Good Relationships Make Good Trackers

By | April 5, 2013

Recently I noticed that higher-than-average number of the best trackers I know happen to be involved in healthy interpersonal relationships. I suspect it’s because when we come at our relationships sideways by enabling and speaking indirectly, or by manipulating and feeling victimized, we do the same with the animals we track.

Even though we might struggle in our human relationships to be trusting enough to know and accept others for who they are, why can’t we do it with animals? Being creatures of habit and pattern, we can hardly help but treat all relationships the same, whether they be human or animal.

Then how can we have an honest, straightforward relationship with an animal? Here I can speak from personal experience: the better I developed my human relationships skills, the more successful I am at tracking. I’ve noticed it consistently over the years–when I make a relationship breakthrough, it shows right away in the field.

Yes, we can improve our tracking skills through practice and study, but I think we can only go so far–as far as our relationship skills allow us. Yet I think that’s good news, because rather than sinking into despair because we have hit a wall, we know that the more we heal through our dysfunctional relationship patterns and establish healthy ones, the better the tracker we become. After all, tracking is just like the rest of life–it’s all about relationship.

Think of the efficiency here–we get two benefits for the price of one. It’s the same with so many other tracking-related skills: the better I become at hacky sack, the better I become at stalking; and the more embedded knots I’m able to sense in a block I’m splitting, the more sign I’m going to pick up on the trail of an animal. I wonder if the ability to eat more ice cream would help my tracking…

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