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Tom Brown's Science and Art of Tracking Paperback – February 1, 1999

4.2 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Tom Brown, Jr. began to learn hunting and tracking at the age of eight under the tutelage of an Apache elder, medicine man, and scout in Toms River, New Jersey, and is the author of 16 books on nature. Recently, he was the technical advisor on The Hunted, a major motion picture starring Tommy Lee Jones and Benecio Del Toro.   In 1978, Tom founded the Tracker School in the New Jersey Pine Barrens where he offers more than 25 classes about wilderness survival and environmental protection.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (February 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425157725
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425157725
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #162,550 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author


Tom Brown, Jr is America's most acclaimed outdoorsman, and a renowned tracker, teacher, and author. When Tom was only seven, Stalking Wolf (Grandfather), an Apache elder, shaman and scout, began coyote teaching Tom in the skills of tracking, wilderness survival, and awareness. After Stalking Wolf's final walk, Tom spent the next ten years wandering the wilderness throughout the America's with no manufactured tools--in most cases not even a knife--perfecting Grandfathers skills and teachings. Tom came back to "civilization" and began looking for people interested in all that he had learned, but found none. He felt lost and confused until a local sheriff who knew Tom called him in to track a lost person. Tom found the missing person and, in the process, found his Vision.
Over the next few years Tom earned his reputation as "The Tracker" by finding lost people, and fugitives. He has since worked with many law enforcement agencies, throughout the United States and internationally, on cases involving abducted children, lost hunters and hikers, and fugitives. He wrote about his experiences in a book titled The Tracker, which was published in 1978. Soon after, Reader's Digest ran a condensed version of Tom's story and included information on the Tracker School. That was over thirty years ago, and today Tom Brown Jr's Tracker School http://www.trackerschool.com is teaching people from all over the world and from all walks of life. Since the success of The Tracker, Tom has authored 16 books on tracking, awareness, nature observation and survival, including, Grandfather, The Vision, The Way of the Scout and a series of field guides, which have sold well over a million copies.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I've read some of the other reviews, and you can bet that the negative ones came from people who, for whatever reason, weren't able to do what was necessary to understand. Like one of the other gentlemen, I too spent a couple weeks with Tom, and his senior instructor at that time, "Little Frank", and I found the course to be perfect for a clumsy, city-conditioned imbecile like myself.
Tom is charismatic, but he doesn't use it to make friends and converts. He uses it to help the reader make the transition from a shell-shocked city-dweller to someone who can feel safe to explore the mysteries of the untamed wild. If you already feel comfortable with nature, Tom, in this book and his teachings, will then help you to move from seeing just big things, to seeing very small details. Some people, such as the earlier reviewer might have had great difficulty with this. After all, not everyone can fathom the benefit that comes from getting down in the grass and watching how beetles duke it out.
As for the skeptic who did not believe that a mouse could be tracked across gravel: I experienced it. Something inside me is changed for ever now that it has entered my direct awareness that such a thing is possible. It leaves me open to what else is possible. The moments leading up to 'tracking the mouse across gravel' were well-orchestrated. We were tracking when the sun was at the most optimal point in the sky. We had started way down the trail near Tom's barn, and he would write details on pointed popsicle sticks and place them with the point touching the back of the animals tracks. We were told to first step back, go wide angle vision while maintaining awareness on the track area, and to just try to see what it was that Tom saw.
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Format: Paperback
This is a great book for beginning trackers and nature lovers. The book shows how anyone willing to put forth a little effort to go out and practice and get some "dirt time" can learn to follow even the tiniest tracks across the most difficult surfaces. Tom uses a common sense method of tracking that examines a track in terms of "pressure releases." For example: a heavy foot displaces more "dirt" than a lighter foot, a foot traveling fast will displace more "dirt" to the rear of the foot than a foot moving slowly. By measuring the size of these pressure releases one can tell a myriad of things about the creature one is tracking: its size, its direction of travel, its speed of travel and its head position. Eventually, by studying micro-pressure releases inside the track one will also be able to tell whether the animal has a full stomach, whether it is male or female and dozens of other cool details about the animal. Tom will teach you how to see the animal as you track it. Some people seem to doubt whether the stories Tom tells are real or not. Kevin below states that there are no oak trees in Montana. This is false. The bur oak is abundant in the state of Montana and it grows up to 70 feet high sometimes. The best use of this book I feel is to use it in your everyday life. It teaches one to look at the details of life one might miss.
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Format: Paperback
there is a good summary of basic pressure points and many of the important complicated ones. If you are at a point in your tracking studies when you are ready to start working beyond basic animal signs to reading track movement, this is a good guide. But you might not need it for long, because all of its exercises are carried out in a tracking box with relative ease. It is very hard to teach this stuff to yourself, as I am finding, so find yourself a teacher to set you on your way. Or go to Tom Brown's tracking school for more detailed instruction. If you want to be inspired and drawn into tracking for life, read The Tracker first, then read his other books. A lot of stuff is repeated amongst all of his books, so don't buy them unless you really need them. This is the only book with really concrete tracking instruction, which is why I bought it. Kind of sad really, I wish he would write more books about this and less about old man stories.
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Format: Paperback
Some of the stuff is a little too huggy feely for me, but if you work through that stuff, there's a lot of EXCELLENT information in this book about tracking. This book will make you a better outdoorsman. All you've got to do is read and practice.
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Format: Paperback
This is a great book on three levels. 1. On the practical level it will make you a better tracker because of its simplicity and organization. 2. On the scientific level it will help you analyze and synthezise tracks because of its system for measurement and classification. 3. On the metaphorical level it will help you connect the search for the unseen in tracking to the search for the unseen in your psyche, spirit or soul. It is rare to find a manual that moves from the worldly or practical to the religious or spiritual. Buy it you'll learn and live better for it. Roberto
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Format: Paperback
This book, the latest in tom brown series, focuses on the study of the track. Specifically, the "pressure releases" contained therein. This book is a must field guide for you trackers out there, and a must for scientists everywhere. Many of the same patterns discussed in tracking, follow the same science as when a meteorite slams into the earth, or the geological processes of erosion. Tracks, of course are tiny versions of these. Having said this, the book is more a field guide than previous Tom Brown, and for those that are more interested in philosphy or accounts of Tom Browns youth, well you should read the other TB books first! All and all, a very sharp and defined book full of tons of facts!
Probably best tracking book on the planet
howard
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