Colorado Howl – Pt. 3

On Thursday, the 13th of August 1009, I drove to Colorado to attend a group outing.
My friends had obtained some interesting recordings in mid July 2009 (see
Colorado Howl – Pt. 1) and had encouraged me to check out the area. I then spent the
night of the 4th of August, 2009 (see Colorado Howl – Pt. 2) on location and was
fortunate enough to also record some vocalizations.

My plan was to spend four nights on location with five other researcher friends. Present
on this outing were:

Photo Courtesy of Mark Taylor

front row – Mark Taylor and Todd Perteet
back row – David Petti, Carla Letendre, David Letendre and myself.

I arrived at sundown. Todd had the campfire roaring when I pulled in and we spent
the rest of evening in camp.

Night of 13th Aug – 14th Aug

There was a light rain. I left out my Marantz PMD 670 recorder (modified by Oade
Brothers Audio)
and Todd was also recording with his Olympus DS50.

Nothing of note was recorded the first evening.

Part of the meadow.

Friday, the 14th – was spent around camp looking for good locations to leave out my
three recorders. Although it is impossible to know exactly where an animal is going
to position itself to vocalize the lay of the land can be a guide. Hopefully by using three
recorders I could determine at least an approximate area of where to drop off my
recorders and improve my chances of getting that elusive great recording. The rest of
researchers arrived during the late afternoon.

Basecamp.

At 10:30 in the morning we heard what sounded like howls coming from
approximately 300 yards due west of camp. The first series was about five howls and
the second set were about three howls. It is possible they could have been coyote but
they were to far away to determine. No recorders were running at the time and I doubt
very much that the recordings would have been of any value because of the distance
involved.

I placed out the following recorders.

The Sound Devices 722 recorder was placed in a small clump of trees on the east side of
the meadow. I wanted it to be at least far enough away from the campsite to not pick
up so much of the campfire noise and conversation. This was appoximately fifty yards
from camp.

Small clump of trees where the Sound Devices 722 recorder was located.

The Marantz 670 recorder was placed on top of a rocky knoll approximately 250 yards
southwest of camp. It was hoped that from this vantage point that sound could be
recorded from all directions. The Samson H-2 was kept at camp. The other researchers
also had their recorders placed either in or near the camp. In total seven recorders were
used.

Night of 14th Aug – 15th Aug

12:30 a.m.- We heard what sounded like a large tree falling about 100 yards due west
of camp. It was perfectly calm at the time. There was absolutely no wind. Almost
perfect recording conditions. It was quite unnerving to listen to what appeared to be a
very large tree falling in the night.

Click here to listen to sound clip:  Tree Falling  3

Waveform View

Spectral View

02:12 a.m – The Colorado Howler started calling from an area about 200 yards due west of camp. A total of nine calls were heard. most of which exhibit a very unusual “hitch”, “catch” or anomaly which has not been demonstrated in any known coyote sound clips.

Click here to listen to sound clip:  Colorado Howl 3

Waveform View

Spectral View

03:18 a.m. – The coyotes start up their serenade. Nothing suspicisious is noted among
the many vocalizations.

http://www.stancourtney.com/sounds/2009.08.15_03_722.mp3
http://www.stancourtney.com/sounds/2009.08.15_03_670.mp3
http://www.stancourtney.com/sounds/2009.08.15_03_H-2.mp3
http://www.stancourtney.com/sounds/2009.08.15_03_DS50.mp3

Waveform View

Spectral View

03:26 a.m – The coyotes again start up, but this time at the 36 sec mark you can now
hear the Colorado Howler adding in his calls.

Click here to listen to sound clip:  Colorado Howl 4

Waveform View

Spectral View

08:15 a.m – I was reluctant to pick my recorders up too early in the morning because
sounds have been collected at this site long after sunrise. I thought that after 8 in the
morning would be fine, as I was concerned to get all my batteries recharged for the next
nights recording session.

