The tracks are there, you just need to look in the right places.
This is also the time to get out and practice trailing. With no snow you can push your limits and try to follow animal trails through the woods.
Large wolf tracks run about 5 1/2 inches in length with the claws. They are oval in overall shape (longer than wide) and very robust. Be careful measuring in deep mud as the walls of the tracks splay out. Measure the narrowest part of the track wall.
A track trap is simply an area where tracks are likely to be left by animals. The dirt underneath bridges, mud banks on the river, logging roads with receding mud puddles. It depends on the animal and the substrate whether or not tracks are left behind. Hoofed animals leave better tracks on hard substrate than soft footed animals. But even with moose, sometimes there tracks are difficult to see on hard ground.The more you look the better you will become.
It is pretty difficult to find flicker (woodpecker) tracks but one happened to hop through this fine mud on a logging road. Notice the two toes forward and two toes back- classic woodpecker style. Their scats (poop) are made completely of ant exoskeletons; good luck finding one of those. If you do please save it for me.
Baseline is the way everything looks naturally on the landscape. Any sort of change or disturbance to baseline is what you are looking for. Don't expect to look for clear tracks everywhere or you will miss a lot ! Look for disturbances to baseline and investigate those. Then the tracks will come to you. After a rain the soil is a template of tiny textured craters. Any change to those pockmarks is created by something. It is your challenge to figure out what it is.
I love pictures such as this porcupine track to the right of the tape measure. It is not so evident but its shape clearly stands out (their tracks are a solid egg shaped pad with texture like a basketball). How do you see it? The compression of the soil made by the track reflects the light differently than the surrounding soil which has not been disturbed in the same way. Look for disturbance, not tracks.
If your just looking for the big stuff you are missing out on a lot of what is happening in the forest. Sure, we all want to see bear and wolf tracks, but that will get boring pretty fast. Challenge yourself to learn everything out there and you will never run out of possibilities.
Large animal tracks are awesome such as this huge Interior Grizzly track. This is a left front track and it is about 7 inches across the carpal pad. That is large. The smallest toe of a bear is on the inside of the foot similar to the way our thumb is located. No, this is not a super clear track in the mud but the compressed soil is enough to reflect light differently than the non-compressed soil surrounding it, and clearly show the track features.
Remember. There is a lot of other sign that animals leave behind do keep your eyes open. There is scat and scrapes and hair and feathers and parts and pieces of animals all over the place. You just have to snoop around and look and you never know what you'll find.
Here is some grizzly bear hair pulled off of a spruce tree that the bear was using as a rubbing/ marking post.
There is a lot more to do in the forest. Relax and learn how to make a birch bark basket which is beautiful in its simplicity and relaxing to create.
There are also plants to learn and collect and many other possibilities out there.
I'll explore some of them next time.