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“In the vast forests and open spaces of Minnesota, finding missing people can be expensive and time consuming.

When someone is lost in the north woods, searching for them often requires airplanes, helicopters and dozens of people.

To make such searches more efficient, White Earth tribal conservation officers are learning an ancient skill called man tracking.

Learning to follow the tracks people leave behind can save time and money, said Al Fox, the tribe’s chief conservation officer. But to do so, searchers must crouch low to the ground to read signs an untrained observer would miss, like footprints buried beneath pine needles and leaves.

“If you get down in here you can actually see little details,” Fox said of clues left in the forest during a training exercise earlier this month. “Like right here. See that imprint right there? That would be the heel strike. That would be the back of the boot.”

Complete article here.

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