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Tracking: A Blueprint
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Tracking: A Blueprint for Learning How by Jack Kearney is an excellent book for any mantracker or trainee. Subjects include awareness, sun angle, sign, slope and ground cover, aging, sign cutting, track identification and following a non-visible trail.
Pub: Pathway Press, 2009, 8th Ed., 152 pages

Jack Kearney, Supervisory Border Patrol Agent (Retired), spent twenty-one years of his Border Patrol career assigned to the El Cajon, California duty station. For approximately fifteen of those years Jack spent his working days walking the mountains and rugged canyons of Southern California's remote backcountry as he tracked down the border jumpers who were trying to sneak into the United States from Mexico. During this time, Jack and a few of his co-workers earned a reputation for tracking expertise that became reknowned throughout the Border Patrol. In one seven year stretch this small band of experts was credited with finding over sixty lost persons with their tracking skills. During this stretch, they had no failures on searches that involved small childern. A June, 1974, Sports Illustrated article, that reported on one of these searches, aptly described Jack and his frequent tracking companion, Jim Burns, as being, "the two best trackers in the Border Patrol".

These successes and the ensuing publicity created tremendous demand for instruction in tracking techniques and Jack spent much of the last ten years of his Border Patrol career developing the instructional techniques described in this book as he conducted tracking seminars for law enforcement officers, military personnel, and search volunteers all over the United States.

Many people contributed in some way to the eventuality of this book. However, the three people who invested the greatest amount of time and effort are my fellow San Diego Mountain Rescue Team members: John Wehbring, Bill Mackintosh, and Joe O'Dell. John took my original manuscript and promptly demolished it. As the pieces were put back together it began to resemble a book. Had I followed all of his suggestions the final product might even have looked professional. Bill Mackintosh not only proofread and offered suggestions on the text but took photographs and handled all film developing, enlarging, printing, and cropping. Joe O'Dell spent innumerable hours, took long trips, and probably took a half dozen days from his job in order to set up and shoot precisely the picture I wanted in order to illustrate a particular point. With these three people I particularly wish to share credit,... or the blame.

In the last ten years many good trackers have worked at the El Cajon Border Patrol Station and all of them helped to build our envious record of success on searches for lost persons. However, in some outlandish places and at some outrageous hours, the guy I looked up and saw the most often was Jim Burns, and only slightly less often was Larry Harlan.

The initial motivating force behind our involvement in Search and Rescue work was our boss, Ab Taylor. He, more than anyone else, has been beating the drum and selling the idea of tracking as a rescue tool. It was originally his idea to try teaching tracking to search volunteers and his dedication to this pursuit continues to occupy a major portion of his time.

Others who provided vital input, encouragement , or inspiration were Lois McCoy, Jon Gunson, PeeWee Lagasse, Stan Bush, and the San Diego Mountain Rescue Team.