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A Practical Primitive Intensive Skills Program

The Ultimate Hunter: Spirit of the Hunt

Natural Camouflage

The 2013 Program has now begun. Let us know if you would like to be informed the next time it is offered!

Program Begins: September 21-22, 2013
Application Deadline: The deadline has now passed.

» Don't be Scented

» Don't be Seen

» Don't be Heard

» Know the Right Place

» Be there at the Right Time

Learn how to Turn these Rules into Actions.
Learn how to Become Invisible on the Landscape
      Learn the True Skills of the Spirit of the Hunt


About the Program | Purpose & Philosophy | FAQs

About the Program

Ultimate Hunter: Spirit of the Hunt
Upcoming Session:     September – December, 2013
Location:                   Practical Primitive, Great Meadows, NJ
Tuition:                     $1295 ($500 deposit due upon acceptance. See Payment Plan Options below.)
Program Dates:          One 2-day weekend each month (See below for proposed weekend dates.)
Application Deadline:  August 31, 2013
Apply:  The application deadline for 2013 has now passed.
Frequently Asked Questions: See Below

Buck in velvet

When most people think of hunting today they envision tree stands, feeders, high-fence game farms and guided hunts on private land. A far cry from the ways used by our ancestors long (and not so long) ago!

Our focus for this program will center around the Hunt in it's traditional form — on-the-ground, fair-chase hunting where you match your wits with those of the animal through knowledge, instinct, skill and stealth. You will learn to track, and to pattern game so that you will not only know their movements now, but where they will be at any given time of year. You will discover how to become virtually invisible on the landscape, move silently through the woods, and stalk closer to animals than you have ever thought possible. Your awareness of all that goes on around you will increase exponentially, so that you will soon be able to tell when an animal (two-legged or four) is moving through an area that you can neither see nor hear.

Your camera will be your tool during this program, making it perfect for hunters, photographers and nature lovers — any one who wishes to be able to blend into the landscape and get closer than ever before to any animal, anywhere.


Learning the art of tracking


You will be one of a small group of people to spend 4 months learning from Eddie Starnater, one of the best, most highly skilled and experienced instructors in the world of primitive skills. Eddie has been hunting since the age of 10, when he killed his first two deer with one shot each. He has hunted with firearms, bows (from compound bows and laminated longbows through to his own hand-crafted selfbows with flint-tipped arrows) throwing sticks & thrusting spears. Over the past 40+ years Eddie has hunted deer, turkey, hogs, elk and more all over the United States. He has used tree stands and under blinds, but his most preferred hunting style is spot-and-stalk fair chase hunting — exactly what you will be learning in this program.

Like all our Intensive Skills Programs, The Ultimate Hunter: Spirit of the Hunt is meant to be as accessible as possible to as many people as possible. We have built a program in which it will be practical for virtually anyone participate, and will NOT require you to quit your job, be away from your family for extended periods, or uproot your life.

Sitting silent and still



Tracking  …  Trailing  …  Concealment

As a member of this program you will gain a thorough and hands-on understanding of the Skills of the Ancient Hunter. You will discover the secrets of moving through the woods silently and stealthily, without being seen or heard or noticed by the animals with whom you are sharing the area. You will learn how, when and where to move, the importance of silence and the art of stillness. Tracking, trailing and patterning will become second nature and you will realize just how much you have been missing all this time.



The Ultimate Hunter: Spirit of the Hunt — The Purpose and Philosophy behind this Program

Tracking over grass

There was a time when The Hunt was considered sacred. The chosen animal had been "set aside" in order that the people might continue to survive, and it was the responsibility of the hunter to harvest that animal in an honored and respectful manner. This is the goal of the Ultimate Hunter — to return to the mindset in which the hunter tracked and stalked his prey, and fed his people through skill, stealth, cunning and art.

Drawing on his decades of "in the woods" and hunting experience, Eddie has choosen each skill and every project carefully and specifically to build your hunting, traking and awareness skills in a manner that will grow exponentially.

You will receive intense and personalized instruction that simply can not be matched, all in an environment that is positive and fun and enjoyable, where we share each others successes and learn from each others failures. If you have been wanting to learn to hunt, or have been frustrated with your success (or lack thereof) to this point, or simply want to learn how to get closer to the animals that move through your world every day, the Ultimate Hunter program will take you places you have, until now, only dreamed of being able to go.

