22.JPEG8 WAYS Academy

Letter from Charles Stuckey, student:

"I had the opportunity to spend four days learning from Jonathon Pinckard and Casey Varnado this past weekend.

Originally the school had scheduled Tom Brown III, son of famed tracker Tom Brown Jr, to come teach a four-day class on Primitive Hunting Techniques. Unfortunately, Mr. Brown declined to travel to teach the class after the school was unable to meet the attendance requirements set by Mr. Brown. Given the circumstances the school offered to refund the class fees to all students unless there was an interest to move forward with the same date/time scheduled but have them teach their four core classes: Food Procurement, Water Procurement, Fire-Craft, and Shelter. All students elected to continue on with the change in schedule.

Without going into too much detail of how and what was taught in the four core classes, I must say that I was thoroughly impressed and satisfied that I attended despite the change in the original course. We camped at the Avondale Scout Reservation, Boy Scouts Campground in Clinton, LA. Students were responsible for their clothes and meals for four days and were responsible for some other minor items most people should have already save for a good fixed blade knife (e.g., a Ka-Bar USMC, BK2, or Tracker Knife).

Our primary instructor was Jonathon Pinckard, retired USMC. He was very knowledgeable with plant recognition, edible and non-edible, their practical uses, fire starting methods, bush craft tools, water collecting and filtering, tracking, and shelters. Our secondary instructor was Casey Varnado. He was our instructor for Traps and Weapons.

The classes were more hands-on activities, field exercises, and practicing, with only minor lecturing and class room time. Traps, Fires and such were built and tested by students rather than pre-assembled by the instructor and demonstrated.

I can't say enough good things about the time spent with the instructors learning and applying these techniques first hand rather than just reading about them.

Give these guys a call if you have any questions about their courses. Check their site for their class schedules."