sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Things that DON'T go Bump in the Night.

There are some game cameras going in at the White Wolf Mine. There are some cat prints that look too big to be mountain lions (unless it's a very big lion) that might just be jaguar. There are also smaller prints and I can't tell the difference between a bobcat/lynx, a smaller lion and an ocelot. All three are known to be in the area. The holy grail is the jaguar.

The photo (right) is of a jaguar living in the Tucson area. Understanding the difference in tracks is largely an issue of size - but a smaller female jaguar is roughly the same size as a mountain lion.


I haven't seen wolf tracks and wouldn't know a coyote howl from a wolf howl, so I don't know about wolves. However they have been released into the wild in my area and the US Forrest Service and Arizona Game and fish are tracking them, so they'll show up eventually.


31 comments:

  1. So no after dark, evening walks it looks like. I always recall back to reading Capstick's description of hunting jaguar in Brazil... I believe they tied a pig in a clearing below a tree stand at night. The cat ignored the pig, instead hunting the hunter - and was snap-shot with an O/U shotgun as it leap-rushed from a nearby tree.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You never know. Up at the White Wolf Mine there are mountain lions, some jaguars (?), wolves and bears at the higher end of the predatory scale (and of course, humans). One should always be armed, irrespective. My go-to is usually a Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan in .454 Casull. It's 5 rounds then re-load but if I can't hit something that wants to eat me in 5, I deserve to be eaten. The nice thing about the .454 Casull and it's bigger brother, the S&W 460V, shooting either .45 LC, .454 Casull or .460 S&W Magnum, is that one round on target should end the fight. I have semi-autos available but as a defensive weapons against big game, those two handguns are sufficient. They are heavy, and wearing suspenders when you carry the big boys is --- useful.

      Delete
    2. You could always beat them to death with them.

      Delete
    3. Could do. They are also useful as steel clubs.

      Better to have and not need than need and not have.

      Delete
    4. Big cats. Cool beans. A Kenai chest holster will keep your hands free until you need your Ruger Super Redhawk. Kidex or leather, your preference.

      Delete
    5. I have a Diamond D chest holster (made on the Kenai peninsula). Though for daily use, I still like the basic belt holster. Are you ready for the shameless plug? Simply Rugged Holsters, Prescott, AZ.

      The Alaskans make the best chest rigs hands-down (WW2 tanker rig) primarily because so many of them carry chest holsters.

      I don't use belt holsters that clip over the belt. Only holsters with loops that run through the belt - and I have just about every variety possible.

      Part of my problem is that for (mumbles) decades, I've carried a handgun on a hip holster and I have all sorts of muscle memory associated with shooting zillions of rounds (paid for by the taxpayer for the most part). For me to draw and ten-ring something is simply a matter of automatic mechanics.

      Delete
    6. Kenetic (muscle) memory can be a big obstacle to overcome. Do what works for you to keep it in the ten ring. That sounds like something you could put on a t-shirt... a big one ;)

      Delete
    7. Remember these?

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54JEazydUyM

      Our standing joke when I worked retail firearms was that even if you missed, whatever was after you would be deaf and on fire. Also, how nice it would be to sit by the campfire at night and read the included book about bear attacks.

      Delete
    8. It has a lot of kinetic punch.

      Delete
    9. Uggh. You've got to be powerfully built to keep get that thing back on target in a reasonable amount of time. Between the size of that powder charge and that short barrel, you'd be blinded by the flash in low light. I know my limitations, and that little hand cannon would be pain.

      Delete
    10. I'm not a small guy. Honestly, I don't have much of a problem with the 460V or the Super Redhawk Alaskan. There is clearly a pause between discharges in rapid fire mode, but I didn't find it limiting. Everyone needs to know their limitations. I draw the line on some of the big Weatherby magnum and the big bore Holland and Holland rifles. They hurt, and will do nothing more than help you develop a wicked flinch.

      Delete
    11. If I lived in either Alaska or grizzly country in Montana again, I'd certainly be open to trying it. Work up to it, maybe. The only revolver I've ever owned is a repro Colt Navy cap and ball. I've shot .45 LC in a SAA and that's nothing, but .357 Magnum in a little titanium frame demonstrated to me that I wouldn't like practicing with it at all. Of course, that thing didn't have a nice soft grip. No idea how much that might help. My collection is oriented towards bullseye shooting and defense against 2-legged varmints.

      Delete
    12. The Ruger, Colt and S&W .357 revolvers are all nice to shoot. The 4" barrel option is the most popular. I think that I've shot almost all of them and favor the Colt Pythons - but that's me. The US Navy used to issue the Teams S&W Model 66 handguns (stainless) for maritime use. I've put a lot of rounds through that frame too with no complaint.

      Delete
  2. No Jaguars here, but plenty of "Mountain Lions" and other big cats, along with quite a few bears.

    The deer population is huge here, and the predators come for the free food.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, you definitely live up in mountain lion country. And though Pebbles is a wonder dog, and cooler than normal hounds, shouldn't have to defend you when you can defend her.

      Delete
    2. I'll keep my Remington 1100 (the one with the rifled barrel and sabot slugs) at the ready, then.

      I had my 870 loaded with slugs at the door side when we lived at the country house. I started that when I learned there was a good sized family of bears in the stand of trees across the road, and we found a couple of paw prints by the trash container.

      Delete
    3. You can practice on trash pandas (raccoons) while waiting for the bears to show.

      Delete
  3. There have been rumors of mountain lions around here for some time but have never seen any hard evidence. Bobcats we have, and coyotes aplenty so I know what their howls sound like.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, lots of coyotes here too. They only released wolves a couple years ago, so their numbers are still relatively small - twenty or thirty for a very big range in the Coconino National Forrest and points south - possibly.

      Delete
  4. Enough trail camera sightings and you can start a side video business.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wouldn't know exactly how to do that. However I do have nesting bald eagles at the southeast corner of the property and want to document chicks hatching, etc. I'll have to figure out precisely how best to do that.

      Delete
    2. Perhaps a drone? Then again, I read somewhere that the French have out fitted a few American Golden Eagles with Kevlar "gloves" for their talons and are training them to take out drones. If your resident birds took offense, you could wind up with a few "eyeball-to eyeball" shots.

      Delete
  5. Lions and tigers and bears... Oh My.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Trespassers will be eaten - with extreme prejudice, alive by the lions, tigers and bears or dead by the coyotes, buzzards and eagles.

      Delete
  6. Interesting. We get the occasional rumor of big cats (typically black) here but I've never seen one. No shortage of coyotes of course and that's partly because their predator, the wolf, has been driven to Arizona.

    Looking forward to the game cam footage.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Coyotes meld well with modern man and feed off family pets and garbage. I have plans for the cams.

      Delete
  7. Get more than one game camera, they're worth the money in spades.

    Cougars can get to be huge. I've seen pictures of hunters holding up their dead mountain lions, and the cat's head is bigger than the hunter's.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Upon reflection, my guess is that they're cougar (4 legged kind) tracks simply because there are so many of them in the area. There is plentiful game and there aren't people to disturb them. Clear Creek (AZ) is 1/4 mile away and they love to make their dens in caves in the rimrock (according to local wisdom).

      Delete
  8. Once you hear a pack coyotes high pitched barking / yowl's you will know that it is not a wolf.
    Wolf have, usually a deeper howl, bark and other vocalizations. And when hunting seem to be much quieter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wolves are more of an apex predator than coyotes, whose nature is less refined.

      Delete
  9. When you hear that first Coyote you won't forget it. Wait until you hear a couple of them trying to lure fluffy away from home.

    ReplyDelete

It's virtual - it's a mirage - it's life