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Hunter Gatherer Year

Sept - May (3 days a week)

The Hunter Gatherer Year combines wilderness skills and innovative education to re-engage with traditional ways of living. Spend 9-months with expert instructors and a community of students as you forage, hunt, gather, and fish.

Train archery and wilderness survival. Learn to navigate on and live with the land. Forge your own knife, make your own bow, and craft your primitive camping gear. Explore the wilderness through expeditions of Outdoor Leadership and Adventure.


The Hunter Gatherer Year curriculum advances you through seasons of harvest and foraging. Most field days and projects are interdisciplinary and encompass many topics. Studies include:

Hunting & Fishing Focus on harvesting invasive animals for food and to restore the habitat.  Explore a variety of other small game. Learn to butcher, process, and preserve animals of many sizes. Fish and forage the rivers, lakes and coastlines for aquatic life. Craft your own hunting and fishing tools.

Gathering & Foraging Forage for roots, leaves, shoots, fruits. Learn skills of identification and safe harvest of wild foods. Develop a connection through seasonal cycles of growth and restoration. Preserve what you gather for your larder and pantry.

Wilderness Survival Find your shelter, water, fire, and food. Craft with stone, bone, and fiber. Navigate and stay safe in the wilderness. Develop essential safety skills for long-range wilderness travel. Thread this experience through intensive development of Outdoor Safety and Awareness.

Primitive Kit Make the gear you take. Weave baskets, craft fire makers, create stone tools, build a backpack, and preserve hunted and gathered foods for wilderness living. Tan fish skins and animal hides that you sew into clothing. Forge your knife through blacksmithing. Use what you make in a 1-week Survival Trek in the spring.

Tracking & Awareness Learn to read the stories of the forest. Follow herds of elk and the trail of the bobcat. Fit these pieces together towards a deeper understanding of ecology and personal nature connection.

Homestead Collective Your class joins a shared farm plot at our 90-acre campus in Sandy, Oregon. As a community, you raise food for your pantry and the year-ending harvest celebration.

Archery + Bow Making Develop functional field technique for using the bow in a wilderness setting. Improve form and accuracy. Handcraft your own wood bow and stone-point arrows.

Outdoor Leadership Learn educational skills to share what you learn, giving greater value to our study and explorations. Cultivate the most ancient human survival tool—the power of story.

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Program Info

Dates, tuition & more.


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Quick Stats

September 19, 2017 - May 17, 2018 with holiday breaks. Weekly training days Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. The program includes overnight camping weeks and expeditions. 11-weeks of the program are overnight camping at our forest campus or on traveling expeditions. Expeditions are a huge part of the program and occur throughout the year. Your first week will be an overnight at Camp Trackers, our 90-acre site out in Sandy, Oregon. Our final expedition is a rite of passage, testing your skills and kit in a week-long Wilderness Survival Expedition. Key expeditions include:

  • Tracking at the Oregon Dunes
  • Coastal Foraging along the Oregon Coast
  • Shelter Building at the Bull Run Educational Center
  • Stone Tools in the high desert of Eastern Oregon
  • Two additional trips that vary from year-to-year

Field days usually take place at one of our two wilderness locations in Sandy, Oregon (total of 170 acres). Other Field days, include excursions to other sites for harvesting and expeditions. A shuttle to these locations from our SE Portland campus is included.

$500 non-refundable deposit, with 12-payments of $791.25 (total tuition $9,995). 

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Get Immersed

Become an ambassador for a culture that needs to exist. Join a community profoundly connected to the land. The Hunter Gatherer Immersion offers a year of hands-on experiences in bushcraft and ancient skills.

We cook fantastic meals of wild oyster mushrooms and turkeys raised by our class. You tan hides and sew them together for your clothing. We harvest chestnuts and grind them into flour for bread. You carve a bow with a knife that you forged. We work on baskets, felt wool, and flint-knap stone tools. You learn to follow the trails of wild animals: deer, bobcat, coyote, and cougar. 

Land Included

Throughout the program, students share a farm plot at the Trackers site in Sandy, Oregon for 1-year. Under the guidance of expert educators, you learn to homestead this plot while also harvesting as a collective for your own pantry and table. This space includes:

Vegetable Garden plot

Egg and poultry shares

Livestock shares

Personal & Professional Development

Trackers Earth is one of the largest employers of bushcraft, primitive skills and folk craft instructors in the country. We truly understand what type of personal and professional development is vital for this field. Many of our immersion students have continued to work with us as educators. Through this experience, we certify your completion of the program, its skill sets, and course work.


The year culminates with a weeklong Bushcraft & Wilderness Survival Expedition in the Spring. You carry the knife you forged and the primitive survival kit you crafted, along with all the knowledge and experience cultivated over your 9 months in the Hunter Gatherer Immersion.