Stalking and Tracking

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Plaster casts and Leaf impressions


Stalking is a way of approaching or following a quarry without being detected or observed. Baden-Powell used his stalking skills to avoid masters at boarding school and later to observe enemy movements and installations. Nowadays, stalking is often used for photography or observing of animal behaviour.

The stalker has to approach the quarry without being detected and remain hidden to take the photos or make sketches. Animals are sensitive to the presence of predators and their sense of smell and hearing is developed to protect them. Any unusual scent, sound or movement will cause alarm and may cause flight.

The stalker needs to approach with skill and care to avoid being seen or heard. Stalking is a good skill to have and one that can quite easily be mastered with a bit of training and practice. We use games like Stalk-the-lantern or Searchlight to practice these skills.

The six secrets of successful stalking:

Move Quietly

Learn to "freeze" and keep 100% still. Movement attracts attention, especially quick movement.

Break up your outline

Study your background and dress to blend in to the background. Face camouflage can be used to break the lines on your face.

Avoid the skyline

Take off your watch and other shiny articles that reflect the sun and the moon.

Look around not over rocks - look through bushes

Do not form a silhouette.

Exploit the shadows

Shadows conceal and break up your outlines.

Avoid water

Your reflection may betray you!

Trails and Tracking