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SWWASAS

Gifford Pinchot Encounter April 21, 2015

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SWWASAS

Listen to the pitch changes in my recording.   Each, chuff varies slightly in pitch from each other.    I do not see how a bird wing could produce that changing pitch with each wing stroke.    You can count the strokes.    Can you do that with a raven wing beat?  Or are they too fast to do that?   Additionally,  because the direction aspect does not change,   the bird could only fly directly towards me or away from me.    Towards me the sound would have gotten louder rapidly,   away it would have receded rapidly with increasing distance.   I did not hear that at the time and do not hear that in the recording.       The next time I visit the location,  I will take a picture and we can examine the likelihood of a bird flying towards me or away from me at that location.   Finally I want to emphasize that the sound you hear on my recording, is nothing like I heard with my ears in volume.     My recorder was on my pack on the passenger seat, with the open door blocking sound from that direction.   I was standing about 5 feet away from the truck directly between the recorder and the chuffer.    The sound I heard was probably about 10 times louder than what you hear on the recorder.    The sound on the recorder is not representative of the volume and I do not think that can be used to identify what made it.  

 

Finally,   I do not expect anyone to particularly believe what I say about anything.    But alternative explanations have to address what data, in this case, a stereo audio recording, that I have presented.    Alternative theories have to match the data you all have available.      The stroke of each beat seems too slow to be a wing beat of a bird the size of a raven.     The pitch of each chuff quite evidently varies with each chuff.    The aspect ratio of the direction does not change so whatever it was, did not move laterally.   So if it was a bird it had to fly directly towards or away from the recorder.   The volume does not seem to change representative of a bird flying towards or away from the recorder.    Finally while a number of birds can be heard making various vocalizations throughout the entire recording,  I do not recall hearing a single crow or raven call listening to the entire recording today.     I don't know what made the sound, but the recording to me does not seem to support the raven theory.        

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SWWASAS

That opens up another topic I would like to discuss.     I have heard ruffled grouse drumming in person.       And listened to a lot of recordings of them because when I had the chest beating encounter some years ago now,  that was suggested by many to be a grouse.     Certainly there is some similarity in that they both are a form of drumming.   But there is a whoosh factor to each wing beat in recordings and to what I have positively identified as grouse drumming after going  towards the sound and flushing the bird into moving to identify it.    The beat frequencies of the grouse are quite different, starting very slowly then increasing rapidly.   Not so much with BF and it never gets as fast.    Not surprising because BF arms are a lot longer than grouse wings.         While I have flushed out a grouse,   when I have heard something else another time, my attempt to flush out the sound maker, resulted in a growl.  Don't think grouse growl.       Is the sound similarity confusing?    Yes!    Could it be that people are hearing chest thumping and wrongly identifying it as grouse?  Possibly.     I think until someone hears a BF and has the ability to identify it, how can someone really know?  I did not flush the growler but did hear foot fall thumping when I forced it to move away before it growled.  

 

Finally is the similarity accidental?  Most likely.    But maybe not if BF are as into mimicking other wild life as we think.  Could it be just part of their mimic repartee like bird calls?      On the 21st I should have tried to flush whatever made the first sound I heard.    I was not scared at that point.    If it ran away or growled I would know for sure.    If it flew away, or I saw a grouse I would also know.     I guess what I am saying is not to just assume grouse.    Check it out.     

Edited by SWWASASQUATCHPROJECT

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Airdale

I have to agree with Northfork regarding a long gun. This might be a reasonable compromise.

 

post-22377-0-99750700-1429848569.png

 

It's a Kel Tec SU-16C in .223. That's not a really high powered round rifle wise, but muzzle energy is roughly equivalent to a .44 Mag, and it uses standard AR-15 mags so your could have 30 or 40 rounds ready to head down range rapidly and with much better control than a magnum handgun. What's really handy about this is the folding stock.

 

post-22377-0-93280600-1429849673.png

 

It can be fired with the stock open or closed, empty weight is 4.7 pounds and folded length is 25.5 inches. It has a 1:9 rifling twist which would stabilize bullets at least in the 60 to 70 grain range and it has a bipod built into the fore end.

 

post-22377-0-75091100-1429849729.png

 

It could be attached to the side of a pack with a quick release of some kind or carried on a single point sling at the ready. MSRP is $770.00, less than most magnum handguns. They are also available in the D model with a 9.2 inch barrel and 3.5 pound empty weight if you want to pay the $200.00 transfer tax for an SBR and wait a few months for BATFE approval.

 

post-22377-0-72994700-1429849423.png

 

Here is the website link: http://www.keltecweapons.com/our-guns/su-16c/rifle/

 

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gigantor

Illegal in many states like mine (it's scary looking) and probably on a lot of National Parks... 

Edited by gigantor

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Guest

SWWA,

 

I believe you encountered something out there. Lets start with that.

I heard the chuffing quite clearly without looking to see where you pointed us to on the file.

Interesting stuff, as is the whole event.

I am not trying to tell you how to do your research, but I have some experience in the investigation business, so I am gonna shoot my mouth off a little bit here, and I apologize in advance if I am overstepping.

