Hello Mr. Poacher…

Rory Young shared this photo of a poacher’s tracks.

poacher tracksJust to prove that I have been paying attention to Rory’s tracking lessons, I will tell you what I can about the person who made the tracks.

From the large size I think that a man left these prints. Also male because the toes are close together. Women’s toes are typically more spread apart.

His toes are not digging in so I think he is walking and not running or jogging. Though for someone walking his stride is quite long, that tells me that he has long legs. So probably a tall man.

I know he is very fit with not much fat on his body because his straddle is extremely tight. Straddle is the side-to-side width of his feet from each other. An unfit person will usually carry fat on the inside of their thighs and that will make their straddle wider.

He is not carrying a heavy load. If he was carrying something heavy his toes would dig in more, his straddle would be wider and stride would be shorter.

If there was a measuring stick next to one of his feet showing the exact length of his footprint I could give you his approximate height.

So we have a tall fit man, walking confidently along with no clue that rangers are on his trail. Either he is a foolish man or he has been doing his poaching with no fear of reprisal for too long, because he is leaving a very clear trail in a sandy area making no attempt to conceal his tracks.

The second photo shows the arrested poacher poacher and sonsand his two sons. Rory explained that while one of them was putting out the fish traps, shown in the photo, the other was setting snares and gin traps in the bush. The youngest was their lookout.

(I have told Rory that if we ever walk together in the bush I will be jumping from rock to rock and will drag a big leafy branch behind me so he won’t know all my secrets.)   🙂