Trapper Schotland (NEW)
This challenging course has been in the old EXTRA program for a long time and it’s back. But this time it will be offered in the SW of Scotland.
The full 6+ days revolve around observation and not being seen. It’s about blending in with your surroundings, natural awareness.
You’ll get a chance to practice with all kinds of simple (but effective) hunting weapons.
You will be both hunter and prey throughout this course, meaning you will sneak and be sneaked up on! It’s time to switch all your senses completely in the ‘on' modus!
I will teach you not only about tracks, but also how to read a landscape: “if there is a fallow deer here, where would I expect it to be?”
For us, hunting is an important part of outdoor life and being in the outdoors. During this course you will learn all kinds of hunting techniques, such as making a number of traps from natural materials. You will make a figure-4 or Paiute trap yourself. And you’re definitely going to use it, because we want to go beyond just 'making something'.
It's about triggering your hunting instinct. In our case we will try and catch mice. Don't panic: we’ll catch them alive and release them again after your foto shoot.
Success and possible setbacks are also part of your hunting experience, this forces you to adapt and come up with solutions if things don’t go as planned.
You’ll make a simple bow with several types of arrows plus a felted (silent) quiver. While roving, you will get to know your bow and become better at shooting every time.
You’ll get the opportunity to test all kinds of other hunting weapons, such as blowgun, atlatl, catapult, rabbit stick, etc
There is large game in the area such as roe-, fallow and red deer, but also pheasants, hare, badger and fox. We're going to sneak up on them... but how do you do this?!? We will practice this a lot with the aim of getting as close to them as possible without being seen ourselves.
There is fish in the small stream that runs through our base camp. In what way can we catch them? You have the chance to try that out in a realistic scenario.
And if you catch something (fish or game) how to prepare fish and/or game.
Included in this course will be a workshop on ‘trailing’: looking for -, finding and following fresh tracks of a large animal, with the goal of seeing that same animal at the end of the trail !
Following this course, there is the option to participate in a 2-day CyberTracker (CT) trailing evaluation. This eval will be offered in our area by my CT colleague John Rhyder.
The entire course will take place in the beautiful SW of Scotland (Galloway National Park), it’s a huge National Park we have been visiting since 2006. It offers excellent opportunities to do all the stuff mentioned above.
What does it take to participate?
Good/extensive outdoor camping experience is absolutely necessary.
You will have to be fully self sufficient : meaning you will have to prepare your own meals every day at your own little camp. This is all part of the program and it is also a vital part of the experience of being hunter and hunted. If you have little experience with cooking on a fire, be sure to bring a burner stove.
See also 'prior knowledge' and 'physical fitness' below.
What equipment do I need?
After registration you will receive an extensive packing list. In addition to general camping equipment, you won't need many special things. To blend in with your surroundings and do so with as little noise as possible, you will need clothes in natural colors made of soft fabrics like wool and fleece. For stalking you need light weight, flexible shoes with thin soles.
You will be able to contact other participants to travel together.
Do I need prior knowledge?
Not in terms of the lessons, but you must be able to be completely self-sufficient this week in any type of weather. Don't overestimate yourself.
What about physical fitness?
The area is rough and challenging. We will run lessons during day- and night time, and in any time of weather, so you need to be physically fit. Please don’t underestimate this!
(to our Bushcraft Yearlong Students: do bring your own bow if necessary, you will learn/will make other arrows. And of course you will have a great chance to sleep under your basha again in a familiar forest!)
Duur: full week (Friday - Friday)
Prior knowledge: to participate in this course, you must be able to be self sufficient for the whole week in the forest (spending all nights under a tarp, make fire, cook your own food, dry clothes, solve problems).
We therefore expect a description of your experience when you register (you can mention this in the comment on the enlisting form).
Physical fitness: you must be physically fit for this course! Think of a week 24/7 outside in Scotland with rough terrain and weather...
Overnight stays: entire course takes place in a forest (basha, tent)
Location: SW of Scotland (Dumfries & Galloway National Park)
Included: all lessons, course materials, coffee/tea, overnight stays in own tent / under a tarp in the forest
Not included: travel to and from a pick up point in Scotland, all food, camping gear
€ 775,= (TAX, materials, overnight stays, included)
- Different stalking techniques
- Moving unobserved
- Hunter and being hunted
- Use of binoculars
- All senses full on
- Making and using primitive hunting weapons
- Different ways of catching fish
- How to prepare fish
- Making a simple bow
- Making several types of arrows
- Making an arrow quiver (using felt)
- Make and use a figure-4 or Paiute trap
- Walking your ‘trapline’
- Finding and following a fresh trail
- Wildlife watching
- Getting close to wild animals
- Preparing game and fish