Sunday, December 28, 2008

The problems you can have with snow

Went out today to get some of my snow photos and most looked like this elk. Had 79 photos on this camera of elk and they all had the snowy limb in the middle of the picture. Glad it was only elk passing by and not a big cat.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Male otter on the prowl

Even though otter can mate anytime during the year, this male otter is on the prowl looking for a female whose kits are old enough for her to mate for a new litter in the spring. Female otters have what is called a delayed implantation, that's where the egg is fertilized but does not attach to the uterine wall until two months before the kits are born.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Visitor at the chewing tree

This one braved the early storm to chew a little on the roots. Only stayed for one picture and hurried back to the water. Not much action this time of the year, even I'm waiting for the snow to melt before heading into the woods. It's not fun in the woods when the snow is melting off the trees, it would be like having someone dropping basketball sized snowballs on your head.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Trail camera photos of me checking the cameras

Decided to hurry out and check a few game cameras before the snow storm. Wanted to have them ready for some good animal in the snow pictures. I struggled through the snow to find most of them hid with draping snow covered limbs.

Thought you might enjoy some of the fun, snow falling down the neck from tree limbs, hands freezing trying to open the frozen camera case, changing the batteries and cards, then shaking all the snow from the limbs or cutting a few that block the cameras view.

These pictures were taken while I was reaching in to shut off the camera. It's been snowing everyday since and I haven't seen this much snow in our area for years.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Beaver chewing to wear down the front teeth

The beaver really isn't trying to fall this tree, but it's a perfect tree for the beavers to chew on to wear down the front teeth that continually grow. If they can't wear them down the teeth will grow almost together and when that happens they aren't able to open their mouth wide enough to eat. You can tell by the small chips around the tree that it's hard wood and makes a perfect tree for wearing down the teeth.

Most their food supply around this pond is Cottonwood but is very soft and doesn't cause the wearing that's needed, so that's where the maple helps. I'm interested to find out how many different beaver chew on the maple.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The best game camera

I've read many articles and seen debates on different forums on the subject, "what makes the best game or trail camera". I'm sure this subject could be debated for years without a perfect answer.

I build my own game cameras and normally use the Sony P41 camera because of the dependablity, quality of picture and the ease of building. I do use different sensor boards which gives me the option of adjusting the speed of the first picture and how quick the second picture is taken. It seems everyone wants speed for the first photo when using on trails, I also agree, but in certain locations I want to give the animal more time to get in front of the camera of get more than one animal in the picture, as with otter.

In the previous post of the coyote I used a setup where the board is slower to give the coyote time to get in the middle of the picture and it worked great. The coyote was a plus because this setup was set for otter and needed more time to get the family in front of the camera. A faster camera would have triggered to soon. So if your game camera is a little slow, try to use it to its advantage. A little farther from the trail, angled down the trail or a location where speed is not needed.
The plan doesn't work all the time and this photo shows what can happen when an otter comes out of the water on a run and just leaves a water trail across the picture, then is probably sitting out of view laughing.

My opinion for the best game or trail camera is to get lots of them so you can take advantage of every situation and most any animal. Slow cameras work great for birds, aimed at stumps and logs where you know the animal will stand, feeders and bait stations. Just walk through the camera if it's set on a trail, then check the photo to see if your in the center of the picture, remember that at night most animals walk at a slower pace.

Good luck and have fun with your cameras, remember that not every picture is a winner.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Coyote prowling on the otter landing

Nice to see a coyote in the full hunting mode when the flash goes off. I could see by the tracks in the sand that it didn't stay too long after the flash.
This is the same location where the family of otter passed through and is a great spot for predators. The sand shows how the animals react to the camera flash and this coyote certainly left some dig marks. Normally one good jump and then walk away.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Buck without horns?

I've studied these two photographs for hours trying to rule out every possible answer that they are not the same deer, but nothing works. From the scent glands on the buck I would guess the antlers would show above the ears, but I have cropped that photo and can find nothing that looks like antlers.

The photo of the first deer, which has a face resembling a buck but no antlers, and the second photo taken 10 seconds later of a buck walking away without any sign of antlers. This setup is a Sony 600 using a Snapshotsniper board set on double picture mode. It takes the first picture and then a second picture will be taken automatically in 10 seconds. There is not enough time for it to be a different deer.

If the first picture was a doe and it walked straight across the trail, and a buck was following her, why would it not follow but turn and walk down the trail? If the first deer walked straight away from the camera and down the trail I would have gotten at least one more photo just about where the buck is walking. These were the last two photos taken with the camera and all photos were in sets of two pictures.

Any answers?

Monday, December 08, 2008

Family of Otters

Cursed by the rain with all the spots, but did get a family of otters playing along the bank. It looks like two adults taking three young ones for a grand tour of the homeland. They spend the first year teaching the kids where to feed at certain times of the year, fall for salmon in the river, lakes for summer and the ponds for a standby. Because otter travel long distances and eat continually I can tell by their scat what they eat and from that where they have been.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Getting closer for a nice Blacktail buck

I moved several more cameras into this area trying to get a large blacktail buck, it's a good brushy location with a few small open areas where the bucks like to feed and rest before winter. This is a nice buck but was farther from the camera than I like.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

No owl yet on the stump trail camera

No owl, but at least I had a photo of an animal for a change, that's progress for me. Pleased with the quality of the picture with the focus and flash, so the settings will work just fine. Spring might be a better time of the year for an owl on the stump, but have went through several years already and not sure when is the best time for a random stump landing.