Getting close to Wildcat’s…

Getting clients close to a Wildcat is never easy. At 10pm parked in the middle of a Caledonian forest when the remote spotting lamp atop the Land Rover is stuck on a branch… it gets harder.

Normally this wouldn’t be a problem. Move the vehicle a few metres to free the lamp and continue to search for our quarry, swinging the beam around the forest floor from inside.
In this instance, a Wildcat had walked with some aplomb quickly through the beam some 20 metres away and  sat outside  the pool of  light  thrown by  the  lamp. Not everyone  in  the car had  seen our feline friend and there were some frantic whispers of desperation from the back seats.
If  I started the engine and moved the vehicle  … the cat would be history.  Intolerant of any human intrusion the Wildcat would slip through the shadows and away.
What should I do?

I disabled the courtesy light, removed the key from the ignition and slowly, very, very slowly opened my door, stood on the runner boards and reached over the roof to quietly bend away the offending branch.
I was wearing a black Rohan Assignment Jacket.  It rendered me unseen and thanks to the blended weave of cotton … completely silent.
With the lamp free, it was a simple matter to swing the light on the cat and everyone was happy.

I wear the Assignment Jacket regularly. Short enough not to hinder getting in and out of the vehicle and plenty of pockets for spare memory cards and other bits and pieces … and of course, it’s quiet.
When I’m not wearing the Assignment I use my Cloudbase Jacket to keep out those annoying showers.
It doesn’t matter if I’m in the Highlands, Norfolk’s Marshes, the French Alps or on Safari Rohan never lets me down.

Carl Chapman
Wildlife Tours and Education

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