So the Realtor we used to buy our little cabin in the woods came by the other day, because the small cabin at the end of our road just went up for sale. (Any takers?) Mike isn't like any Realtor I've known, starting with his 6-foot-7 or 6-8 height. (I've never seen Mason look short before.)
So we chitchatted with Mike about what we'd done to our cabin and how we were adjusting to mountain life. Clearly an avid hunter, he quizzed us on the wildlife we'd seen. That's when I asked about what animal was making a screech that sounds like a woman being attacked. It's the one unsettling sound we've heard that we couldn't pin down.
"Bobcat in heat," he came back quickly. Apparently it's mating season. Mike then told us about how he killed a bobcat just the other day (I know, I know, fellow gentle animal lovers, but this IS Tennessee), and out of the front seat of his giant truck, he whipped out this speaker-looking box connected by a long wire to a remote control. He pointed the speaker out toward the timber company land that borders our property and hit a button.
Out came that shriek from hell (it's how you "call" the soon-to-be-shot bobcat), and boy, Nick the Dog did not like it one bit. He focused on the box, barking, fur up on his shoulders. Another shriek and he cocked his head intently, staring at the speaker box sitting atop the truck bed.
So this is how bobcat hunters (and other hunters, as the box had about 50 settings; besides "bobcat in heat" it also had "regular bobcat") attract their prey. Punch another button and the speaker will beckon coyotes, wolves -- all sorts of woodland creatures.
Bambi, you've been warned.