Sunday was a great day to lay and run a track. There was a thin layer of snow on the ground and with temps in the upper 30's, it was wonderful vest weather.
This was only the second track we've run since early November. If you watch the video below you'll see how tightly that wet snow holds scent. It was a man track only (no blood or other scent). Aged about 3 1/2 hours.
I also hope that it shows Sparta slowing down as she matures a little bit. It could just be that she was tired. I've worked her hard over the weekend, going out on numerous scouting trips in the heavy snow. If I walk one mile, she goes three, and the snow is up to her chin.
This track also contains the first back track I've given Sparta to figure out. It is also a good idea that I see how she behaves in such a situation. Thinking about last year's blood tracking, some of our mistakes (or most) were based upon Sap error more than canine error.
The app used for the map to the right, Dog Tracks, is a good help but it does not replace a thorough job marking your trail. We ran a tighter track than the picture lets on. The map you get is only as good as your GPS signal and I think the tree cover throws it off a bit.
Watching videos of someone else's dog track might be as interesting as Uncle Melvin's slide presentation of his Jamaican vacation. But I think these illustrate how well scent stays put in the snow.
The videos below show different legs of the track but in each one she's moving from footstep to footstep in a slower and more deliberate manner than I would expect.
I was pretty pleased how she worked through her first "backtrack."
The last corner,