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Tenkara

Tenkara USA hits the road

On July 18, 2017 • Comments (0)
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Yesterday part of the Tenkara USA team (myself, my wife and our husky Shiso) hit the road for the first leg of what I expect to be several road trips in the new tenkaravan. On this trip, which will last three weeks, we’re making stops in Oregon, Washington and then Montana at several different events primarily focused on book signings.

The full schedule and details are kept up-to-date in our events page but for now here are our next stops. I hope to see you at one of these stops.

July 19 – Book signing and Q&A at Central Oregon Fly Fisher’s Club – Bend, OR at 6pm
July 20 – Social gathering and a quick talk + book signing at the Fly Fisher’s Place in Sisters, OR 4-7pm
July 21-23 – Tenkara Bugout, Oakridge, OR

July 25 – Book signing and talk at Creekside Fly Shop, Issaquah, WA
July 26 – Book signing and talk at Wayward, Bellevue, WA

Augu 4-5 – Fly Fishing Fair in Livingston, MT

It’s amazing to have looked at our schedule and even with 3 weeks not be able to hit a bunch of other places I wanted to stop by. I have already been getting a bunch of messages on social media about whether we are stopping in other places along the way or other parts of the country, and while we are not at this particular tour it makes me feel that I need to spend more time on the road. These 3 weeks will show whether I’m cut out for the vanlife lifestyle.

We should be easy to spot now, so keep an eye out for us! Yesterday we had the first person come say hi to us right before we drove into the Flaming Gorge/Green River in WY. Soon after we had our first peak at the not-so glamorous vanlife lifestyle…I’ll tell you that story next time I login!

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Tenkara Summit 2017

On July 7, 2017 • Comments (2)
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Things are coming together nicely for the 6th Tenkara Summit, which will take place in Estes Park on September 16th. This year we are counting on the presence of Dr. Hisao Ishigaki and Yvon Chouinard who will be speaking at the event, along with Adam Trahan, Jason Klass, Steve Schweitzer. In addition we’ll be featuring clinics and demos on fly-tying, casting and more. This is promising to be a great event, and we hope to see you all there!
You can register for the Tenkara Summit here.
Further details, such as the schedule, lodging, food, etc, on this page.
Tenkara Summit 2017

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tenkara on Colorado Public Radio

On May 11, 2017 • Comments (2)
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tenkara on CPR photo

Today I had the pleasure to speak about tenkara and my recently released book with Nathan Heffel and Ryan Warner at the Colorado Public Radio (an affiliate of NPR).
Click on the link below to see the full post and listen to the segment.
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The Case for tenkara

On April 27, 2017 • Comments (0)
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Web-Cover2Many have noticed the cover for my new book spells tenkara out in lower-case, and a couple of people have already asked if that was done on purpose.
YES! Good eye!
I made a very deliberate decision to have tenkara written in lower case on the cover of the book, as well as throughout the book whenever I discuss the method of fishing. I see the word Tenkara with upper-case in many blogs and magazines. But, you see, tenkara is not a proper noun; it is a simple noun, like “fishing” or “fly” and it shouldn’t be capitalized. However, tenkara can become a proper noun when discussing a brand, like Tenkara USA.
I’d make the case that one should write tenkara in lower-case when discussing the method. Although I suppose we could just choose to end up with our own version of fly-fishing, flyfishing and fly fishing and never be certain which is the correct one (I always write it fly-fishing).

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Simplicity is a choice

On April 11, 2017 • Comments (0)
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Simplicity is a choice. It is easy to make many things in life complex, but these complexities don’t usually add to our experience. Even when we learn that we don’t truly need a lot of flies we can choose to carry multiple fly patterns with us “just in case”. We can carry multiple line weights and change them any time winds change. We can carry accessories to indicate the presence of fish when we could have kept an eye to line to do that. It may seem like carrying additional items in our fishing kit will make fishing easier or more effective. Often it does not.

 

Tenkara shows us there is a different way of thinking about fly-fishing – and often about life too. It shows us we can leave the unnecessary behind. But, we must choose to do so.

 

This is short excerpt from tenkara – the book

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tenkara – the book (now shipping)

On April 6, 2017 • Comments (10)
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It’s been a long, long road.

I typed its first words nearly 5 years ago. But, as I continued to learn more about tenkara, continued visiting Japan and meeting more teachers, and continued to look at words I typed with an increasingly critical eye, the completion of the book I envisioned a long time ago just kept getting further away. Yet, (at last!) tenkara – the book has been received at our warehouse and is now shipping!

