students and naturalists in learning track and sign interpretation, and to pursue certification in Track & Sign Interpretation. Learn more about our survey projects on our iNaturalist project pages:
Cedar Creek Wildlife Survey in partnership with the University of Minnesota College of Biological Sciences
Hobson Forest Wildlife Tracking Survey in partnership with Bemidji State Univeristy
Minnesota Metro Otter Survey in partnership with the National Park Service
We offer tracker certification through CyberTracker North America. Founded in South Africa, this process is globally recognized as an unparalleled tool for learning about local wildlife and landscapes while preserving and advancing tracking skill. We host Track & Sign Evaluations, and participate in Trailing Evaluations hosted by our friends at North Winds Wilderness School. If you are interested in taking part in an evaluation, contact us and we will keep you up-to-date about upcoming evaluations.
CyberTracker Study Buddies
To help support members preparing for Track & Sign Evaluations, we hold an ongoing study group. Members gather to share research and tracking journals. If you are preparing for an evaluation, or simply wish to dive in deeper to your own study of Track & Sign Interpretation, contact us and we will be in touch about these gatherings.