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Series / Mantracker

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Know your land. Know your prey.

A Canadian reality-based TV show which features Terry Grant, a veteran of the Alberta Foothills Search And Rescue Team as the "mantracker" and his guide (different each episode). Two guests as "prey" have thirty-six hours to get to an objective some forty kilometers away through the wilderness. Mantracker and his sidekick have to stop him. The prey are on foot while Mantracker is mounted which means the chase will often be a balance between the horses speed and the preys ability to utilize heavy or broken terrain. A common scenario has the prey using the main road for a time and then ducking into cover as Mantracker approaches. The result is a contest of skill and cunning played before the eyes of the viewers. There is also an attractive human interest element in the interaction between the characters. Another appeal is the nostalgic Shout Outs to traditional Western.


Tropes include:

  • Badass Beard: Terry Grant sports one.
  • Brother–Sister Team: The Brian and Julie episode is one of numerous episodes where the Prey are siblings
  • Catch Phrase: Know your land, know your prey. Actually Mantracker never knows his prey before hand and always needs a guide as he doesn't know the land either.
  • Celebrity Edition: In a 2011 episode, National Hockey League player Shane Doan appeared as the prey with his brother Brook.
  • Cool Horse: Mantracker's horse is trained to alert him when it hears movement by twitching its ears.
  • Cowboy: Mantracker resembles the iconic image
  • Determinator: Mantracker will not quit until the prey have crossed the finish line, or he has caught them.
  • Dick Dastardly Stops to Cheat: About every other group will try to "trick" Mantracker by doing something sneaky, like walking backwards through mud, or attempt to double back on their footprints. And almost without fail, Mantracker will take one look at their work and instantly spot the deception.
    • Even accounting for the time he spends explaining to the camera how he spotted the trick, it still takes more time for the prey to set up the trick than for the tracker to see right through it.
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    • Many contestants proudly proclaim that they will not be the mouse in this cat-and-mouse game by "tracking the tracker" instead but it never works. Not only are they wasting their limited time by not hightailing their way to the goal, they are also exhausting themselves while staying within visual range of the tracker.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: Mantracker must locate two human prey somewhere in the wilderness
  • Indy Escape: Two contestants try to gain time by crossing a railroad bridge and once halfway across they hear the blaring horn of a merchandise train barreling down their way. Train is too fast to hope it will stop, bridge is too high to jump off. They have to run or die. They barely make it across in time and to make things worse, the train horn alerts the tracker to their location.
  • Scarily Competent Tracker: Each episode consists of him using his expert tracking skills to hunt down the "prey" (contestants), such as immediately identifying a stump that was freshly cut by observing that the dirt used to attempt to camouflage it included a small pebble that couldn't have gotten there naturally.
    • The show also provides a demonstration of the part of tracking that isn't usually mentioned: not merely looking at the tracks, but anticipating what your target is likely to do, so you know where they are likely to go or have been and can pick up the trail after you've lost it.
    • He also explains using other environment clues such as the behavior of the local wildlife in reaction to people walking through. In one episode he notices a pack of wild horses NOT walking his way to investigate him and his horse, thus deduces that something else must be holding their attention. He quickly finds his prey surrounded by the horses.
  • Scenery Porn: Each episode takes place in a different beautiful location, which lovely establishing shots of nature
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: Brian and Julie. They don't give as good a run as some contestants but they are so adorable together that that makes up for it.
  • Worthy Opponent: the few Prey that are able to evade the Hunters.
    • Averted with one fugitive who decided to leave his partner behind in the wilderness for Mantracker to catch, which he used as an opportunity to slip away.


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