© 2019 Copyright by P. K. H. Groth, Denver, Colorado, USA All rights reserved - See contact page for for permission to republish article excerpts.
Scouting Game with Animals and Birds
Cross Species Animals Hunt Together, and With People: My book stresses the importance of hunting WITH animals. Here are other examples of animal hunt interactions. I deem it very important for successful hunters to hunt not as a forest invader, but as another animal who wants to become part of the forest life-and-death ecosystem. Focus not only on the target prey, but what all the animal and bird stalkers of the forest are doing. They know more about the forest than you ever will! Sound Hunting With a Coyote: Linda and I were stretching our winter legs at Crown Hill Open Space Park in January 2014. Wildlife officials and park directors had recently issued coyote alerts. An experimental program of coyote hazing by citizens was started to address the concerns of people who felt threatened by coyotes. Some small dogs were attacked. But were the coyotes actually threatening, or just using people to hunt, - and getting annoyed at unleashed interlopers seemingly entering their food chain? I know coyotes are generally not threatening, or waiting for help. A large coyote obviously set a course to intercept us as we walked a dirt path in the wildlife area. It was quite clear he intended to meet us. The coyote stopped on the path in front of us and “threatening” glared at us as we approached. When we got about thirty feet from the coyote, he began slowly walking in front of us, turning his head from side to side. He stopped, turned around and again glared at us. He wanted us to stop walking. We did. Stealthily, the coyote peered into the high grass, stopped , glared back at us, turned his head, cocked his ears, slowly let his rear haunches descend and then made three long bounds into the dry grass. Missed! The coyote came back to the trail, and again gave us the glaring “now you should come forward” direction. We began to walk. The coyote again stopped us and went through his audio detection analysis and sprung. This sequence happened five more times. On the sixth time, the coyote came up with a gopher, snapped it into the air and then gulped down dinner. The coyote stared at us a minute. Its mellow, non- frightening look was certainly trying to say, “Thanks for hunting with me”.​ Animals learn by trial and error, especially under the influence of hunger and the need to raise young. The park coyote had learned that our heavy footfalls on the noisy gravel pathway were a seismic or infrasound warning to the rodents foraging nearby. Because of our noise and ground vibrations, they scurried in the tall grass at the sound of danger. If the coyote could “threaten” us to stop walking, he could hear the subtle rustling of the disturbed rodents. Many animals use keen hearing to hunt, and they will create pouncing acoustics to make prey move. Animals do cross-species hunt together, as I stress in my book. I have observed it many times. You can hunt better yourself if you become part of the natural field situation. The photos illustrate some animals which pounce to frighten rodents into moving so that the predator can hear them The Denver Post (Sunday, March 2, 20014) had an article on mass killing of coyotes in the Silverton, Colorado area. One fellow had a grudge against all coyotes, not appreciating they are part of ecosystems. Elsewhere, an archery website had a blog from an archer who saw a coyote emerge from the woods. He shot it. Then the largest buck deer he ever saw came out and ran away when the archer was unprepared. Now he hates all coyotes for this interference, but missing the deer was really his fault. A Native American or experienced hunter would have let the brother coyote go. They would know there was a good possibility the advancing coyote was using the deer to literally rustle up the coyote’s dinner. Don’t