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Click here to learn more, read an excerpt and purchase your copy.

With the help of Jeremy Shellhorn, our resident artist, I believe tenkara – the book turned out to be even better than what i could have envisioned years ago. It is something I’m very proud of having produced.

This has been a rewarding project. It has also been challenging trying to put all I could think of in pages that wouldn’t feel overwhelming; to give those who are deep in tenkara all they may want to know while also attempting to convey tenkara’s simplicity. I believe that has been accomplished.

With this book I also launched a new division of Tenkara USA, the Tenkara Press™, which will help us accomplish the mission of sharing the tenkara story. It has been interesting to learn so much about the publishing industry in the last several months. From concept, to writing, to designing and layout, and then finally the printing (which was done close to us in Denver and I watched the entire process) and now working out the best distribution for it, this has been quite an experience. I hope to get some other tenkara titles in production next year.

Those who have backed our Kickstarter campaign will be start receiving the book momentarily as we took care of shipping them earlier this week.

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1 million views!!!

On April 3, 2017 • Comments (1)
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This weekend Tenkara USA reached a milestone when the first video we created to introduce tenkara to the US and beyond reached 1 million views!!! Not exactly a viral video, but certainly a cool number to reach.
1 million views tenkara video
I have certainly learned a lot since that video was created, and some of it makes me chuckle, or even cringe a bit these days. But that video certainly did its job and introduced a lot of people to tenkara. I will save you from it and not embed it here, but you can watch the video and subscribe to our YouTube channel here.
Thank you all for watching!
And, make sure to watch our newest videos at www.tenkarausa.com/tenkara-videos

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New Podcast Episode and news!

On March 2, 2017 • Comments (4)
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Got some news about the book: the files have been sent to the printer!!! YEAY! We are told about 2 to 3 weeks for delivery. The book will be printed in Denver, so I’ll be going to the press checks and keeping an eye on it as it comes out. I’ll be sending out a survey to ask for addresses from those who have pre-purchased it.

Meanwhile, as Jeremy worked on wrapping the files up yesterday I recorded a new podcast episode, in which I talk about my favorite rod, the Ito.


The Ito is The Ito is my favorite as well as that of many of the most experienced tenkara anglers. Yet, people are intimidated by its length. Listen to this episode to learn about what makes the Ito a favorite of so many anglers and why you should give it a try!

Referenced in this episode:

The Ito

Videos:

Landing a large brown on tenkara with the Ito

Facebook live video catching carp and bass with the Tenkara USA Ito

Unfortunately the Rip’Em & Lip’Em videos I mentioned are no longer available on Youtube, I’m trying to get the video files to share soon.

Images:

Mr. Sebata with the Ito
Sebata in Black and White

Shaun Lezotte with a large 29″ pike caught on tenkara
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Me with a large size brown trout caught on the Ito (right after the header image for this podcast was taken)

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tenkara – the book, UPDATE

On February 11, 2017 • Comments (3)
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This is an update on tenkara – the book, which will soon be arriving.

The book is now in its final stage before we print it and mail it. Thank you for your patience! After seeing the near-final product I can promise it will be worth the wait!

Over the last two weeks I holed myself up and focused exclusively on finishing final text revisions for tenkara – the book. The current version is looking so much cleaner than how it started. I don’t say this easily very often about my own work, but I am very proud of how this book has shaped up.

On Wednesday the book designer and illustrator, Jeremy Shellhorn, flew over to Boulder and we got to work together non-stop on the book. It was 3 long days of doing the final layout, placing the final images and touching up every single detail on every single page we touched. It was quite a amazing experience to see Jeremy do the work in front of me and bring words and photos to life in a way that just feel so…tenkara. We did a Facebook live video when we started working on it yesterday morning where we show a bit of what we have done.

The most interesting thing was our process in this last leg of the journey. We sat next to each other at the office, I would send him sections of text that were finalized and he would lay them out with the suggested photograph. But, because Jeremy knows our photography portfolio and tenkara so well, he would remember images that could be even better in a certain section. I’d find the image and send it to him and we would see how it worked. Other times we explored the text and found better, usually simpler, ways of saying things. This is a big contrast with traditional publishing, where the publisher requests that the text and images be completely done and sent over, then there are some several rounds of back and forth between author, designer, editor. In our case, the instant collaboration on every single page of the book has undoubtedly created a better produce. We can not begin to imagine doing this phase in any other way.

I expect about 5 more days to send the file to the printer, then about 3 weeks for it to be ready to ship. So, we are looking at approximately March 15th at the moment.

