by Tom Brown Jr.
Remember during your standard class we went over the various sign found throughout the
landscape. We classified many of them under their size and impact on the landscape. Well,
we will be dealing specifically with the run, which falls into large scale sign along with
trails, pushdowns, escape routes, beds, lays, and feeding areas.
You will remember from the standard lecture that the run is less used than the trail,
frequently changed, and is lightly worn into the landscape. I would also like to add that
the run is very specific in its use.
The "General Run" is a path that all animals will use. Usually some big runs,
such as deer runs, will be used by various animals because their trails intersect. It is
fine to say "deer run", however, because the deer are the primary users of these
runs. You should assume that all animals will use any available run due to the fact that
they are opportunistic, but generally, I tag the run for the general user.
A "Specific Run" is a run used by a specific animal or for a specific
purpose. For instance, a run can be a sweet clover run, an alfalfa run, a strawberry run,
bedding run, watering run, hunting run, feeding run, or manifolding run. A run can also be
of individual animals such as a groundhog run, pheasant run, or a deer run. Runs can be
directional, meaning that the animals use the run in only one direction, and a run can be
a circuit, meaning that the course is cyclic.
From now on it is important to define an animal run and be very specific to the species
using it and its purpose. I find that when we specify the run, we will have greater
insight into our tracking and greater understanding of the overall animal travel in the