Expensive Business, This!

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Mad Academic
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Expensive Business, This!

Unread post by Mad Academic » Fri Sep 08, 2017 7:41 pm

I have been feeling guilty lately. Guilty of becoming an "armchair academic" or "armchair researcher".
So I decided I should make an effort to get out in the "field" a bit and look for evidence of the elusive Yowie.

I thought a suitable vehicle would be the first item. It should be a 4WD to get off-road and yet have enough room to sleep. Spending nights in motels is a quick way to go broke. Camping is fine if you are in civilisation, but I don't know about you people but if I am putting myself anywhere near a yowie I want more than 5 microns of nylon sheet between it and me! So I have been spending long hours searching car sale sites and visiting car yards. The closest thing I have seen yet that ticks most boxes is a Toyota 2 door Hilux 4WD with a fibreglass canopy. I have my eye on one, which will be about $10,000. If anyone has any other suggestions, I am all ears.

As I am in SA (the last place a yowie seems to want to live!) it means I will have to drive long distances to any areas of reports. So the fuel bill will be large, too.

Then I will need a dash-cam, and another camera I can mount on my shoulder or head. At least one trail-cam.
I am not really interested in audio recording or footprint casting. I plan to put out food a little way from wherever I am and hope to get DNA evidence.

So; there you have it. Expensive business...and I haven't even started yet!!

Cheers,

MA

Yowie bait
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Re: Expensive Business, This!

Unread post by Yowie bait » Mon Sep 11, 2017 4:40 pm

Mad Academic wrote:I have been feeling guilty lately. Guilty of becoming an "armchair academic" or "armchair researcher".
So I decided I should make an effort to get out in the "field" a bit and look for evidence of the elusive Yowie.

I thought a suitable vehicle would be the first item. It should be a 4WD to get off-road and yet have enough room to sleep. Spending nights in motels is a quick way to go broke. Camping is fine if you are in civilisation, but I don't know about you people but if I am putting myself anywhere near a yowie I want more than 5 microns of nylon sheet between it and me! So I have been spending long hours searching car sale sites and visiting car yards. The closest thing I have seen yet that ticks most boxes is a Toyota 2 door Hilux 4WD with a fibreglass canopy. I have my eye on one, which will be about $10,000. If anyone has any other suggestions, I am all ears.

As I am in SA (the last place a yowie seems to want to live!) it means I will have to drive long distances to any areas of reports. So the fuel bill will be large, too.

Then I will need a dash-cam, and another camera I can mount on my shoulder or head. At least one trail-cam.
I am not really interested in audio recording or footprint casting. I plan to put out food a little way from wherever I am and hope to get DNA evidence.

So; there you have it. Expensive business...and I haven't even started yet!!

Cheers,

MA
Sounds great Mad Academic. I hope you get some dna evidence to work with. There was someone on the( old) forum looking for the little yowies in s.a i think?
Yowie Bait

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TrevorPeters
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Re: Expensive Business, This!

Unread post by TrevorPeters » Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:42 pm

A good vehicle is always essential but if it breaks down in the field you need to have planned for that.

Depending on where you are planning on going and how rough it is, a GPS would be a good idea on top of the usual survival gear.
Have a good survival pack set-up with a water bladder, food, medical, space blanket, etc. for day hiking. There are plenty of suggestions on the web and You Tube for pack contents.

I always hope I won't need it but I've been in an area where I got lost in very thick rainforest with no GPS lock (due to hills/gullies) and had to dead reckon my way out with a compass. Was wondering at the time if I was there for the night and glad I had food, etc., in the pack, but it turned out to be a few hours slogging blind. Luckily I studied the area before hand and had a map in my head but the unforeseen sometimes happens. If it does then it is too late to wish you had planned ahead.

I can see how you might not want to do audio, but if you are planning on staying overnight in your truck anywhere it's an easy thing to do with no special rig required. Just leave it outside the vehicle somewhere while you sleep.
Different story for those who want to leave one out for a week or so.

Regards cameras, I have seen people use forward and reverse facing rigs for the situation where one of them crosses the track behind you after you walk past completely unaware.
There has also been some discussion of glasses cameras as well and I think a couple of guys on here have used them. Everything has it's limitations but the glasses are fairly low impact to the wearer.

Unfortunately if you are going to do any night trips, the only "decent" NVIS gear costs big dollars. Most people settle for second best solely because of price. I would give my lefty for the use of some Gen-5 NVIS goggles but its a pipe dream for me.

Good luck MA. Kudos for making the effort.

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Searcher
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Re: Expensive Business, This!

Unread post by Searcher » Tue Sep 12, 2017 5:04 pm

MA… Sounds like the spirit of adventure is alive and well within you! I salute your enthusiasm.

