This weekend is a great time to be out in the woods either scouting for shed antlers or just enjoying the quiet beauty of the late winter woods. This also happens to be my favorite time of the year to look for animal tracks. As the sun intensifies and the days grow longer, many of the woodland creatures are growing more active with each passing day.
As a youth, I relied heavily on a pocket resource that had both a worn cover and dog-eared pages serving as my identification guide to determine which animal made a certain set of tracks. Over the years, I eventually stowed that resource away as I became more comfortable making those identification decisions without the aid of a guide.
But that was back during the 20th Century. Now that we live in the 21st Century, beginning outdoors enthusiasts don’t need a book. In fact, today if you encounter an unidentifiable animal track all a person needs is their iPhone or an iPod Touch.
That’s right…one of the most fundamental woodsman skills has now gone high-tech. As my 13–year old stepson would probably say…learning to identify animal tracks from a paperback book would be the “old school” way to do it.
Check out the new app (short for “application”). My good friend, Jeff Greco, from New York State, is the developer and I have to say he’s done a fabulous job with this one-of-a-kind software product. Here’s a quick demonstration video showing the product in action:
The point I most want to emphasize is to get outdoors and explore nature’s fun. If it takes a fun, new app like this to get you and your child outdoors into the woods to explore it…so much the better.
On the other hand, if you don’t have a smart phone capable of using an app like this there’s absolutely no problem with learning from a book, either. At least with a book, you never have to worry about the battery wearing down.
Know of any other good outdoors-related phone applications? Please share it with us by leaving a comment below.