It is through the learning of these skills that the sacred aspects of the hunt will emerge for you. The entire experience will be enhanced in a way that modern hunting can simply not match. To sit in a tree stand or wait in a ground blind in the hope that an animal might come down your path or to your feeder will no longer be enough. Instead, you will be drawn into the world of the ancient hunter, where you must match your wits with those of the animal and prove yourself worthy to take home the prize.

The timing of this program is such that it culminates during the height of bow season. Throughout the four months your projects, exercises and homework assignments will all be working toward preparing you to take part in a hunt unlike any other you have experienced. It is here that you will enter the Realm of the Ultimate Hunter. It is here that you will find the true Spirit of the Hunt.

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Program FAQs

Flock of wild turkeys


Q. What will be covered in the program? What sorts of skills will I learn?
A. Over the course of your four months you will learn many more skills than there is space to list here, but below are a few of the main subjects we will be covering and expanding on as the program goes on:

Raccoon tracksQ. Will I learn to make bows in this program?
A. No, building bows and arrows is not a part of the Ultimte Hunter: Spirit of the Hunt program. Experience has taught us that there is simply not enough time! In order to be able to focus solely on the Hunt itself we have split the art of bow-making off into its own Intensive Skills Program, The World of the Bow, giving this ancient art the time and energy deserves.

Q. Is this program only for bow hunters? What if I hunt with a firearm? Or with my camera?
A. The Ultimate Hunter: Spirit of the Hunt program is not a bow-hunter specific program and is open to anyone who wishes to learn, improve or perfect the Art of the Hunt. We will be focusing on the Skills of the Hunt, not on the weapon used. Our goal is to teach you hunting strategies that you can use for any animal, any time, any where, using any weapon. Whether you hunt with a firearm, a bow, an atlatl, a stick or a camera, this program will help you get closer to your animal than you ever thought possible.

Q. Will be be doing any actual hunting during the program?
A. Your camera will be your tool during this program and we are not planning on taking any animals during the Ultimate Hunter: Spirit of the Hunt weekends. The goal of this program is to teach you HOW to hunt in an ethical, honorable and sacred manner. You will be using a camera to document your homework, to show how close you were able to get, what tracks you found, etc.

Q. What do you mean by "Homework"?
A. The Ultimate Hunter: Spirit of the Hunt is a hands-on program and you will be expected to practice and apply the skills we work on during our weekends together in your home environment, and in the woods and meadows you plan to hunt. Each weekend we will cover the basics of certain skills and work on associated exercises together. You will then be given "homework projects" to complete on your own within a given time frame and in your local hunting area. Examples of homework projects include completing a Hunter Safety Education course, identification of hunting opportunities, scouting reports with photographic evidence of animal activity, simulated hunting activites using a camera, stalking exercises, track ID, following tracks to their animal, concentric ring studies and more.

Eddie pointing out tracks

Q. I am really busy with family/work/life etc. Does it matter if I won't have time to do all the homework projects?
A. If you are accepted into the Ultimate Hunter: Spirit of the Hunt program we require that you work diligently to do your best to complete all of the homework assignments each month. We realize that life gets busy, but fully expect that you will make this program a priority in your life for those four months. This is a hands-on, exercise-based program and each month builds on the skills and exercises of the last. If you fall behind it will affect not just you, but the entire group. Remember, as part of the program you are not only working to better your own hunting skills, but to learn from and contribute to the program by sharing your experiences with the member of the group! If you are unable to devote time and energy to working and practicing your hunting skills on a regular basis it would be best if you waited to apply until your schedule is more accomodating.


Q. How do I apply and when is the deadline?
A. You can apply for the Ultimate Hunter: Spirit of the Hunt program online, or you can download and print a PDF version of the application to mail in. All applications must be received by midnight August 31, 2013 to be considered for this year's program.

Q. How many people do you accept into the Ultimate Hunter program?
A. The Ultimate Hunter: World of the Hunt program is limited to a maximum of 8 people, however the number accepted into the program will depend on the quality of applications received. Our new facility with greater access to more land with a large deer herd has allowed us to expand this program without compromising the experience of participants, while continuing to provide plenty of individual time with the Instructors. This same unparalleled learning experience can simply not be re-created in larger groups or with a higher student-to-instructor ratio.

