Ken Edwards said:
So… have you ever been doing a observing session, at a relatively isolated location, and “heard “ things?
Almost every time I go out it's to a remote location and I'm usually visited by coyotes, raccoons, bats ants and worse... mosquitos.
A few years back my wife and I wanted a quick astronomy night out, someplace closer to home than my usual desert/mountain locations. So, we did something I hardly ever do -- we went to a campground. We back up to the Cleveland National Forest and on top of our little Saddleback Mountain is BlueJay campground. BlueJay straddles the border of Orange County and Riverside County here in Southern California.
The campground was less than 1/4 full so we thought it wouldn't be so bad but sometime after 10pm some idiots thought it would be fun to drive at high speeds around the windy campground roads and throw beer bottles and shout obscenities out their window. Of course they eventually spun out one too many times and slammed their rear end into some rocks on the curve next to us. Angry at everyone in the campsite for their error they jumped out yelling into the dark that we should all shut up or they were going to "F-ing Kill Us". I looked at my wife then got up to load a .22 auto trail gun we keep for camping emergencies. Loaded weapons, even such little things, were not permitted in this campground. We sat in the dark for two hours listening to them banging on their car and cussing until finally they put it back into driving condition and limped away on a wobbly rim. It was impossible not to laugh.
20 minutes later the police arrived. They saw us in the dark and pulled over to chat with us. As soon as they drove up I went to put the gun away but they called out that they wanted to talk so I turned around to meet them. There I stood in the middle of a clearing on a hot summer night with no place to hide the little plinker. The best I could do was to hold it in the same hand as my six cell MagLite. After a pleasant 10 minute chat they drove away to look for the idiots in the car. I'm sure that even in the dark they saw what I was holding and I know I was lucky that I did not get arrested.
Needless to say, we're back to the wilderness. I much prefer the company of coyotes and mountain lions. And if I ever go back to campground camping I'm bringing the .45.