Tiger_Census_2014_My_Experience

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Who: Me, the brave volunteer

When: 17th to 23rd Dec 2013:

Context:

I saw article in one of the news paper regarding nomination for tiger census, thanks to dad for bringing so many papers 🙂

then after some days i sent mail to pccfwl@gmail.com with my details and interested area that is Bandipur

around Oct31st I got mail from pccf saying i am assigned to Dandeli, at fist i thought what the heck.. then I prepared my mind and started doing research on travel and all…

there were group of peoples who were assigned to Dandeli discussing about the FAQ’s, it was quite interesting

our mistake was we where thinking that all of us are in final list.. but shock came on Dec 9th saying I am not selected for Dandeli..

i called Dandeli forest officers many times.. other forest offers also… but no use

one gentlemen gave me B’lore office phone number and asked me to contact them..

lucky they revert back and assigned me to Kuduremuch WLS 🙂

Then i requested them to assign me for MM Hills WLS.. finally i got mail from mr Javed sir (DFO MM Hills), I was very thrilled.. I was in a dilemma to chose between Kudremuk and MM Hills.. finally chosen MM Hills as it was near..

Preparation:

I called Dr Karthik and he advised some emergency medicines

Sleeping bag: got XL quequa sleeping bag from flipcart, returned the same..

then ordered from couple of other sites.. no use.. finally ordered from Decthlon itself..

ordered WlidCraft bag 35lts , but got defective peice again.. then got it exchanged from mysore showroom,

bought some dryfruits etc..

Day 1: 17th Dec:

i woke up early and parked my bike in Office basement, took auto to Sub urban (120/-)

Got bus to Kollegal.. reached kollegal around 10:30 and took auto to forest office..

I was the second person to reach !!

I was getting bored.. people started come one by one.. was shocked to see girls in team.. finally some dudes came to me and talked with me.. felt good..

we had light working lunch then had training session @ 2PM by DCF Vasanth reddy

it was nice session.. we had so any question everything was answered by them politely

I was allocated to Hannur range.. met great person RFO Lakshimkanth.. and buddy Dinesh..

myself and Dinesh went to Hanur forest guest office by his bullet and waited

then we met RFO, he asked us to stay in Hanur guest office only.. and introduced to forest Manjunath.. there we met couple of more guys Sheetal and Dharshan from Mysore

I was little upset that I am not going to stay in jungle as others.. every one left to their respective camps..

I discussed with Lakshmikanth, then what he told was really made this census most interesting.. he told that I can accompany him where ever he goes after our morning census exercise !!

I selpt nicely in guest house…thinking of my wife and daughter

Day 2: 18th Dec 2013:
Woke up around 5 AM and got ready.. Manjunath and Mahadev came with RFO too.. We packed some food They dropped us in the track starting point.. we tried to take photo in the dark morning…

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We walked around 6 KM’s in the forest.. it was mostly dry deciduous forest.. we found only Pug marks of Bear, Rabit, Forest cat, Deer.. elephant dung (Not fresh one)

Manjunath demonstrated on how the fire will catch so quickly by dry grass

I was very disappointed that this is NOT the forest I was expecting…

RFO came to pick us and we had nice BF, Pappaya, Avalakki…

I asked RFO to change the forest… but he told that he will take me to place where he saw fresh Tiger pug marks.. I was waiting for that…

We had lunch and went o Udukutere around 4 PM.. Dinesh volunteer also joined us..

First we went to place where camara trap was placed.. we took that camera and they showed us the old photos… Bug elephant, Deers.. ect..

Then we went to place where the actualy pug marks were found… we saw the Pugmarks.. we were walking without making any noise.. walked along the water path.. it was very nice place…

We placed camera in the new place… and came out hoping that we might get tiger photo soon…

It was already dark and luckly it was Full moon day… we walked till the Anti Proching camp.. driver took lot of time to reach there.. later came to know that Balero vehicle tire was punctured..My doubt was correct… I warned driver that I am getting smell in the air which we will get when tire punctures but he ignored my comments…

We had nice Lemon tea in AP camp and left from there…

Night I invited RFO for the Booz.. I had already took Espresso flavor Vodka… he took only some 30 ml and remaining I finished it… then we had dinner and slept off..

