Path of the Hunter Mentoring Program

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“The hunter must not only know about the habits of his prey, he also must know that there are powers on this earth that guide men and animals in everything that is living.”
-Carlos Castaneda

Hunting of long ago was a sacred art passed down from generation to generation. Along with the skills learned from early childhood came the essential understandings of respect for all life, ethics to guide each step, and an honoring for the gifts received. These traits became the heartbeat to guide the path of the hunter.

What to Expect

The Path of the Hunter Mentoring Program is a unique course developed by wilderness expert, Frank Sherwood. This in-depth course emphasizes hands-on learning in a guided environment. Students learn about respectful traditions, honoring the animals, ethical hunting, and the eternal dance of life and death. Safety, ethics, and respect are themes throughout the program. A thorough understanding of hunting is taught beginning with ethical responsibility and Washington state hunting regulations, followed by pre-hunt preparations, both physical and spiritual.


In the Path of the Hunter Mentoring Program, students learn about respectful traditions, honoring the animals and ethical hunting practices. Through a glimpse of past traditions, we learn how hunting offers a connection to the earth and the animals we may be gifted with. The following is a partial list of the topics covered in this program:

  • Ethics, honor, fair chase, and beyond
  • Understanding hunting laws and regulations
  • Hunting safety
  • Hunting weapon platforms

Students practice hunting techniques on guided outings, including scouting, camouflage, animal tracking and trailing. Students also learn about hunting blinds along with animal calling and how to best use decoys to lead game to an area.

  • Wildlife identification
  • Animal behavior
  • Movement and stalking
  • Scouting
  • Awareness skills
  • Animal tracking and trailing
  • Sign tracking
  • Hunting strategy
  • Hunting blinds, locations and construction
  • Camouflage
  • Decoys and their uses
  • Game calling

Fishing, clam digging and oystering are a large part of Pacific Northwest tradition. We also travel to the beautiful coastal areas to explore these incredible gifts of the sea. The care and processing of game is an essential part of the hunt, thus ensuring no part of the animal will go to waste. A hands-on workshop of “Field to Freezer” highlights this segment with students learning to clean, cut, and package game. The making of several types of sausages concludes this segment. Many of our special game recipes will also be shared.

  • Care and processing of game, from field to freezer
  • Cutting, packaging and wrapping
  • Sausage making
  • Wild game recipes and cooking

Student Testimonials

I took the Path of the Hunter class because I wanted to be an ethical hunter. I wanted to feel the responsibility of taking the life that sustains me. I wanted to honor the animals whose lives are ended so I may continue to live. Through example and many stories, Frank has taught me how to be an ethical hunter. I have learned how to move through the forest in
tune with my surroundings, and to make sure I will have a clean kill before shooting. The Path of The Hunter class gave me the tools to slow down and become a participant in the natural world, instead of a bystander. I would recommend the class to anyone who is looking for a deeper connection with themselves and the natural world.
Path of The Hunter ’08-’09
In this age, where many hunters have lost their reverence for animals and wild places, Frank Sherwood shows us a Path that reconnects us to ourselves and the community of life around us. I began this course as a complete novice, and in addition to learning all the things I had hoped to, I also had many more profound experiences than I could have ever anticipated. The Path of The Hunter is now something that I will be walking for the rest of my days, and words cannot express how thankful I am for that.
Path of The Hunter ’09-’10
What began as “Skills of the Hunter” has evolved into a full-fledged hunting course. I am so happy to have had the opportunity to experience this evolution in its early stages, and look forward to further participation in the future. The Path of The Hunter Program has picked up the ideas that began in the one weekend class, and implemented them in praxis. It has been a privilege to go from a basic intellectual knowledge of hunting, to having basic practical experience. I now have the tools, the confidence, and the general understanding to take up hunting on my own.
Path of The Hunter ’09-’10
Skills of The Hunter Class ’07
Frank Sherwood is that cool uncle you never had. The one with all the great stories of outdoor adventures and an enthusiasm for sharing his years of accumulated wisdom. With a rare combination of vast knowledge and humility, he offers all that is needed for someone who has a deep desire to learn the ways and traditions of an honorable and respectful hunt, but is frustrated by not knowing where to begin. Even for someone with a bit more experience, there is still the opportunity to learn and experience a great deal, while in the good company of like-minded people, sitting around the campfire, sharing stories.
Path of The Hunter ’10-’11
I feel fortunate to have been able to participate in the Path of The Hunter program. It was such an enriching year. The depth of knowledge and breadth of experience that Frank brings, along with his passionate and down-to-earth style, really make this a program that is second to none. I felt a special new awareness and confidence growing throughout our outings, with respect for the Ancestors’ timeless skills and a more complete understanding of my place within the web of life.
Path of The Hunter ’10-’11
I feel extraordinarily privileged to have had the opportunity be a part of this whole experience. I learned so very much, and went from someone who had no background in hunting and had never been around other hunters, to someone who is still a beginner, but has an amazingly solid base of information and skills. More importantly, I feel almost at home ”out there”. I know that I can go out on my own and have a sense of what to do. I know how to get more information and more skills. For the first time in my life, I have the beginnings of being really comfortable on my own in the wilderness, outside of established camps. Frank does an amazing job at teaching and giving you space to figure things out on your own.
Path of The Hunter ’10-’11
It’s difficult to find words that suffice to express the depth and breadth of learning and experience I’ve had with Frank. Hunting is something that I’ve wanted to learn how to do the right way, in a way that is reflective of a profound sense of respect, reverence, and ethics. Frank has exceeded the hopes and expectations I could have wanted in a teacher, and in the process has opened the door to a profound and sacred interaction with the wild.
Path of The Hunter ’09-’10
As a hunter, Frank’s skill, enthusiasm and experience offer tremendous branches of knowledge to those who seek guidance in the art of hunting. As a mentor, Frank’s commitment, creativity and kindness are all rooted in developing a safe container for learning. As a beginner on this path, I marveled at all there was to learn about engaging in this dynamic relationship between hunter and prey. I could not imagine learning what I have learned through this program from any other source. It has given me confidence, knowledge and tools to continue to develop my practice. Never before have I participated in a program that offers such a wide range of hands on experiences. I am forever grateful to both Frank and Karen for offering their extraordinary knowledge. On the outside, my relationship to the world has been changed by their wise teachings. On the inside, my deep ache to find my place in the sacred dance of life was eased by their guidance and commitment to this path.
Path of The Hunter ’09-’10