May 2/3/4 2008 East Texas Outing

Path where the Coughing walkup was recorded This was a very productive outing, there were 6 researchers out this weekend where we paid another visit to private property in a remote area of East Texas. On the night of May 3rd we recorded whoops and 2 walkup sequences around baited recording stations which can be heard by clicking on the links in the left column below. The water sound files that are in the list are currently thought to be beaver tail slaps. For Friday May 2nd we placed a total of 8 audio recorders with a variety of baits to try and bring something in. Only 6 of the eight recorders where being monitored by game camera's as at this time we didn't have enough to monitor all audio stations. On Friday we did several call broadcasts this night at 30-45 minute intervals with the only identified responses coming from Coyotes. We have had good success in this area with recording wood knocks on our past visits to this property so on this visit we were prepared to try and get a picture via the use of various baiting techniques. In the past we had used used fruit, sausages and glow sticks, to try and capture a photo. On this outing we added Sandwich condiments and fish caught from a pond on the property. A limited analysis of the Friday night audio done on Saturday afternoon was disappointing as we didn't really find any activity that we could look at and say that we still had a presence as we did in February 08.

For Saturday night after downloading and resetting the audio recorders we sent a 3 man team inside a high game fence on the 6 wheeled amphibious ATV provided by the property owner. After the team was setup and in place we began to broadcast calls at 22:00hrs, this was being done initially at 40 minute intervals, the remote team reported a response vocal to the Ohio Howl. At 23:30hrs a call produced a wood knock response coming from the SE of the remote teams location. A response wood knock done by the remote team was not answered, as was several more broadcasts. After another hour with no further activty, the remote team was pulled out of the area.

Close analysis over the next few days on the audio from this night showed we came close to getting us a photo of something as we had two instances where something that sounded bipedal walked up to the bait stations. We had double baited one of the recording locations, with peanut butter that was smeared on the tree just below the audio recorder and with some apples that had been placed on the ground. The game camera was positioned so that the apples were dead center in the frame and the tree with the recorder was still in the frame to the left. At this location whatever it was stayed for a duration of 35 minutes, in the walkup itself you will hear it approaching in the distance and if you listen closely will hear this entity coughing as it is walking up. For the majority of the 35 minutes what you hear is the peanut butter being licked out of the bark of the tree. In fact, one reason that we are using this as bait is that if something really wants to eat it, it will have to stay around and work for it. The entire 35 minute recording can be heard on our Walkup Recordings page. After listening to it, one is left with 2 choices for the origin of the audio one is that this is the target species, the other is that we had a desperate hobo living in the remote woods of East Texas, whom is out walking the woods at 03:35hrs in the morning and just happened to find a tree with something edible, and decides to consume the PB without regard to exposure to the elements or age. Since it was consumed directly from the side of a tree we think that this makes it highly unlikely to be a human, but we will let the reader decide how willing a human might be to ingest potentially contaminated or unknown substances from the side of a random tree in a remote East Texas forest.

In addition to the two walkup recordings we also captured what we are calling water slams (probably Beavers) at 22:40hrs and 3 whoops at 02:27hrs on the morning of May 4th, well after we had returned to base camp. All of this audio, including a cut down version of the coughing walkup can be heard in the left column below. So, why didn't we get a photo? One theory on why the camera didn't get a picture is that the creature never broke into the detection cone that was close to dead center on the apples. We think that the game camera manufacturer, in order to capture complete pictures of game animals, has a tightly centered cone of detection, the baiting applied to the tree where the recorder was located while in the picture frame, was perhaps just outside of the cone of detection. The camera in question did take 2 pictures of us when we picked it up along with the recording gear the next day.

The events in this first list were all captured from a single recorder on the night of May 3rd, we will list the other interesting stuff below in a separate listing. This recorder was hung in a tree with the Mic at 6ft 3ins off the ground:

All Dropboxes and microphones are placed 6 ft or more off the ground, in this list are additional recordings of interest from this same night:

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Partial Coyote