While stationed in Germany, Rick read the unusual story of "The Tracker" in Readers' Digest. He located Tom Brown, Jr., a white man who was taught from the age of seven by probably the last Apache Medicine Tracker, Nuacano, Stalking Wolf. Also called Grandfather from his early twenties because of his remarkable wisdom and abilities, Nuacano searched over 60 years to find the "white coyote" to teach his knowledge, his skills, and leave his legacy to! It is almost unfathomable to perceive of the magnitude of that task, taking Grandfather from the desert Southwest to New Jersey in 1957! Tom was finally found at the age of 7, the right age the Apache started teaching their children their special skills beyond camp and kitchen type skills. He eventually became the Apache medicine tracker who has taught our special forces and covert ops escape and evasion as well as thousands of students survival, tracking, stalking, and Apache Scout skills...
- Like living off the land with just a knife and the clothes (or none) on your back.
- Like tracking a deer over any terrain...or bear, or fox, or an ant across gravel or stone, how fast, or...?
- Like aging tracks and determining size, sex, or its health.
Rick kept in touch with the Tracker Family, writing articles for Tom's "The Tracker" newsletter and corresponding with Tom himself about tracking and survival problems and situations.
It was 1981 when he learned from these men the many skills that some consider to be lost arts or useless information in this day and age.
Rick shared his skills with the boy scouts at the Woodland Trails Scouting Reservation of Ohio in 1982. He made two mule deer skins into buckskin pants, lived in a teepee, rode an Appaloosa mare, taught wilderness survival and Indian lore merit badges, taught tracking and stalking skills, as well as his unique buckskinning abilities in specialized classes.
But the real test of his abilities came when Rick homesteaded the wilderness of Alaska in February, 1984.