Learn wildlife tracking, bird & animal communication, wilderness survival, foraging for wild plants & more!

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What If You Could Read the Signs of Nature Just Like Your Ancestors?

Imagine when you stepped outside you knew where the coyote had just crouched down, when the hawk was going to fly overhead, which wild bulbs were ready to harvest, who had been feeding on the carcass that was cached, when the weather was going to change for the worse, and which tree was the best to build a shelter against?

When you join the Naturalist Training Program, you'll learn this and much more! You'll stop scratching your head trying to 'figure out' nature and its secrets, and instead learn how to engage with it so that you know how to locate wildlife and understand animal behavior, decide which plants are edible or otherwise useful, decipher birds' calls and their movements, and know what actions to take to stay safe in the backcountry. 

You'll start engaging with what nature has to offer so that you no longer feel like an outsider, but instead feel comfortable in your surroundings and can handle whatever comes your way. Over time, you'll begin to realize YOU are part of the vast unfolding story occurring around you, leading to the ultimate feeling that you belong!

Sure, you can skip learning these essential skills and carry on as you do now, continuing to miss out on everything that's going on around you and greatly limiting your enjoyment of the natural world as well as potentially putting your well-being at risk. But do you really want to remain a stranger in your own environment, estranged from all that nature has to offer and the knowledge that your ancestors depended upon?

Or is it finally time to enhance your awareness and start tuning into the animals, plants, and clues all around you that are beckoning for your attention. This is your chance to reclaim your RIGHTFUL place in the nature by acquiring these time-honored skills, sharing them with friends and family, and in the process forever changing your relationship to the world just outside your doorstep.

Learn the Art of Wildlife Tracking and Start Finding Animals!

Understand animal communication and when birds are warning you of predators nearby!

Improve Your Survival & Backcountry Skills so You Can Handle Anything Nature Throws at You!

Start Harvesting Nutritious Wild Plants & Gain Access to an Unlimited Emergency Food Supply!

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How Different Would Your Outdoor Experiences Be If You Knew How to...

✅ Locate and observe large and small animals by being able to recognize and follow their trails

✅ Properly prepare before venturing into the backcountry to avoid the most common mistakes that can lead to dangerous survival scenarios

✅ Identify and harvest wild plants both as an emergency food source and as valuable material resources in survival situations

✅ Interpret bird behaviors and alarm vocalizations that reveal important information about animal whereabouts and impending predator attacks 

✅ Read a map, use a compass, and navigate virtually any terrain to avoid getting lost and safely get to your destination

✅ Move through a landscape stealthily with the ability to sneak up on animals without them knowing you are there

✅ Procure water, make fire, build shelter, and signal for rescue if you became injured or lost in remote country

✅ Identify big predators in your vicinity area by confidently identifying the tracks of bears, lions, wolves, coyotes, and other potential threats

✅ Process and store wild foods to supplement your normal diet using the proper equipment, techniques, and other know-how

✅ Select the most important survival gear for both short and long-term expeditions so you could feel secure in exploring mountains, deserts, and forests

What People Say About the Program

‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź¬†Keith¬†Farrar, Instructor at The School of Self-Reliance

"This is without question one of the most comprehensive and detailed programs available. I have been studying bushcraft, wilderness survival, and general outdoor skills for over 25 years, teaching those skills for over 15 years. I was very pleased with the incredible detail...the program will allow the student to become very confident in their knowledge."

 

‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź Adam Brightman

"I did not realize how successful I became with the content of this program until I took one of my fellow environmental police officers with me. As I explained to him what I was looking at with the deer tracks, he simply looked at me in amazement and said 'Where did you learn all of this?' It was at this moment that I realized I had obtained a skillset that a senior game warden did not possess."

 

‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź¬†Martin Ack

"Bird language was mind blowing for me. I learned how birds communicate using vocalizations, movements, body language, and flight patterns to identify the location of dangerous predators. It will change your outdoor experiences forever!"

 

‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź Grace Harris

"The foraging program gave me so many opportunities to grow my skills in an outdoor field and after taking it, I've shown people all sorts of plants and what you can do with them...people enjoy it so much when I tell them what delicious plants you can find in the wild!"

NOW is the Time to Reconnect with Nature!

You only have so many hours left to spend outside...why not get the most out of them?

