To the astonishment of the cowboys, the native guide can determine how many people are in the bad guy's gang, how long ago they camped at a particular spot, and that one of the ruffians is injured. It almost seems like magic.
But it's not.
The scout was simply using a set of keen, field-developed senses, and practicing good forensics.
A few years ago when I did the ITS Tactical Muster, one of my favorite classes at the event was on human tracking, taught by professional combat tracker John Hurth. In just a few short hours, John was able to show us how to know what's going on with someone on the lam and where he or she is headed simply by looking at their footsteps or noticing a broken branch.
Why would you need to know how to track a human? You'll probably never have to go on a manhunt for a fugitive, but it's a handy skill to have nonetheless. Maybe your kid wanders away from your house, or you lose a buddy in a remote wilderness area. Instead of wandering frantically and aimlessly, calling their name, you can know how to search for them effectively and efficiently.