shoot what you are not going to eat. Don’t disturb non-target animal and let them teach you what is going on in the wild. Finally, consider attacks on pet dogs. I am not a trained animal ecologist, but I know native animals do not accept invasions of exotics if it means competition for food. ​Coyotes instinctively hate and will kill a fox because the fox competes for the same gophers, snakes and lizards the coyotes need to feed offspring. Likewise, wolves hate coyotes for the same reason. The first thing wolves did when introduced back into Yellowstone National Park was to massacre all the coyotes. Bears are infuriated by dogs. To me it is no wonder that invading small, barking (coyotes see as demanding, irritating, challenging) dogs will get up the ire of a resident coyote. Mix in some testosterone- charged mating season competition, or springtime pup feeding season, and dog owners should be wary. Keep dogs leashed, quiet and trained. And don’t scout for deer and elk with your dog. Note: Robert Ardrey’s classic animal behavior book Territorial   Imperative is still worth reading. Ruckus on Our Rooftop Ravens are intelligent and interesting birds. Get   to   know   them   better   and   they   can detect   game   for   you . We like to observe them and their social interactions with other birds and animals. That fun ceased when we installed solar electric panels on our house roof top. We live in a suburban area where the garbage collector objects to game carcasses in the can. It is illegal to place them in municipal dumps. Once he peered at elk meat scraps and bones so carefully and long that I began to believe he would report us for disposing of cadavers. We solved the disposal problem by tossing meat trimmings on the roof where it was out of the reach of neighborhood foxes, coyotes, raccoons and pets. Within a few minutes after I threw meat scraps on our roof, the magpies would arrive. Shortly thereafter the ravens came from nowhere (they do not live around here). The birds determined their pecking order for the day and went at the scraps. Some were allowed to eat on site. Lesser citizens darted in for morsels and were exiled to eat on various assigned electric pole tops and chimneys. A mauve of ravenous ravens consumed scraps almost as fast as we cut them. (Etymology: “ravenous” = extremely hungry, voracious, gluttonous,)Then they would be gone, leaving the magpies to glean rooftop bones the next day. And the bagged, cut up, and very cleaned bones escaped the garbageman's scrutiny. Oh, we might hear from a neighbor, "Did you notice all the ravens which migrated through yesterday on their way south?" "No, we didn't". Birds have amazing sense of smell and communication. I once drove five miles at night in my closed-windowed Suburban with frozen remains of a butchered elk. A vulture alighted on a rock just as I got out to dump the carcass. That bird had followed me from the ranch, easily tracking the meat movement in a typical strong Wyoming wind. In March, 2016 researchers disclosed that ravens and crows appear to be able to analogize based on somewhat similar past experiences. So perhaps the vulture was also able to connect dead meat scent to my driving to the dump site - where a steer had died earlier that year. If you would like to learn more about ravens intelligence (and get a better understanding of how they hunt/socialize, etc.), read Bernd Heinrich's Mind   of   the Raven:    Investigations    and    Adventures    with    Wolf-Birds. Another great book is Heinrich's Life   Everlasting   which discloses the many ways animal life is recycled by multi-level scavengers. Mr. Heinrich became an acute observer of scavengers, because as a boy he and his family were necessary scavengers in a German forest in order to survive WW II.
© 2016 -2017 Copyright by P. K. H. Groth, Denver, Colorado, USA All rights reserved - See contact page for for permission to republish article excerpts.
