The Tracker Trail website has no
official connection to the Tracker School or Tom Brown Jr. whatsoever.
Had a great time at the SAR Course and had the opportunity to meet some
interesting people. There were 81 people at the course, which is a little more
than I expected. We got to work in groups of 8 and teams of 4, which spread
things out a little more. We covered search, forensic, and tactical tracking.
The forensic part of the course was really interesting in a morbid sort of
way. It really made you think and use all aspects of observation. We learned how
to determine a burial site by the subtle changes in the surrounding growth
patterns and by using probes to locate the body. We dug up a body (a road kill
deer) to study the degree of decay after being buried for 4 months. It's amazing
what nature tells us if we only take the time to observe the changes.
It was also incredible what could be discerned from the tracks. I basically
sucked at tracking, because I haven't put in the dirt time and I didn't take
Advanced Standard and Tracking. But even in that week I started seeing things in
the tracks that I never noticed before. The urgency of looking for a lost person
is certainly enough incentive to improve my tracking skills; should I ever have
to use them. You don't want to be going "Oh shit, I wish I had put in more
dirt time", when someone's life is on the line. Tactical tracking is
looking for a fugitive-someone who doesn't want to be found and who would
probably kill you if they knew you were following them. That was interesting too
and again required excellent tracking ability.