Rabbit at 2 yards


Q. Is there an age limit?
A. Yes, you must be at least 18 years old to apply for the Ultimate Hunter: Spirit of the Hunt program. There is no upper age limit and so long as you are physically able to complete the course-work and participate in the outdoor activites we encourage you to apply!

Q. Where do the Ultimate Hunter weekends take place?
A. The Ultimate Hunter: Spirit of the Hunt weekends all take place at our main Pracitcal Primitive location near Great Meadows, NJ. Check out our Locations page for more detailed information and directions.

Q. Do you ever offer the Ultimate Hunter program anywhere else?
A. To this point we have only offered the Ultimate Hunter program at our New Jersey location. While it is possible that we may run the program at our Texas location in the future, we do not have any firm plans to do so at the time.

Camouflage  … Cunning  … Strategy

How many tracks do you see?


Q. What is the schedule for the program?
A. Program members will gather for one 2-day weekend each month for 4 months, beginning in September. (See below for the proposed Ultimate Hunter: Spirit of the Hunt weekends.) We will get started at 9am Saturday morning and finish up around 5pm Sunday afternoon. Each weekend will be filled with intense instruction and exercises to help you practice your hunting skills, an outline of the homework assignments for the upcoming month, as well as a debrief of the homework and exercises from the previous month.

Q. I really want to apply but have a conflict for one of the weekends listed on the schedule. What can I do?
A. The weekends listed on our Fall Workshop Schedule are the ones we have currently set aside for Ultimate Hunter, however some variations can be made and the final dates will be based on the schedules of accepted participants, and agreed upon by all.


Same buck, no velvet


Q. What if I will definitely not be able to make one of the weekends no matter when it is rescheduled? Should I still apply?
A. As an Ultimate Hunter participant you must commit to attend every get-together weekend without fail. If you know that you will be away for an extended period, or are unable to commit to attending every one of the Ultimate Hunter weekends it would be best that you wait to apply until your schedule is more accomodating.

Q. Where can I stay during the weekend?
A. Participants will camp on-site at Practical Primitive over the weekends. You may either bring a tent to set up in the back yard, or choose to stay indoors over nights. You will have full access to facilities, and all meals will be provided over the course of the weekend.

Q. I live far away & can not "commute". Do you have a Residential option?
A. Yes, a limited number of Residential spaces are available for an additional fee. If you would like more information please e-mail us for details. Alternatively, we live near a college town with many reasonably-priced rooms for rent. We would be happy to provide you with local information to check out this more private option.



Don't be seen

Q. How do I apply and when is the deadline?
A. You can apply for the Ultimate Hunter: Spirit of the Hunt program online, or you can download and print a PDF version of the application to mail in. All applications must be received by midnight August 31, 2013 to be considered for this year's program.

Q. What sort of skills / experience do I need to have to apply?
A. There are no minimum or maximum skill-level requirements for the Ultimate Hunter: Spirit of the Hunt program. Whether you are a skilled outdoorsperson, someone who has taken a few classes over the years, or one who has to this point been only an armchair enthusiast, will make no difference when we are reviewing applications.

Q. I am not a hunter and I don't want to be — I just want to be able to get close to animals. Is this program for me?
A. Absolutely! The Ultimate Hunter: Spirit of the Hunt is for anyone who wants to be able to find, track and get closer to animals for whatever reason! Whether you plan to use a camera, a gun, a bow, or simply wish to get close enough to reach out and touch the animal as it walks by you makes no difference to us and will have no bearing on your odds of acceptance into the program. The skills you will learn over these four months will be invaluable under every circumstance.

Q. Then what ARE you looking for in participants?
A. We are looking for people who want to LEARN!!! This is not a "fill your notebook then leave it on the shelf" type of program. We are seeking participants who have a passion for learning the ways of our ancestors and a real desire to discover how the Spirit of the Hunt can bring a whole new aspect of sacred into their lives. If you are dedicated, self-motivated, prepared to learn and always ready to try then we hope you will apply today!

