Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tracks...of Man & Animal

Often I hear the coyotes howling, yelping and barking early mornings or during odd times of the day. I see the occasional coyote track while running and wonder at their hunting strategies. Not only do they scavenge carcasses but I'm sure they put themselves into organized hunting packs. I've seen my dogs Trevor, Lady and Flo do this as I run the trails. Trevor the alpha male would be in the center while his two ladies are at either side. Trevor would flush out the cotton tail rabbits then Lady and Flo would follow chase.  While driving to work one early morning I saw three coyotes in the distance traveling in this form obviously tracking a predator. Seconds later they gave chase to a jack rabbit.

I'm an avid reader of Louis L'amour books and many military autobiographies. I find it deeply interesting to read how a tracker walks the earth and leave little signs of their passing through. The Native American culture consists of expert trackers throughout history on the north and south american continents. Currently the Shadow Wolves patrol our southern borders which consists of a dozen Native American " enforcement professionals who use time-honored tracking traditions". How do professional trackers move without anyone knowing they traveled through the area? As a tracker what signs do you look for when tracking? 'Time-honored' is correctly stated when a student learns from the master.

My novel consists of three teenage girls trekking approximately 200 miles along a ridge of the Chaco plateau. The time is around 1860 when the U.S. military initiates their quest to 'control' the Navajo people from unlawful raiding, stealing, intimidating and murdering peaceful families in the southwest region. The girls escape the initial capture on their homestead and head north. They travel along a ridge of the Chaco plateau and are tracked by a veteran tracker of the Ute nation contracted my the military. How does one travel as a group and beat an expert tracker?


  1. Chaco,
    I have a book for you, "Cutting for Sign". I'll put your name on it and bring it up in the summer (We are moving back to NM). It might be a good research source for tracking.

  2. Thanks Mimbres I will make sure to include this book in my box of research books!