Wildlife Tracking Apprenticeship

Enrollment: Open.

Where: Various locations within 30 miles of Brattleboro, VT.

When: the following Saturdays & Sundays in 2022-2023. Program hours may vary slightly but will generally follow a 9am-4pm pattern.

  • October 8 & 9, 2022
  • December 17 & 18, 2022
  • January 14 & 15, 2023
  • February 11 & 12, 2023
  • March 11 & 12, 2023
  • April 22 & 23, 2023
  • June 10 & 11, 2023


Who: Adults (Age 18+). Open to both novice and experienced trackers. Maximum 6 participants.

Cost(2022-2023 session): $1275 – 1675. Actual per-person cost is $1450.

Vermont Wilderness School’s Wildlife Tracking Apprenticeship provides quality instruction in wildlife tracking in a wide variety of conditions, over seven weekends spread out across three seasons.

Tracking is an invitation to slow down, look more closely, and question what we’re seeing. It’s a chance to get to know our “more than human” neighbors more deeply and intimately. It’s a journey to seeing our relationship and connection with the natural world more clearly.

Tracking can seem inaccessible, a skillset with which it’s hard to make headway. Working with a skilled tracking teacher can dramatically flatten the learning curve, bring results more quickly, and be a rewarding and fun experience. The teaching approach will be to “build it from the ground up.” The apprenticeship will include field time, presentations, and optional “homework.” Topics to be covered:

  • Tools for clear track identification
  • Wildlife “sign” identification
  • Body mechanics, gaits, and track patterns
  • Trailing
  • Wildlife interactions with the landscape
  • General naturalist knowledge related to tracking
  • Tracker field conduct

* The apprenticeship will provide excellent preparation for anyone interested in taking Wildlife Track & Sign Evaluations. 

Note: each participant has the option to meet with the instructor to customize your learning goals and the level of challenge you desire.

Meet the Instructor

Bob Etzweiler is a longtime teacher at the Vermont Wilderness School, leading both youth and adult programs. He runs our annual Lynx Tracking Expedition the Hunter’s Heart Hunting Apprenticeship, and our new Summer Tracking Intensive. Bob has over a decade of experience in Wildlife Tracking, has been hired on wildlife track surveys, and is CyberTracker Level III certified. He’s a skilled and passionate tracker and teacher.



  1. Complete the application below and click submit. Be sure to check your email for the automated response with the subject “[Your name]’s Tracking Apprenticeship Application has been received” that serves to confirm that we have received your application. We will respond to your application as soon as possible, likely within 3 weeks.
  2. If accepted before September 1, a $150 deposit will be due within 7 days of your acceptance, to reserve your slot. The remaining balance is due September 1. After September 1, anyone applying must pay immediately upon acceptance.
    1. You can pay by either:
      1. Make a secure online payment by credit card or via PayPal in the box to the right –>
      2. OR
      3. Send a check payable to “Vermont Wilderness School” to: VWS, PO Box 2585, Brattleboro, VT 05303.
    2. Financial aid details can be found in the form below.
  3. Upon acceptance to the program, please complete the “VWS Medical Form” via the tab at the bottom of this page.

Please review our scholarship and cancelation policy page for more details. Questions? Email office@vermontwildernessschool.org or call 802-257-8570