Camera trap device:

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Pug Marks:

Day 3: 19th Dec 2013:

Woke up at 5:00 AM and packed our little snacks.. Driver dropped us to nearest point for trail..we walked uphill for a long time.. then Manjunath Forest got tired.. then he told us to carryon and he will meet us at the end point..

Myself and guard mahadev walked into forest.. searching for any animals.. it was nice experience, suddenly we heard some sound which eliphants make duing eating..it was getting close.. we got scared and ran to nearest hill top.. then came to know that some guy is cutting tree… L I was both Happy and Unhappy !!

Then we took a long turn.. wearing shots turned out to be bad idea.. I got scratch in leg and lots of lots of kadu jondu.. some kind of thrones were giving me natural acupuncture..

It took lots of time to remove from my shoe it self

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After that headed to Nursery for BF, there met DFO Vasanth Reddy and CCO who came for visit.. had Chapati, Papaya, Avalakki, Tea..

Then visited some place where they did tree plantation..

After that they left.. and I got freshen up in guest house.. Later LakshimiKanth took us to Bhudikere AP camp…RFO distributed Ration for 15 days to all AP camps

Met Dharshan and one more guy.. Dharshan gave nice snacks and we headed to wonderfull place called Hole MaraDotti (HMT)

It was AP camp next to Cauvery river… we directly got down to river and planned to swim.. but we were afraid because of Crocs..

But Lakshimikanth took the lead and he jumped into to river first.. then slowly we got courage and every in water… I really enjoyed like anything and swam  for long time… I thought my diving skills to everyone.. Some snaps..

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We had bought Raw chicken from Hanur and Dharshan took responsibility of cooking…. Every one told he is wonder full cook.. and he proved it.. we named the dish as Chicken HMT!!

We eat nicely that too after swimming..

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In that camp, there was a young guy Abhishek, not so experienced.. and he got pissed off very first day.. and he wanted to go back immediately

Then we dropped Dharshan and Abhishek and came back to Hanur.. while coming we saw Rabits and Deers in forest.. It was like night Safari..!!
Day 4: 20th Dec 2013:

Woke up around 5:00 AM and packed our food… today I asked them to take me to nice place where we can actually see animals.. so they took me to back water place of the dam…

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It was really nice place.. we walked along the water for some time.. then got into forest.. today we saw fresh elephant dungs and freshly cut trees by them… and we reached the top and started searching for any animals in forest from my binocular… Wow.. we found Bison.. it was really nice to see bunch of Bison’s

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Came back to guest house.. then We went to one more place where they had found Tiger pug marks, it was not fresh.. but found very nice marks..

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I collected some peacock’s feathers in forest.. saw plantations…

Back in guest house we spent some time browsing in FB.. Then had booz party with Other officers..

Day 5: 21th Dec 2013:

Woke up Early Morning and Packed my snacks.. Manjunath came with his bike and we headed straight to the transact point.. we parked our bike in nursery and walked till Trail path.. but we could not found forest watcher Mahadev.. we walked.. took lift in  auto.. and roamed in that place for 3 times but we did not find him.. we decided to call it a day… Manjunath was so pissed off… he called so many people but no use.. later after 10 AM, we came to know that Madev is waiting for us near trail point… we went there and blashed him for not waiting for us in road side… then we took initial readings of 0 mts.. and came back.. had BF and got freshen up..

Then we went to one more AP camp which was very near to city.. there were two guys staying over there.. we took them and went to another AP camp which is next to river.. guess King fisher AP camp… we had bought eggs for everyone.. and planned to have in lunch.. but unfortunately Lakshmikanth got call from Vasanth reddy that there is fire near Bhemeshwari camp… so we had to rush to that spot..

