Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Study on Camera Traps and Coyotes Wariness of Them

Thank you to Ron Pyle for sharing this scientific study with us!
Wariness of coyotes to camera traps relative tosocial status and territory boundaries
Abstract: The primary objective of this study was to develop a better understanding of coyote (Canis latrans) wariness
particularly as it related to social status. We determined that territory status (controlling alpha, resident beta, or
nonterritorial transient) affected vulnerability to photo-capture by infrared-triggered camera systems. All coyotes were
wary of cameras, leading to relatively low numbers of photo-captures, most of which occurred at night. Alphas were
significantly underrepresented in photographs and were never photo-captured inside their awn territories. Betas were
photographed inside and outside their territories, whereas transients were most often photographed on edges of territories.
Both alphas and betas were photographed more often on territorial edges when outside their territories. We next
addressed the question of how alphas were better able to avoid photo-capture. Alphas tracked human activity within
their territories and presumably learned the locations of cameras as they were being set up. They did this either by approaching
our location directly or by moving to a vantage point from where they could observe us. Betas and transients
either withdrew or did not respond to human activity. Trials in which a dog was present were more likely to
elicit an approach response from alphas. Avoidance of camera stations and the tracking of human activity implied wariness
toward objects or locations resulting from their learned association with human presence rather than neophobia toward
the objects themselves.

Read the entire document here.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Another Update from Melba Ketchum

"For everyone that keeps asking for when the paper will be out, please understand that
1) I cannot talk about our data or it will never get published. Those are journal rules.
2) I cannot divulge which journal as that will kill our paper also so speculation is futile.
3) Peer review and publication can take 5 to 26 weeks and then there is the question of revision where they ask you to change or re-write or edit some of the paper. It is a rare paper that is accepted without some revision. I know this because I peer review for some well known scientific journals also.
4) Timing is very difficult to say the least because of #3 and once again, I am sure the journal would reject the paper if I told you exactly when I think the paper would be out. Soon is as much as I can say. I cannot afford to lose all of the exceptionally difficult work that my co-authors and I have put into this project. I am asking you to understand this! Please. 
5) I also ask you to understand that I am not trying to be rude or disrespectful to anyone by my silence. I would love nothing better than to scream our results to the world. But, like everything else in the world of Sasquatch, it will NOT prove ANYTHING if the data doesn't undergo the rigors of peer review in the scientific community. It has to convince the skeptics (or at least skeptical scientists) or it is just another attempt to prove the existence of BF that cannot be substantiated even though we have overkilled the science on this project beyond all realms of reason. So, I guess the question is, do we rush and and fail, or do we play by the rules and prove something once and for all that will vindicate thousands who have had sightings. They are real and most if not all of the people on FB here are believers. Please, let's do this right so the world will know once and for all that there is a real and illusive creature that is alive and well right here in our own backyards. If I have any news I can share, I will share it here though, OK?"
And now, today, 1/3/2012 She claims to be a witness:

"Yes, I do know about them now. I am glad I didn't see them until after most of the data was in. I needed to prove it scientifically to myself first as a former skeptic before hitting the field so to speak and actually observing them. I had no fear, the ones I encountered were peaceful and gentle. I keep going back, I know why so many people love doing this now."

They're Coming Back!

The Finding Bigfoot cast is returning to Deerassic Park Education Center located at 14250 Cadiz Rd, Cambridge, Ohio.  
Mark your calendars for Saturday, January 21st at 11 a.m.  (why not purchase your official Bigfoot Researchers calendar and have Bobo and Cliff autograph them for you?)

This Town Hall Meeting will be more geared to a Question & Answer session and all are encouraged to participate!

Behind Finding Bigfoot

By now we have all become familiar with the show Finding Bigfoot and the characters on the show. 
We make fun of Matt saying "I do think there's a Squatch in these woods" and Ranae's yodeling "Yoo Hoo"... we tune in every week because finally researchers are getting some overdue recognition.

The show is entertaining, but as with all television productions, there is a lot going on behind the scenes.
The show has to travel to a new location every week and although first class airfare would be cool, someone has to transport all of the camping gear and research equipment.

