Wild Deer Wilderness Skills Program

Wild Deer: Primitive Skills, Naturalist and Mentoring Training
Year 1 and 2 Programs

Deepening Awareness, Developing Skills & Passing it On…

Join the p.i.n.e project one weekend every month, January through June 2015 for our unique earth skills, naturalist and mentoring training experience.
Gain incredible skills and experiences in the wilderness. Learn tools and methods to inspire profound connection with the natural world.
We will dive into skills of the modern hunter-gatherer, naturalist, and “coyote mentor” and how these create resilience in yourself and your community. This is a great opportunity for teachers, parents, outdoor enthusiasts, urban nature lovers and anyone interested in deepening their connection with the natural world and learning to work with the land in a mutually beneficial relationship.

Year 1 Program

Over the 6 month period Wild Deer participants will receive focused mentoring in most of the areas listed below and much more. Please note that the exact curriculum may vary depending on the group’s interest, available resources and other factors.

  • Wildlife Tracking
  • Hazards in nature
  • Edible and medicinal plant harvesting and preparations
  • Tuning your senses and awareness to natures baseline
  • Making containers and baskets from natural materials
  • Making basic tools from the forest
  • Beginning to understand what birds are communicating to us and each other
  • Learning survival skills of the ancient and modern hunter gatherer
  • Making fire by friction (bow and hand drill) in various weather conditions
  • Tarps, knots and practical bush craft
  • Wilderness navigation
  • Growing your naturalist skills around trees, birds, plants, etc.
  • Intro to basic survival hunting and trapping skills
  • And much more!

In addition to the skills listed above, participants will also learn more about a very important cultural skill: The Art of Mentoring and passing it on. Sundays are dedicated to naturalist studies, tracking and the art of natural learning & coyote mentoring. Hear stories from p.i.n.e.’s lineage connecting to people around the world, learn songs and games and their application in mentoring and community, and dive deep into the 8 Shields mentoring model.

All participants will also receive a copy of the Kamana Naturalist Training Program (Level 1) to help them focus their naturalist and awareness training in between our times together.

2016 Program Dates and Times:

*Locations for Feb – June TBA

Weekend dates:
January 22 – 24 (Near Baysville, Muskoka)
February 19 – 21
March 18 – 20
April  15 – 17
May 13 – 15
June 16 – 19 (starts Thursday evening)

Weekend Times:
The program will run Fridays 7pm – 9pm, Saturdays 9:30am – 6:30pm & Sundays 10:30am – 4:30pm (with breaks for lunch). Times may change slightly as we determine our locations.

Plan on having projects to work on between gatherings along with nature challenges to help you fully integrate the teachings of this experience into your everyday life.




Payment plans are also available. Please contact the office at info@pineproject.org or by calling 416-792-2772 for more information.

Bursaries may be an available option through the Best Day Ever Fund.


Year 2 Program: Some Experience Required

Are you ready for the next step in your earth skills and naturalist journey?

The first year Wild Deer program exposes you to many different wilderness arts, naturalist skills and the 8 shields mentoring approach. Many individuals complete the course feeling very inspired and with a wealth of new knowledge and heightened awareness of the language of nature, yet most realize how much more there is yet to learn.

The Year 2 journey narrows the focus by refining and developing proficiency with some of the most important skill sets, especially around the sacred 4 (shelter, water, fire, food), which we all interact with every day of our lives. This program dives deep into our relationship with these basic human needs and strives to help all participants feel comfortable being able to acquire these needs straight from nature.

It was not that long ago in human history that ALL human beings, regardless of their craft (or career in our modern world) had to acquire this knowledge. It is incredibly empowering to re-wild yourself, if only for a few weekends, and reconnect with some of this ancient human and earth wisdom. Along the journey you are likely to become more aware, more connected to nature, more resilient as a human being and able to adapt to changes and emergency situations.

On top of the sacred 4 there will also be opportunities to refine longer term skills such as: making tools, making medicine, tanning animal skins for clothing and much more.

  • Can you reliably make a bow drill or hand drill kit under all different weather conditions and with different types of materials?
  • How many times have you made water proof containers and brought water to a boil?
  • Sure you have built a shelter or 2 before but have you actually put them to the test in wind, rain and snow?
  • If you were lost in the woods would you know how to harvest enough food to keep you alive four seasons of the year?
  • Are you confident in your tracking skills?
  • Do you feel confident making medicine from the woods to treat your ailments?

These are a few of the questions we will help you feel more positive answering yes to.

Program Layout:

You will join the first year Wild Deer for their regular weekends but with your own focus and your own mentor/instructor. Some of the time you will work on the same skills sets as the year one program except you will be taking them to the next level, turning it from a concept to a useable skill and pushing your personal edges. Other times you will be learning entirely new skills sets. A few examples from last year include: snowshoe making, hide tanning, advanced medicine making, etc.

In addition to the monthly meetings held with the greater Wild Deer herd you will also be apart of the Living with the Seasons Program. These weekend will begin Thursday evening and finish around 3pm on Sundays giving us focused time in the woods so we can really take our skills to the next level.

Each of these weekends will be focused on the practical application of seasonal skills as well as helping you start to build your own collection of primitive wilderness gear and nature museums. We will be camped out in the backwoods living the sacred 4 with a maximum group size of 8 people.

Click here for more information on our Living with the Seasons: Muskoka Weekend Intensives program.


Years One and Two combined Weekends for 2015/16:
** Locations for Feb – June TBA
Jan 22 – 24 (near Baysville in Muskoka)
Feb 19 – 21
Mar 18 – 20
April 15 – 17
May 13 – 15
June 16 – 19 (Last wknd starts Thursday night and ends Sunday)

Living with the Seasons Weekends for 2015/16:
** please note these weekends start Thursday evening and end Sunday afternoon

October 1 – 4 (near Dwight, in Muskoka)
February 4 – 7 (near Dwight, in Muskoka)
June 2 – 5, (near Toronto)




Payment plans are also available. Please contact the office at info@pineproject.org or by calling 416-792-2772 for more information.

Bursaries may be an available option through the Best Day Ever Fund.