If I was the friend that you called to go back, we'd be doing a lot of planning and talking . We'd be on the same page about as many what if's and what do we do's as possible. Not necessarily because the stuff we plan for will happen, but being on the same page gives us both an understanding of what we might expect from each other when the unexpected happens.

And it will. The very best tactical plan lasts as long as it takes for something to mess it up...and something always does. Be on the same page with your partner.

Your purpose in going out there is to identify, document, and gather evidence that will hopefully help identify and support a conclusion, and then to de-ass the area in a safe manner that gets you home where such evidence can be preserved, evaluated and tested without any problems. Ideally, you get to do this more than once.

I think you did an outstanding job of explaining and describing your observations and your own reactions out there. The next time you guys are going in knowing and expecting that you'll be in that same mode again... and you want to be highly functional when the stress starts to ramp up. Talk through as much of the op as possible, work through the plan, know what you expect of each other, and know what the rules are.

I understand that the visible presence of a firearm, especially a long gun, might have an impact on your ability to gather evidence. If as you stated we take it as a given that your subject knows what a long gun is and what it can do it stands to the most basic of self-preservation rules that they will modify their actions if they see you are packing a rifle.

Conversely, if they see you are not packing, then that fact could push their actions into a place where you would wish you were.

It is your call...but the ultimate objective is to remain safe while conducting your research. Only you can decide what that requires.

I don't know the gun laws in your state, they vary a ton. I can see the value and logic in Airdales suggestion, both in the magazine capacity and a folding stock on a carbine makes for a much lighter unit, one you could conceivably tuck under a coat while wearing a 3point or other battle sling. Keltec makes a proven piece.

He is also right about the 5.56mm, but it is a light load...I dunno if I could go that route under the circumstances you expect to encounter...but it beats the heck outta throwing rocks. And I'd still have the big wheelgun on my hip.

Anyway, consider your options, your partner could be packing the rifle, in a ready position, you could be the primary investigator and he the primary security guy, but you both need to be vigilant and aware. If it goes south and you get into a defensive mode you will revert to training, it is a time worn and proven fact. Be fresh on your skills with whatever you choose to carry.

And please, please keep us up on your progress.

Edited by Northfork

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daveedoe

the sound does not sound like a grouse drumming to me. Maybe a nervous bear teeth clacking. listen to the apprehensive expression the fourth sound bite in the link. 

 

http://www.bear.org/website/bear-pages/black-bear/communication/29-vocalizations-a-body-language.html

 

The sound does remind me of what a friend and I heard at Soda Peaks lake, we could almost feel the sound as much as hear it.

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SWWASAS

I have one National Park  (in this case a Monument) to worry about.     I just cannot see myself carrying a long gun because people here have a lot of issues with guns in general.      Get some real stares from people on trails that seem unconcerned about the big cougar tracks on the same trail.   Will see how my second trip to the Gifford Pinchot location goes with company.   I can always go to a long gun if they have a nasty temperament and I think I need it.   I was thinking that perhaps it is good that I did leave when I was "encouraged" to.    Might be construed by the BF as a sign of respect of their territory.    I have always embraced the Native American contact protocols.     Lower your eyes,  show signs of submission, and no confrontational body language.      Those protocols are exactly what you are expected to do in Mountain Gorilla contact.    Now all I need is a face to face to see if it works. 

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SWWASAS

Northfork:    Who I am going in with is a member here.  So he will read your comments.    He may or may not reveal who he is.     I gave him that option.   You have a lot of good suggestions.      The BFF member and I will take time to discuss it before we arrive at the location.    We both will be armed.      In retrospect alone I got in and out of there without harm.     It did not escalate to the visual intimidation charge thing some in Northern Washington have experienced.    For all I know these could be the same ones I have been around before although their disposition seemed to change for the worse over time.     It is probably about 5 miles away from that location and they did seem to go someplace else after their area was clear cut.   This time in we can take the time to look for footprints and other physical evidence.     The presence of at least one bear throws another factor into the equation.    I found a fresh bear track.   Hopefully is it not a female with a cub.    Anyway thanks for your concern.    

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SWWASAS

the sound does not sound like a grouse drumming to me. Maybe a nervous bear teeth clacking. listen to the apprehensive expression the fourth sound bite in the link. 

 

http://www.bear.org/website/bear-pages/black-bear/communication/29-vocalizations-a-body-language.html

 

The sound does remind me of what a friend and I heard at Soda Peaks lake, we could almost feel the sound as much as hear it.

To make it clear, the recording clip I made available was not the drumming sounds I heard.   They were much before and like I said, seemed to have been masked by the wind noises in the recorder for the first one as the wind was picking up as the rain shower came in.   The second one it was raining, and I had covered the recorder with a zip lock bag to prevent it from being wrecked by the rain.     So rain, my footsteps, and the bag all seemed to mask that sound which was much further away and not as loud as the first.    The recording clip I submitted was made when I got back to my truck before I left.    The first two events were similar drumming and the third is completely different and seemed like ape to me at the time.