No more overlooking tracks that indicate a majestic animal is nearby, not recognizing a plant that is a highly nutritious food source, ignoring a bird alarm that signals a predator on the move, or not being able to start a fire when you are on the verge of becoming hypothermic.

You CAN learn to put into practice the same skills that humans used not only to survive, but to thrive in harsh environments for thousands of years. It's part of your human heritage, your birthright that you are uniquely qualified to tap into.

So take advantage of the opportunity that awaits you so that you no longer miss out on all that nature has to offer. It doesn't matter whether it's your backyard or a nearby wilderness, either way there's a whole world that awaits your discovery! 

The Naturalist Training Program

Core Member

 
What's Included:

*Video instruction each week in a skill like wildlife tracking, bird language & animal communication, wilderness survival, foraging for wild plants, backcountry best practices, and other naturalist topics

*Live lessons every month on a naturalist topic that includes Q&A time where you get to ask your own questions related to the discussion

*Membership in the Naturalist Speak Community where you can post images, videos and stories on a range of outdoor topics, as well as respond to others' posts and answer challenge questions that are posed to community members

*Early access to additional content like podcasts and other material only available to program members

Premier Member

 
What's Included:

*Everything that's in the core membership including weekly outdoor skills lesson, access to the Naturalist Speak Community, additional learning materials and other content

*Access to our ENTIRE COURSE LIBRARY which includes four full-length online courses with over 50 hours of video instruction in wilderness survival, wildlife tracking, foraging for wild plants, bird language & animal communication

*Access to our other learning materials like quizzes, analysis exercises, and flashcards that reinforce the concepts in the videos

*Additional on-demand courses as we continue to add to our course catalog

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Weekly Lessons 

You'll receive instruction each week in one of the following topics:

Wildlife Tracks & Sign

Knowing how to recognize animal tracks and sign is key to understanding the wildlife that is in the area, including perceiving what it was doing and when it was there, and how to find (or avoid) it. Just as indigenous peoples are taught at a young age how to interpret the clues left behind by animals, you too will learn the skills to be able to confidently identify, age, and follow a wide variety of mammal, bird, reptile, and amphibian tracks and trails through:

  • Understanding track morphology, features, and characteristics
  • Reading gaits and interpreting associated behaviors
  • Aging tracks and sign
  • Following animal paths and trailing wildlife
  • Interpreting scat and pellet, and predation remains
  • Recognizing other animal sign like feeding, bedding, marking etc.

Bird Language & Animal Communication 

People of virtually every¬†hunter-gatherer culture understood¬†the meaning behind songbird vocalizations and other communications, and¬†how¬†to tune into the messages that were being broadcast about what was happening on the landscape around them. You will learn how to increase your situational awareness through interpreting the meaning behind what birds and other animals are ‚Äėsaying‚Äô by:

  • Knowing how to distinguish between baseline and¬†non-baseline behaviors
  • Deciphering alarm calls and identifying potential aerial threats
  • Identifying¬†the whereabouts and movements of dangerous ground predators
  • Understanding methods to conceal your presence while hunting and get close to wildlife
  • Recognizing the true¬†nature of silence in the forest and how to use that to your advantage
  • Interpreting the communication web that exists between all animals

Wilderness Survival

Learning essential survival skills is necessary to dealing with emergency situations in the outdoors that could threaten your safety and those with you. Like the famous scouts, pioneers, and mountain men of of the past who old had an intimate knowledge of the natural world that allowed them to subsist on the land and thrive in hostile conditions, you'll learn a variety of techniques that will enable you to handle adversity whether it happens on a nearby hiking trail or deep in remote country including:

  • Avoiding dangerous survival situations
  • Starting fire, finding/purifying water, and building emergency shelters
  • Navigating¬†using a compass and topographical map
  • Getting lost and methods for finding your way out or signaling for¬†rescue
  • Staying warm and avoiding heat exhausting/ dehydration
  • Making cordage, tying knots, and using a knife

Foraging for Wild Plants

Eating 'off-the-land' entails a lot more than just finding a few leafy greens that are edible or locating some ripe fruit; a true naturalist knows the ins and outs of getting access to plant resources that are available at their fingertips when they need them. You'll learn to avail yourself of nutritious wild foods present in your own back yard, nearby green space, or wilderness by:

