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How to Track a Predator!


– [Coyote] Any body of
water is going to be the best place to find animal tracks. (mellow melodic music) – [Mario] What are these? I don’t know what tracks these are. – Hold on a second, here we
go, I think I got something. Yes! – I don’t know what this is, these tracks are really intriguing. They look like dinosaur tracks, but of course, that’s not possible, at least I don’t think it’s possible. (dynamic jungle music) (birds twittering) – What’s going on, Coyote Pack? It is a beautiful autumn
day here in Columbus, Ohio and we are at one of my favorite
metro parks, Prairie Oaks. Mario, do you remember the
last time we were here? – [Mario] I definitely do and I was wearing a lot more
layers, ’cause it was freezing. I definitely appreciate
this temperature today. – We made a video called “Winter
Wilderness,” a buddy film, so I figured why not
make a buddy film sequel, where we head back out
into the environment to look for mammals. But what’s unique about today is we’re debuting the Brave Wilderness North American Mammals Adventure Kit. – Alright, what’s in it? – Of course, you wanna know
what’s inside the box, right? So my favorite mammal is the wolverine and I always wanted a
wolverine figurine as a kid, so there you have it.
– Nice. – [Coyote] Absolutely love this guy. – Oh, man! – Beautiful, right?
– That is really accurate. – Absolutely, now give me back that toy. So what else is cool about this kit is it has an Animal Track Plaster Kit. – Wow, I’ve actually
never used one of these. – You’ve never done this before? – No, I have not, so
that’s a legit plaster kit. – It is.
– Wow! – So what I was thinking we would today is head back out into the environment and see who can find the
coolest mammal tracks and then make plaster casts of them. Now we should rank these tracks
on three different levels. – Okay. – I think uniqueness of species found, the quality of the actual print as it lies naturally
within the environment and then last, but not least, the quality of the cast you pull. – [Mario] Okay, sounds good,
is there a prize at the end? – How about the winner gets to
take home the toy wolverine. – Nice.
– Not yet, though, first you’ve got to find those tracks. Let’s give ourselves 30 minutes, you think we can find
tracks and pour that cast within 30 minutes?
– I think so, I think I’m a good tracker.
– Okay, cool. You have a GoPro, I’ll have a GoPro, let’s split up and may the
best animal tracker win. – Searching for tracks is something that requires your full attention. – In most instances I consider
animal tracking an art form, it can be very difficult to
find mammals in the wild. What I’m on right here
is actually a game trail, so I followed this a ways
and it heads downhill and it looks like toward a river. Now any body of water is
going to be the best place to find animal tracks,
where the ground is softer, that’s where the animals are
gonna leave their impression. – [Mario] So this is not necessarily going to get some prints that well, it’s a little too dry,
too hard of a surface. – Ah, look at this, my first tracks, those are deer tracks right
there, definitely the hoof from likely a pretty good
sized white-tailed deer, now you may look at a track like this and say okay, is this the
perfect spot to start your cast? Not really, a lot of this
substrate is very sandy, full of tiny little pebbles, so getting a good impression of that track is not gonna be possible. – Not sure how Coyote is doing, but I’ve got around 15 minutes left, before we have to meet back, so I’ve got to really step it up here. I’ll go in that direction. – Now this kind of substrate
is absolutely perfect, look at this, these deer tracks here are in good, firm clay. Now these would be the
perfect tracks for me to cast, except a white-tailed deer is about the most common
animal in this area and I don’t think I’m
gonna win the contest by casting tracks of deer. (mellow melodic music) – [Mario] What are these? Look at these tracks. – So I moved further inland from the river hoping that eventually I will find a different body of water,
maybe a swamp, maybe a pond. Everything’s just so dry right now. This is looking promising up
here though, look at this. Yes, yes! This is my first and most definitive sign, this right there is coyote poop (quirky melodic music) and from the smell of it, it’s fresh. Now you may be saying to yourself, Coyote, how can you look at animal scat and determine that it’s from a coyote? Well, there are no large canine
