Cave Critters Big and Small

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Cave Critters Big and Small

Postby hiflier » Jan 21, 2016 10:45 pm

Cave Critters. I know some have adapted to cave dwelling. But this is about the ones that just wander in for whatever reason. Mountain lions, coyotes, deer, livestock and any other creatures that you know of. When approaching a cave whether from a trail or not how do you do it? If it's in a woody area do you notice game trails that that lead to an entrance other than the one you are on? Have you seen small trees that are arched over the path? if the apron in front of the entrance is mud or dirt do you check for paw prints going in or out such as a bear print of deer hoof? How about smaller ones like raccoon prints. In other words do you just go in or do you make at least a cursory check to see if you're going to encounter an animal or two?

Any of you who have looked at the Cave Acoustics thread know already that I'm on the trail for evidence of a cryptid. The general consensus has taken the stand that Sasquatch does not use caves or cave systems as permanent shelters- something that I happen to agree with. Key word being "permanent". In all honesty I was going to tiptoe around this issue and treat it with kid gloves. The reason is you folks spend a lot of money on gear and are dedicated to your endeavor at a level most of the public cannot fathom. I for one totally respect that. You care about caves and what uses them too and although the satisfaction you must receive from such exploits is very much on a personal level you also respect those places that you visit.

I am no different. I have spent money on gear as well; mostly in the area of camp and optics. I have also written a small 100 page book on how to search for Sasquatch for the purposes of getting one, and only one voucher specimen to science. I consider this creature, real or not, to be a cave critter- at least for the winter- like bats but without the hibernating qualities that bats have. I'm trying to be as blunt as I can be. There is no question that caves are neat places for many reasons and at the same time they are mysterious as well. Most folks are completely frightened of them. It's that Hollywood monster-under-the-bed thing. I'm not here to find out where your caves are...how rude would that be. I'm only asking for general information that only you folks would know. This is my own mystery tour but the problem I am facing is that the two subjects, caves and Sasquatch, at least for me overlap and I've been at a complete loss as to how to approach yo about it.

As I have mentioned I'm a skeptic but I'm an active skeptic. I've never been one to just rely on what others may tell me; especially in something like this where there's little or nothing to go on. I need to let this rest with you for a while before I continue which is something I hope you and the Mods will be kind enough or interested enough to allow me to do :please:
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Re: Cave Critters Big and Small

Postby GroundquestMSA » Jan 22, 2016 4:35 am

No doubt you have heard all of the arguments for and against the existence of Sasquatch or similar creatures, so I won't bother you with more of those, and will try to answer your questions as specifically as possible based on my own experience.

Non-troglobitic creatures that I have personally seen in caves or have seen direct evidence of (footprints) include: Raccoons, opossum, rats, cows, deer, buzzards, coyote, foxes, bear and a wild cat of some sort. Raccoons and rodents are the most common. I have only seen dogs in extremely small caves, and in all cases these were used as dens for pups. Bears sometimes hibernate in caves. Birds nest in them. So do rats. Cows like to stand in large entrances to escape summer heat. Clearly, animals use caves; they provide some protection from predators and extreme temperatures, and are sometimes a food and water source.

Animal trails leading into caves are common, and in Ohio I have found more than one cave by following these. I look for footprints constantly, not because I'm worried about what I might meet in a cave, but out of general interest in what's around me.

Once inside a cave, the potential for animal and human visitors to leave their mark increases greatly. The path of travel narrows, surface erosion and vegetable cover are non-existent. Active stream-ways erase evidence of traffic, but many other types of cave passage can act as a sort of time-capsule. I recently surveyed a VA cave which contained a single set of boot prints leading to the back of the cave, where the explorer had scratched his name in the rock, in 1968. This presents a bit of an obstacle to the Sasquatch-in-cave theory unless you believe that such a creature is actively hiding its tracks. This brings me to a couple of questions. Answer via PM if you don't want to talk about it here.