  • Learning the most essential staple foods indigenous people relied upon
  • Knowing¬†correct habitats¬†to locate desired species
  • Identifying¬†plants¬†using appropriate characteristics/keys
  • Avoiding dangerous lookalikes that¬†are poisonous
  • Recognizing¬†what time of year to harvest¬†particular¬†species
  • Understanding steps required in processing what you bring home

Other Skills

A well-rounded naturalist draws upon a wide array of skills that he or she can call upon as the situation demands. There is no limit to the amount of useful knowledge that can be acquired, and hence some additional topics that may be referenced during weekly lessons (among others) include:

  • Selecting¬†backcountry gear and clothing recommendations
  • Setting up campsites and choosing¬†overnight¬†locations
  • Predicting¬†the¬†weather based on 'in-the-field' observations
  • Maintaining¬†your physical health and well-being in remote country
  • Keeping¬†a¬†positive attitude and good psychology when things go wrong
  • Performing sense meditations &¬†other routines that enhance your outdoor experiences

Included With Premier Membership:

Access to Complete Library of Online Courses with Comprehensive Learning Materials!

Identifying Wildlife Tracks & Sign

When you learn the art of tracking, you will be able to read the signs left by animals and discover which animals are in your area, when they were there, what they were doing, and how to find (or avoid) them. You will know how to identify the big buck, understand what the bear was doing near your campsite, and recognize when the mountain lion crossed your trail. You will be able to ascertain wildlife behavioral patterns, seasonal habitats, preferred resting spots and feeding areas, and how to follow the footprints and other sign they leave behind.

In addition to learning the tracks of the key orders of mammals, you will also learn how to interpret gaits which are vital to interpreting animal behavior, as well as how to recognize other sign like scat, denning/bedding, marking/scraping, and the many types of feeding sign left behind by wildlife.

By sharpening your senses and improving your observation skills, you will also gain a deep understanding of animal movement patterns and their likely whereabouts, while connecting with nature in a profound way. So whether you're a wildlife enthusiast, a nature lover, or a professional biologist, wildlife tracking is an essential skill that will enrich your life and deepen your appreciation for the natural world.

Here's what a student had to say:

"This course was one of the best classes that I've ever taken...the overall experience was awesome. As the course progressed, I began to recognize patterns and everything began to click logically."

‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź Kayla Freeland

Interpreting Bird Language & Animal Alarms 

Bird language is about understanding the larger context of the messages birds are constantly saying and why they are saying it, and the effect this has only on nearby birds as well as other animals. It's an ancient skill that people have used to help them survive for thousands of years and learning the meanings of these messages unlocks a whole new dimension to comprehending the natural world, greatly enhancing your awareness of what is going on around you as well as your overall enjoyment of the outdoors.

Birds are keenly aware of their surroundings and often very vocal about what they observe, and they put an audible soundtrack and visible body language to the happenings in the landscape around them, noting subtle shifts in the movements and energies of other species nearby. They are like the news media of the ecosystem and they describe where food, water, shelter and most importantly, where danger is located.

The bird Language course will teach you about the "five voices" and how to differentiate between bird songs, companion calls, territorial calls, juvenile begging behavior as well as how to identify various alarm patterns. You will gain insight into the current state of play of the environment immediately around you, including the movements of dangerous predators and other events that are unfolding on the landscape.

Here's what a student had to say: 

"I was amazed to find out I could interpret the holistic interaction that is happening in the environment around me...and to recognize behavioral attributes, whether I am sitting on my porch or at the state park."

‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź¬†Vanice Medley

Fundamentals of Wilderness Survival 

Fundamentals of Wilderness Survival is a comprehensive video course designed to guide the learner through the basics of avoiding and surviving real-world wilderness emergencies, providing one of the most extensive and well-rounded survival programs available!

You will learn about the history of wilderness survival, how to make a fire for warmth and survive in the worst circumstances, emergency shelter-building techniques, purifying water in the wilderness, knots useful for tying up tarp shelters, how to pack a survival kit for remote outdoor travel, clothing for extreme environments, and much more.

The information taught is both thorough and applicable for everyday outdoor use and most importantly, you will be able to utilize many of the skills right away without needing years to perfect them. The course isn’t just for that 'one-in-a-million' situation, it’s meant to give you practical skills you can implement immediately for your safety and ease of mind.

Here what one student had to say:

"This course helped fill the gaps in my outdoor knowledge and has better prepared me for the activities I love. Whether you are an avid outdoors person or just getting started, this course will level you up in a way that is easy to understand and retain. I recommend it highly."

‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź Benjamin Stozier

Foraging for Wild Edible Plants

Foraging is a skill that has been passed down from generation to generation for thousands of years. In this course you will learn how to confidently identify and harvest common wild edible plants and emergency foods while avoiding dangerous lookalikes.

You will learn which plants are considered staple foods and hence the most important for meeting caloric and nutritional requirements, as well as the methods for identifying, harvesting, and processing plants along with other essential strategies, tips, and resources for getting started.

Foraging will start you on a path that over time will enable you to master the techniques for properly identifying, harvesting, and preparing wild foods, and in the process expanding your culinary horizons while improving your health and giving you a hobby you can enjoy with friends and family for the rest of your life.

Here's what a student had to say:

"Not only do you gain the skill of foraging for food, but you learn a lot of botany in the process. Being able to recognize plant families is an underrated skill that I actually find helpful in my daily life."

‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź Bryan Sawyer

 

Full Course Learning Materials

  • Outlines¬†for each course module listing the covered topics, learning objectives, and recommended tasks
  • Over fifty hours of video instruction on wildlife tracking, bird language, wilderness survival, and foraging
  • Exercises that reinforce the¬†video instruction by leading you through step by step to analysis
  • Quizzes that validate your understanding of broad concepts as well as important details
  • Flashcards that allow you to practice what you‚Äôve learned in the video lectures & analysis exercises

We're so sure that you'll love The Naturalist Training Program that we're offering an outrageous guarantee: You have 30 days after your membership starts to change your mind and ask for a refund. No hassle, no questions asked, no hard feelings!

The Naturalist Training Program

Enroll as a Core Member!
Enroll as a Premier Member!

All The Tools You Need to Establish a Closer Relationship with the Natural World

 

You have an opportunity at this very moment to fundamentally change the way you interact with nature, by re-discovering what your forefathers knew at a deeper level than you ever thought possible. Put into practice, this knowledge can transform ALL of your outdoor experiences going forward...

- OR -

You can keep overlooking the clues that nature is giving you and continue coming back from your excursions having missed out...on opportunities to find wildlife, taste the fruits of nature's bounty, eavesdrop on the conversations that birds and animals are having around you, and feel confident in your ability to handle yourself under any circumstances, thus placing a ceiling on your overall enjoyment and satisfaction of your time outdoors.

It's your choice. 

But if you are truly a lover of nature lover and all it has to offer, is it really a choice?

 

‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź Dr. Kathryn Sieving, Professor of Avian Ecology, University of Florida¬†

"I learned things so fast and that I never could have known using my usual approaches. I realized how fundamentally simple and brilliant this program is ‚Äď a must-experience for professional and amateur nature enthusiasts seeking to be closer to nature and who wish to share that connection to others‚ĶI can personally guarantee your nature experiences and skill set will be enriched beyond expectations."

 

‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź¬†Alexis Tays

"It is truly amazing how much you can experience in nature when you are fully aware of your surroundings and how that can change your entire experience of the great outdoors. This program turned my walks in the parks into scavenger hunts that made me feel like Sherlock Holmes; it encouraged me to slowdown when outdoors and gave me a greater appreciation of the shared spaces we have with wildlife, even just in my backyard."

 

‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź Hannah Morton

"This program was my absolute favorite...thought provoking, challenging, and fun. It allowed me to build on not just a potential professional skill, but a personal one too as the experiences it gave me has reminded me to enjoy the little things. I needed a change and this program provided it as too often we get caught up in our professional lives and we forget to enjoy our time outside...I highly recommend it!"

Meet Your Instructors

Lee Burton

Lee Burton is the owner of Naturalist Studies, and an adjunct instructor at the University of Florida, Texas A&M, and the University of Idaho teaching courses in animal behavior. He is the former director for Conservation Centers for Species Survival, and has been profiled on Steve Rinella's Meateater podcast for his role in the reintroduction of the Scimitar-horned Oryx back into Africa.

Lee has a passion for tracking wildlife having led field programs in North and Central America, and is certified in Wildlife Track and Sign by CyberTracker Conservation, as well as being a Master Naturalist. He mentored under Jon Young (founder of Wilderness Awareness School) and is also recognized as a Bird Language Leaders Instructor.

