Overview & Resources for Experienced Trackers

I would tell technical trackers that intuitive tracking would enrich their tracking practice because it would allow them to track the animal farther over more difficult terrain and also to develop a more heart-felt relationship to the animal, so that the animal is not so much a problem to figure out but a companion or a teacher. It makes the entire tracking experience so much richer. ~Kelly

As an experienced tracker, you are well positioned to bring intuitive tracking into your repertoire and expand what you can do.

  • You can easily engage technical tracking skills to verify intuitive impressions you get.
     
  • The rhythm and mood of an animal that you read in tracks, through its gait, speed and soil movement, can lead directly to an intuitive connection with the animal.
     
  • The heightened awareness and openness you must use to read great subtlety in tracks - for example faint compressions - already puts you at the very threshold of the intuitive.

If your training and field work have primarily emphasized track and sign identification, then it will help to begin visualizing animals’ movement through the tracks, rather than merely assign a name to a track pattern. This enables you to picture and feel the particular personality of the animal you’re tracking, thus allowing an intuitive reading (see the link to Gait & Track Interpretation below). Also it helps to practice marking every track on a trail, especially in challenging terrain, to engage your awareness of subtlety. Some supporting resources below:
 

Walk with the Animal book cover

"Walk with the Animal"

Jim Lowery shows how to merge practical and intuitive tracking through this documentation of his two and a half year field study trailing 100 animals in challenging conditions. Principles, methodology and many case studies are included.

 

Tracking Workbook II gaits and track interpretation

"Tracking Workbook II: Gaits & Track Interpretation"

A confident and accurate reading of tracks for the animal’s speed, movement and posture will be learned in this workbook through numerous examples and practice quizzes using extensive and detailed track photography. This digital workbook is linked to gait videos assembled by Jim Lowery. These technical track reading skills flow nicely into intuitive ones.