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Identifying a site


Dave Freas:
The place is an estate encompassing around 1500 acres.  It is heavily wooded land with widely scattered natural and man-made clearings.  The owner of the land has had it extensively wired for video and audio surveillance.  However, the employee overseeing the installation made sure some of the clearings were not bugged.

I need a way for my MC to identify the 'clean' clearings - information he gets from the man in charge of the installations.  I'm looking for something specific and distinctive but natural for the area (Western PA), so a pine tree that grows only in Arizona is out.

Any suggestions?

Thanks up front.


Bob Mueller:
The first thing that comes to my mind would be a particular rock formation, where he piles rocks in a certain shape.

I can think of a few ways to blaze a trail from my Boy Scout days, but most of those wouldn't last long. I'm thinking of scraping bark or bending branches a certain way. Scrapes would look very natural during the deer rut, but not so much in late spring, and an outdoorsy type might notice it. "Man, that's like the third tree I've seen today with a deer scrape."

Maybe instead of the rock formation, he puts the rocks in the crook of a tree limb? And he always marks a particular species of tree on the north edge of the clearing.

Then again, there's almost certainly going to be a map made of the equipment installed. Maybe your employee has another map made showing the dead zones. He'd have to make sure the owner's map doesn't show the dead zones though.

Dave Freas:
Thanks, Bob.

I was initially thinking along the lines of a specific tree - like a red maple - at each 'unbugged' clearing.  But since this is old growth forest, that might not work since the clearings were there before the bugging.

The employee has a map but he gets taken out before he can give it to my MC.  I suppose I could have another employee pass it to him, but I'd rather have him forced to rely solely on some visual clue.

I think your data is good information that I'm looking for.


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