Yep, it’s a fair way from South Oz to the Victorian hotspots! The Grampians are close but I’m yet to hear of activity there. The Otways have spasmodic reports but you probably need to get to the vast wilderness areas and National Park ranges northeast of the Latrobe Valley to find some genuine hotspots. Downside is it would be at least a 10 hour drive from Adelaide. Melbourne is only a couple of hours from the bushland where I often do some drives. There have been some good reports from the Avon Wilderness Area. (see map)

I like Trevor’s idea of recording audio if you are camping out. There’s nothing to lose and who knows what bush sounds you may capture. You could leave the recorder in the car and secure the microphone and lead on top of the car with gaffer tape. At least the main gear won’t get wet if it rains.

As for the dashcam, I decided on a Blackvue DR650S with front and rear recording. The HD picture (see still grab below) has exceeded my expectations. I often think of the audio report where a Yowie chased a car that had to get to 80 kph to get away from it! That’s why I think the rear camera is a must. :D

Also, the Blackvue has a parking mode that continually records front and rear for days at a time if the car is parked. Great to catch a Yowie sneaking around the vehicle! Of course you will need some light to see a picture. Maybe a bush lantern would be the go to light up the area?

A helmet cam would be a must for any trekking. Just set and forget. I think Rusty uses one. Also, I would take a spare HD camera in your backpack. You never know when a backup is required.
The fibreglass canopy Hilux seems a sensible way to go. At least you will feel a bit safer during your nights in the bush!

With the good weather down south not far away, it should be an exciting time for MA in the next few months.
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Mad Academic
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Re: Expensive Business, This!

Unread post by Mad Academic » Tue Sep 12, 2017 5:49 pm

Guys,

Thanks heaps for all your feedback and suggestions.
All very much appreciated.

"Mrs MA" thinks I've either slipped my trolley or am having a mid-life crisis, but she is just glad it's a Hilux and a Yowie, rather than a Corvette and a young blonde!! :))

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Rusty2
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Re: Expensive Business, This!

Unread post by Rusty2 » Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:00 pm

Sorry to be negative but yowie hunting and collecting tangible evidence can be a real money trap .

Have a long hard think about how far you want to take this . Unfortunately the truth has a price and it can be very expensive .

If you have nothing to lose then go for it .
If you do have something to lose then ask yourself these questions , what is it that I want to achieve ?
How far am I prepared to go to get what I want ?
How long can I persist ? Persisting is half the battle .
How much money am I prepared to throw at this ?
Even if I persist , will I collect the evidence I'm after ?
If I can collect what I'm after , who will verify it for me ? Unless you can verify it for yourself with a white paper , no one in their right mind will verify it for you .

Sorry bout the negativity but it's the truth , nothing about this hobby is easy .

On the other hand , nothing ventured nothing gained . No risk no reward .

Mad Academic
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Re: Expensive Business, This!

Unread post by Mad Academic » Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:03 pm

Well, I did it.
Bought the 4WD Hilux.
Of course, as soon as I had paid for it I saw a Ford Ranger that looked much better! :(

But of course, it won't only be used for Yowie expeditions!
Now for a few other toys.....:)

MA

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Simon M
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Re: Expensive Business, This!

Unread post by Simon M » Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:16 am

I'm impressed by your commitment and enthusiasm, Mad Academic.

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Re: Expensive Business, This!

Unread post by Mad Academic » Sat Oct 21, 2017 7:23 pm

Simon M wrote:I'm impressed by your commitment and enthusiasm, Mad Academic.
Thanks, Simon.
To add to my expenses I have just bought an IR trail-cam.
I suspect it has been "Made in China" as no markings anywhere to indicate the origin.
Brand: "Ltl Acorn", 12 MegaPixels
Model: 5310A
Flash: 940 nm ("Black Flash") Supposedly doesn't spook animals but we'll see...
Takes stills or video. Or a still followed by a video. Has quite a lot of variables and yet is easy to program.
I'll try it out and let the forum know the pros and cons.

Cheers,

MA

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Slats
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Re: Expensive Business, This!

Unread post by Slats » Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:35 am

Mad Academic wrote:
Simon M wrote:I'm impressed by your commitment and enthusiasm, Mad Academic.
Thanks, Simon.
To add to my expenses I have just bought an IR trail-cam.
I suspect it has been "Made in China" as no markings anywhere to indicate the origin.
Brand: "Ltl Acorn", 12 MegaPixels
Model: 5310A
Flash: 940 nm ("Black Flash") Supposedly doesn't spook animals but we'll see...
Takes stills or video. Or a still followed by a video. Has quite a lot of variables and yet is easy to program.
I'll try it out and let the forum know the pros and cons.

Cheers,

MA
Hey MA
How did the trail camera go?
Cheers Slats

Mad Academic
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Re: Expensive Business, This!

