November 12, 2014 at 4:04 am #28968
If u don’t already, might want to add paying attention to animals and wildlife around you and how they normally act …and watch for the anomalies. I sort of naturally do this because I am around so many daily. But two things made me catch myself in being complacent this week.
Forgot to pay attention to the buzzards and investigate. Finally after 2 days realized been seeing them circling and hanging around in a far section of field. Finally checked it out. Big 13 point buck dead. Muzzle loader hit him but didn’t kill him fast. Ended up finally dying on my place.
Having problems with mountain lions around here lately. And, the bears are moving. Was more focused on watching for the signs of the cats about and forgot about watching for darn bears. Stepped outside back door towards greenhouse very early yesterday morning, still half asleep – didn’t bother with light just closing door to greenhouse as turned on light to watch as the big bear lumbered by (known route too they travel back and forth I suspect from their lair to my pond to fish).
Lots of ways to know stuff about your immediate environment if you (unlike me this week) pay attention to the critters.November 12, 2014 at 4:19 am #28970
Good post, Tweva. Also, unusual activity can presage a cold front or storm–animals often feed heavily in preparation, then take cover. Unusual silence=something awry in the woods. Scolding of jays, or sudden liftoff of a heron can mean an unwelcome arrival (if you’re sure it’s not YOUR arrival.) A frenzy of bird activity can mean a predator (cat, fox, etc) in the vicinity esp if nesting time. I found and caught a beautiful young hawk once, by seeing the flurry of bird wings harassing him from across the field. For prey animals “eternal vigilance is the price of life.” Constant awareness of the animals could mean our lives one day.November 12, 2014 at 7:04 am #28976
good post, glad your ok.
our dogs are pretty alert most of the time for animals, and as soon as we see the hair go up on the neck we know its another dog or a predator, and so far they spot them a long way off, way before we do.
squirrels aren’t really reliable, but there so territorial they chatter at anything that walks by within about 10 meters or within eye sight in the woods. If you sit still long enough and wait for it, you can actually monitor the progress of whatever is moving as it moves from one squirrel territory to another. Pine cougars like to throw pine cones at everything from people to bears if they feel threatened. Griz have been known to go nuts (haha) pushing down trees trying to get the little bastards.
Never be afraid to do the righteous thing, nothing righteous is ever easy.November 12, 2014 at 12:07 pm #28981
Wildartist- yes the birds are something normally I do pay close attention to. It’s my busiest time of year for my main business so been too distracted obviously.The jays and heron, haha and of course the hawks and buzzards. The swallows, when they are here alert me to lots of the small critters about. The ducks and geese always let you know when the big animals arrive to eat and drink at the pond.
It was interesting to see that three of the horses were ‘guarding’ the big dead buck – well at least I think that is what they were doing. Very little damage to him strangely – buzzards either overhead or sitting on the fence close by. It was hard to get the horses to move away from the carcass to move it. As I drive I always try and notice the horses in the roadside fields – if they are still, heads up looking at something (normally heads down grazing) I look where they are looking and usually deer, dog or coyote moving. Have avoided hitting some wildlife on the road that way.
Kos – yes the dogs are very helpful. I don’t move about the fields or main animal shelters with them this time of year however because they get so energetic now they stir up the horses (when I am trying to catch them), annoy the cows (when I am trying to move them) and frighten the sheep (they have no brain). Fox hunting going on almst daily and the hound packs run by or through regularly and don’t want them joining the party. The ducks are great alerts.
Yep, the squirrels are noisy buggers aren’t they What is a pine cougar? Will maybe google. Thank goodness we don’t have grizzly. Just mostly black bear.November 12, 2014 at 12:32 pm #28988
sorry *chuckle* its hill billy slang for squirrel.
Never be afraid to do the righteous thing, nothing righteous is ever easy.November 12, 2014 at 2:39 pm #28999
Thanks, I was going to ask what a pine cougar was too.November 12, 2014 at 2:45 pm #29002
I use this all the time in the woods but I am a beginner at bird and animal language.
1. For example, the squirrels because they are territorial, are an early warning of approaching people. It gives you time to hide if you needed to. If you are scouting quietly through the woods, you can get the squirrels to stop making an alarm about you by crouching down and being still for a few moments. The squirrel will stop the alarm and in a few moments you can move without the squirrel continuing the alarm.
