Mantracker: Canadian Reality TV Series
The Mantracker TV series is a rough and tumble, rustic game of cat and mouse. Two people set in the wilderness (locations change) with the equipment they can carry on their back plus a compass and a map. They are given a starting point and a finish point on the map, which they have to find in order to win. In a day and a half (a 36 hour time limit) they must reach the finish, 22 miles away.
This means they will have one overnight outdoors, on their own. Other than the map and compass people bring their own gear. If they are cold at night, they stay that way unless they brought something to help themselves. If you get too much sun and not enough water, try to find a puddle. If he rain has you walking in mud up to your knees, pull your boot out of the mud and keep going. If there are signs of a bear, they better hope they took precautions... before they left home.
Just coping with the wilderness and finding the finish would be challenging enough. But, that is the easy part. Mantracker is a race to the finish because you're being tracked and chased like prey. (Did you ever read The Most Dangerous Game)?
Imagine yourself, in the outdoors, trying to remember your skill with a compass and maps, having to cross freezing rivers, stumbling over fallen logs, bushwhacking, possibly losing your map along the way. Using whatever you know about nature and the outdoors to avoid getting lost. But, you do all that while running for your life to avoid being caught by the Mantracker.
Mantracker is a man who seems to appear like a ghost, larger than life, on top of his horse. He has a local guide who directs him to how the trail runs and gives him a second set of eyes and a decoy too.
The Mantracker finds you and chases you down. You can't hope to hide, unless you get lucky. He can even figure out where you will be just from a footprint you left by mistake. People will try to trick him, distract him and they will even laugh - just before they realize the Mantracker is on his horse right behind them!
If you're lucky you will find a place where the horse gets caught in brush and scrub.Take a break, drink some water (if you have any left) and catch your breath. Figure out where you are among all the trees and if you are still going in the right direction. Try to pick a route and decide how you can avoid being caught before you get to the finish.
Well, that used to work with the older, more gentlemanly Mantracker (Terry Grant). The new Mantracker isn't so... forgiving. I've seen him jump off the horse and run through the scrubby brush to grab some poor prey who thought they had outsmarted him. I've also seen him fall from his horse and land badly, bruised and sore. So, the pain goes both ways.
You may think Mantracker is a game for the boys, like a war game, an action movie come to life. This isn't the case. Women have challenged the Mantracker too. Some have even been successful. However, the success rate is not so great on the side of the prey, overall.
The Original Mantracker and his Horse
Terry Grant: The Original Mantracker
The Original Mantracker: Terry Grant
Terry Grant is a veteran of the Alberta Foothills Search and Rescue Team. He built up his skills working as a full time cowboy on remote ranches in southern Alberta, trailing and gathering cattle. He became an expert horseman and a guide and outfitter in the Rocky Mountains. He is an expert in tracking prey utilizing footprints, knowledge of the outdoors, probable path, and other signs of human presence.
Terry Grant became a consultant with the British Military Chiefs for basic ground and track awareness training for the 7th Armoured Brigade (the Desert Rats). Terry is also one of the few civilians invited to the K-9 Training Facility for the Edmonton Police Service.
Terry Grant retired from Mantracker (the TV show) after the 6th season.
He continues to work with Foothills Search and Rescue Team. He is also a popular speaker, when he appears at functions hosted by law enforcement, private groups, fundraisers and schools.
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