Wild Deer Year 2: Advanced Skills


Wild Deer 2: Wilderness Experience Required*

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

The Year 1 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, with a wealth of new knowledge and heightened awareness of the language of nature, yet most realize how much more remains to be learned.

The Year 2 journey narrows the focus by refining and developing proficiency with some of the most important skill sets, especially around shelter, water, fire, food, with which we all interact every day of our lives. This program dives deeper into our relationship with these basic human needs to help all participants feel prepared 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 more prepared to adapt to changes and emergency situations.

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 that we will help you feel more positive answering yes to.

*To participate in Wild Deer 2, you must have completed Wild Deer 1.

Program Layout

You will join the Year 1 Wild Deer for their regular weekends but with your own focus and your own mentor/instructor. Sometimes, you will work on the same skill sets as the year one program, except you will be taking them to the next level, turning it from a concept to a usable skill and pushing your personal edges. At other times, you will be learning entirely new skills sets. A few examples from last year include snowshoe making, hide tanning, and advanced medicine making.

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

Each of these weekends will be focused on the practical application of seasonal skills and on helping you start to build your own collection of primitive wilderness gear and nature museum. We will camp out in the woods, living the Sacred Four.

Below are examples of programming from previous Living with the Seasons sessions:

Fall Skills

  • Building and sleeping in primitive shelters (learning several designs)
  • Fall foraging for food and materials
  • Acorn processing for food
  • Primitive and survival fishing, hunting, and trapping (Participants with hunting and/or fishing licenses may have an opportunity to hunt small game, trap hare, and catch fish to feed the group)
  • Wilderness navigation
  • Fire lighting and tending
  • Primitive cooking and food preservation
  • Whatever else we get up to!

Winter Skills

  • Winter shelters and staying warm
  • Lights, torches, and lamps
  • Tracking for food and fun
  • Primitive and modern trapping skills
  • Winter medicine making for flus and colds
  • Ice fishing
  • Winter ecology
  • Ice safety
  • Survival snowshoes

This program has been designed with a lot of thought and reflection on the feedback from the year one program. It is a unique opportunity to dive deep in your nature connection and skills path. We accept a maximum of 10 people as the depth we wish to go with it would not be conducive to larger groups. We hope to see you there!


Years One and Two Combined Weekends for 2019:

Dates Location
Friday, Jan. 25- Sunday, Jan. 27 Baysville in Muskoka
Friday, March 15 – Sunday, March 17 Toronto City Parks
Friday, April 12- Sunday, April 14 Toronto City Parks
Thursday, June 13 – Sunday, June 16 Norval Outdoor School


*Friday evening: Toronto; Saturday & Sunday: Day trips to Norval Outdoor Centre

Living with the Seasons Weekends for 2019:

Dates Location
Friday, February 15 – Monday, February 18 Muskoka
Thursday, May 9 – Sunday, May 12 Muskoka

* Please note: The first weekend takes place over Family Day weekend; the second weekend starts Thursday evening and ends Sunday afternoon.



A payment plan is available.

Bursaries are an available option through the Best Day Ever Fund.


Registration for 2019 is open NOW until January 18, 2019!

Register for Wild Deer 2 Now!