|What certifications are available
for tracking? What are the different levels? See
below for Beartracker's experiences.
offers the only internationally-recognized
certification for wildlife trackers. It is a rigorous
two-day field test of your tracking knowledge. There
are lower band evaluations, where you can score up to
a level 4. On a specialist evaluation, which requires
two evalulators, you can score a Track and Sign
Specialist only if you get 100% of the questions
correct. On Specialist evaluations, you will be asked
only difficult questions. There will be no easy
questions asked. On lower band evaluations, there are
more easy questions. If you are just beginning, I
recommend taking a lower band eval first, to see how
you do. It's a fun process and everyone learns a lot.
I highly recommend it. I earned my Track and Sign
Specialist Certification in the redwood forests of
northern California in 2016.
|I earned my second Track and Sign
Specialist certificate in the desert of San Diego
County, California, in March 2019. I am the second
woman on the continent to earn two of these, and one
of only three women on the continent to earn at least
|Trailing is the fun part of tracking.
In trailing, the goal is to catch up to the animal and
observe it without the animal becoming aware of you.
It is super fun and very challenging. I was tested on
deer for the certificate above. I scored 88%, which is
level 2. I needed 90% for level 3. You are graded on
at least ten different factors that the evaluator
observes as you follow your animal. I trailed three
deer as they made their way from a water source into
the brush, where they fed for a while before making
their way to their sheltered beds for the day. They
heard us coming and walked out of their bedding area,
and we tried to follow. The deer saw us eventually,
which you have to figure will happen. They are very
wary and not easy to sneak up on!
| If you have taken both a Track and Sign
and a Trailing evaluation, you are eligible for a
Tracker certificate. You can earn a Tracker
certificate for the lowest certification level of the
two evaluations. So, I have a Track and Sign
Specialist, which is the highest you can get for track
and sign identification. And I got a level 2 for
Trailing. The highest you can get in Trailing is
Specialist. Thus, I got a Tracker 2 certificate
because my lower score was in trailing, where I have
level 2. If I get better at trailing, I can get a
Tracker 3 or 4, or even a Senior Tracker. Senior
Tracker requires you to get Specialist in both Track
and Sign and Trailing. So, I need more practice in
trailing! I hope to get Specialist in Trailing
someday! Wish me luck!
|Universal Tracking Services offers
certification in tracking people, which is very
different from the CyberTracker certifications above.
In UTS tracking, the goal is to teach
Search-and-Rescue (SAR) personnel how to track lost
people in the wilderness. There are four levels to
this certification system. Novice, Tracker 1, Tracker
2, and Signcutter. I am currently at the third level -
a Tracker 2 Certification.
|Tracking people is fun to
learn, but has a serious purpose. If someone is lost
in the wilderness, they could be in danger of exposure
to the elements. So, it is critical to find them as
fast as possible. Tracking helps searchers narrow down
the search area, and, if the trackers are put on the
tracks right away, before others trample the tracks,
those tracks can lead the searchers right to the lost
person! If you are interesting in helping others and
have good wilderness skills, I recommend you learn
tracking skills. It might save your life, or that of
|I earned the certificate above for
tracking people for SAR purposes. If someone gets lost
in the woods, it's helpful to call in the trackers
early, since they can at least give a direction of
travel to other searchers. Trained tracking teams can
also follow the trail to find the lost person, but the
teams must be given a clear field without other
searchers to trample the tracks, something which
rarely happens, if ever.
|Tracking takes a lot of time and
patience to learn. You have to allow yourself to fail
too. No one is born knowing how to track. Anyone can
learn this skill. For more about how to earn your own
tracking certificates, see the links below.
|CyberTracker Certification in the USA - http://trackercertification.com/|
Services - Universal Tracking
|I also highly
recommend Rob's Speiden's Natural Awareness Tracking
School. I have known Rob for many years and he is a
well-rounded, and highly certified tracker. He is
certified in both human and wildlife tracking. Rob is
a Senior Tracker with CyberTracker. If you would like
to attend his classes, here is his page:
Natural Awareness Tracking School
Got a tracking story? E-mail me and tell me about it.
are visitor number:
Copyright © 2018. Text and photos by Kim A. Cabrera
Copyright © 2018. Kim A. Cabrera - Desert Moon Design
Page updated: April 3, 2019
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