Knowing how to escape tracking dogs can help you escape martial law, hard life in a political prison or concentration camp, or even interrogation and torture during a time of war.
I'd like to say that if you're a crook or considering a crime, there are several ways that criminals are caught, even well thought out criminals including the white collar types, and often it can happen weeks or even months after a crime has taken place.
Instead of committing a crime to try to better your circumstances, clean up your act and clean up your thinking; for a lot of people that means finding faith -- Jesus is in the business of changing lives. With that said, let's talk about:
The dog's "handler" is often more skilled than his or her dog at looking for visual cues.
It helps to be in great shape and capable of climbing steep grades -- that comes with practice and time spent in the wilderness or even crossfit training.
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Of course, you do have to consider radio communications, including tracking from the air. So:
If you cross a body of water and a tracking dog and its handler believes you've entered the water, they will either have to cross the water also, or circle around to the other side where they will likely pick up your scent again where you exited the water as your scent drips off you and along the ground.
These skin cells coat our hair (dandruff) and of course our clothing. Our skin cells trail us everywhere we go. That's one reason that trying to shower and bathe doesn't remove our scent for these tracking dogs, no matter what kind of soap we use. At the same time, scent concealer (carried by hunters) doesn't work, though it may partially cloak our body odor, it doesn't do anything for these skin cells being shed.
Unless you can disappear into a populated area, Mythbusters concludes that a tracking team is probably going to find you. Again, it comes down to this constant trail of skin cells we are leaving everywhere we go.
1. Drill or burrow small holes in the bottom of a bucket with a survival knife (you can't go wrong with a Marine Corps KA-BAR) so that a small amount of water drips out -- a very small amount of water. Now, fill the bucket with water (from a lake, pond, or river) and then rinse your hands, feet, face, and hair with the water in the bucket so that the water is contaminated with your dead skin cells.
2. Now, either a second person or even a moving vehicle (hang the bucket from a truck trailer hitch, for example, or even a small raft made of tree branches pushed down a river or let loose on to a lake) will gradually drip water from that bucket, creating a strong false trail in a direction you do not plan to travel.
3. Next, shed your clothing and rub your body thoroughly with Vaseline (also a product for first aid kits) or another petroleum jelly product (petroleum jelly should greatly reduce the amount of skin cells being shed by your body for a short period of time), including your hair. Everything on your body must be thoroughly coated in Vaseline. Remember, tracking dogs scent on our dead skin cells and not so much as our individual body odor. If we can stop these skin cells from falling for a period of time, in theory we can get out of the area without leaving a trail of skin cells that leads in our direction of travel.
4. Finally, a last step, if you can pull this off -- have a second batch of clothing and shoes (that have been worn by someone else in recent days and have not been washed and so are carrying someone else's skin cells) waiting for you a few hundred yards away or so. Re-coat your body in petroleum jelly (so that the first coat doesn't wear off yet) and then throw on this new set of clothing and shoes.
5. Get out of Dodge while the tracking dogs are chasing your scent in the wrong direction.
In a hot and dry environment they are going to tire faster and overheat sooner.
Tracking teams have to move somewhat slow, compared to the pace of a runner, giving their dog(s) time to move at a pace where their dogs are able to continue to stay on scent.
Circling wide and coming in from the side or from behind to ambush a dog and handler comes with a gamble also -- a tracking team may be traveling with heavily armed officers or who are trained to expect an ambush, catching you off guard, ending with you being shot and killed or shot and taken captive. If they are traveling with military trained dogs, these dogs can be trained to hear distant and distinct noises that alert the handler that a sniper is nearby. So you may never get close enough without detection.
Conclusion: Setting traps and circling around to ambush a tracking team is a gamble that probably won't work for most people, not unless luck or God is on your side that day.
When talking about a basic patrol dog, it turns out that these patrol dogs do not typically have a high success rate in tracking that leads to the capture of a fleeing suspect. In fact, when "local dogs" are called in they can tend to lose a track faster and also tire quicker.
This of course works in your favor, as long as you continue to keep moving. Here's why:
Once local dogs lose a track and or grow tired, an advanced handler with a superior canine with advanced training can be called in, but may have to drive from 100 - 200 miles away.
Because of the distance this advanced tracker has to travel from out of town to get to where your escape path begins, you have several hours head start but you now also have an advanced tracking team on your trail. But you can still get away ...
Ed writes: "Our dispatch was notified at @ 5 PM that an escaped federal prisoner from Duluth, MN was found about 140 miles south of our county. The prisoner had overpowered a local constable and disarmed him. Shots had been fired by the suspect as he ran into nearby woods with the officer's gun. A manhunt was set up and a command post established. Local dogs had been called in but had lost the track and were now tired. Our K9 teams were requested to relieve the local dogs."
Paulvermacher had recently been sent to federal prison on three counts of robbery. He was also the main suspect in the murder of a catholic priest in Madison, WI the previous year. The priest had been found in his own church with his throat cut.
My partner had retired his patrol dog and 2 weeks before this incident I had just brought him a new KNPV Malinoise from Holland. It was decided to leave this dog home and only take my dog. Todd would come along to provide backup. We were also accompanied by a jailer in our department who had a bloodhound.
