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Entering the Mind of the Tracker


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Table of Contents

Foreword by Bryan Nez, former Shadow Wolf

Introduction: Tracking in the Shadow of Wolf

1 Sweet Fern Rendezvous
The First Lesson: Opening to the Song of the Track

2 Romancing the Frog
The Next Step: Hearing the Rhythms of the Natural World

3 Bear Stump
The Tracker Starts to Read the Stories of the Forest Floor

4 Dogs Will Be Dogs

Learning through Conflict in a Wayward Track across the Snow

5 Stalking Turtle
Now Step Back and See Life and Death in a Track

6 How to Learn Tracking from One of the Greatest Predators
Apprenticing to the Wolf on the Windowsill

7 A Winter Riddle
Along a Frozen Lake, a Kill Leaves More Questions than Answers

8 Eyes That Shine
The Tracker Can Now Shed Old Skin to See with New Eyes

9 Grandfather Tip-Up
How to See Centuries of Movement in the Stillness of an Old Forest

10 Becoming Wolf
Ready to Learn How One Animal Appears in the Tracks of Another

11 Old Songs Never Die

Teachings from the Ghosts Who Linger in an Old Forest

12 A Sound Lesson in Tracking
How to Let Ears Become Eyes That Can See the Invisible Trail

13 Eagle Spirit and the Tin Can
Preparing to Find the Invisible Trails in Sky and Water

14 Following the Flight Trail
And Now the Test: Reading the Tracks Left by Wings through the Air

15 Human Tracking, Bear Style
Bear, the Master Man-Tracking Teacher, Shows How to Find and Trail People

16 The Messenger
A Frontier Opens: The Tracker Attains Relationship with an Elusive Predator


Appendix 1. For Educators, Naturalists, and Tracking Instructors
Appendix 2. Demystifying Canine Track Identification
Appendix 3. Tracking at a Glance A Symbol Reading Primer
Appendix 4. How to Act around Bears
Appendix 5. Safety Tips in Cougar Country



About the Author

About the Author

Tamarack Song has spent his life studying the world's aboriginal peoples, being an apprentice to Elders and learning traditional hunter-gatherer survival skills. He has spent years alone in the woods as well as living with a pack of Wolves. In 1987, he founded the Teaching Drum Outdoor School in the wilderness of northern Wisconsin, where he runs the year-long Wilderness Guide Programme.