I feel embarrassed that I originally promised the book would be in your hands in January and I didn’t get it ready on time. I am not sure I underestimated the scope of this project or whether I just kept finding ways to make it a better book. This has been the toughest thing I have ever done, but I am incredibly excited about how it is turning out. I do apologize for the delay, if any would prefer a refund for me not meeting the timeline, I’d completely understand.

Now the finish line is very clear and we are just about to cross it. tenkara – the book will be something you’ll be very happy with. Next time you hear from me will be to get your address.

My best regards,

Daniel Galhardo
soon-to-be author

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Tenkara Guide Spotlight: Daniel Pierce II

On January 25, 2017 • Comments (0)
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Dan Pierce

In this installment of the Tenkara Guide Spotlight, we’d like to introduce you to Daniel Pierce II of our Tenkara Guide Network. Daniel Pierce has been a great help to Tenkara USA and the north eastern tenkara community for some time now. Dan guides classic trout waters in his home state of Maine, wild places with beautiful native book trout, landlocked salmon, and smallmouth bass. Besides guiding, Dan is very active at teaching tenkara at area events and can usually be found in the Tenkara USA booth when we are in New England.

Besides tenkara activities, Dan works as a middle school counselor, enjoys spending time with his family, and bow hunting for deer and turkey, all of which influence his fishing and guiding. Dan genuinely enjoys sharing the outdoors with others, as his responses below will support.

What types of environment do you guide tenkara anglers and how long have you been guiding?  About how many guide trips and tenkara guide trips do you do in a season?

I guide in the great state of Maine.  The number of days I guide changes year to year and depends on the weather but it is usually 20-25 days a year of guiding with clients and then a few tenkara classes through out the year.  I work full time as a school counselor at a middle school and started guiding when people asked at fly fishing shows where they could find a guide in Maine.  I saw an opportunity and jumped on it!  People come from New England to fish in Maine with me because of the native brook trout we have here and because there are so few tenkara guides in New England.

Daniel Pierce tenkara guide Maine

Do you guide only tenkara or also western fly-fishing (or spin fishing)? 

I exclusively guide fixed line fly-fishing which has given me my niche in Maine.  Maine has a number of outstanding fishing guides but only one tenkara guide!

What would you say are the advantages and disadvantages of guiding with tenkara?

Tenkara is great for people who are new to the sport of fly-fishing because there is a quick learning curve if you have someone knowledgable with you.  I have found tenkara to be a great “add on” activity to recreational guiding here in Maine.  Disadvantages would be sometimes people don’t fully understand the limitations of tenkara fishing.

What are your favorite Tenkara USA rods for guiding on your favorites and are your personal favorites different that what you guide with?

Ever since I got the Rhodo and Sato, I have never looked back.  There are times I still fish my Amago but 95% of the time both guiding and fishing on my own, it is one of those rods.  The rods are well made and reliable which is why they are my go to rods.  Between the two rods I can effectively fish a rod between 8 and 13 feet.

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What types of rigs do you fish as far as terminal tackle, i.e. single dry fly, indicator rigs, dry dropper, etc. ?

Especially when I am guiding, I do not get very technical with rigging.  Many of my clients are looking for simplicity and effectiveness.  For this reason, we rig with level line, tippet, and a single fly.

Has there been anything about fishing and guiding with tenkara that has been a surprise to you compared to your initial impressions of the fishing method?

My biggest surprise was the effectiveness of this method of fishing and the range and variety of fish I have been able to target with tenkara.

11781688_966302743391924_2565133519501835744_nAs a guide, what are your thoughts on using few (or one) fly pattern?

So we come to the question of fly choice.  I generally guide people who are interested in being outside, learning something new, and hopefully catching fish.  For this reason, I fish very few fly patterns.  From 2011-2014 I fished one fly; a black hook, black thread, grey turkey feather sakasa kebari.  Early in 2015 I started to mess around with killer bugs AKA ( UKB, Sawyer’s, Crane fly larva).  I now fish a sakasa kebari 3 different colors and a killer bug in 3 different colors, although 9 out of 10 flies I tie on is a black sakasa kebari.  My general philosophy is the more time my fly is in the water, the better chance I have of a fish seeing it.

Do you have a favorite fly? What is it?

Most people would think spring in Maine means early season fishing, when really it means turkey hunting.  The two spring male wild turkeys I shoot each year  will give me enough feathers to refill my fly box for the season and beyond.  I started using turkey feathers in 2011 and have exclusively used them for my sakasa kebari since then.  The feathers are a blackish grayish color that have an unbelievable amount of action and turn almost translucent when underwater.  So my favorite fly is a simple one; TMC103bl size 13, black thread, turkey feather sakasa kebari.

