The LCSTARs page was established to recognize the achievements of team members who have gone above and beyond the necessary requirements to be a professional search and rescue person. They are truly an inspiration to other team members. It is also about getting to know our fellow team members and getting a peek at what makes them tick and some insight into the diverse kinds of people that join the SAR community and what they find so captivating about their experience.

Written by Mike Fink

LCSAR Tracker Achieves Sign Cutter Certification

Dave Hake

On March 8, 2009, Dave Hake was awarded SIGN CUTTER certification from Joel Hardin of Joel Hardin Professional Tracking Services. Sign Cutter is the highest level of achievement within the program. It takes many years of dedicated training, practice, education, leadership, experience, knowledge, and demonstrated skill, as well as recognition by other trackers of the person's tracking expertise to develop the proficiency to become a professional tracker.

Dave Hake joined Larimer County Search and Rescue in 1997. Of the many search and rescue skills that Dave has trained for and demonstrated proficiency in, tracking has become his passion. He has become a leader and an inspiration in encouraging other members to develop their skills as a tracker. He has been, along with other trackers on the team, instrumental in finding lost persons using his tracking skills.

Dave Hake is also one of the founding members of Rocky Mountain Trackers, which is a group of dedicated Trackers who want to make a change in the way searches for lost people are conducted. Rocky Mountain Trackers is an organization dedicated to keeping the fading art of tracking alive in the Rocky Mountain region and applying it in searches, investigations, and anywhere else that may require tracking resources.

Dave Hake
(Photo by Doug Grimm)

Joel Hardin Professional Tracking Services certifies trackers with the highest degree of tracking skills through education, training, and self-guided practice.

Certification is not based on the number, type, or title of courses attended, but the student's demonstrated knowledge and skill in tracking, and the use of techniques and tactics to successfully resolve practical simulations and missions. Student evaluation and certification is done by Joel Hardin with instructor input.

The announcement of the award can be found on Joel Hardin's web site at Sign Cutters and Journeyman Awarded - March 2009.

Read the Letter of Commendation to Dave Hake from Joel Hardin.

LCSAR issued a News Release for Dave Hake - Sign Cutter

Denver Post articles about Dave Hake achieving Sign Cutter status.