And they did… It was the final exercise, and I thought I was home free. During a simulated manhunt, myself and three other instructors set out from the vehicles on a 3500 acre property in the heart of Kentucky. A couple hours later, they had caught two of my gang. Rob Spieden, http://www.trackingschool.com, and I were the last two. We had stuck together up until this point, but with the teams now focused on picking up where we had given them the slip, we planned on splitting up and I would slip back behind them and check the security on the command center.
I wished Rob good luck, and slipped through the the tall weeds to the edge of a clearing. I glassed the field edges looking for any security teams and felt at ease watching a flock of turkeys enter the woods where I was heading. Trying to stay out of the briars, I was five steps into cutting the corner of the field when I was challenged by five M4 wielding SWAT members in full predator mode.
Like any good prey, I ran like hell. I was sure that with my headstart and the downhill slope I was going to leave them in the dust, but little did I know that the SRT team had picked up my trail and I was sandwiched between them. My 300 hundred yard dash to freedom came to a end as I heard the footsteps crashing behind me. Give these meat-eaters an excuse to tackle you and they gladly will, so I did what any fugitive with half a brain would do and dove to the ground just in time to avoid getting crushed.
I had just spent the week helping Mike Hull, owner/operator of VITALE LLC and an affiliate of the Scott-Donelan Tracking School, teach a Level II Tactical Tracking class to the Kentucky State Police SRT Team and the Frankfort PD SWAT team. Level II class picks up where the Level I leaves off, focusing on command and control, land navigation, rural surveillance, IED detection and coordinating multiple teams.
An outstanding class with a some of Kentucky’s finest. Check out Mike’s website to schedule training: http://www.vitalellc.com/
On a side note, while on the run, I did eat some ground cherries, collect some dogbane for cordage, milkweed pods for seeding my area, a mulberry branch, horseweed stems, cedar bark (all for friction fire), some burdock seeds, and even spied some shaggy manes. All in a good day’s work of being a “fugitive”.
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