This brings me to the unknown cast member, the 5th Beatle if you will, Tyler Bounds.  Who is this behind-the-scenes man of mystery?
Tyler hails from northern Washington state and as many people of the PNW, he has had a fascination with Bigfoot since he was a wee lad.
In 1992, Tyler went on his own personal expedition to Bluff Creek where he camped for days, alone in the wilderness.  He didn't find any evidence of Bigfoot at that time but in true Tyler fashion I quote, " I drove down there and spent days camping all by myself. I had no clue what I was doing, but it was rad."
It wasn't until 2009 that Tyler met Matt, Cliff and Bobo at the Yakima Roundup.  He then went on the BFRO Olympic Peninsula Expedition later that same year where he met Ranae Holland.

When the Finding Bigfoot production filmed at Salt Fork State Park in 2011, I drove down to visit with Cliff and Bobo.  Unfortunately it was Bobo's turn to camp out with Tyler, and they were trying to avoid the masses of enthusiasts who were flooding the woods that evening.  We talked and sent texts back and forth.  I was curious as to who this Tyler fellow was and Bobo assured me that Tyler was one of the most awesome people one would ever meet.  I decided to interview Tyler and find out some more about him.

SL: When were you invited to join the Finding Bigfoot team? 
TB:  I worked on the first season- the Georgia, Oregon and Washington episodes. Cliff and Bobo insisted I be part of the crew, and Day 2, I found those footprints in GA. Then I was the golden child after that. They needed someone for Season 3 that could camp out without being afraid, without complaining, and trusted and experienced enough to be left alone for days at a time. Plus, they had to be a bigfoot nerd, know how to work nightvision, thermal, trailcam, parabolic, etc etc etc
SL: Have you ever had what you would consider a Bigfoot encounter?
TB: I've had several "encounters"- knocks, screams, pebbles thrown at my tent, rock clacking etc. and I saw  3 of them east of Mt. Rainier in 2009.

SL: how far away? what were they doing? what were you doing?
TB: The first one I saw had paralleled me for 30 minutes, knocking and raising a ruckus 20-25 feet away from me in the dense forest, then I saw it with Gen3 nightvision when I reached an area that was more open. It was 80 feet away from me, 8 1/2-9 feet tall, male. There were 3-5 juveniles in a deadfall not far away, I could see their eyeshine, so I think it was trying to distract me from discovering them. The next two I saw were the next night, myself and 13 other people watched 2 of them standing in the road 100 yards away, 1 large and 1 smaller. They stood in the road watching us for 3-4 minutes before bolting when we began to approach them.
I may have seen another one later that year on the Olympic Peninsula, but I can't be sure, it was dark and my eyes were fried from accidentally watching lightning through a night vision, and I don't want to claim something I'm unsure of.

SL:  What are your duties with the Finding Bigfoot production?
TB: My job duties? Uh...fixer. Production assistant. Cameraman. "Bigfoot expert". Driver.  Camping expert. Tent technician. Finder of lost shit. Trailcam setter-upper. Bait station creator. Parabolic listener. Tracker. Hiker.

SL: What is the most rewarding feature of being with this production and do you mind being on the road away from home so much?
TB: The most rewarding thing for me is the travel, the adventure, and making my friends look like rockstars. And no, I'd rather be on the road than at home. If I could take my dog, I'd never come back. I was home for 1 hour before I was bored.

SL: What kind of dog do you have? What is his name?
TB: Mojo is an Alaskan Magic Mountain Mutt.
SL:  Have Mojo and Mountain Monkey ever met?
TB: no. Mojo and Monkey haven't hung out.

 SL:  What do you want to be when you grow up?
TB: I'm gonna open up another brewery before 2012 is over
 SL: another brewery? you had one before?
TB: I was a brewer in AK for 6 years.
SL: apparently you like cold weather!
TB: I'd rather be in 0° than 100° any day 

SL:  Will we be seeing more of you in 2012?
TB:  Where? on TV? Probably not...

SL:  I look forward to meeting you in person, Bobo speaks very highly of you!
TB:  He lies. But Thanks.

As you can see Tyler has a very dry wit about him.  He is down to earth and is a real, in the woods, in your face Bigfoot researcher.  Look for Tyler to appear in a Carhartt ad for Backpacker Magazine in the near future!