Well, CFZ, as it is spring in my country it is cold and wet and dreary and cold. I have done more stomping through muddy cattle yards and carrying calves into the barn than I care to recall and I am beginning to feel a bit like James Herriot.

Also, our power has been off more than I care to remember, causing me and my family to have to manually bail water from our sump pump hole in the basement into our sink to avoid having a flooded basement. So with all of that, and my large-predator sightings currently on a dry spell, I have had no reason to write. However, I have decided to write on something that I have wanted to address for quite some time. Now I will not pretend to be a complete expert, but the idea of woodcraft on an expedition seems an important one to me.

A few rules and suggestions for anyone who is thinking of doing an excursion for cryptids.

Remember that you are hunting this creature, so act like a hunter. Only talk when it is necessary and quietly. Try as best you can to move into the wind. Most animals, mammals especially, use scent as a defense against their enemies. Also, select the correct attractant scents, such as finding big cat oestrus urine, or dominant big cat urine, for example, because a male big cat will investigate a female in heat. Also, if there is a strange cat scent in their territory they will come in to drive the other cat out. Also on the topic of scents, use cover scent such as pine and earth or acorn scent if you can aquire it.

Try and be as low-impact on the environment as you can. When walking a trail be on the look-out, watch in front, to your sides and behind you. Don’t be jaded with the forest or environment. Treat everything as if it is important because a broken branch could hold the key to finding the cryptid or leaves stripped off onto the ground as if by a hand. Remember you might be hunting something that might just be hunting you as well. If possible be prepared to defend yourself from whatever you might meet.

Back on the topic of scent: be sure to be very conscious of leaving your scent while setting a camera trap. Wear camouflage, but be sure to have radio contact to ensure that no one gets lost because if you get lost in camo you're very hard to find. But remember that you want to be invisible to all the cryptid's senses: sight, hearing, smell and you really want to make sure they never get to taste you. You can build up brush to funnel the animals in front of the camera trap along a game trail. However, be careful about leaving your scent on the brush.

Also, when setting a camera trap for, say, a big cat, use a meter stick and paint it with the scent, placing it in front of the camera, because if a big cat or any animal comes to investigate the scent it will be photographed next to or beside the stick as it smells it, that gives the picture a known item of reference so that the picture's credibility cannot be questioned. You should always have an item of known size in the picture to ensure that anything in the picture can be said to be of known size to ensure that it is not simply a house cat or something else.

I think that as I have said in other writings if the cryptozoological community acted more like hunters more success might be enjoyed. However, I will not claim to know what I am talking about.

Also, I do not think it would be a bad idea (though I do not know the legalities in other parts of the world you will forgive me for being an ignorant American) to add a predator call to the battery of arms and a hunting blind, which is basically a hide; a camo' tent that you sit in while waiting for game. A predator caller is an electronic device that projects the sounds of dying animals over great distances that is used to great affect by American hunters. So I would like to suggest perhaps, however safety might be an issue, of setting up at night inside of a hunting blind with a predator call and some lights in hopes of luring a large predator into the call with in camera range. However, camera range might be dangerously close to the animal.

So I hope that some of this information (if I dare call it wisdom) is helpful to the CFZ. I was once told that you can get smart from books, but before you can get old and wise you have to be young and stupid. And if you live through being young and stupid, and make it to being old you must have picked up some wisdom along the way.

I will be keeping my eyes and ears open for more cryptid things in Illinois but unfortunately, as I said, my sightings have died out. But I am working on building a network of informers on the cryptid and dark parts of Illinois.

But as for now I am trying to finish my schooling and make something of myself and survive.

There is a phrase that says, “never let a cowboy make the coffee” and why is that? Because I find that if you dump the grounds back into the cup and you can stand to drink it, it gives very good results. I am currently going on being awake for 42 hours as I write this and I wanted to take the opportunity to write while I still have power to run my laptop, as when the power is off and our generator is burned out and in the repair shop, we have to, as I said earlier, manually bail the water out of the sump hole into the sink. So I hope that all is well with the CFZ and I will continue on the track of mystery animals in Illinois as best I can.