2. Circling birds are a sign of a big kill in the area or a dying animal. If you see it, it’s usually a good idea to take a look. We are omnivores scavengers after all, and we can easily live off the brains and marrow of dead animals, if we need to. Of course, cook any meat of dead animals and avoid the really gross stuff. (No, I’ve never eaten dead animals but I would if I needed to.)
3. If you hunt in the same area, hunters can build relationships with the local crows and ravens by feeding them waste parts of a kill. The “trained” crows and ravens will give an alarm call when prey are moving quietly through the forest. They want dinner too.
I don’t know that much about bird or animal language but Jon Young has studied the area all his life. I first learned about Jon Young through the Kamana Wilderness Course. (He’s not part of Kamana anymore but now runs 8 Shields which is a very expensive wilderness school.)
I thought the basic Kamana course was pretty good and for home schooled children and adults. I wasn’t so impressed by the later courses. The courses have gone from learning about wilderness to a more of a certification program. I guess, some people might like that.November 12, 2014 at 2:56 pm #29004
<div class=”d4p-bbp-quote-title”>c wrote:</div>3. If you hunt in the same area, hunters can build relationships with the local crows and ravens by feeding them waste parts of a kill. The “trained” crows and ravens will give an alarm call when prey are moving quietly through the forest. They want dinner too.
that is very cool.
Never be afraid to do the righteous thing, nothing righteous is ever easy.November 12, 2014 at 10:14 pm #29032
Re: Ravens. In Alaska, they know when a hunter has downed a moose. Lone ravens sit on the top of spruces and survey the land for miles. Within minutes, there are flocks of ravens attending, waiting for the gut pile. I believe your post about ‘training’ them…they are intelligent and greedy. I have heard stories about them alerting wolves to possible prey.November 13, 2014 at 2:18 am #29043
Kos – thanks for enlightening me! I could make some great income if I had the interest in picking off squirrels. The chefs of some of the big ‘country’ (yet 4 and 5 star ‘inns’) around here love the ‘off-beat’ stuff and pay. Lots of born here locals love squirrel meat.
I have several ‘murders’ as they say of crows here. Very intelligent and entertaining birds. I still have a bit of trouble telling ravens from crows but I think I only have one pair of ravens here or close by. I can sort of tell time by the crows as it appears they are aware of several of the neighboring farmers feeding habits. They regularly make a racket when they take off to go filch food at certain times of day. I swear one particular murder waits for me to stir about in the morning and follow my activities during the day. Why? They are just always right there nearby. Several will let me come very close to them. If inclined I imagine I could get them easily to let me handle them a bit. I have a red hawk I used to hunt with (he was a bit injured so I retired him) that I still work regularly to keep him happy and fit – it is funny to see the crows line up on the fence to watch. Like a noisy bunch of smart, yet comical, gossipy old men!November 13, 2014 at 2:51 am #29047
the best way to get squirrels, (be aware of your local laws tho), is to cut a small pine down, trim all the branches off, and then suspend it horizontal between two other pine trees. Smear peanut butter in the very middle, and then put snares all along the top, 5-10 on each half of the pole. Squirrel is one of the very few sources of potassium in northern boreal forest. Red squirrels are protected fur bearers here, so snaring like this is probably illigal without a trappers license.
i wouldn’t waste a 22. round on them unless it was an emergency, not worth trading the bullet for a mouth full of mangled meat.
Depending on the area you can get 2-10 of them in a day or 2. The corpse of there brethren does not deter.
tree snare snare snare snare peanutbutter snare snare snare snare tree
tree =================================================== tree
tree long pole —->>>>>>>> tree
Never be afraid to do the righteous thing, nothing righteous is ever easy.November 13, 2014 at 6:11 pm #29086
Animals are great for signaling. Hunting season has started here in Texas and have spent every weekend in the woods with my kids. It has been so much fun teaching them what the different animal alerts are, teaching them how to identify tracks and maybe what the animal was doing when they made the track. One tid bit i have not seen mentioned in this thread is cows. If you are going to hunt or fish look at some cows before you go. If they are all bedded down you will not have good luck that day. I believe it is because they feel the barometric pressure change and bed down. If they are mostly up you will have better luck. You may not do well every time they are up but i have NEVER had good luck when the cows were down.
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