Let’s hear it from Lee himself:

"I grew up in small town Texas where my father and other relatives took me fishing and taught me how to hunt. I developed a love for almost anything involving the outdoors, whether it was catching a fish in a wooded canyon stream, or traversing a steep slope to sneak up on an unsuspecting deer. But when I became an adult, I realized I didn't know near as much about the outdoors as I thought I did. So I began studying everything I could about the natural world to learn as much as possible about animals, plants, and ecology in general.

That path led me to travel the world, visiting some of the most remote places on the planet in Asia, Africa, and South America to see first hand what nature had to offer and how people interacted with it. Those experiences were amazing, and I saw and learned things that most people will never see.

But I wasn't satisfied.

When I returned home, I still had this itch that needed scratching. It was great to learn ABOUT nature, but I wanted to interact with it, to learn more hands-on skills, to CONNECT and have a relationship with it. So I doubled-down and started taking courses and reading books on ancient skills, sometimes referred to as 'Traditional Ecological Knowledge' (TEK), which includes the ability to track animals, interpret the language of birds, forage for wild plants, and survive in the wild using only primitive means.

And that was a GAME CHANGER!

Rather than just viewing nature through the lens of an observer, I was experiencing it first hand. Perhaps more importantly, I began to realize that I was actually part of the story, one that was unfolding around me every time I stepped outside, even in my own back yard. My own experiences were so much more rewarding, and I wanted to find a way to share that with others.

Not long after I got a call from a friend who was a biology professor at a respected university. She asked if I would consider teaching a class in animal tracking to her students, so I created an online course. The reviews were off the charts, with many students saying it was their favorite course they had ever taken! After that first semester, I taught the course again at several other universities, getting the same positive feedback each time. Then I created a follow on course in bird language and got the same results, so I knew I was onto something and founded Naturalist Studies with the intention of offering the same valuable content to the public.

To be fair, you can't simply watch something online and then become an expert at it. Just like reading a book or instruction manual, you have to go out and practice the skills or do your homework so to speak, and then repeat it until it sticks. But if you are willing to put in the 'dirt time', then you CAN and WILL become proficient in outdoor skills.

And now I'm making this same content available to you, delivering one or more lessons each week and giving you the opportunity to watch on your own time, ask questions and post comments to other participants, share what you discover with your family and friends, and practice what you have learned before moving onto the next lesson.

The Naturalist Training Program combines wildlife tracking, bird and animal language, wilderness survival, foraging for wild plants, and other essential skills into one program at an incredible price. Taught by experts with years of experience in the field, it is the most comprehensive online learning program available and will change your outdoor experiences forever!‚ÄĚ

Matthew Hunter

Matthew Hunter is the creator of courses in wilderness survival and foraging. He has filmed over 150 videos about edible wild plants and survival skills, and regularly leads plant walks in his local area. He also maintains a foraging blog, and is the author of multiple foraging books.

Let’s hear it from Matthew himself:

"When I was seventeen years old I started camping, hiking, foraging and learning survival skills, and spent years sorting through countless books and videos, learning without a clear direction and having to deal with the pain of my own mistakes as my biggest teacher. I wasted TIME learning impractical skills, wasted MONEY on equipment I didn't need, and spent many MISERABLE nights doing things the WRONG way.

I wanted to know how the Native Americans lived and survived in the past. Why don't we still eat the plants they used to eat? Surely we are surrounded by edible plants, but we just don't know about them, right? I took in-person classes which were a big help, but they were expensive, and most only scratched the surface on what I wanted to know about the outdoors.

I wanted to create a better alternative.

My hunch was that that edible plants surround us proved to be absolutely right. Wild plants are everywhere and I learned about their amazing nutritional benefits and importance as emergency or survival food. I quickly started learning plants and amassing a small library of wild food books, and I was amazed at the new world I was discovering right in my own neighborhood!

I did the same in learning survival skills, and then started putting together exactly what I wished I had when I was learning: a clear, concise guide that takes you step-by-step through the most important, practical skills for foraging and surviving in the outdoors. The materials are designed to supercharge the learner with knowledge on almost every major topic, covering a breadth of information that would be impossible to cover in a typical weekend course.

In the ten years since I began teaching these courses, I've found that online instruction is very effective if students are willing to put in the 'dirt' time. Plus, getting outside means you will learn about other aspects of nature too, all the while having FUN in the process!"

Frequently Asked Questions

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