As I was picking my way through the woods and walking only 10 feet from my recorder
again the Colorado Howler started up again 200 yards due west of camp. It really
surprised me at first. I thought “how is my recorder playing back sounds”? Then I
realized where the sounds were coming from. I quickly tried to position myself to get
either a visual on the Colorado Howler or the coyotes.

Everything was lined up in a straight line. My recorder was due west of me about ten
feet, the coyotes were about 100 yards due west of me in the woods on the western
side of the meadow and then the Colorado Howler was about another 100 yards west
of the coyotes.

So what we have on this recording is the Colorado Howler starting up and the coyotes
joining up from a different position.

Click here to listen to sound clip:  Colorado Howl 5

Waveform View

Spectral View

Saturday, the 15th was spent in scouting out the local area.

I was unhappy with the recording from the top of a rocky knoll using the Marantz so I
moved it to about 200 yards due west of camp in a wooded draw. This is where the
Colorado Howler appeared to be calling from. Since we had others recording in camp I
moved my Samson H-2 to a position 166 yards due west of camp close to the same
wooded draw that the Marantz was located.

Although the Marantz 670 and Samson H-2 were only 150 feet apart I had a feeling that
the Colorado Howler was approaching the area from a pathway closer to the Samson H2.

It should be noted that both the Colorado Howler and the coyotes have been heard
from several postions. It is really a guess where the best location is for the recorders.

Night of 15th Aug – 16th Aug – nothing unusual was heard or recorded.

Sunday, the 16th

The evening was again spent around the campfire. Around 10:30 p.m. I got a very
intense feeling that I was being watched. Being a guy and not “into sharing my feelings”
I reluctantly shared with the others. No one else felt or noticed anything. The “felling”
passed in about 20 minutes. The last 5 years I have only had an “unusual feeling”
three times and two of those times was associated with someone else having a Class A
sighting.

Night of 16th Aug – 17th Aug

11:32 p.m – While everyone was sitting around the fire (ok, I was actually nodding-off)
the Colorado Howler started howling 200 yards due west of camp. My guess was close
to being accurate of where to place my two recorders.

The Colorado Howler was very persistant and in over five minutes howled somewhere
around fifty two times. The coyotes were never heard that night.

Click here to listen to sound clip:  Colorado Howl 6

Waveform View

Spectral View

Todd Perteet used his Olympus DAS50 recorder to record the howls while we were
sitting around the campfire and our short reaction and discussion to the sounds.

http://www.stancourtney.com/sounds/2009.08.17_01_DS50.mp3

Monday, the 17th we all broke camp and slowly headed out of the area.

One of the small lakes in the area.

A big thank you to the Colorado researchers to allow me to tag along, enjoy the
gorgeous Colorado mountains and to share the experiences of recording and listening
to some great vocalizations.

Note – When listening to these sounds the four recorders were in different locations so
you can not compare quality between each recorder.

All photos taken by me unless otherwise noted.

All recordings are coded within the url as to which recorder was used.

670 were recorded with the Marantz (modified) 670 recorder.
722 were recorded with the Sound Devices 722 recorder
H2 were recorded with the Samson H2 recorder
DS50 were recorded by Todd Perteet using the Olympus DS50.

3 Responses to “Colorado Howl – Pt. 3”

  1. David Petti says:

    Thank you Stan for your excellent documentation and presentation of July and August, 2009, for whatever it's worth. As you know, we have an excellent team assembled and an excellent opportunity, and you add to it and are welcome. I look forward to your continued involvement. Perhaps we'll have a larger opportunity should circumstances allow.

  2. stancourtney says:

    The pleasure was all mine. What an exciting four days.

  3. Brooks Bedwell says:

    Stan-

    this is an area that i spend much of my time hiking, fishing, and camping in during long-weekend summer trips. in june of '08 i had my own vocalization experience, my first, in this area. Anyway, you made some AWESOME recordings. nice work. it looks like david has one hell of a research area.

    thx for sharing them.

Leave a Reply


× four = 24