Do you have a fly fishing or tenkara based online blog?  What is the URL?

No blog yet but keep your eyes open!

Do you have an social media presence for your services?  What are your Facebook or other social media accounts names?

You can find me on Facebook.com/Mainetenkaraguide and on Instagram @Mainetenkaraguide.

 

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Tenkara Guide Spotlight: Jim Mitchell

On January 18, 2017 • Comments (0)
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Jim Mitchell Tenkara on the West Fork Bitterroot

This is the first installment of a new series of blog posts we’d like to bring to you. The Tenkara Guide Spotlight will bring some of the experience and knowledge of the professional guides in our Tenkara Guide Network to the spotlight so we can all learn from tthem. You’ll see a diversity of tackle preferences and techniques used and hope this will help you in finding your own tenkara.

We start the series with Jim Mitchell, a full time fishing and hunting guide form the Bitterroot Valley in western Montana. Jim is a consummate professional and a super nice guy. I’ve had the pleasure of fishing with Jim a few times, and always find it an enjoyable and informative experience. His to the point answers give a nice glimpse into the thinking of a professional guide.

 

Where do you guide tenkara anglers and how long have you been guiding?

I started guiding in 2001 and became an outfitter in 2009. I guide float and wade trips on Rivers and Small streams in Montana.

Do you guide only tenkara or also western fly-fishing?

I guide Western and tenkara fly-fishing.

About how many guide trips and tenkara guide trips do you do in a season?

I guide about 150 client days per season 10 to 20 of those are tenkara

A cutthroat caught on one of Jim's secret streams.

A cutthroat caught on one of Jim’s secret streams.

What would you say are the advantages and disadvantages of guiding with tenkara?

A few advantages to tenkara are the simplicity and a drag free drift. One disadvantage is casting distance on big rivers and that is irrelevant when tenkara float fishing from a raft.

What are your favorite Tenkara USA rods for guiding on your favorites and are your personal favorites different that what you guide with?

My personal and guide rods are the same the Amago and the Sato.

John Geer of Tenkara USA with a rainbow caught on a trip with Jim.

John Geer of Tenkara USA with a rainbow caught on a trip with Jim.

What types of rigs do you fish (i.e. single dry fly, indicator rigs, dry dropper, etc.) ?

I fish single dries, dry dropper, double fly indicator rigs and nymphs without indicators. The one thing I have not tried is streamers

Has there been anything about fishing and guiding with tenkara that has been a surprise to you compared to your initial impressions of the fishing method?

The freedom. It’s nice to leave the big bag of flies and equipment and just take a small pack with a few essentials.

As a guide, what are your thoughts on using few (or one) fly pattern?

It’s fun to do at times, but I am not a one fly guy.

Do you have a favorite fly? What is it?

A prince nymph for the nymph. A Purple Haze for the dry.

Do you have a fly-fishing or tenkara based online blog?  What is the URL?

It’s a hunting and fishing blog, but I don’t update it often.
https://montanahuntingfishingadv.com/blog/

Do you have an social media presence for your services?  What are your Facebook or other social media accounts names?

Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/montanahuntingfishingadventures/
Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/mthuntfishadv
Twitter, mthuntfishadv
Instagram, montana_hunting_fishing_adv

Tenkara guide Jim Mitchell with Daniel Galhardo in Montana

Tenkara guide Jim Mitchell with Daniel Galhardo in Montana

 

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Conversations: Japan with Adam Trahan and Adam Klags

On November 2, 2016 • Comments (0)
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adam-photos

This blog entry is a transcription from the Tenkara Cast podcast episode “Conversations: Japan with Adam Trahan and Adam Klags.” We have had many requests to have the podcasts in this format and are happy to present the first one here. The podcast episode may be found here

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Choosing a tenkara rod, tenkara line, and tenkara flies

On October 17, 2016 • Comments (1)
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By Daniel Galhardo

complete-set

This blog entry is a transcription from the Tenkara Cast podcast episode “Choosing a tenkara rod, tenkara line, and tenkara flies.” We have had many requests to have the podcasts transcribed and are happy to present the first one here. The podcast episode may be found here

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New podcast episode: My Outdoor Obsessions – tenkara and climbing

On September 6, 2016 • Comments (0)
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You can subscribe to our podcast via iTunes or Soundcloud
Our podcast archive is also available here



In this latest episode Daniel, who has been described as a “rock-climber disguised as a fly angler”, but sometimes as a fly angler disguised as a rock-climber, discusses how he found his two big passions in life, rock-climbing and tenkara fly-fishing, as well as how they fit together and have inspired him to start Tenkara USA. Without knowing where the episode was going to go, Daniel concludes that one shouldn’t dismiss an activity after a quick glance as you may get hooked when you actually try it. And, that some activities are great complements to each other and bring us balance.

