This past weekend Coyote and the crew teamed up with biologist Rick Rozic and headed off into one of the cleanest and healthiest bodies of water in Ohio, LaDue Reservoir.
The reservoir is situated in an area of glacial deposits characterized by numerous kames and small relict glacial lakes and ponds. The environment is extremely clean, no gasoline powered boats are allowed in this body of water and Coyote suspected this might be a place that MONSTER sized turtles would be growing. Several World Record size fish have been pulled from LaDue...so in theory...why not record size turtles?
The team spent the day tackling inlets and swamps along the sides of the reservoir. Several signs of turtles were present...massive bubble trails, half eaten fish and even the occasional dark shadow below the surface...but nothing capable of a catch.
In the search several species of animals were captured including 3 Midland Painted Turtles...
A Common Musk Turtle...also known as a "StinkPot"...yes he stunk despite being cute.
Several Northern Water Snakes...
And even a giant Carp...which Coyote some how managed to capture with his bare hands, holding true to his motto of No Nets...No Traps...No PROBLEM! We didn't get pics of this huge fish...but the footage of Coyote jumping into the water and wrangling out a 3 foot long fish was totally awesome!
The day was long and hot...signs of Swamp Monsters bubbled up all around us but a visual lock on one of these stealthy creatures just wasn't happening. Finally, just as we were getting set to call it a day...the moment we had been waiting for was upon us!
Rick called out..."TURTLE...TURTLE!" and in a flash Coyote lept from the boat, cameras following as he plunged into the water and fought through waist deep mud and plant tangles. The turtle was already out of sight when Coyote lunged into the muck and managed to get a hand on the back of its shell...the battle was on! 40 lbs of reptilian force was a lot to handle, especially armed with lethal claws which are now to blame for the 32 lacerations Coyote sustained during this capture. In the end...it was well worth it!
At a whopping 40 lbs this Snapping Turtle is so far the biggest of the year...and if that wasn't enough...within moments a second turtle weighing in at 35 lbs was also captured!
Both turtles were incredibly healthy, probably two of the finest specimens we have ever captured and proof that LaDue Reservoir is capable of yielding some serious Swamp Monsters.
Our scouting and test shoot to LaDue Reservoir was a monstrous success! We will return in a few weeks to revisit the spots that gave us promising signs of these elusive beasts. The location is primed to be a spot for a World Record Snapping Turtle, and we only hope that we will come face to face with such a creature the next time around.
Our mission is to find and capture a World Record Snapping Turtle. A prehistoric sized creature armed with razor sharp jaws, slashing claws, and a legendary reputation for being one of the most powerful and aggressive reptiles on the planet...
Welcome to the muck...this is SWAMP MONSTERS!
For more photos from this weekends expedition visit CP's Facebook Page!
Thursday, May 12, 2011
Ever wonder if it would be possible to capture a Snapping Turtle on LIVE Television? FOX 28 Columbus and host of Good Day Columbus Johnny DiLoretto sure did, and to tackle the challenge... who else would you call upon but Coyote Peterson and his Swamp Monsters crew?
Wednesday morning Coyote, producer Mud Man Mark Vins and directory of photography Chammp Swaggerty headed out with host Johnny Diloretto into Gahanna's Creekside Park Bog to track down a Monster of the Mud.
The team would be up against the clock, having only 2 hours to achieve their task all while facing quicksand, spiders, and the ever challenging feat of finding one of the planet's most powerful and elusive reptiles.
LIVE television is something that CP and the gang are not typically used to. When the camera rolls you better get it right the first time because this is LIVE television, there are no retakes and it better be entertaining! Between Coyote leading Johnny right into quicksand and a slew of on camera jokes and antics, the team had an amazing time.
As reptilian luck would have it...we managed to capture a 35 lb Snapping Turtle just as one of the final segments was coming back LIVE. Such an exciting moment for the team...
And if that wasn't enough... in this same rush a second turtle was spotted and Coyote made a mad dash to wrangle the beast. Unfortunately turtle luck didn't bless us twice and the second beast evaded capture.
Coyote returned to Johnny's side and relieved him of Turtle sitting duties. We shot the final segment promoting the Swamp Monsters documentary and Gahanna's Creekside Park, a great place to come and "cleanly" see these incredible turtles in their natural environments from the safety of the boardwalk.
Working with Johnny and his crew was one of the greatest experiences we have had with the media. He is an incredible host... charismatic, funny and pretty darn daring for someone who doesn't typically hold angry reptiles with slashing claws and razor sharp jaws!
As it turns out our morning adventure into Gahanna's Creekside Park rated very well with the network and viewers, we will be doing another expedition with Johnny and Good Day Columbus very soon...stay tuned...this next one is certain to "stink up" some great ratings!
If you would like to see some of the footage from the Good Day Columbus adventure here are the links to the 4 main parts. ENJOY!
PART 1: http://www.myfox28columbus.com/newsroom/gdc/videos/vid_1002.shtml
PART 2: http://www.myfox28columbus.com/newsroom/gdc/videos/vid_1001.shtml
PART 3: http://www.myfox28columbus.com/newsroom/gdc/videos/vid_1000.shtml
PART 4: http://www.myfox28columbus.com/newsroom/gdc/videos/vid_999.shtml