HomeTracker SchoolClass Summaries

Nature class

March 1997
Brief summary by Walter Muma


The Tracker Trail website has no official connection to the Tracker School or Tom Brown Jr. whatsoever.

The Nature class focuses on physical aspects of Nature. We covered the following topics:

  • How to bait an area so as to determine what animals are in the area, and to determine what they eat.
  • Discussions of awareness and observation (what Tracker class would be complete without these?)
  • We learned techniques of how to determine what animal a hair came from, and what part of the animal. Similarly for feathers from birds.  We started a hair and feather journal.
  • We observed the skinning of a freshly killed deer, from a naturalists perspective
  • We did "fingerprinting" of animals and birds
  • Dissection of animals and birds. We learned what the organs looked like and what their function was.
  • We did a sit on the landscape at nighttime, observing a baited area to see if any animals came by
  • Analyzed the bird digestive system.
  • Sign tracking analysis
  • Analysis of trails: why they run in particular patterns. Also analysis of details of specific trails: why does this trail bend "here" and not "here", etc., and stopping points along trails.
  • A talk by Tom's brother who is a microbiologist. He focused on pathogens from the woods, specifically New Jersey, including Lyme disease.
  • Analysis of scat to determine what animal left it behind, and what the animal ate.
  • Mapping techniques for trail complexes.
  • A speaker came in from the Philadelphia zoo and talked about animals in general. Brought some live specimens.
  • Preservation of animal parts and scat: bones, hairs, skins, feet, etc.
  • Basic Taxidermy
  • Plaster casts of tracks
  • A speaker came in from a raptor rehab center and talked at great length about raptors and owls.
  • A session on Caretaking. A summary of what Tom said is on the Earth Caretaker website - classes section.
  • Tips on identifying skulls, bones, teeth, claws, etc.
  • Live trapping animals
  • Learning techniques
  • Track drawing techniques

All in all, a very full and productive class!! I highly recommend it.

This website has no official or informal connection to the Tracker School or Tom Brown Jr. whatsoever


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