Why do people want to believe that sasquatches exist? I know people who have never seen a shred of "evidence" for themselves, but who still form strong opinions on this topic. A man I know, a local sheriff's deputy, is passionate about sasquatch. He goes into the woods constantly in hopes of seeing or "feeling" one. He tells me that his heart has to be pure before sasquatch will appear to him, and that he talks, even prays, to the sasquatch to show itself. I have found gifts in the woods that he has left behind for sasquatch and it is only by mustering all of my compassion that I have resisted taking them and leaving him a "sign". Now, this guy may be an especially unstable sort, but there does seem to be some sort of widespread mystical quasi-religiosity among people who hunt for sasquatch. It seems to me that this is an almost necessary part of a sasquatch obsession. Such a creature would need to have mystical properties in order to escape detection. Is this part of your theory?

My earlier suggestion that you check out some caves for yourself was a serious one. You are younger than lots of cavers, and there are thousands of caves that do not require rope, expensive gear, or great physical condition. You might find that caves are more interesting and mysterious (albeit in different ways) than you realize. I do not personally think that you will find anything to confirm the theory that sasquatches use caves, or exist, but if you are as realistic and skeptical as you claim, that shouldn't scare you off.
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Re: Cave Critters Big and Small

Postby Leclused » Jan 22, 2016 6:24 am

And Badgers :-)

During a solo prospecting trip i was able to make the following clip

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/377 ... %20das.wmv

BR
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Re: Cave Critters Big and Small

Postby msm0711 » Jan 22, 2016 6:43 am

Even in caves with no evidence at the entrance of inhabitation by "larger" animals, I occasionally encounter one. I was in a small (50 footish) cvae in North Eastern Georgia last year when I was charged by a very upset beaver. The cave gradually descends to a sump that most likely opens up in a small river nearby. I assume he (or she) entered from that end.
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Re: Cave Critters Big and Small

Postby danegarreau » Jan 22, 2016 11:10 am

I have seen a rat in Skull Cave, a Raccoon in Excited Cows Cave, and birds nests near the entrance of Bluff River and White Cricket.

Other than that just bats, salamanders, crayfish, crawdads, and frogs.
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Re: Cave Critters Big and Small

Postby hiflier » Jan 22, 2016 11:17 am

GroundquestMSA wrote:...Why do people want to believe that sasquatches exist? I know people who have never seen a shred of "evidence" for themselves, but who still form strong opinions on this topic. A man I know, a local sheriff's deputy, is passionate about sasquatch. He goes into the woods constantly in hopes of seeing or "feeling" one. He tells me that his heart has to be pure before sasquatch will appear to him, and that he talks, even prays, to the sasquatch to show itself. I have found gifts in the woods that he has left behind for sasquatch and it is only by mustering all of my compassion that I have resisted taking them and leaving him a "sign". Now, this guy may be an especially unstable sort, but there does seem to be some sort of widespread mystical quasi-religiosity among people who hunt for sasquatch. It seems to me that this is an almost necessary part of a sasquatch obsession. Such a creature would need to have mystical properties in order to escape detection. Is this part of your theory?


Oh no, absolutely not. I have said before that I have no truck with those who spread woo. I look at this with a skeptical eye as it is although the body of reports and descriptions since the 1700's is impressive and very compelling. Your deputy friend would fall squarely into this category and even though I'm sure he's a great guy and very smart I still don't understand the need of some folks to place a mystical sort of portal jumping/disappearing creature into the mix. IMHO it places the likelihood of discovery, mentally as well as in the area of any willingness for more to get involved in the field, and near zero. As far as Ohio goes I lived there in the southeastern part from 9 yrs. old until I was 17. I'm very familiar with the Mound Builders as well as the creature they call the Grassman. The Ohio Bigfoot Conference II think is the largest of the year for that subject. I even chased down that the organizer for over 20 years lied about his sighting- it happens.

