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The Encyclopedia of Tracks and Scats: A Comprehensive Guide to the Trackable Animals of the United States and Canada Paperback – Nov 1 2004

2.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Lyons Press; First edition (Nov. 1 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592280706
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592280704
  • Product Dimensions: 27.8 x 21.6 x 2.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #596,326 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"His descriptions of scat-the poop pictures, as it were-will surely capture the imagination of even the most video-game hooked child, at least for a moment."--Santa Fe New Mexican

"Good stuff."--Statesman Journal

About the Author

Len McDougall is a full-time outdoor writer and professional photographer and illustrator with more than thirty years' experience in the North Woods. He teaches survival classes by appointment and tests outdoors products and has also worked as a field guide and tracker. His books include The Complete Tracker, The Field & Stream Wilderness Survival Handbook, Made for the Outdoors, The Outdoors Almanac, and Practical Outdoor Survival.

He lives in Paradise, Michigan.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I recently purchased this book and was anticipating a useful tracking book. The information contained in the book is useful, however, the pictures/drawing are terrible. There are a number of sketches of animals and their tracks that are horrible. Of the thousands of photos available of animals, the book would have been of greater value if it had used those instead. However, this is a tracks book, so I was looking for photos of tracks and paws, but again, the sketches were sub-par and mostly useless. A disappointing purchase
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa12339f0) out of 5 stars 7 reviews
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa13ed33c) out of 5 stars not what I expected March 11 2006
By Kathleen M. Bordick - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I was very disappointed with the Tracks and Scats Encyclopedia because of the hand drawn tracks. Len boasts "ample use of photographs and line drawings" for identifying tracks. His photographs are of animals, of which I am familiar, and his line drawings are of the scat and tracks; disappointing because it was for authenticity of the scat and tracks that I purchased the book. I wanted actual pictures of tracks and scat, a representation of what I would see in the field, not something I would use in a greeting card or placemat. I would not recommend this book to anyone that has spent more than 2 days out-of-doors. I may actually donate this book to the high school library and buy a Peterson's Guide.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa13e9aa4) out of 5 stars Save your money March 20 2007
By Mike Patterson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
McDougal's _Tracks and Scat_ was a major disappointment. One presumes that a work with the word "encyclopedia" in it would live up to its subtitle, "a comprehensive guide to trackable animals in the United States and Canada". It certainly covers plenty of animals, but it's hardly comprehensive. There are very few photos and most of them are of poor quality and difficult to make out. The black-and-white drawings of various species are done in a style that's so amateurish that some of the drawings are laugh-out-loud funny (the bobcat and wolverine are particularly sad). The track drawings are better than the animal drawings, but I would argue that Ian Sheldon's back-pocket guide _Animal Tracks of Washington and Oregon_ (1997 Lone Pine Press) is a much better (and less expensive) reference if one is looking for a straight animal track guide.

Perhaps most annoying is that even though the word scat is in the title, there are only a couple of photos of scat and a couple of crappy drawings. The "comprehensive" descriptions of scat for most species amounts to a couple sentences that do next to nothing to help the tracker differentiate cats from dogs from mustellids. It is in this regard that one feels most egregiously ripped off.

So, don't be fooled. Leave this book on the shelf and let it go quietly out of print....
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa13e9f78) out of 5 stars The Encyclopedia of Tracks and Scats: A Comprehensive Guide to the Trackable Animals of the United States and Canada April 28 2008
By Wilderness - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book was a huge dissapointment. All pictures are either sketches, line drawings or black and white photos. If you want pictures/photos, and want them in color, don't buy this book. The title is very misleading. Got a new book. Turned the first page and the binding cracked.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa16a642c) out of 5 stars A terrible, inaccurate guide Nov. 19 2009
By Reader2001 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is a disservice to folks desiring to learn track and sign, and to those who work hard to make wildlife tracking a reputable and useful skill for eco tourism, research, etc.

The book is loaded with mistakes:
-Wrongly labeled photographs (which I'm assuming was not due to the publisher, but to the remarkable ineptitude of the author.) To name just two: the mountain lion track is a dog, and the fisher is a raccoon. There are so many it's painful to flip through the book.

-The drawings are terrible and misleading.

-The gaits are confusing, showing unclear or partial trail patterns that are incorrectly identified.

The author may be a decent naturalist- but the book clearly shows that he has spent extremely little time in the field actually tracking. To be honest, the book is so shabby it leads one to suspect the author saw a way to make a quick buck with very little knowledge.
HASH(0xa1e958e8) out of 5 stars Has anyone actually read this book? Feb. 7 2010
By Nahanni47 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Agreed, the book could benefit from good photos, and the publisher should never have let it reach print without them, but if you're looking for a factual reference to learning how to track wildlife, there's not one in print that's more comprehensive than The Encyclopedia of Tracks and Scats. Expert trackers will all tell you that beginners look for tracks, while experts read sign - sign that cannot be adequately illustrated in either a photo or a drawing. If you want a comic book, try Marvel or DC; if you want a hardcore tracking reference, this is the book for you.