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It was all new experience for me… Thought I am trained firefighter.. I don’t know how to extinguish fire in Forest… They explained 3 techniquess

  1. Extinguish fire from fresh branches of tree by hitting on fire…
  2. Clean up the dry grass which is on the way to the fire..
  3. Interesting…. You only put fire opposite to the fire which is coming towards you…

We took some more people with us and headed back towards fire… we saw some smoke and started walking towards that.. it was already getting dark.. and no once else had torch except my small dynamo torch..

DFO also joined our team… we walked for some distance and decided to go back as it was very dark..

While coming in Jeep.. they got wireless message saying Vasanth reddy caught some Poachers .. who where doing fishing and they only put fire in forest…

Hearing this we came back to the same spot.. and started walking… it was very dark and scary… so we did not walked and stayed in one place… and tried to contact them…

Finally Vasanth reddy came with prochers.. they were two of them and some of them had fled away..

We went to Masheer AP camp which is next to Jungle lodge.. there Vasan reddy fired those camp watchers…

Then we took Poachers back to guest house.. they plan to stay in my room only.. which was very scary.. so I asked Lakshmikanth to stay with him.. he allowed me without any hesitation.. we had dinner and slept there only…

They filled FIR and marked all their fishing materials..
Day 6: 22th Dec 2013:

Woke up early morning got ready.. Manjunath forest came with some people in car and We packed our snacks and headed back to Transact

Met Watcher over there to went to 800 mts spot and counted pallets/Dry leaves/ plants and Trees …

Then we went towords 1200 mts point.. Manjunath was tired so he didn’t make it.. only myself and watcher left.. We found 1200 mts and took GPS readings.. Then manjunath called and told us to take reading for all point today itself.. so went to search for 1600 mts point but didnt get it 😦 but we got 2000mts point.. I was very tired and thirsty… I took reading and went back to base point.. I was fully tired.. my mistake was not taking my bag which had everything… we look longer much easier path to reach base point.. Manjunath was waiting for us.. we had snaks and left towords our food joint.. Nursery.. Prahaladha cooked nice BF and served us… I called Lakshikanth.. he asked me to join him in office only…

he had invited one local kannapa paper journalist, Kannada Prabha.. they took my interview and photos too…

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Dinesh was calling me and asking me to take to any other camps.. so we waited for him…

mean time I got freshnup and spent time till after noon in office only.. we had lunch and Dinesh joined us…Lakshmikanth called Kowdhalli RFO  and arranged for camp visit where Tigers are present with cubs.. Myself and Dinesh went to that place by his bike and met them… they took us in a jeep.. RFO himself was driving horribly …we went to that camp and had nice Lemon tea…then as promised they took us inside forest.. it was awesome forest.. and I was enjoying my walk in forest, then we heard eliphant sounds.. we ran towords top and reach one Lake where we found lots of Tiger Pug marks.. it was a very nice place… while coming back we saw fresh blood spread in the couple of spots.. guess Tiger hunter recently.. we came back from there around 8 PM…

Dinesh was asking me to join his camp where he planned to cook Chicken.. but I got another offer.. Lakshmikanth asked me to join one camp where they are cooking nati Koli.. We went to that place by Bolero… Had a nice Ragi ball and Chicken, Mutton sambar.. then we came back, while coming back Lakshmikanth only drove Bolero.. then we  slept nicely

Day 7: 23th Dec 2013:

Woke up early morning.. Lakshmikanth offered morning walk, so I joined him..had a nice discussion with him.. later had Papaya 🙂

We did not go to forest for Transact today as we had finished yesterday only… so I packed all my things.. Dinesh came from his camp and he got ready.. I couldnt join his bullet as it was fully loaded.. so headed back to Kollegal with heavy heart.. said good bye to all…

I got into Rajahamsa bus and immedeatly slept !!.. I woke up only after my Bro called me..

Himself and my Nephew Vismay came to receive me.. such a nice feeling to see them… they took me to Kollegal forest office.. there I collected my Certificate and thus ends My Wonderful Tiger Census trip..

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