Mind of the Tracker

Hi Folks,

I just wanted to pass along a quick note to reinforce something I told you during your Standard Class.  I said that a Tracker becomes the animal or person he or she is tracking.  Last night Jorge, Dave Ott, and I were called out by the local police to track a fugitive that had escaped from a vehicle they had just pulled over.  The fugitive ran from the scene, entering the woods behind the place where Tracker Students park their cars by the strip mall.  I got to the PLS (point last seen) at dusk and picked up the trail where Jorge had left off.  At this point the fugitive hit heavy brush in a blind panic and began traveling a straight line.  His trail hit brush, existing animal runs, and hiking trails, but always in a straight line.

The fugitive was from the city and had little experience in the bush.  I could tell from his movement that he blundered and was on the edge of panic not only from the police search but also and more so because of the woods.  The police officers, who I had worked with many times before, were baffled by how this fugitive could run a straight line and not get lost.  It was then that I explained to them that he is going to seek out the known and familiar.  At that time of day and night there was a radio tower that could be clearly seen in the distance and as night fell one could clearly see the lights of buildings near the radio tower.  All we had to do is to enter the mind of the fugitive any time we lost the night trail and look toward the tower and within moments we would pick up the trail again.  By getting into the mind of the fugitive we were able to think and react as he did and subsequently cover several miles of trail as fast as we could walk.  

Whenever tacking, get into the mind of the animal or person you are tracking.  A Tracker becomes the animal he is tracking goes a long way to keep you on the trail.  What happened?  He eventually hit a roadway, called a taxi and got a ride to the Toms River Bus.  I can’t track busses so he is long gone, probably to Atlantic City were he can blend with the environment.  Of further note, even though we have had a cold winter and yesterdays’ temperatures were in the mid 50’s all of us came out of the bush loaded with ticks.  Go figure.   

All Good Medicine, Tom