Monday, July 28, 2008

Game camera tip on shade and shadows

This time of the year seems to be the best for trail cameras because of the long daylight hours, but if you have timber or shade from trees it can be a big problem. I have been getting a lot of bear pictures and with the shade during the day a black bear is hard to see in detail and sometimes ruins a great picture. At times I watch the weather and move the cameras to different locations if it's going to be cloudy, especially if I know it will be a daytime photo. Nights are pretty much the same for light colored animals, but here again a black bear needs a contrast or something light around the dark colored bear to make it stand out in the photo.

This cub on the stump photo could have been better if the sun was shining on the stump or a cloudy day.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Trail camera setup for birds. Day and Night

I use a lot of different locations for birds that are setup for both day and night photos.The trick is to aim the camera at the end of the log where a bird would land and look over a swamp or creek bottom for food. Then make sure the background behind the log is farther than the camera flash will reach at night so the bird or animal is a silouette against a black background. The flash will light up the animal for a great picture at night and during the day the background will be fine.

Here is an example of using a log with a hawk during the day and an owl at night. I did trim a couple of ferns that were in the way prior to the owl picture but was pleased with the results. You can also notice in the day picture the old leaves under the end of the log but were too far for the flash to show them at night.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Doe and fawn in bear country

This is a very busy area for bear digging on this stump, so I was suprised to have several photos of this doe and fawn. They never stayed long and seemed nervous, as they should have been.

This picture was taken with a Sony P41 and still think it has one of the best photo qualities for a game or trail camera. Good flash, very fast and high quality photos. Hard to beat, so I have built 10 or so into trail cams and use them in every situation, including up close at 6 feet where they really shine.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Mama bear does check out the area

Well my guess was correct in that the sow does check out the area before bringing in the cubs and picked the right place to set a camera. Had pictures both day and night showing her standing up and looking over the area before allowing the cubs to follow. I'll move the cameras away from this location and allow the cubs to grow up without them getting used to human scent. Most animals I wouldn't bother about that problem but bears and cougars should have a certain fear of man and vice versa.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Spider man

My bear study in this location is almost to an end, but it's hard to pull the last camera because of the cubs. Just watching them play, dig and climb the cedar tree has been a great experience and learning lesson on just how far the sow will go to protect the cubs. She always comes in first to check out the area before bringing in the cubs and then continues to keep a watchful eye alert to any sign of danger while the cubs play.

I moved one camera up the trial about 50 feet to see her actions when aproaching the cedar tree, does she come straight in or does she stop and wait. Also how far behind are the cubs and are they together. I know the way she comes in and leaves by the direction of the wind and opposite of the trail I use to check the cameras. I always come in with the wind at my back to give them plenty of warning and time to leave. With all the brush I would rather not bust in on a sow and cubs.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Antler growth on Blacktails

Moved a few cameras closer to a creek because of the hot weather and found a few bucks. This area is like a jungle if you leave the creek bed, so I had to hang my cameras on anything that was in the open, this one is tied to a vinemaple limb that hangs over the creek. Have seen some bear sign also in the mud by the waters edge, but think it was just passing through.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Large Black bear up close

I keep crowding my cameras closer and closer to get the bear digging on the old log and liked this profile . I've gotten almost one thousand photos in this location so I set out a few more cameras a couple of miles away to try and get a good estimate on the total bears in the area. I have over 5 square miles to work with and know there are at least 15 or more different bears.

I try to get the bears until the middle of July then switch the cameras over to deer and elk while they are still in velvet but almost finished growing.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Tip on setting trail cameras for bear

I like getting close pictures of most animals, but sometimes for black bear a person should use a different approach. I have had my cameras bitten and slapped by bears and the cameras have held up to the impact so far but I have been lucky. So for bears be sure to set them where they will be safe at a distance or some type of cage around the case to discourage the bear.

This camera was bitten but continued to take pictures. The power button doesn't work anymore but the wires still work inside the camera and takes pictures great. In this situation I just trigger the camera when checking and then hurry to check the pictures and battery level before the board shuts off the camera. This photo is of the bear just before the damage.