Most wild animals are secretive, nocturnal, or simply difficult to observe in the wild. Wildlife tracking skills can provide us an incredible window in the secret lives of Texas’ animal species. A skilled observer can not only determine what animals are inhabiting an area through the tracks that they are leaving behind but can also establish track and sign pattern interpretations that give us a much greater understanding of animal behavior.
This 8 month intensive course, meeting one weekend a month from October - May, will provide you with an incredible amount of experience in the field identifying the tracks and sign of Central Texas animal species.
In this course you will follow black bear trails through the Chisos Mountains, observe mountain lion tracks and sign along the Rio Grande, unlock unknown stories in the lives of river otters and beavers along the banks of the Colorado river, watch and track shore birds and alligators along the gulf coast, and follow coyote trails across the Monahans Sandhills. All of this under the close watch and guidance of our lead tracking instructor, Chris Hyde, an extremely accomplished wildlife tracker and passionate educator.
This is one of the most comprehensive wildlife tracking courses in the country and even students with no prior tracking experience coming into the course will leave with an incredible amount of skill and experience in the art and science of tracking wildlife. Whether you are a professional wildlife biologist or simply someone who wants to establish a greater understanding of and connection to the animals of Texas, this course is an excellent choice.
No prior experience with wildlife tracking is necessary.
The program consists of a combination of instructor led field time, lectures, and out of class tracking and journaling assignments.
Program topics will include:
Identification of animal track and sign
Interpretation of animal movement and behavior through track and sign patterns
Aging tracks and sign found in the field
Animal trailing techniques
Ecological Tracking that will enable you to predict animal movement and activity on a given landscape
Animal behavioral patterns and observation techniques that will help you locate and view more wildlife
Bird Feather and kill site identification
Mammal Skull identification
Note: Physical exertion during the local program weekends is light and moderate on the field trips. Participants must be capable of walking on uneven terrain.
Location/Schedule: Austin/Bastrop area- This program will meet on Saturday and Sunday one weekend a month from October - May. In addition to the five local 2 day weekends, the program includes two 3 day and one 4 day wildlife tracking expeditions to Big Bend National Park, Monahans Sandhills State Park and the Texas Gulf Coast.
Program cost: $1995 or pay monthly for $199 a month*
*Payment plan based on 9 monthly payments (from Sept-May) and a non-refundable $400 deposit.
Partial Scholarships may be available to qualifying students. Please use this link for a scholarship form
ENROLLMENT AND DATES FOR THE 2017/18 PROGRAM COMING SOON….
$400 non-refundable deposit due at the time of enrollment
2016/17 Program dates:
November 5-8 (Big Bend Expedition)
February 4-6 (Monahans Sandhills State Park Trip)
April 1-3 (South Texas Coast Trip)
May 27-28 (Optional Cybertracker Tracking Certification)
Lead Instructor - Chris Hyde (Click for Bio)
Watch a short film of Earth Native founder, Dave Scott, leading a wolf tracking expedition in Wisconsin in the Winter of 2011.