After driving the 140 miles we arrived just as it was getting dark. We then found out the suspect had actually fled at about 8 AM in the morning. A sighting had been made around 9 AM as the suspect ran into very thick woods about a mile from where he disarmed the constable. A one square mile perimeter had been set up with patrol cars about every 100 to 150 yards around this section of woods. We were told the local dogs had lost the track earlier in the day."
So, what is Ed saying here? He's telling us that a local tracking dog team may not be properly trained or fit for a long distance pursuit on foot through remote country.
So that is in your favor.
At the same time, if you were skilled enough, carried a rifle, and circle around on an approaching military canine team, they are more likely to spot you, as these dogs are trained to find hiding snipers. Probably not a good idea. (Not unless there's more than one of you, or you've got a choke point waiting and already planned for this).
On a map, trained personnel have the means to circle an area they suspect to find people in, and then they can come in from different directions, to round up anyone caught inside a search area. Refugees during wartime for example, or even people fleeing from martial law.
Staying in one location for an extended length of time, especially within range of a military base or outpost, increases the chances that your location will be found on a patrol or on a search.
A "patrol" in this case is something that takes place as part of standard operations; a "search" is when a person or persons is suspected to be in the general area and can continue until that person(s) is found.
The lesson here is this: Refugees during wartime need to keep moving and head in a direction that does not take them toward an area where a second military outpost or base is waiting.
Realize this: A zip-line is not just a "ride" at a vacation resort like Whistler-Blackcomb or others found in Costa Rica.
In mountainous countries zip lines have been constructed by people for traversing canyons and gullies and crossing rivers in place of a bridge and have been for quite some time, even before the modern age.
1. First, you need some tools -- if this is a river no wider than 100 yards, a compound bow with a heavy weight fishing line fastened securely to an arrow can be aimed at the sky and shot over the river where it will carry the fishing line into the brush on the other side.
2. While you can rig a long bow or compound bow to pull this off, using an actual bowfishing arrow means you have an arrow constructed for the purpose of attaching a line to. A second important feature is that this arrow has a grapple barb for the arrow head (which will help your arrow catch in the brush so that the river doesn't yank it back when the fishing line falls into the river after your arrow has been shot -- that arrow needs to catch in the brush as the first step of this process).
3. Now, where you stand holding the compound bow, put the bow down and tie a stretch of long rope or better yet spool of Kevlar line and now using a sturdy tree near the river bank, climb 15 - 30 feet up and securely fasten it.
Once secure enough to be pulled across the river from the other side, hike a few miles up or down the shore to a place you have previously found where it's safe to cross the river, make your crossing, and then travel down to where you shot the arrow over the rapids. The fishing line tied to the arrow you have retrieved can be used to pull in your rope or Kevlar line from the other side of the river where you can now fasten it to a tree.
4. While peasant farmers and hunter-gatherers living in mountainous countries can build zip-lines in place of bridges using simple materials, today we have several modern tools that can be used to make a zip line safer and stronger and even faster to construct. While these tools can be bought from most hardware stores or adventure outdoor shops, realize that these same items can be constructed out of other materials on hand, if you don't have things like a pulley, or hand winch, or safety harness.
5. If you want a zip line to be an option for you in the wild, practice zip line building in your local forest or even in your own backyard if you have the option.
Changing shoe tread -- trackers will key in on a certain shoe tread so if you have the ability to change shoes at different points along the trail it may help to confuse the tracker. Shoes with indistinct tread is also a plus.
Use roads -- Before you reach a road, start angling your tracks to indicate that you are traveling one way up the road, then, once you are on the road where your tracks are undetectable, reverse your direction and go back the other way. If you can cover several hundred yards on the road before hopping back into the woods you may buy yourself several hours.
Important point: Be sure not to leave any rope trailing below you or litter on the ground below, tell tale signs that you've climbed up the rock face.
Take one of your shirts and tear it to shreds, and make it look like animal teeth have torn holes in it.
Use some blood (you'll have to carry a bottle of animal blood just for this occasion) and pour large amounts of it over the shirt and on the ground.
Finally, make drag marks in the soil and brush leading a few feet away from the bloody, torn shirt, and rub some blood in the ground so it pools with the dirt.
Make a couple more large bear prints and knock down brush leading a few feet into the forest or tall grass.
If you have an old shoe, tear it off, cut shreds and bite marks into part of it (burrow holes with the head of your knife to create the illusion of teeth marks) and dabble some blood on it.
Stand back and survey your work. If the scene of an animal attack looks somewhat genuine, an average patrol may report back that a bear or even a mountain lion got to you before they did. Even if a tracking dog wants to follow your scent into the woods, a patrol could be too scared of encountering a predatory bear and is likely to call off the search.
Remember, one of history's greatest methods of evasion is faking your own death. No one is likely to look for you if they believe you are dead.
Besides, in bear country, most locals know that a predatory bear is a real threat and so faking a bear attack really isn't that far fetched. Other animals to consider pinning the blame on are mountain lions, wolves, or a pack of wild dogs (dog packs are a threat in countries known for refugees; keep that in mind -- if we ever face martial law or even a major catastrophe dogs that have turned wild and have formed packs will be a threat).
In the end, the good news about an escape on foot is that properly trained canine teams and handlers may be few and far between in number. A greater concern instead should be dealing with the threat from any dangerous wildlife and finding food and water along the way (also called living off the land which comes with prior knowledge of wilderness survival and also carrying effective survival gear.)