frozen dry snow

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easttntrapper
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frozen dry snow

Postby easttntrapper » Fri Dec 19, 2014 7:52 am

What are some tips y'all got for dry powdery snow. The kind that you can really tell much about the track. How do y'all know its a cat in these conditions. Last year seemed like we couldn't get a decent snow and figured I needed to be better prepared in case this year was the same.
burnin tail
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Re: frozen dry snow

Postby burnin tail » Fri Dec 19, 2014 10:53 am

Cats have a staggered pattern,canines do not.
chiller
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Re: frozen dry snow

Postby chiller » Fri Dec 19, 2014 11:26 am

you should be able to tell its a cat just by what it does when its walking/hunting. they like walking on down trees and they dont piss on every twig on clump of grass on the side of a trail.
rockytrails
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Re: frozen dry snow

Postby rockytrails » Fri Dec 19, 2014 3:25 pm

couple ideas. Sometimes you can blow the track out and see the print. As stated before, staggered pattern. To clarify that, the stagger is actually the track pattern width, wider on cats narrower on dogs. The dogs will go back and forth while the cat will generally walk straighter lines, so the cat walks straighter lines. This is because, as stated before, the dogs have to investigate every smell and piss on it. hope this helps a little.
david
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Re: frozen dry snow

Postby david » Sat Dec 20, 2014 12:35 am

As Rocky Trails said, try blowing it out. Sometimes the heat of your breath is helpful, and if you keep blowing, the looser snow will melt if it won't blow out, and the compressed track will show up. Byron Bird, a master Wisconsin hunter, and a big man, used a fireplace billows to make this much easier, although you won't get the snow melt this way, but get a more powerful and focused burst of air.

Use a flashlight if it is at all cloudy or dark enough because of the time of day. Don't shine the light straight Into the track, shine it across the track, so it lights up the ridges. If you have enough snow, push the light into the snow beside the track and shine the light through the track. I have seen the glorious ridges of a bobcat track light up like a neon sign: even if you could not get it blown clean.

If anyone has driven the road, and you see some suspicious looking tracks ahead, slow down, stop and get out before you get to the track. I don't think I have ever seen a cat that will step over that automobile track if it was there when he walked. He will step right in it and often will leave you the picture perfect cat track where you can even see the "w" pattern in the heal.

When you finally do get a track you know is a cat, I hope you can take a few hours to just follow it. This will help you for the rest of your cat hunting days. These guys have all learned to recognize how a cat walks. There are times when other stuff walks like that too, but you will quickly know when it is something that does not walk like a cat. Some times huge toms will fool you because they don't always walk like a cat. Haha. The size if the body and chest determines how much the tracks look like they line up or look staggered left and right. A real little cat might have its track almost in a straight line. The big boys look drunk by comparison. They might even drag their feet which just adds to that image. They probably speak a little slurred as well. :D

Some cats like to bound across the road and jump the ditch because the snow will be deeper in these places than under the trees and brush. They don't like the deeper snow and just want to hit it a couple times if they can. You will sometimes see almost a hole in the snow where they hit the bank with all four together for the next jump. You need to learn their sitzmark when they do this. It is more like a rabbit shaped track in the road where the front feet plant and may be together or staggered like a rabbits front feet and the back legs come forward of the front and will be parallel for the next leap.

When you follow the tracks into the woods and brush the cat will seek out spots where there is little snow, like under low hanging evergreen boughs. Get on your hands and knees if you have to and crawl in there because there will be a little gift for you there. A nice clear bobcat track in just a skiff of snow.
david
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Re: frozen dry snow

Postby david » Sat Dec 20, 2014 1:35 am

I hope I didn't make it sound easy, because some types of powder snow are just real difficult to deal with. Hopefully that far south you will get a little nice wet snow.
easttntrapper
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Re: frozen dry snow

Postby easttntrapper » Sat Dec 20, 2014 4:15 am

Thanks for the tips. last year was bad. It seemed to only snow when it was extremely cold. The snow would just blow around and on windy ridges there was no snow.
tradslam
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Re: frozen dry snow

Postby tradslam » Sat Dec 20, 2014 2:53 pm

Thats all we have here, blow it out, follow it until I find some of the info from above.
Old dog
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Re: frozen dry snow

Postby Old dog » Sat Dec 20, 2014 3:10 pm

nothing much worst that cat hunting in this kind of snow as far as frustrating goes. all of the above posts are good advice but I may add a few things. if you know the area you are hunting in then you should know where the crossings are and if the suspected track is in a cat crossing then it moves the odds a little closer to a cat. we have talked about reading you're dog on here before and if you road them across the track, sometimes you can get an idea by the way they act. usually when I have to hunt in these conditions, I rely on the rigging abilities of my dog. jmo
no mater if you think you can or you think you cant,, you are probably rite.
twist
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Re: frozen dry snow

Postby twist » Sat Dec 20, 2014 4:35 pm

There is times you just can't tell by looking. A broke dog put down on it will tell you real fast. Andy
The home of TOPPER AGAIN bred biggame hounds.

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