So no, I look at this as something as real as a bear which (AFAIK ;) ) has no mystical powers at all. Thank you for being so forthcoming about the animal sign you've detected. And even though folks say that Salt Fork Park is a hot spot I really doubt there's a Sasquatch (I hate the term Bigfoot) roaming around there. Be that as it may the pile of evidence and sightings reports in general has at least told me there's something doing all of this and so I'm looking into it. The only way to do that is to take it on as a serious pursuit. And I don't think for a minute that Sasquatch covers it's tracks although there are those that would have you believe all kinds of things. I find that studying the peripheral subjects like caves and habitat are much more rewarding. I also thing the BEST chance anyone may have should the creature exist is by looking for the bones or skeletons even though Nature disposes of such things fairly quickly.

Even as a real animal if this one is built like a large hairy Human then it naturally going to have physical abilities far beyond that of other animals in the wild. If they exist they are rare and keep to remote places. It's the winters for a creature that is not thought to hibernate that leads me to the cave thing along with several other concepts. In winter cave temps can be consistent, thay are out of the wind, they are f=good birthing places, some have water, some even have food (troglodytes and bats?), offer shelter from wildfires, and the ones with water help out with drought conditions. There are more reasons I won't go into but basically I've been pushing believers to first and foremost look for a dead one. Dead from age, disease, winter injuries or whatever and that the best time to look in late winter or early spring.

Even though I've written the small book on hunting them I do not wish anyone to kill one. Even in the book I adamantly stress looking for bones. It would be something I would request of you cavers as well. This isn't a thread to promote belief at all as I could care less about it. It's about your powers of observation, and investigative skills- and the quest to pursue mystery; something I thoroughly enjoy doing myself. GOOD GRIEF! Another ridiculously long post. Anyway I'm glad you pay attention to wildlife's comings and goings as do I and also If Sasquatch is at all real then there has to be bones- unless they bury their own but that a whole other subject unless they are filling mine shafts with the remains. Thank you for a great reply. I am forever learning and it's folks like you that allow me to do that. Hopefully I can return the favor in kind.
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Re: Cave Critters Big and Small

Postby hiflier » Jan 22, 2016 11:26 am

Badgers, beavers and rats oh my! I have every intention of granting your wishes but first- bring me the bones of the Wicked Sasquatch of the West....

Sorry, couldn't resist that one :grin: . Thanks for the input all of you. It's yet another interesting aspect of this research effort.
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Re: Cave Critters Big and Small

Postby gindling » Jan 22, 2016 3:04 pm

Here is a picture from the Peruvian karst showing what could be an Andean Squatch. Though it just turned out to be a bearded canadian caver... Easily confused!

Image

Though i would think that if anywhere in America there could be a Sasquatch it would be out west, especially Canada. I think an Idahoan professor wanted to fly an infrared camera equipped blimp around the Great Basin area. Not sure if that ever went through. And though it would be mind-blowing to find out that there were bipedal creatures roaming the woods of America its just too surprising that no one has shot one or trapped one, humans are really good at that. But search on!
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Re: Cave Critters Big and Small

Postby GroundquestMSA » Jan 22, 2016 3:51 pm

Wherebouts in SE OH?
Last edited by GroundquestMSA on Jan 23, 2016 9:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cave Critters Big and Small

Postby hiflier » Jan 22, 2016 5:11 pm

I was in Montgomery County and the Miamisburg Mound was part of my old stomping grounds. Still have family in those parts from my late Dad's side. I remember as a kid with a couple of buddies all around 12-13 taking each other's picture outside of the Monsanto fence across the street from the Mound's park. We each took turns standing next to the sign that said "No Photographs" LOL....kids!

At around that age my folks bought me Ivan T. Sanderson's (zoologist) 530+ page book "Abominable Snowman: Legend comes to life. I read it twice and was totally immersed AND freaked out at the same time. I also read Thor Heyderdahl's "Kon-Tiki". I loved the mystery and adventure stuff. Sasquatch was completely forgotten about for about 40 rears until I got curious one day about seeing if any progress had been made. Nope. But decided to stay with it and look under every rock in my research. After coming up with some good ways to pursue the subject I decided to try here. Little did I know the wealth of newfound knowledge I would be visiting. It's been great.