Referenced in this episode:
Daniel brings up the newly published book by one of his climbing heroes, Hans Florine: http://onthenosebook.com/
Giveaway campaign: http://onthenosebook.com/contest/ (the Tenkara USA giveaway will be on the week of September 19th).
The Fly Fish Journal with Daniel’s current story on combining climbing and tenkara fly-fishing: http://www.theflyfishjournal.com/issue/8.1/8.1

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Tenkara Never Sleeps

On September 2, 2016 • Comments (2)
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by TJ Ferreira

TJ - BrownieYellowCreek

Sometimes it takes a nice relaxing camping trip to give my mind respite. A time to look, listen, and learn. Although camping can be a bit of work, the down times are a wonderful way to recharge one’s mind and body.

My wife and I camped this past weekend at a very small and remote PG&E Campground in Northern California. This was one of those “tenkara +” moments for me. The goal of this trip was rest, eat, sleep, talk, wander, listen, look, learn, and sure… some tenkara too.

It is probably true that tenkara never sleeps for me. I mean, I work for Tenkara USA so my job is to talk about tenkara all day long. Not a half bad job. Then comes the weekend and what do I tend to gravitate to? Fishing. LOL! Tenkara fishing that is.

Do you all carry tenkara gear in your modes of transport? I do. I aways have a pack with a tenkara rod or two, lines, flies… the basics. I am always on the ready if I see a pool that entices me or extend my second rod to a stranger inquiring about what I am up to.

This camping trip was no different. I chose this campground as it was near a creek, and I had read it was once a great fishery but has since died off. A mix of California drought and a growing population of otters have made fishing at this creek very difficult. But I knew fishing would be possible so I went prepared.

Upon our Saturday arrival we set up camp. Once done, the wife and I were lazy bones. Never did my mind stop thinking of tenkara. Waiting for that dusk awakening time for my best chances of catching a few trout “in the style of tenkara”, as a buddy of mine Mike Willis calls it. Most the day was spent listening to sounds from the forest, looking at wildlife that meandered by, bugs and flying insects that have no clock and they seem to work 24/7.

I only fished about one hour on Saturday but did catch a nice small wild brown. I was happy as the creek that skunked me a few weeks prior (when I went there on a recon outing).  A nice pat on the head and off the brownie went to serve someone else “hello” in the near future.

TJ - CampingTentYellowCreek

Sunday was another day of laziness, listening and eye-balling mother nature at its best. Dragonflies on parade, yellow jackets and meat bees hovering around you every time you decide to snack (this is diet control for sure), but all day I was waiting for was dusk. Dusk tonight meant I would hit this creek much harder than the day before.

Mounted up with wet wading gear I hit the creek for two hours this fine Sunday. The creek only yielded me one more brownie, but a little bigger today. This creek was most generous as it tries to rebuild on the past, slowly but surely, even when the odds are stacked against it.

Sneaking like a tenkara angler has to learn to do, I heard some crunching in the weeds near the creek. I stood motionless as an otter swam within one foot from my feet as it worked its way down river. How cool was that!

I could tell the locals in charge of this area are trying to re-grow the fishing here. A few 4×4 posts with survey boxes were at the creek and each night I was proud to fill out a form to tell them thanks. Every day I caught myself a little extra energy boost, that I know will make my tenkara grow even more after this fine trip.

TJ - YellowCreekPinesSo what did I learn on this trip?… patience for sure. This creek was very poor in quantity but the quality and wildlife were rather spectacular. I went camping to chill with my wife, and that I did. Tenkara + patience was at hand on this trip and for that I am thankful.

Even if one does not catch double digits of fish, remember there is much more to tenkara than just fishing. Look, listen, and learn. Each trip you can bring something wonderful home if you head out with an open heart and open eyes.

 

Much like a forest that never sleeps, neither does my tenkara. It has become part of my being. I am living tenkara +.

** Remember to listen for new sounds when out in nature. I told my wife that these sounds were made by a Velociraptor: https://youtu.be/LXyfFX3EGAw. Hehe.

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