As a husband and father, Andrew Herrington, understands that nothing is more important than keeping your family and yourself safe on your outdoor adventures and safely returning home. An avid outdoorsman, he has a lifetime of experience roaming the wilderness from the outback of Australia, to the wilds of Alaska in search of adventure, knowledge, and his next meal.
Employed by the National Park Service since 2001, he currently leads the Wild Boar Eradication Program in the remote Twentymile district of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Hunting, trapping, and camping for weeks at a time in remote areas pursuing his quarry has allowed him to fine tune his outdoor safety and wilderness survival skills. During his career, Andrew spent five years as the Twentymile back country law enforcement ranger, where his responsibilities included Resource Protection, Search and Rescue Operations, Emergency Medical Services , Wildland Firefighting, and Wildlife Management.
An experienced search and rescue team leader, tracking instructor, and emergency medical technician (EMT-B), he has first hand knowledge of how outdoor emergencies start, what happens during them, and how they are resolved. As a survivor of a major rock climbing accident, a rattlesnake bite, numerous bear encounters, and being stranded several times, he also understands what it is like to be on the other side of the equation, dependent on his skills and those of others. In 2015, he formed a specialized Backcountry Search & Rescue team,TeamBUSAR.org, to assist the National Park Service on Search & Rescue missions and was recognized with theTennesee Conservation Hero Award for his role in the evacuation of Gatlinburg during the 2016 Firestorm.
Prior to joining the Park Service, he obtained his degree in Wildlife & Fisheries Science from the University of Tennessee and as a licensed damage control trapper, has used his trapping and hunting skills on a variety of game across North America. As a modern day hunter-gatherer, wild edibles and meat are a regular part of his family’s diet, along with herbal remedies.
Whether it is hiking, climbing, kayaking, or traveling the world, Andrew’s diverse outdoor experience allows him to relate the principles of survival to your pastime and environment. From fugitive manhunts, wildland fires, whitewater raft guiding, and mixed martial arts competitions, he also understands the physiological effects of stress on the body and how they relate to survival situations.
Andrew has trained with some of the most renowned bushcraft, tracking, and herbalism instructors, most notably Mors Kochanski, Robin Blankenship, Charles Worsham, David Scott-Donelan, and Juliet Blankenspoor and has applied that knowledge throughout his career and to his own school’s curriculum.
“I’ve had the opportunity to work with Andrew for a few years now and I’ve always been impressed with his abundance of knowledge on a great many things. We’ve known him to be an outstanding tracker, a go to back country specialist – able to thrive in any environment, a skilled boat operator, an excellent shot on the range, an excellent martial artist, and many other things, too much to count. I personally have relied on him to accomplish some of the most arduous and difficult Search and Rescue assignments I could ever ask one of our rangers to respond to. He never hesitated and always left his colleagues better informed from just his wealth of outdoor knowledge and experience.”
Joe Pond – District Ranger, North Carolina Ranger Operations, Great Smoky Mountains NP