Scouting Game with Animals and Birds
Cross Species Animals Hunt Together, and With People: My book stresses the importance of hunting WITH animals. Here are other examples of animal hunt interactions. I deem it very important for successful hunters to hunt not as a forest invader, but as another animal who wants to become part of the forest life- and-death ecosystem. Focus not only on the target prey, but what all the animal and bird stalkers of the forest are doing. They know more about the forest than you ever will! Sound Hunting With a Coyote: Linda and I w e r e s t r e t c h i n g our winter legs at Crown Hill Open Space Park in January 2014. W i l d l i f e officials and p a r k directors had recently issued coyote alerts. An experimental program of coyote hazing by citizens was started to address the concerns of people who felt threatened by coyotes. Some small dogs were attacked. But were the coyotes actually threatening, or just using people to hunt, -and getting annoyed at unleashed interlopers seemingly entering their food chain? I know coyotes are generally not threatening, or waiting for help. A large coyote obviously set a course to intercept us as we walked a dirt path in the wildlife area. It was quite clear he intended to meet us. The coyote stopped on the path in front of us and “threatening” glared at us as we approached. When we got about thirty feet from the coyote, he began slowly walking in front of us, turning his head from side to side. He stopped, turned around and again glared at us. He wanted us to stop walking. We did. Stealthily, the coyote peered into the high grass, stopped , glared back at us, turned his head, cocked his ears, slowly let his rear haunches descend and then made three long bounds into the dry grass. Missed! The coyote came back to the trail, and again gave us the glaring “now you should come forward” direction. We began to walk. The coyote again stopped us and went through his audio detection analysis and sprung. This sequence happened five more times. On the sixth time, the coyote came up with a gopher, snapped it into the air and then gulped down dinner. The coyote stared at us a minute. Its mellow, non- frightening look was certainly trying to say, “Thanks for hunting with me”.​ Animals learn by trial and error, especially under the influence of hunger and the need to raise young. The park coyote had learned that our heavy footfalls on the noisy gravel pathway were a seismic or infrasound warning to the rodents foraging nearby. Because of our noise and ground vibrations, they scurried in the tall grass at the sound of danger. If the coyote could “threaten” us to stop walking, he could hear the subtle rustling of the disturbed rodents. Many animals use keen hearing to hunt, and they will create pouncing acoustics to make prey move. Animals do cross-species hunt together, as I stress in my book. I have observed it many times. You can hunt better yourself if you become part of the natural field situation. The photos illustrate some animals which pounce to frighten rodents into moving so that the predator can hear them The Denver Post (Sunday, March 2, 20014) had an article on mass killing of coyotes in the Silverton, Colorado area. One fellow had a grudge against all coyotes, not appreciating they are part of ecosystems. Elsewhere, an archery website had a blog from an archer who saw a coyote emerge from the woods. He shot it. Then the largest buck deer he ever saw came out and ran away when the archer was unprepared. Now he hates all coyotes for this interference, but missing the deer was really his fault. A Native American or experienced hunter would have let the brother coyote go. They would know there was a good possibility the advancing coyote was using the deer to literally rustle up the coyote’s dinner. Don’t shoot what you are not going to eat. Don’t disturb non-target animal and let them teach you what is going on in the wild. Finally, consider attacks on pet dogs. I am not a trained animal ecologist, but I know native animals do not accept invasions of exotics if it means competition for food. ​Coyotes instinctively hate and will kill a fox because the fox competes for the same gophers, snakes and lizards the coyotes need to feed offspring. Likewise, wolves hate coyotes for the same reason. The first thing wolves did when introduced back into Yellowstone National Park was to massacre all the coyotes. Bears are infuriated by dogs. To me it is no wonder that invading small, barking (coyotes see as demanding, irritating, challenging) dogs will get up the ire of a resident coyote. Mix in some testosterone-charged mating season competition, or springtime pup feeding season, and dog owners should be wary. Keep dogs leashed, quiet and trained. And don’t scout for deer and elk with your dog. Note: Robert Ardrey’s classic animal behavior book Territorial Imperative is still worth reading. Ruckus on Our Rooftop Ravens are intelligent and interesting birds. Get   to   know   them   better   and   they   can   detect game   for   you . We like to observe them and their social interactions with other birds and animals. That fun ceased when we installed solar electric panels on our house roof top. We live in a suburban area where the garbage collector objects to game carcasses in the can. It is illegal to place them in municipal dumps. Once he peered at elk meat scraps and bones so carefully and long that I began to believe he would report us for disposing of cadavers. We solved the disposal problem by tossing meat trimmings on the roof where it was out of the reach of neighborhood foxes, coyotes, raccoons and pets. Within a few minutes after I threw meat scraps on our roof, the magpies would arrive. Shortly thereafter the ravens came from nowhere (they do not live around here). The birds determined their pecking order for the day and went at the scraps. Some were allowed to eat on site. Lesser citizens darted in for morsels and were exiled to eat on various assigned electric pole tops and chimneys. A mauve of ravenous ravens consumed scraps almost as fast as we cut