Bear track

Q. How do you choose Ultimate Hunter participants?
A. Participants will be chosen based on the answers in their application, and our belief that they have a real desire to learn the ways of the sacred hunt. We choose carefully to bring together a group we believe will work well together and bring out the best in each other.

Q. Do I have to have taken a Practical Primitive workshop in order to apply?
A. No, it is not mandatory to have attended a workshop in order to apply for the Ultimate Hunter: Spirit of the Hunt program. We have several alumni for whom an Intensive Skills program was their first Practical Primitive experience. However, due to the need for focus, attention to detail and ability to be calm, still and silent, preference may be given to applicants we have had the opportunity to meet and get to know, whether through workshops, attendance at our free Open Skills Nights, at events, or through other means. If we have never met but you submit an application that piques our interest we will want to chat with you on the phone and, if the distance is feasible, ask that you come to meet us in-person and possibly attend a "group" event (such as an Open Skills Night).



Q. How much is the tuition for the Ultimate Hunter: Spirit of the Hunt program?
A. The four-month Ultimate Hunter: Spirit of the Hunt program tuition is $1295, which includes all of the project supplies and materials, all of your meals during the Ultimate Hunter weekends, and the option to schedule up to 8 hours of one-on-one Mentoring time each month at no additional cost.

Tracking wild turkeyQ. What is included in my tuition?
A. Your program tuition includes all of the supplies and materials for your projects, as well as all of your meals during the Ultimate Hunter weekends. Plus, you will also have the option to schedule up to eight hours of individual mentoring each month to gain additional instruction in or assistance with skills learned and exercises assigned during the Ultimate Hunter program — a $600 value at no additional cost to you!

Q. Is there an application fee?
A. No, there is no application fee for any of our Intensive Skills Programs. If you are accepted into the program we require a $500 deposit to secure your place, with the balance of the tuition due on or before the first day.

Q. Are there any "Materials" fees on top of the tuition?
A. No, there are not any additional fees; we provide all required materials for your Ultimate Hunter projects at no extra charge. We do give you a list of reference books you will need to purchase for your "Ultimate Hunter library", however these additional costs are minimal and all books would be available through your local public library. Feel free to contact us for more specific details.

Q. Do you offer any scholarships or tuition assistance?
A. We do not currently provide tuition assistance or work-study programs for the Ultimate Hunter: Spirit of the Hunt Intensive Skills Program, however you will have the option to chose one of our extended payment plans for your tuition. (For tuition assistance with our regular workshops you may wish to consider applying for our Internship program. Intern hours may not be used toward Intensive Skills Programs.)

Awareness  … Silence  … Stealth

A $500 deposit is due upon acceptance into the program, with the balance payable via one of the following options:
Option 1: A single payment in the full balance amount of $795 on or before the first day of the program.
Option 2: Two payments of $400, due September 21st & November 1st.
Option 3: Three payments of $270, due September 21st, October 2 1st & November 21st.
(Option 2 includes a $5 fee and Option 3 a $15 fee for the processing of multiple payments.)

Proposed Weekends:
Here are the currently proposed weekends for the 2013 Ultimate Hunter: Spirit of the Hunt program. We still have flexibility with these dates so if you would be unable to make one of the weekends below please indicate it on your application so alternative dates can be examined. The final schedule will be agreed upon by all group members.
September 21-22
October 19-20
November 22-23
December 21-22

Ultimate Hunter: Spirit of the Hunt
Program Length:        4 Months
Upcoming Session:     September – December, 2013
Location:                   Practical Primitive, Great Meadows, NJ
Tuition:                     $1295 ($500 deposit due upon acceptance.)
Application Deadline:  August 31, 2013
Apply:  The application deadline for 2013 has now passed.


Applications must be received by midnight, Saturday August 31st in order to be considered for the 2013 program.
Be sure to fill out your application in its entirety. Incomplete applications may not be considered.

If you have any questions about the program feel free to give us a call,
or send an e-mail to


Printable Application Form

If you would prefer to mail in your application you may download a printable copy here. (This is a PDF file. Acrobat Reader is required.) Simply click on the "Print" icon at the top left of the form, or on Save to save a copy to your computer for printing at a later time.
Please mail your completed application to:

Intensive Skills Studies Program
Practical Primitive
14 Sussex Lane
Great Meadows, NJ 07838

(To apply online click here.)

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