November 2023

Trailing Programs

The MWTP and Original Wisdom cohosted our third year of trailing programs, from November 2-12. While Dr. Kersey Lawrence was unable to join us this year, she tapped Preston Taylor to support us all in learning and growing our tracking skills with the elk and deer of northern Wisconsin. Preston led us through two workshops and two evaluations, based out of Forest Lodge in Cable, WI. This historic site is ideally situated, with deer on-site and elk roaming the Town of Namakagon transfer station and Chequamegon National Forest public lands just 10 minutes' drive from the lodge.

Many thanks go to the thirteen participants in the workshops and evaluations this year, as well as to Allison Zaccardi for researching and preparing food for this year's meal plan option. While many participants this year are regular MWTP Tracking Club participants in the Twin Cities, we extended a warm welcome to new folks from Wisconsin, northern Minnesota, and Vermont. 

Our explorations identified several groups of elk moving about the landscape, as well as numerous deer. During our time on the land, Preston offered plenty of excellent advice to support every tracker. Perhaps his most memorable tip: “F[orget] the tracks! It’s all about the animal.” 

Congratulations to the seven folks who received trailing certificates during the evaluations:

Level I: Kim Chisholm, Erica Schroyer

Level II: Chris Chisholm, Bill Kass

Level III: Sophie Mazowita, Kirsten Welge, Ben Wymer

Check out this elk rub! 

L to R: Ben Wymer, Preston Taylor, and Erica Schroyer.  

L to R: Eric Vehe, Allison Zaccardi, Sue Dahl, Troy Ellefson, Erica Schroyer and Laura Mcneill show off an elk rub.

Erica Schroyer and Bill Kass, enjoying the first evaluation.

The view from the crew: Seen over Sophie's shoulder, Kim Chisholm takes point with Preston Taylor during the second evaluation.

The energy in some of these tracks points towards two young bulls tussling among a larger herd feeding at the Town of Namakagon dump.

Eric Vehe points out an elk trail in leaf litter.

Relaxing by the fire and retelling the story of the day in the Forest Lodge living room.

Can't find the elk? Try the gas station.

L to R: Sophie Mazowita, Jonathan Poppele, Chris Chisholm, and Kirsten Welge on the second workshop.