Tracking Article from a Selous Scout
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August 20, 2015 at 5:50 pm #63011CorvetteParticipant
Except for the use of dogs, Tracking techniques have generally atrophied among 1st world militaries.
Still the possibility these techniques might be used against you sometime is a good learning motivator IMO.
August 20, 2015 at 10:04 pm #63012
I believe it would behave all to know how to track. It will be a luxury if you can have two trackers and two flankers, plus a team leader.
Besides practicing it continuously, the best advice I can offer anyone is KNOW your AO. Know the terrain, know the radio, cellphone, and water towers. Those are all navigation landmarks, both night and day. Know the roads.
Humans will usually take the path of least resistance until they are pushed or think they have been discovered. Then all bets are off.
Lots of good info in that article.
August 20, 2015 at 11:40 pm #63013
KNOW your AO.
This can not be stressed enough!
August 21, 2015 at 11:45 pm #63014
I guess everyone here except me lives in an urban or semi-urban area. That or everyone is a super tracker already. Even in Patriot Dawn, the city folks, ended up bugging out to rural areas and once organized conducted ops out in the boonies.
Tracking and counter tracking can keep your rear end from getting ambushed or help you catch up to the bad guys in your AO.
SHTF, is not going to be going from one firefight to the next. Patrolling will be a big part of controlling your AO. If you aren’t looking for signs of the opposing forces, it’s a stroll in the woods.
July 12, 2018 at 11:01 pm #63015
Time for a much needed bump!
The OP link is to one of fourteen articles on tracking techniques used by Selous Scouts.
There is much information on subjects that are on the verge of extinction and worth reading. Instruction would be preferred however even a cursory knowledge gained by self taught practice would be better than nothing. Due diligence is highly advised when seeking out such instruction.
July 13, 2018 at 7:26 pm #63016LloydParticipant
Seriously GOOD stuff!
Andrew can testify, since the Border Patrol got a lot (most) of their current tracking techniques directly from Rhodesians like Allen Savory. I can attest that these techniques work, in terms of tracking elk in the northern Rockies. I never tracked people, but the principles are the same.
From my perspective, it’s interesting to look at this information as a very step by step methodical method. Also the idea of anti-tracking or counter-tracking puts a new and interesting spin on it. Those elk weren’t tracking or trying to kill ME.
July 13, 2018 at 8:21 pm #63017mdbjjcParticipant
John Hurth from Tyr Group is another SME in tracking. Former SF and wrote a book called Combat Tracking. He’s actually one of the few trainers I know of that teaches SUT. Teaches tracking, counter tracking, etc
July 13, 2018 at 8:31 pm #63018
July 13, 2018 at 9:02 pm #63019
July 13, 2018 at 9:08 pm #63020
It’s a perishable skill that you need to keep working on. Also, knowing your AO makes a huge amount of difference.
July 13, 2018 at 9:27 pm #63021
July 14, 2018 at 9:02 am #63022RobRoyParticipant
Great site thanks for the link, a tip to those who drink heartily from the fount of human sameness the observations are in 1970s language.
Savory is an interesting man, from his national service thru his political fallout within Rhodesia to his most noted accomplishments as an ecologist. Momentum is spoken of here and Savory was noted in his tracking to push hard so the tracked made more mistakes with his anti-tracking.
A book I would recommend that showcases the relationship between commander and trackers and their operational deployment is “Koevoet, A South African….” Their job was track and destroy and they were damned good at it.
July 14, 2018 at 12:07 pm #63023BrushpopperParticipant
Thanks for bumping this! Very interested in this!
July 14, 2018 at 12:24 pm #63024
The brush country of South Texas is a great place to practice/learn signcutting and tracking. West Texas is a little different because of all the rock areas. But, that is where knowing your AO comes in. If not pressed people, like critters, will take the path of least resistance. Knowing where water sources are, knowing where landmarks, pole lines, antennas, other roads, fence lines that run in cardinal directions are and where they will end up, will simplify things for you.
July 14, 2018 at 3:44 pm #63025LloydParticipant
Savory is an interesting man, from his national service thru his political fallout within Rhodesia to his most noted accomplishments as an ecologist…
A friend who’s a retired Ag professor did a lot of work on high intensity short rotation grazing with Savory back in the late 80’s. I’ve heard stories over beers about Savory off and on for 20 years, then read a book a couple of years ago about how he was THE driving force behind translating native tracking skills into a science, and starting the tracker training program for the Rhodesian SAS, Selous Scouts, etc. After the Rhodesian War, some of those guys ended up here in the U.S. where they passed on those skills and lessons-learned to American military, law enforcement, and USBP in particular…. So now I think about the “Allen Savory stories” every time I see BP working a drag line or following up some “gooks” out here in West Texas.
Interesting side note: My buddy said that Savory is a genius, but an a-hole… Said last he heard, Savory had kissed up to the Mugabe regime and was living in Zimbabwe, but that was as of a couple of years ago.
July 14, 2018 at 5:58 pm #63026RobRoyParticipant
Last I knew Savory was cooling his heels in New Mexico, seems he was nearly the last to be eaten by the crocodile Mugabe.
July 14, 2018 at 7:07 pm #63027trailmanParticipant
Interesting, I posted up the availability of a tracking class and got zip interest, even within the local group. Hell it was practically free. A gent in my F&I group is an instructor, teaches human tracking to SAR groups. I think that after our combatives that we learn here its one of the most useful items you can know, considering the efforts of scouting and patrol.
July 14, 2018 at 7:31 pm #63028
Most people think following footprints is easy, until it isn’t. Groups are pretty easy, it’s the small groups of two or three that make you work. Look at the pictures from the long range shooting class. Now, imagine finding 4 guys that are armed and don’t want to be tracked. They can make tracks faster than you can follow them.
July 14, 2018 at 7:43 pm #63029
And don’t forget you leave tracks and sign too. Most of the illegal alien sign we followed was either cowboy boots or tennis shoes. What did we wear? Vietnam jungle boots. They cut sign too.
I posted once before that the best shoes/boots I ever found for not leaving a bunch of sign were Clark chukka boots with the gum soles. Leave next to nothing they just suck if it’s damp/wet.
Most unorganized groups will have different sole patterns, if you run into a group that all have basically the vibram soles then you might be dealing with a group that is a little more organized and goal oriented.
July 14, 2018 at 8:04 pm #63030
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