Unread post by Mad Academic » Sun Nov 26, 2017 5:38 pm

Slats wrote:
Mad Academic wrote:
Simon M wrote:I'm impressed by your commitment and enthusiasm, Mad Academic.
Thanks, Simon.
To add to my expenses I have just bought an IR trail-cam.
I suspect it has been "Made in China" as no markings anywhere to indicate the origin.
Brand: "Ltl Acorn", 12 MegaPixels
Model: 5310A
Flash: 940 nm ("Black Flash") Supposedly doesn't spook animals but we'll see...
Takes stills or video. Or a still followed by a video. Has quite a lot of variables and yet is easy to program.
I'll try it out and let the forum know the pros and cons.

Cheers,

MA
Hey MA
How did the trail camera go?
Cheers Slats

Hi Slats,

Well I didn't get any photos of Bush Apes in the Otways :(

However, since I have been at my Tasmanian house I have managed to get photos of Quolls, possum, wallabies (not difficult; there are so many!) and also Tas Devils. I was particularly pleased about the Devils as I had thought they had been wiped out around here by the Facial Tumor Disease.
So, I can say that the camera works. It certainly drains the batteries quickly, though, so I would recommend getting the rechargable Li-ion ones.

Cheers,

MA

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Slats
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Re: Expensive Business, This!

Unread post by Slats » Sun Nov 26, 2017 6:53 pm

Hi MA
That's awesome about the devils. I've got my eye on one of those cameras I'll have to see if santa will be good to me. Interesting about the batteries I thought they wouldn't be to bad in that respect.

Cheers

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Simon M
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Re: Expensive Business, This!

Unread post by Simon M » Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:57 pm

I'm impressed by anyone with the wherewithal to do field work. I know I wouldn't have the stamina physically, for health reasons, but I don't think I'd have the mental stamina for it either.

I guess if I ever did venture deep into the bush I wouldn't take any technology with me. I'd like to see one of these things just once, but I'm not sure I'd want the burden of being the person who actually got the 'holy grail' footage everyone wants to get. It might end up being a whole lot more than I bargained for and even a source of future regret. Besides, I'm convinced they're 'hep to our jive' technology wise and can avoid it as easily as they avoid our gaze.

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yowiedan
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Re: Expensive Business, This!

Unread post by yowiedan » Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:46 am

Good to see another researcher in the field. Part of the thrill is being in the middle of know where and sleeping in a tent. When we were at Marramarra NP and recorded the howls then heard whatever it was walking around close by was a great thrill for me and a fellow researcher. I never felt threatened when out in the field or while sleeping in a tent. Sometimes we even hike in during the night because of work. You get use to being out in the bush alone or with another person the more you go out. You also can recognise what animal makes their particular noise during the night. I hope you have some great times while out researching. Remember you will never know if you never go out.

gregvalentine
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Re: Expensive Business, This!

Unread post by gregvalentine » Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:14 pm

yowiedan wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:46 am
Good to see another researcher in the field. Part of the thrill is being in the middle of know where and sleeping in a tent. When we were at Marramarra NP and recorded the howls then heard whatever it was walking around close by was a great thrill for me and a fellow researcher. I never felt threatened when out in the field or while sleeping in a tent. Sometimes we even hike in during the night because of work. You get use to being out in the bush alone or with another person the more you go out. You also can recognise what animal makes their particular noise during the night. I hope you have some great times while out researching. Remember you will never know if you never go out.
"nowhere" not "know where" . . .

"a great thrill for me"! I'd be struck by a sudden case of involuntary defecation.

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yowiedan
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Re: Expensive Business, This!

Unread post by yowiedan » Sun Mar 18, 2018 2:04 pm

gregvalentine wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:14 pm
yowiedan wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:46 am
Good to see another researcher in the field. Part of the thrill is being in the middle of know where and sleeping in a tent. When we were at Marramarra NP and recorded the howls then heard whatever it was walking around close by was a great thrill for me and a fellow researcher. I never felt threatened when out in the field or while sleeping in a tent. Sometimes we even hike in during the night because of work. You get use to being out in the bush alone or with another person the more you go out. You also can recognise what animal makes their particular noise during the night. I hope you have some great times while out researching. Remember you will never know if you never go out.
"nowhere" not "know where" . . .

"a great thrill for me"! I'd be struck by a sudden case of involuntary defecation.
I wrote this via my phone Greg and as you well know spelling mistakes come along with using a phone. Thanks for the English lesson lol

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Simon M
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Re: Expensive Business, This!

Unread post by Simon M » Sun Apr 15, 2018 3:19 am

"You can't expect to see the Yowie, but you can expect the involuntary defecation if you do"

It'd be a hard one for the tourist bureau to market, I reckon. :wink:

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