How to Make a Cast of Animal Tracks

One Methods:"Nomadic" Track Casting

Making a cast out of animal tracks can be a great outdoor activity for the kids, done just for fun, or help in tracking animals when hunting. This article will show you how to make a cast out of plaster of Paris.


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    Find a track. Look in areas where tracks will be easy to find like around a river bank. Areas like this could have mud, wet sand, and in the wintertime snow. These are ideal "mediums" to cast a track since tracks generally hold their shape very well in moist ground. The track should be deep enough and well-defined in order to make a clear cast.
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    Set up a partition. Make a small perimeter around the track with a shoebox or some other kind of disposable container. The partition will keep the cast neat and allow you to pour more plaster onto the track than if there was no partition. This is because plaster would naturally just spread out when poured, making a sloppy and more fragile cast. But with a partition the plaster is contained making a neater, thicker, and stronger cast.
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    Make the partition an appropriate size for the track. So if you have raccoon track don't make a 2 feet (0.6 m) x 2 feet (0.6 m) partition, instead make something more like a 6in x 6in partition.
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    Assuming you have brought the plaster with you, just pour it into the partitioned area. Try to get as much plaster as possible on the actual track and make sure the plaster fills the whole track so that you have as much detail as possible. If you did not bring the plate with you just leave the track and come back, a suitably high partition (about 6 inches tall) should protect your track as long as you return soon.
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    Wait for the plaster to dry. When it dries remove the partition, and carefully lift out the cast. When you turn the cast over you will see the track.

"Nomadic" Track Casting

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    Going out into the woods with just a cup of plaster is what I like to call the "nomadic" way. The procedure is nearly identical with the exception of the partition, and having a smaller amount of plaster.
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    When you find a track just pour the plaster, wait, and pop the cast out of the ground.


  • You won't need much plaster to cover a small animal track such as that of a raccoon, rabbit, or turkey. Large amounts of plaster would really only be used for large tracks, or brick-like casts.
  • When normally casting carry your plaster in a cup or something else small and convenient. Also note that the nomadic method won't yield as clean of a result due to absence of a partition.


  • And always be careful when working near the water in areas where there may be alligators and crocodiles, you never know if there may be an alligator just waiting to strike. In these areas consider assigning one or more lookouts.
  • Since you and possibly others will be working close to the ground, be sure to watch out for things like snakes.

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Categories: Outdoor Recreation