Watchable Wildlife - All Green Points
Two Types Of Wildlife -
There is the commonly seen wildlife here, and then the rarely seen animals. Commonly seen
animals include whitetail deer, especially doe and fawns, red foxes, turkey, squirrels,
chipmunks, woodchucks, hawks, eagles, vultures, cottontail rabbits, coons, armadillos,
opossums, skunks, otters, and a long list of song birds.
Rarely seen animals include black bear, wild
hogs, bobcats, large whitetail bucks, gray fox, ferrets, long tail weasels, flying
squirrels, spotted skunks, and cougars. Of these the truly rare are cougars, ferrets, and
weasels. The rest are here in good numbers, but are either very shy, or come out at night.
For example, flying squirrels are very common but come out only at night.
The locals and a few lucky tourist will see a
black bear from time to time. The bear population in the Sylamore is almost too high, yet
you rarely see them as they are very shy. Same goes for bobcats, hogs, and large deer. As
mentioned many of these same animals come out mostly at night. You might see them at
twilight, or with night vision gear.
Night Viewing - Be careful
about shining vehicle headlights and flashlights at night. Game wardens may think you are
poaching. It is not a wise idea to walk around at night anywhere due to snakes. If you
walk at night make sure you use a flashlight and look at the ground ahead of you. Snakes
come out at night looking for mice and rats. Snake bite in this area is very rare, but
when it happens it is almost always because people were teasing the snake. If you find a
snake, leave it alone.
Driving Around - Driving the
back roads looking for animals does not work well. We've put on over 10,000 miles on back
country roads and we rarely see animals. When we do we get only a glimpse of them. They
hear you coming way before you get to them and they run off well before you drive by where
Horseback - Riding a horse
is a good way to see animals. Ride slowly and quietly. Spotting animals on horseback works
because animals seem to be less worried about people on horses than people on foot or in
vehicles. But the main reason is that on horseback you simply cover many miles of trail
and thereby increase your luck.
Your Best Bet - For the
average person not on a horse sitting in the right spot works best. The wind and your
scent are the big problems with this technique. Pick a food plot or other area you think
animals may show up. Then sit quietly and wait. Don't wear anything with perfume, don't
smoke, and don't wear bright clothing. Find something like a piece of thread to use for a
wind direction indicator. Watch what direction the breeze is blowing most of the time,
then make sure to sit down wind from where you think the animals may appear.
Try to hide behind leaves to at least break
up your profile. Bring a comfortable chair and a book to read. Plan on waiting at least an
hour, more is likely. This NOT a good activity for little kids! Don't bring a dog or
listen to music. Sit quietly, be patient, and if you are lucky something will show up. The
animals are here in good numbers, but they have a lot of countryside to roam. It usually
is more a matter of just plain luck rather than your skill in picking locations.
Still, it helps to try to find a good spot.
Animals have to drink every day. They usually prefer creeks or springs, so around water is
a good bet. Look for game trails running through the leaves. They are small traces,
usually only about two or three inches wide. Almost all animals use trails out of habit.
Sit by a trail and your chances go up considerably of seeing something.
Food always attracts animals. In the fall
most of the animals eat acorns and wild fruits like grapes, and especially persimmons.
Find a tree, or trees dropping natural food and sooner or later something will come to eat
Listen carefully. Almost all animals rustle
the leaves as they walk. You'll hear them coming. Surprisingly squirrels make the most
noise because they bound and jump. Larger animals don't make as much noise. Really big
animals, like bear, boar hogs, and big bucks snap sticks and twigs. If you hear snapping
twigs and sticks, something big is coming.
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