Tracking Course Perth

Thrud

Richard Proenneke
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Spent last weekend doing Bob Cooper's tracking course.

Very enjoyable and learnt some useful techniques. The instructors knew their stuff and were keen to share their knowledge.
Held at a fenced marsupial reserve 20mins from Perth CBD. There were 12 participants, all like-minded individuals and keen to learn

Day one morning was spent tracking myself for 20 paces into the bush, then swapping and tracking other participants for varying distances, initially without and then with the aid of a tracking pole. We then used jump tracking.

What I realised is that well meaning helpers who flood a missing person scene trying to help can kill someone and track fouling is a cardinal sin!!

In the afternoon we tracked some of the instructors through pretty tough bush.

The following day we had a scenario of a bogged vehicle with a number of occupants that had gone off, the day finished when all of the victims had been found. No re-supply all our water and kit carried.

We were in teams of 4 and rotated through flanking/lead tracker and comms.

Initially the tracks were on sandy trails and there were discarded items and notes very so often, the tracks then moved into harder bush areas with lots of leaf/sheoak litter. Messages from increasingly confused and disorientated victims had to be interpreted. Occasionally we lost the trail and had to use skills to re-acquire sign. It was very satisfying to do this thinking you had lost the trail. As the sun came higher and then overcast, the lighting of any spoor became quite difficult. Luckily the day before one of the instructors had showed us a technique for side illumination using a green torch; I didn't have a green torch, but my white torch certainly helped on a number of occasions.

In the end I tracked for 8.14km and spent 6 and 3/4 hours doing this.

Very useful course and keen to practice more. I could recognise sign at the end of the weekend that I would have otherwise missed and have the heel pattern of the person I was tracking burnt into my mind!!

Highly recommended.
 

biggles1024

Rüdiger Nehberg
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That was a very informative post. I'm wondering if at this early stage, you could estimate how often you would need to practice your newly acquired skills in order to maintain your proficiency?
 

Thrud

Richard Proenneke
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Thanks Biggles. I really don't know, I have been using a tracking pole for about 8 months before I went on the course and just tracking easy things in sand etc. I certainly think it is a use it or lose it scenario. There is always something extra to learn and I guess when it comes to tracking I'll be a student for life. According to Bob you need a log of about 40 hours before someone will potentially look at you as a tracker for jobs. I have a dog and have been looking at tracks for a while when walking him; this is just of course the ground sign, the one thing the course emphasised is that there are so many other types of sign; noise/smells/animal and insect disturbance to name but a few. Ageing sign is another facet to this.

One of my mates who went on the course suggested that we continue to lay trails and test each other with different ground/weather/lighting etc and I'm keen to do this.

Ask me again in another 20 years and I might have a more accurate answer for you!

Appreciate your interest.
 

Thrud

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Basically it is a simple pole of walking pole that has a number of o rings or other indicators that can be slid up or down the stick. These are then used to measure foot length or width. The stride length is set. When tracking the marks on the pole are placed at the heel or toe of the last track and the stick is swept in an arc in front to give some idea of where the next track would be expected to fall.

I've attached a link to something that explains this better than me!

https://www.vcsar1.org/tracking3.html
 

MongooseDownUnder

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Wow, thanks Thrud that was very interesting reading, might have a go at following some tracks next time I head out. Currently planning to do quite a few short walks to iron out my equipment for longer walks. I have also switched to using a single walking pole so can easily use that for tracking as well.


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barefoot dave

Mors Kochanski
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Good onya Thrud. You'll never see a bare patch of dirt as just that now! Tracking is a degradable skill. Weekly practice at first for probably 6 months then you can drop back to fortnightly then monthly as you get quicker at tuning in and finding definately sign.
 
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Doc

Rüdiger Nehberg
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Great course review Thrud! I was wondering when the course was happening as you mentioned it to me a while ago. I need you over here to track the bears & mountain lions that live close to us - no pressure 😁


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Bloffy13

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Would have liked to have been there. Maybe, into the near future, you could hold a bit of an instruction session to maintain your skills. Maybe we could go and track some thylacine??????.......lol
Cheers
Bloffy
 

Bloffy13

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Maybe, just maybe, we can get all the goss from Thrud, give him a 10 minute headstart and we could hunt him down. Lol. You can run, but you can't hide, mate. Lol.
Cheers
Bloffy
 

Thrud

Richard Proenneke
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You obviously didn't see the size of the knife I got from MDU:_lol:
 
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