Zoos use red light with their nocturnal animals. Its night time for them.
IR led's have essentially no emissions in the visual spectrum. If they
react to your tech, it's for other reasons.
I think Jay was hoping for specific tips for his area. The Full moon is June 2,
so you will be there duringa waning moon. 2-9 will have a fair amount of
moonlight late at night.
What other constraints? Are you with other researchers? Family that's not
quite as interested?
Pre-survey with google earth
What's the geology? Caves or grottos? Ponds, streams and swamps?
How much human activity? What patterns?
Game habitat? Hunter info about the area? Any clues from the reports?
June is too early for berries, except possibly wild strawberries, what food
are they likely to be seeking?
When you get there, survey likely habitat. Look for stick markers, broken, bent trees. If you do
find sign, back off. You might just get them to shift out of the area.
Do things to attract like cook/bake in the middle of the night.
Gifting or bait is problematic. In a short term situation, there is the trust issue. If they
come around, hanging some of our food where they can reach it close to camp may work.
FP kids may dig the handouts, but the adults likely would be
more comfortable with trades. You may have to be a good salesman; create demand. Give
them something they didn't know the wanted!
I would try gifting. PBJ sandwiches are well liked. Try to let them know you eat them too.
If you get responses, stay in the area, if not keep surveying.
There is a report of a guy who drove slowly through a wild area in the Carolinas every night at
about 2 am. He got their attention after awhile, eventually, giving them food. The regularity,
slowness of travel, and turning lights off when stopped brought success. He found another population that
was "unfriendly", ie, didn't want to interact with him.
Success comes from breaking out of normal human activity. They know how we behave and mostly
avoid us. If we come into an area and don't quite behave like other hunter/hiker/campers/birders,
they will wonder what we are up to.
If one took a 4 wheeler, put a much better muffler on it and drove very slowly in the middle of the
night using night vision(you'd have to drive very slow!), I bet you would quickly get attention,
if they are in the area.(this would only work if there are roads/trails without car traffic and off road
vehicles are allowed)
There is a toy night vision product that is simply a tiny tv with a camera set to night mode for
$85 bucks, it works very well. Its chief disadvantage is narrow field of vision.On ebay, there
is a surveillancecamera for about $20 bucks. Its good in the dark to about 30 feet and has
an 80 degree field. It works off 12 V. I would hook it up to a small TV. Turn down the brightness
or filter it, so that it doesn't interfere with night adaptation. Voila, a surprisingly effective night vision
system suitable for trails and even ground.
Be sure to take pictures of yourself, your friends/family and pets if you think they see you.
I agree that whoops and knocks can be counterproductive. Trying to trick them damages what
we need the most; trust. Patience is better. If they are in the area, staying up and listening is better.
If we do use such, we should do it in a way that lets them know its us. It might work to use some
similar signal with each other, so they knew we communicating with each other using a similar
Cooking late at night to provide tantalizing smells, may work, especially if you camp
downwind from where they may be. Follow their schedule. Survey etc early, then sleep during
the day, early evening. Get up and sit around the camp without light through the night.
they hunt about dark. In early summer they may be eating more new vegetation, so behaving
After they are fed, they interact with each other, check us out, etc
When I was younger, I used to walk without
a light at night quite a bit(not in habitat). With a little care, it was doable on trails.
(I didn't do this in treacherous
areas). If you can see at all in the dark, walk around leave the lights off, slow down and listen.
Most researchers lack patience. Jane Goodall took at least 9 months before she could
do more than catch glimpses of the chimps. If you aren't retired or have a research
grant that's impossible. In a week or two, if you come away with more than zero, your doing
I'm thinking, since they like to spy on us, help them. Set up a large screen tv hooked to a camera
pointed to our camp. Help them get the connection. Put the tv near cover where they can see
the camp(or house) without being seen. Use
a similar angle, only much closer. In areas close to human habitation, they likely have some understanding of tv.
Turn the brightness way down so the tv doesn't illuminate the area much. I bet they would love it.
Chimps in captivity love TV, why not wild Squatches? How much do they watch tv through
our windows at night?
To me, the most difficult thing is to give them a reason to relate to us. We are at best from a "hostile"
tribe. Humans are mostly enemies. If we break that pattern, there is still a lot of trust to develop.
We need to pay careful attention to anything that teaches us about their social rules. Are
we often very rude to them?
Several years ago, a group of researchers found what appeared to be a nest with a baby.
They weren't equipped to take a pic of the baby in the dark, so its inconclusive. That night
they were attacked. A stick was rammed throught the side of a storage trailer. The FP
mommy showed remarkable restraint.
I've thought about gifting them with knives. What kind of knife do you give to a Person who has
hands twice as big and is 10 X as strong? I used to make knives when I was a kid, maybe
a handcrafted one...