"Entering the Mind of the Tracker is one of those rare works that captures the essence of nature by exploring its tiniest (and most profound) nuances. Tamarack Song has written what will help achieve one of the most important needs of human beings today--reconnecting with the Earth." * Les Stroud, star of the hit TV show Survivorman and author of Survive! Essential Skills and Tactics *
"A deeply moving book, wonderfully written; brings home the tremendous beauty of depth perception of the natural world and the exquisite intelligence and sensitivity of our kin--the Wolves. It opens up the possibility for us to read the world around us through the sense perception born within us, and opens up the potential for us to reinhabit the world." * Stephen Harrod Buhner, author of The Secret Teachings of Plants and Ensouling Language *
"Entering the Mind of the Tracker beautifully demonstrates that outdoor skills are best learned through a deep understanding of environment. Tamarack Song imparts knowledge in a way that is both lyrical and philosophical." * Tristan Gooley, expedition leader, author of The Natural Navigator, and the only living person to ha *
"I couldn't put this book down. Tamarack is not telling us the mere mundanities of tracking--he's showing us a complete communication system that is largely unknown to modern man. Beginning trackers and generalists will love this window into the world of hidden knowledge, and experts will find these stories helpful, insightful, inspiring." * Christopher Nyerges, primitive skills instructor, author of How to Survive Anywhere, and former edit *
"To track is to live the life of the quarry--mentally, spiritually, and physically. Very few trackers ever reach this level of mastery. Entering the Mind of the Tracker will help you discover the salient truths known by those few, like Tamarack, who have shadowed all living things. Here is a window to the beautiful and foundational knowledge provided by a lifetime of tutelage at the feet of Mother Nature." * Ty Cunningham, founder and tracking historian of the International Society of Professional Trackers *
"Tracking has become a left-brained skill, involving ruler, track analysis, and GPS to know an animal from its tracks. In Entering the Mind of the Tracker, Tamarack Song offers an intuitive, Zen-like alternative, suggesting that we don't need to learn to track any more than a Wolf needs to be reminded that he is a hunter. Tracking is in our nature. Whether you are an experienced tracker seeking to improve your ability or a novice intimidated by the left-brained science of conventional tracking, this book opens up exciting opportunities to connect with the story of the land." * Thomas J. Elpel, author of Botany in a Day and founder of Hollowtop Outdoor Primitive School *
"When a human being has passion for wild places, / And pauses, comprehending the spaces around, / Then the tiny notice of a bent twig graces / All the story inside that certain spot of ground. / Such is the inner passion of Tamarack Song, / His stories reflecting the seeing parts of his days / That are so large and informing to us who long/For the revelation of observation's ways." * Larry Dean Olsen, author of Outdoor Survival Skills, progenitor of wilderness therapy, and founder o *
"He writes like a storyteller, mindful of the pictures which the sound and combinations of his words create. The sounds, smells, and sights of the northern Wisconsin woods come to life as we read. He tells us that tracking is a metaphor for conscious living, and then he shows us what that means. More than just a book, this is a world that readers can disappear into over and over again. " * Anna Jedrziewski,, May 2013 *
"In his latest book, Entering the Mind of the Tracker, Tamarack shares an ancient and vital human process. Revealing a rare and outstanding knowledge of-and connection to-place, this personal story can help people in love with tracking gain helpful insight into the world of intuition and the potential for the journey into traditional ecological knowledge." * Jon Young, founder of Wilderness Awareness School, author of What the Robin Knows and Coyote's Guide *
"Come in from the cold and warm your heart by the fire of tradition. Master tracker and storyteller Tamarack Song shares the stories and wisdom of a life spent in search of the Ancestral Self. It is trailcraft for the soul." * Steve Watts, Aboriginal Studies Program, Schiele Museum of Natural History; and president of the Soc *
"Entering the Mind of the Tracker is a marvelous book written by a master storyteller and tracker. Through its powerful and poignant stories you will feel absorbed in the world and spirit of Nature." * Joseph Cornell, founder of the Sharing Nature Foundation and author of Sharing Nature with Children *
"Brilliant! So fresh, so enticing, even seasoned trackers will be blown wide open, the novice will be jump-started years ahead, and teachers and guides will rejoice! Tamarack Song melds ancient wisdom with modern knowledge and offers us a fun, full, fantastic learning experience." * Robin Blankenship, founder of Earth Knack Primitive Skills School and author of Earth Knack: Stone A *
"Through his stories from the trail, Tamarack shows the art of tracking not simply as a skill for hunters and naturalists but as a metaphor for conscious living. By exploring the intricacies of the natural world, we explore not only our connections to the world around us but also our internal landscapes. We learn to better express ourselves and listen, meet our needs, and help others. Intuitive tracking provides a path to finding ourselves, becoming one with all life, and restoring humanity's place in the Great Hoop of Life." * Branches of Light, June 2013 *
"Tamarack Song's decades of authentic experience living close to the land and guiding others in their quests for meaningful relationship with the natural world infuse his writing and teaching style. Through the traditional teaching methods of stories and direct personal experience, Entering The Mind of the Tracker creates a tremendous opportunity for anyone interested in exploring humankind's natural roots. As a professional wildlife tracker, photographer, and outdoor educator, I am grateful for the insight and energy that Tamarack's stories bring to these endeavors. " * David Moskowitz, author of Wolves in the Land of Salmon and Wildlife of the Pacific Northwest *
"This book is a tool that will guide and inspire you to gain the experience necessary to improve your tracking ability...By exploring the intricacies of the animal world and learning about the teachings of the forest - its ghosts, the invisible trails - through its myriad of stories, you will come closer to enabling yourself, not only in tracking, but in finding the path to yourself as well." * Awareness Magazine, July 2013 *
"No nature collection should be without this in-depth survey, which focuses on developing intuitive tracking talents. From stories from the trail to applying tracking skills as a metaphor for conscious living, this is an outstanding survey highly recommended for any collection strong in natural history, new age readings, and Native practices, alike!" * Midwest Book Review, July 2013 *
"Song describes how to become one with many creatures, and includes tips on demystifying canine tracks whether from coyote, fox, wolf or dog. He also has sound, safe advice for educators, naturalists and tracking instructors. Most of us may never be inclined to track in the wild, but we can apply Song's intuitive techniques to finding ourselves and our place in nature." * Nexus Reviews, October 2013 *
"Entering the Mind of the Tracker points to the wisdom of asking questions rather than having answers." * Paul Rezendes, author of The Wild Within and Tracking and the Art of Seeing *
"Real stories from the real world, simple and complex at the same time, and well worth pondering!" * Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature and Earth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet *

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