in this area like wolves, this is too big to be a fox and there are a bunch of little hairs and berries also in it. As to which direction this
coyote traveled, I’m not sure, but with the river just ahead of us here, I think I’ll go back
down to the embankment and see if it went there for a drink. Okay, coyote poop, we are
hot and on the stinky track. – This is definitely not a mammal, I don’t know what tracks these are. Huh! (quirky melodic music) They look very birdlike, I’m not sure what species this is. There’s one, two, three, four, then it kind of disappears
here in the long grass, which of course would make sense, if you’re an animal, you’re
gonna hide in this vegetation. – Okay, we’ve got a down slope over here, ooh, and it looks like a muddy embankment, okay, let’s check this out. This is the best mud I’ve seen all day. Look at this, there’s more mud than there is sand and rocks. (melodic haunting music) No tracks yet though. – Well, I don’t know what this is, these tracks are really intriguing, they look like dinosaur tracks, but of course that’s not possible, at least I don’t think it’s possible. – Hold on a second, here we
go, I think I’ve got something. Yes, yes, yes, yes! We’ve got coyote tracks, wow! Okay, that’s a coyote track,
that’s a coyote track, that right there is a
great coyote track, yes! Okay, I’ve found some
tracks in pretty solid mud and with only about
three minutes to spare, which means I need to
quickly set up my plaster kit and pour that plaster to pull a track, not exactly the rarest
animal in this area, but at this point, I’ll
take anything I can get. Now before I cast my track,
actually something that I’ll do is just use a small
piece of wood like this, which is an old tree branch,
it’s very flat, very smooth to actually flatten out
the earth around the track to make as perfect of a cast as I can. I don’t know if Mario is
aware of this prep work. – Alright, so here is the kit, (light melodic music) most important is the instructions. – Mixing ratio, two fluid ounces of water for every half cup of plaster mix. So in the kit is a little
mixing dish just like this and a track ring, now you wanna place this
ring around the track, so you can pour the
plaster on to the inside. – Now the next step is to
actually mix the plaster. (quirky melodic music) Knife with ya? Coyote’s got my knife. – [Coyote] And now I am
going to slowly start pouring that into my mixing container. I’m gonna only put about a
quarter of the bag in to start. – Gonna put about, I’m just
gonna put all of it actually. Now next step is to add some water, I’m not sure how to measure
out two fluid ounces, ’cause we don’t have a measuring device, I’m just gonna eyeball it. – [Coyote] You don’t want
the plaster to be too thin and you don’t want it to be too thick. Now we also provide you
with a stirring stick and you want this to have the
consistency of thick glue, so right now it is way,
way, way too watery, so what I’m gonna do is start
to add more plaster powder. – [Mario] This needs more water. – [Coyote] Oh, this is cool! Alright, now we’re getting somewhere. – This is getting messy, really messy. – [Coyote] This will start
to set within just minutes, so you want to move quickly once you start your mixing process. – Alright, next step is to pour it in. – [Coyote] This is that magic moment and you only get one shot at it, so make sure the plaster
is the perfect consistency. – [Mario] Ooh! – I always like to start
in the front paw pads. Okay, now the track is completely covered, but to make sure that
it’s all down and in, you don’t have any air pockets, I like to use my stir stick
to just work the plaster round a little bit and into the track. – Okay, a little bit
more water in here, oh! That’s too much water. It’s a lot harder than it looks, guys, it’s my first time doing this. – [Coyote] You wanna pace it out as you’re adding more plaster, you don’t wanna dump it
all on in one fell swoop, otherwise it won’t dry properly. Take your time, be
patient and with any luck you’ll have a perfect animal print cast. – Alright, well, there you
have it, that’s my attempt at making a plaster
mold of an animal track. – [Coyote] Okay, my
track is completely cast, so at this point, we just need
to wait for about two hours, we’ll come back and check ’em
and then identify the species. – [Mario] Okay, sounds good. – Okay, let’s go get some lunch. (quirky melodic music) Okay, it has been about two and a half hours, since we set our plaster. – Yeah. – And at this point, it should be dry. – I’m a little nervous.