 

    Since a bear was in the area, what sound does a bear make when it does a territorial charge?    Never heard that myself.   Do they make a chuffing sound like that?     The ones I have encountered just have run away.    Anyone know?   I certainly did not see what made the sound.    An aggressive bear could have charged then thought better of it when it saw my truck.   I am certainly open to that possibility too. 

 

With company and someone who can watch each others back, I expect the return to the area to go much different.     Certainly we can move towards any drumming and see what we can flush out.      If it is a grouse then we know what that was,  if something big thumps away, then at least we know it was not a grouse.    If nothing vocalizes then we can do "normal"  research and look for footprint and other evidence.    At least I have an idea where the big guys might hang out now.    In a way it is idea for them.    Close to water year round,    just over 2000 feet elevation so not snow covered for very much of the year,  the logging roads in there have been closed off for decades.   It is not even on my USGS map.    No logging in the area.   No hiking trails.    So other than an occasional elk or deer hunter and idiots like me,   they probably are not exposed to a lot of humans.    I did see a couple of old camp fire rings, probably from hunters. 

Edited by SWWASASQUATCHPROJECT

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BigTreeWalker

I've been around a few black bears in my life. Never heard much noise from any of them. One was in my side yard slurping blackberries out of the middle of a patch. I tossed a chunk of wood into the patch, probably just about landed on his head. He made sort of a guttural huh sound, and took off down the hill through the woods as fast as he could go. Glad he didn't come my way as I was standing there with just a shovel in my hand. :-)

Heard them make a quiet woofing sound when they were wondering around checking things out for possible edibles. My hunting partner and I heard a loud sort of high pitched wailing sound one day on a deer hunt in eastern Washington. We got together later and mentioned that we had both heard it. Both of us wondering what it was at the time. The next day I was on the other side of the canyon where we had heard the sounds and noticed momma and baby bear tracks on one of the trails. My guess is the young one was misbehaving and probably got put in his place by momma, with a little wailing after the fact.

Here's a nice track picture I got after the big fire over there last year. We didn't hang around long because it looked like there were quite a few bears scrounging around looking for food. Not much to be found as the fire had pretty much burned everything up, except the upper part of the canyon which is probably how they survived.post-24465-0-26007400-1429917294_thumb.j

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Explorer

SWWASP,

 

Much appreciate you keeping us abreast of your research and findings.  Thanks much! +1 to you.

 

Best of luck on your future tactics.

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SWWASAS

Only video I have seen of a bear charge is probably Bart the movie actor grizzly.    Not sure that is natural or enhanced with sound to make it more impressive.   Someone may have some authentic footage of a wild bear charge with audio.    Would like to hear that.   I know they will make fake charges to intimidate then stop short of attacking.       Had a face to face close encounter with a black bear on a hiking trail up by Mt Hood.    Came around the corner and we were face to muzzle about 10 yards from each other.   The bear dove down a 45 degree embankment to get away from me.    No sound from the bear other than noise of brush and tree limbs breaking as it went. 

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SWWASAS

Just watched a number of youtube bear charge videos.   None of the charging bears made a sound.   One female bear had two cubs.   No sound from the bear.   

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SWWASAS

the sound does not sound like a grouse drumming to me. Maybe a nervous bear teeth clacking. listen to the apprehensive expression the fourth sound bite in the link. 

 

http://www.bear.org/website/bear-pages/black-bear/communication/29-vocalizations-a-body-language.html

 

The sound does remind me of what a friend and I heard at Soda Peaks lake, we could almost feel the sound as much as hear it.

Your link triggered a memory in me of the incident.     The reference to bear marking.     Right before I heard the first drumming noise, I was facing the mountain looking at the top and trying to see if there was a way up, and decided to urinate.   I had completely forgotten that I had done that only about a two or three minutes before hearing the sound.    Exactly the same thing I did a couple of years ago that triggered the same response behind me.      Could it be that was interpreted by a watching BF to be me marking their territory?    Was that what the aggression was all about?   If so I understand the reason and that is obviously not something you want to do out in the open like that where it can be seen from a great distance.    

Edited by SWWASASQUATCHPROJECT

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BC witness

SWWAS, your black bear encounter mirrors one I had years ago while blacktail hunting with my 15 year old son (he's now 50!). We met face to nose on a narrow ridge trail, he wheeled left, down a very steep slope, covering yards with each bound. The only noise was a "woof" of breath each time he hit the ground. About 10 years later, in central BC, I was charged by a 3 year old grizzly, when I inadvertantly got too close to his moose carcass. This was no bluff charge, and he was completely silent. My 3rd .06 round put his nose in the dirt almost at my feet. VERY intense moments!

 

I think the noisy on-screen charges are strictly hollywood special effects, I've never heard a growl from the many blacks, and several grizz that I've seen in more than 50 years in the woods.

 

Regarding your post above, I'll keep that in mind, as a guy my age does make frequent "pit stops" while hiking, especially after too much campfire coffee in the morning.

Edited by BC witness

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