Tracking is the gateway to awareness. Sound ethereal? It’s a result. In our Tracking Arts courses we spend a lot of time looking at dents in the ground, following trails, watching tracks age, analyzing various substrates, and doing tracking exercises. After a day or weekend your senses are expanded and your mental file cabinet has grown- you cannot help but be more aware and empathetic. Our courses are designed to dial you into to the minutiae of a track, as well as, to see the big picture on the landscape. We recommend starting with Concepts of Tracking or a one day workshop.
Concepts of Tracking
This class will sharpen your tracking and physical awareness skills regardless of your tracking background. Individual track analysis, clear print identification, compression shapes, track aging, dust and grit compressions, pace, stride, pitch, straddle, and gait are just a few topics covered. Concepts of Tracking is our introductory tracking class and is recommended for anyone interested in expanding their view of what is going on in nature. Science of Tracking and Art of Tracking expand on the basics learned on Concepts.
Art of Tracking
Prerequisites: Concepts of Tracking
AOT is where we take you to a new level of tracking you would not think possible. It could also be called the Art of Seeing. We spend lots of time looking closely at tracks, but also looking at them from a distance. We will stretch the side of your brain you don’t often use. It is one of those courses that is hard to put a description to; however, we promise you will not be disappointed and will come away a better tracker. Art of Tracking is one half of the picture covering the intuitive and right brained side of tracking. Science of Tracking covers the other half.
Science of Tracking
Prerequisites: Concepts in Tracking
Science of Tracking deals with the hard skills of tracking. Pressure releases, track and trail measurements, foot maps, micros, and macros. You will be looking at tracks up close and personal. Science of Tracking is the sister class to Art of Tracking. We will be stretching the left side of your brain, so bring your rulers.
Intro to Animal Sign Workshop
By utilizing the signs left behind by animals (scat, digs, nests, scratches and hair), we will get to know who is sharing the forest and how they interact. A lot of time will be spent sitting in close study of the signs we find. Bring snacks, lunch, water, notebook, pen, and small Ziplock bags for collection.
Intro to Identification and Patterns Workshp
We will learn methods for identifying clear prints and track patterns in this one day workshop. Consisting almost exclusively of dirt time, guidelines will be given for the differentiation of species based on what we come across in the field. Some attention to speed and attitude of the animal will be touched upon depending on circumstance. New England weather being what it is, we may take advantage of other options should the situation demand. Dress appropriately with extra layers and bring a snack, lunch, and plenty of water. We will be off trail all day.
Intro to Trailing and Animal Behavior Workshop
By trailing animals, we will discover patterns of behavior and mold our own minds to be able to see tracks and sign. Breeding, hunting, predator avoidance, and insights into the thoughts and feelings of an animal are behaviors we may encounter. To avoid pressuring animals we will generally backtrack. As always, dress appropriately with extra layers, bring snacks, lunch and lots of water. After a long strenuous hike we will be on wind blown swamp ice and into thick brush, so be prepared for some hard cold fun.
Spirit of the Hunt
You will learn the skills necessary for an aboriginal hunt. We will focus specifically on deer hunting, but the information will be applicable to all animals. Hunters, trackers, naturalists, and primitive skills practitioners will all have something to gain from lessons in awareness, camouflage, movement, concentric ring study, track aging, scrape and sign analysis, animal behavior, and hair and scat study. We will also cover the utilization of all parts of a deer, including brain tanned buckskin, sinew cordage and bone tools.
Tracking and Hunting 5 Day
This class centers around the needs of the hunter. Elements from all of the tracking, awareness and hard skills classes are woven in to an experience designed to bring you to your quarry, field dress it, brain tan the hide, and make the tools to do it again next season. We will actively compare primitive and modern research, skills, and technologies to broaden your options and increase your hunting success.
Track & Sign Interpretation Workshop
We will be focusing mainly on the other marks animals leave on the landscape besides foot compressions. This class is a dirt time sign tracking class where we spend a lot of time in the field. We try to cover everything we don’t have time for in our regular tracking classes.
Tracking Arts: 5 Day
We are going to get down and dirty in this class. There will be some classroom time, but we will spend most of the week in the field with our noses in the sand. We will cover a variety of substrates, animal and man tracking, and weather conditions. If you can’t seem to find enough time to track or feel like you’ve hit a wall with your tracking skills then this is the class for you. We will help you dial in your eyes so that by the end of the week you will be seeing tracks that you wouldn’t have thought possible while also spending the time on basics such as animal track ID, patterns, gaits, and track aging.
Tracking Evaluation Prep
This class is designed for anyone interested in taking the CyberTracker Tracking Evaluation developed by Louis Liebenburg in South Africa and brought to the US by Mark Elbroch. The Eval Prep is taught by George Leoniak one of only 4 Track & Sign Evaluators in North America.
A slide show presentation Friday night will highlight the diversity of animal tracks and sign that can be found in New England. It will include tips on track and sign identification and gait interpretation. On Saturday we will reinforce topics that were discussed the previous night by studying the tracks and sign we find during the field session. A slide show on Saturday night will introduce participants to the Cybertracker evaluation process, and on Sunday morning students will have the opportunity to participate in a mock evaluation. For more information go to WildlifeTrackers.com and LeoniakTracking.com.
15 student Maximum.