My morning in the canyon alone was very eventful as usual. At 4:00 a.m., the animals are out and about. Also, moving about without the use of lights and by yourself keeps you stealthy (although I did slip in a ditch – hard to tell where you are going on a moonless night). I saw a raccoon first of all, likely foraging along the creek. Shortly there after, I heard pigs but couldn’t see them, even with the thermal camera. I moved on and saw a heat signature but it looked like a rock. I approached within about 8 meters and startled the heck out of a feral pig sow (in the photo above). She didn’t know what I was and stood her ground, making some of the meanest sounds I have heard come from a pig. I tried to move closer and she was gone in a flash. Fortunately, her snarls and grunts were worse than her bite. I sat down about 200 meters up-stream from where I saw her and decided to try a mouth call that sounds like an injured rabbit, and therefore, food for predators. I let out three sets of calls, about a minute or two apart, scanning for predators in between calls. I was surprised by a coyote that had approached from my left to within about 15 meters. I barely got a glimpse of him and a quick photo on the FLIR before he winded me and was gone. I made my way back to the truck and went to a new spot to try the call again. I will try to post video from this successful effort later tonight! I love being out alone in the dark. I also picked up a painted bunting at the photo blind after sunrise. I may have some pictures of him to post too.