This post is intended to be a sort of “Tracker List” of some good books I’ve actually bought&found on Mantracking. The order is absolutely randomly and the update is steady.
On May 5th and 6th I’ve attendend the first topic of the Conservation Ranger Course developed and hold by C.R.O.W. [Conservation Rangers Operations Worldwide]. On July 22nd at European Security Academy, in Poland, me and all the other attendants graduated successfully as Rangers.
The reasons behind the choice to take part of this lie in the personal and natural belief that Tracking Skills are not only one of the keys of success of any Antipoaching Operation as widely demonstrated throughout the past and recent years, but also in the firm committment in the Conservation and Biodiversity’s heritage.
My goal is to apprehend about Tracking as much as possible in the most various terrain and scenario, also abroad. This skill can give a tremendous contribution in the “knock – down” of Antipoaching Operations worldwide I mean. The possibility to learn from different Instructors in areas I’m not familiar with will surely increase my awareness as well my expertise. It’s gonna be tough, no doubt about it. But I’m here to learn and fight hard!
June, 9th: First date with Shotgun (and also AK-47)
More on C.R.O.W. [Conservation Rangers Operations Worldwide]
“Crow is an anti-poaching and conservation organization whose mission is to train rangers in the skills necessary to support, train, and supplement anti-poaching and conservation efforts worldwide.
We are located in Texas, US, and sponsored by several organizations and companies based in Europe, the US, Africa, and Australia to support private reserves, conservation areas, and national parks in the fight for conservation of animals and their habitat. With over 10-years experience in Africa (from Namibian deserts to Congo rain forests), our goal is to handle situations effectively through collaborative strategies.
CROW’s mission is to set a standard in education for rangers operating in medium\high risk environments; promoting conservation knowledge worldwide and train rangers and skilled volunteers to help in the challenge for conservation.”
On right side : Course in Italy (May-June 2018). Left side: Course in Poland (July 2018)
A bunch of photos of the course hold in Polond at European Security Academy.
How many times we have seen the ground and just considered it terrain, grain, grass, peebles, sand and more over or even concrete and asphalt? Thousands.
“Learn how to read the ground“. That precisely what Tracking is.
Ground shows up itself as an amalgam of signs, as an inner chaos to the most novices among Tracking novices. We see it, but most of times we don’t look at it. We don’t think at it. It’s over there, underneath our feet, we don’t pay attention to its voice because it’s just an element, we take it for granted.
Nothing is granted at all, especially the Ground. That’s why, if we really want to learn how to read it, we have to listen to his silent voice.
Does Ground have a voice? It has! It speaks throughout the passages of man and beast. Every contact leaves a trace; this way, every sign is a word, then a sentence, then again a story.
Learn to track duly involves the capability to understand the Ground. More specifically: What’s happened. When. Why. How may persons. Animals.
Time after time, that reading will become a belonging. To a certain scenario, to a particular time. We will find ourselves surprised to kinda feel having been present to that moment – the moment in which tracks were made. Just like a whole thing.
Have you ever experienced a sense of dizziness just a couple of minutes of early dirt time? I have, I won’t hide you that. It comes out that my mind and my eyes start to tremble in the precise moment I need them the most. You can easily figure out the scene: I’m just arrived in the woods and I start to do my regular dirt time when I soon realize that I can’t focus my eyes and my mind as much as I would, and I can feel like a sense of lightheadedness. Odd, isn’t it? I used to get mad about that. Oh, I was super upset with myself I mean. I used to start considering how many hours of good sleep I had, what I had for supper, if I drank too much beers the evening before. Yep, I had this habit of making a list of all the possible “bad things” I’ve done just in order to understand the reasons beyond that dizziness (the cause behind an awful performance as well I mean!)
After long thoughts I came out with this simple explanation: that dizziness came from the sudden projection of me inside a different scenario. That’s exactly what I mean: you can’t simply reach the woods, jump off the car and tell yourself: ok, let’s track. You can’t, unless you are a Master Tracker (and surely I’m not already that!).
You need much more time – to be precise, your OWN time to project yourself into a new scenario, especially if you live in a big town as I do. You kinda have to detox yourself from urban environment and get in a brand new one. Woods have their own light, their own voice, their own laws. You must take your time to immerse yourself in them.
I’m not talking about hippie stuff or what. I just tell you how many benefits it has when it comes to Tracking. Craig Caudill from Nature Reliance School in his awesome book Extreme Wilderness Survival mentioned that too.
Take it easy, find yourself motionless in the middle of the very first woods you come across during your training, take deep, relaxing breaths and pay attention to all the details your eyes and mind can catch. This will be a great aid to your Tracking skill. It worked a lot on me and still it does!
I eventually come out with this consideration about that annoying dizziness: I just had to become familiar with a new scenario, and develop my capability of reception of every single detail of that environment.
It sounds easy and beneficial, doesn’t it? Let’s try and see!