Recently I had a chance meeting with one of the landowners whose property abuts my research box here in Central Illinois. As the gentleman was in his eighties and had lived here his whole lifetime I thought it would be a good time to see what he knew. We discussed the wildlife in the area and I inquired if he had ever seen Bobcat or Cougar, as I have seen both at this location. His answer was yes, he had seen Bobcat but not any Cougar.
Picture of a Bobcat I took at this location in 2005.
He did toss out two interesting comments.
When he was younger he used to use coonhounds and had been active hunting coons. He said that on several occasions the dogs would return prematurely and hide behind him and refuse to hunt. He said to me “You know what that means, wolves. The dogs always act like that when wolves are around.”
He also said that his 25 year old granddaughter was afraid to go outside at night because of the wildlife.
Several years ago I spoke with a retired gentleman while hiking in the same area. We got to talking about animal sounds so I asked him if he had ever heard anything unusual, like whoops. He said yes, he had heard whoops and knew that was the sound of foxes.
The following is a recording of what appears to be a whoop that I recorded at this location in 2005.
Each of the men had their own explanations for what wildlife is in the area, although neither had seen what was making the sounds. Everyone has an explanation to deal with the unknown.