@ grindling yeah the blimp thing almost got launched twice By Dr. Jeffery Meldrum who's a professor at Idaho State specializing in bipedal motion in primates. But he's kind of seen the money side of speaking on the circuit and selling books and copies of cast footprints at the comferences. I have emailed him asking why he doesn't take a team into the huge burned out areas of Washington to look for bodies now that the fires are out. No response. Ah well...
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Re: Cave Critters Big and Small

Postby graveleye » Jan 23, 2016 9:37 am

we had a skunk in one of our caves all winter one year. You'll never guess how we knew it was in there.
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Re: Cave Critters Big and Small

Postby hiflier » Jan 23, 2016 9:45 am

Uh oh. Don't tell me....
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Re: Cave Critters Big and Small

Postby eyecave » Mar 21, 2016 1:16 am

i just saw this post and cannot resist giving my opinion........i have never seen, heard, read, written of, braille read, or became aware of a single incident since the 1700's when a sasquatch critter has been documented as having used or possessed a cave-worthy light source.............its possible that "He" could employ fire; but we all know that also isn't possible due to the smoke......so, since cave walls don't emit a glow there is not a chance in heck that quatch uses caves for hibernating or living in.......(radar is out, no big ears)............the easiest way to find one would be to put oneself in a position where one might do that.....i ain't seen one yet.......
there are these creatures that look an awful lot like sasquatch on other land masses....perhaps these gorillas were once here or maybe it was neanderthals and modern man made sasquatch a part of his legends....i can just see those early cave men telling those stories late at night around a fire and causing everybody wanting to sleep real close to somebody....probably still works..........
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Re: Cave Critters Big and Small

Postby hiflier » Mar 21, 2016 10:04 am

Hey eyecave, LOL it probably DOES still work! Helps keep the yunguns from wandering off in the daytime too I'll bet. Totally agree on the light source thing. If these things exist there is something lacking there in that even as a parallel branch of hominid there seems to be zero in the way of a capacity to get a wheel or control/create fire. As far as hibernating or living in a cave I also agree that evidence, or the lack of evidence for that is virtually non-existent; other than perhaps things like the giant skeletons discovered at the Lovelock caves.

I'm not of the opinion that a Sasquatch type creature grabs a cave and turns into home sweet home as much as being an opportunist who ducks in when temps are severely cold or several days of heavy weather blow through an area. There has been talk of infrasound so I though echo location might be a subject to pursue hence the cave acoustics thread. And bizarre as it sounds some witnesses report not just eye shine like a dog or cat but an almost self-illuminated eye glow. For myself I have a very hard time thinking much if any of this could be at all true but nonetheless as a simple creature of the forest I view it more as a bear in Human form. Smart with a good nose, fair daytime eyesight which is better in low light, and generally an animal very good at stealth and blending with it's environment. And if they exist so rare as to be nearly gone.

I did however write a 100 page book on how to hunt them, not as game God forbid, but to get ONE specimen to science. All in all I find the subject fascinating but when I read the WOO that some folks treat the subject with it's a definite turn off. My interest gets a bit more piqued as Spring rolls around because IF they are real then they get old and die like anything else and so looking for a carcass or a pile of bones coming out of winter before Nature has it's way I think is the best opportunity for discovery. I came here to respectfully ask you spelunkers to keep an eye out on your approaches to your cave endeavors as well as observations of anything inside the entrances that may indicate any winter usage. Tracks, feces, hair and maybe nesting spots? I'm not entirely convinced these things don't exist but at the same time it's very hard to imaging that they do. An interesting subject anyway. Thanks for the reply.
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Re: Cave Critters Big and Small

Postby chac » Mar 21, 2016 11:53 am

To add just a bit more to this discussion, people have been using echolocation as a means to navigate for some time. Granted, it is an acquired skill made possible by a lot of practice. If you are blind (always in total darkness), you can learn to ride a bike using echolocation :yikes:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xATIyq3uZM4

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