Monday, April 27, 2009

Michael Yon goes to Tracking School

  A footprint of a Southern Snapper.  Fresh.  I watched him make it.  Turtle tracks.  Yeah you only get them here!

  Skid marks where a Southern Snapping turtle pulled himself over a sandbar.

  I love this kind of thing.  I would be fascinated to go.  I'm always looking at sign in the forest and really...everywhere.  
  You would be surprised at the level of consciousness it takes to shoot a deer and specifically note where it was when the shot broke as well as exactly where it was the last time you saw it.  You can talk about it, but nearly everyone blows it when it actually happens.  I think part of the problem is you don't get enough repetition, since most folks shoot one deer a year.
  Last year both deer were down in place, but I specifically knew the spot they were standing in when the second stage of the trigger broke.  The year before I tracked several of my deer and the good Doctors deer for 60-100 yards in heavy cover.  It's a learned skill.  Would like to learn more.  Hess and I tracked a deer about 1K a few years ago.  It laid down and bled three different times.  Got down to a drop of blood or a mark every 50 feet.  Finally disappeared.  I still can't believe we didn't find it.  
 If I have help tracking I get on the trail and put someone to the right and to the left to watch ahead.  Usually an animal doesn't turn much.

  In "Lone Survivor", US Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell talks about being tracked by the Taliban.  He said they deployed with one tracker working without weapon or burden and other folks flanking and following.  Sounds very effective.

  Update:  Mom trackers.  A friend of mine busted her teenage son who had hosted a huge party at the house based on one little plastic drink-top remnant left next to the suspiciously empty trash barrel.  He broke down completely and confessed to having 100 people in the house two nights before on a weekend when she was out of town.  I did the same thing to my teenage daughter based on a couple of cigarette butts tossed in the creek outside my front door.  Difference was: my daughters guests stole a shotgun, a shorty AR and a Glock 19.
  Moral:  Teenage tracks lead to trouble more often than the Taliban.


Old NFO said...

Too true about teens...sigh...

Robert said...

Losing a gun is kind of like losing a deer to the know someone is getting to enjoy it.

Anonymous said...

Ok, so i was playing it cool that night when my parents trooped in. two steps into the house and my father (my father!!) notices that there are footprints on the living room carpet and that two of the three living room cushions were a different shade of yellow than the third. he walks in to the living room and flips the cushion, revealing the spilled chocolate syrup and ice cream that we thought we could hide. my brother and i got spankings. the babysitter never got hired again. i learned a valuable lesson. my parents are psychic.

Phil K said...

I spent about a month in South Africa tracking with the natives used by professional hunters to track wounded game. More times than I can recall, I would be following these guys at a quick walk and I would not be seeing anything like a sign. After a bit, I would stop them and ask what we were following and they would show me some disturbed dirt or a tiny mark on a piece of dried grass and off we would go again. After they had shown me the "sign" I would know they weren't just taking a walk in the bush, but I could never figure out how they did it so Fast.

Texas Shooter said...

Three missing weapons after a teen party? I would be enraged!

Were you able to narrow down the lists of possible perps and recover any of them?

Or was it one of those "I have no idea who all was in the house, Dad" kind of parties?