– Why? – Because I don’t know
if mine set properly, I don’t know if I followed
the right directions. – Well, in all fairness,
– I don’t know. – it is your first time and that’s what’s cool
about this experience and for a lot of people
out there watching, it will be their first time
at doing a cast of a track, but with any luck, they’ll be fantastic, so let’s head back down this
way into the wilderness, find our tracks and see if they set. – [Mario] Alright. (cheerful melodic music) – Check this out, what
do you think those are? – Wow! I have no idea. I mean, my initial
instinct would be a turkey, but the toes aren’t long enough. – No.
– I mean, I don’t know, I’m gonna say you’re
pulling a fast one on me, but let’s check your plaster and see how that is going to take. – Okay, so– – Now just almost like a
sandcastle, flip that over, let’s see what we have underneath. – Oh!
– Wow, okay. I’m gonna give you some credit
here, it’s looking good. Pour a little bit of water on there. Wow, that is cool!
– Dude! It looks like a dinosaur print. – That looks exactly like
a dinosaur footprint! Are you kidding me? That is a great cast right there, so you see what happened
though is there’s a lot of sand now permanently worked into your cast, you’re never gonna get
all of that out of there. So let’s take this down to the river, – Okay.
– rinse it off the rest of the way and then
we’ll go check my track. – [Mario] Alright. – Let’s see here. Okay, so my ring,
– Oh, will come off. – will completely come off, because I didn’t put the plaster
all the way to the edges. Now here’s the tricky part, because that ground is so wet, – [Mario] Oh, that’s pretty solid. – I don’t want the cast to
break as I’m bringing it up, so I’m gonna use this stick
to dig out around the track and pry it up, there we go, just like that and the entire structure of
the earth comes up with it. Now inside there should
be a perfect coyote track. Oh, it’s looking good,
this is gonna be great. Let’s get these outer edges peeled away. Now the next thing I wanna do
is rinse it off in the river and see just how perfect it looks. Now when it comes to
washing out your cast, one thing you can use is
just an old toothbrush to gently finesse out any of
the remaining mud and dirt. Okay and there it is, a
perfectly cast coyote track, you can see the toe pads, the heel pad and even some claw marks. Now this was your first time out there casting animal tracks in the wild, what did you think,
how difficult was this? – Well, I wasn’t that confident initially, because of the mess I made, but after, the way my cast actually
turned out, it’s super easy, if I can do it, you can
definitely do it as well. – Now remember, guys, the
Brave Wilderness Adventure Kit, North American Mammals
Edition is available right now and when it comes to who
won the wolverine figurine, I think it’s a tough call, I honestly thought that I was gonna win just because I knew what I was doing, but your track with its uniqueness and that’s a really good
cast for a first timer. – Thank you.
– It’s tough to tell, so what I say we do is leave
it up to the Coyote Pack. – Okay.
– Who’s gonna win, guys, is it Coyote with the coyote track or Mario with the mystery animal track, write in the comments section below and tell us who’s gonna
win the wolverine figurine. I’m Coyote Peterson.
– I’m Mario Aldecoa. – Be brave.
– Stay wild, – We’ll see you on the next adventure. – Alright.
– Awesome, let’s hike back. (mellow melodic music) If you’re looking for a great place to go out and see animals, or signs of them in the
natural environment, the parks in your area are a sure bet. Winter is coming, so
make sure to get outside and enjoy the last warm days of the year. If you can’t find any
animal tracks naturally, like Mario, using one of your
favorite toys to create them is a totally acceptable solution. Hey, Coyote Pack, if you enjoyed our adventure
into the autumn wilderness, make sure to go back and
watch our original buddy film, “Winter Wilderness,” a classic, where Mario and I found a
feather and a deer antler. Yep, it’s a real thriller
and don’t forget, subscribe and click the Notification bell, so you can join me and the crew
on our next wild adventure. – Yep, look at that!
– Oh yeah, wow, look at that! 100%, oh wow! That is definitely a little
mouse tunnel, isn’t it? – Nice, so basically the
rodents are underneath the snow, they’ve got these little
highways that they create to stay warm and stay hidden
from predators, pretty cool. (light jungle music)

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