enter the changeling
dusk settles in. the half light gives way to darkness and the wait begins. timing has been decided on, habits have been evaluated...techniques scrutinized. waiting. waiting. promising sighting...maybe...yes, no. waiting. resisting the urge to break protocol. more waiting. desires...no; necessity, instinct is pulling. a look in the right direction, and then one at the surroundings. profoundly suspicious...survival instincts keen. then the decision. or rather the winning instinct. caution to the wind, hunger rules. timidly, cautiously into the wire. and then no way out. and the timing and the study are rewarded.
as it goes for trapping, so it goes for photographing...and yes, hunting. we've been working with some animals in a particularly difficult area and found ourselves searching for solutions on some interesting websites. websites that, for the most part, offer advice and equipment to help you bait and hunt animals. so why...why, why, why would NOT LOST be frequenting such websites? some sinister plot to hack and put them out of business??? trust...we're not that savvy...
it occurred to us that the very skills that experienced, successful hunters possess are the same skills that animal rescue, tnr, wildlife photographers and the like need. a deep understanding of the animals' habits, their surroundings, their diet, an ability to think on the fly and improvise and most importantly...patience. (granted, baiting animals for hunting purposes sucks for realz...but for humane trapping purposes it is a must).
we required a way to feed a group of feral cats without a human presence because of the restricted access to their territory. relocating them is proving to be problematic and will be the subject of a future post. we were able to find an automated wild game feeder that makes it possible to feed up to four times a day (we only need two) and only access the area once every few weeks to refill the feeder. a device used by hunters to attract game to an area so they're super easy to kill (#makingittooeasy), became a device used to save lives.
enter the changeling! we want to send notice out there to all the hunters...the self-proclaimed conservationists, naturalists, whatever...your skills can be used for good! instead of spending all that time learning about an animal just to kill it, we could use your help. your knowledge and love and respect for the animal's behavior could be redirected at actually helping them. and you'd still get to do just about everything you're doin' now...without pullin' a trigger and endin' a life. trackin'? check. time in da woods? check. out thinking a critter? check. feeling somehow superior because you took another animals life? well, nah. but feeling rewarded and knowin' that YOU were the reason that this animal has a better life, or someone else has the opportunity to see and learn about his animal? check and double check!
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