Dwight Wilson

I was raised in rural southwest Missouri on a small farm where I learned to hunt, trap, track, and roam the woods at a young age. I enjoyed spending time exploring the outdoors, and was always fascinated by nature. Everything has a lesson to teach, and my life has been full of lessons.

I was recently reminded of this when talking to one of my best friends from childhood. Jon said, “Remember that time we were out hiking with your Dad, and we all had to jump that small creek?”

“When?” I said.
“We were like twelve. We all had to jump this small creek and you missed the bank and slide in. It was winter, and your Dad said you needed to dry your clothes, so he showed us how to build a quick fire. We dried your clothes and continued hiking.” “That’s right, I said. “I had forgotten all about that.” Hiking with my Dad was always about learning something, and my buddy Jon was my partner in crime.

After graduating from high school, I left for basic training. I had enlisted in the United States Army as a Medical Specialist. I was sent to Aschaffenburg, West Germany and assigned to the 1st Battalion 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division Mechanized. I soon learned what a Bradley Fighting Vehicle was, as well as an M113-A Armored Ambulance. I found myself pulling medial support for different infantry companies within our battalion. After testing and achieving the EFMB (Expert Field Medical Badge) I was given more assignments, eventually training and working with our battalions scout unit. I was honorably discharged in late 1989, right before the Cold War ended.

After the military, I moved to Texas in 1990. I bounced around from job to job while playing drums in a heavy metal band. Eventually, I started backpacking and camping again. I hadn’t realized that years had passed as I got caught up in music and working. Eventually I found myself back in the woods and exploring Texas nature. My fascination with tracking and primitive living skills grew. I wanted to be able to do more with less in the woods. A close friend of mine gave me a book called The Tracker by Tom Brown Jr. and I was hooked. I started to seriously study tracking and wilderness skills.

Eventually, I was able to study at Tom Brown’s Tracker School, Jon Young’s
Wilderness Awareness School, and with incredible Trackers like Paul Rezendes, Charles Worsham, Stanley Liston, and Nathan Kempton. I also was fortunate to be introduced to Red Dog, and share his Sweat Lodge. I learned many things about life, connection, and spirit from him.

My passion for tracking has given me many opportunities and adventures. One of these opportunities was providing training for and supporting the Dallas FBI, Evidence Response Team. It was an honor to be around these incredible, dedicated individuals. One project I was able to help out with was a study of decomposition and predation. I found it fascinating studying first hand how things break down, and how predators and scavengers react. Game cameras gave us interesting photos of the activity. This allowed me to bring in my friend Nathan Kempton, whom I worked with and learned from. I also was able to set up training for officers from different law enforcement agencies, as well as military personnel. I have been able to work on several wildlife tracking projects for universities and conversation agencies. Tracking wild hogs in the Big Thicket for the National Park Service during the heat of August was a fun task. University studies gave me an insight to what real biologists do, and taught me how to set up experiments. I enjoy working with students, and have had an interesting time taking professors into the field. I’m glad my friend Kendra was able to explain what they were asking. I don’t speak PHD; I’m kind of a simple Tracker.

This is just one aspect of my life. Following tracks is never limited to the woods, or to animals. I am always tracking, observing, questioning, and learning. My study of martial arts and violence has led to work in the security industry. I have looked for opportunities to test myself and learn. These are other stories and a different discipline. It all comes down to awareness, observation, questioning, and learning. I wanted to share just a few stories. I am thankful for my life, friends, family, and teachers, and the lessons I have been given. My trails and tracks will not end in my death; I will follow them into the next life and adventure.


Email: Phone: 417 459-0572


Wilderness Experience:

  • Nathan Kempton (trained members of Navy SEALS, Law Enforcement, Search and Rescue) studied wildlife tracking and man tracking
  • Stanley Liston (retired US Customs Border Protection, founder Shadow Wolves unit)studied man tracking and scene tracking
  • Charles Worsham (retired instructor of FBI/HRT, USMC Scout Snipers, Law Enforcement)studied tracking, trailing and philosophy
  • Paul Rezendes (author of the Wild Within and Tracking and the Art of Seeing) studied wildlife tracking
  • Tom Brown Jr (author of field guide series and several books, trained special operation personnel, law enforcement) studied wildlife tracking, nature, survival and wilderness skills.

Wilderness / Tracking Projects:

Texas State Guard, Maritime Regiment (12-present) – providing training in mantracking for Land Search and Rescue operations.

Texas Rescue and Recovery (12 – present) – providing training in mantracking for Search and Rescue.

Missouri department of Conservation (07) – research support for River Otters in southeastern Missouri

North Central Texas Council of Governments Regional Police Academy (05-07) – provide training for law enforcement officers in man tracking, and wilderness  skills, assist Jon Rister in teaching Edged Weapons Awareness and Tactics

Federal Bureau of Investigation (Dallas) Evidence Response Team (04-06) – provide training in wildlife and man tracking, land navigation,and wilderness survival  skills  to aid in collection of evidence, provided support for research study in predation and decomposition

National Park Service  Big Thicket National Preserve, Texas (04) – research support for feral hogs within the Big Thicket
Texas A&M University (03-present) presented wildlife tracking workshops, worked on wildlife study projects

University of Texas (04-present) providing support and training for graduate research projects

presented workshops for: Cedar Hill State Park, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Travis Audubon Society Texas Master Naturalist