Saturday, October 5, 2013

Game Cameras

Dale Matson

We have a cabin in the foothills and have been fortunate to see lots of game from inside the cabin. One day grandma, Jamo and Max were seated at the dinner table. Max looked out the window and said, “What’s that?” What’s that indeed! It was a Bobcat walking by just past the window on the west side of the cabin. Maybe we should keep a camera inside the cabin too.

It was then I decided to get a couple of game cameras (also called camera traps) and put them out to see what went on when we were not there. Some of the best film of Siberian Tigers was shot with game cameras.  Game cameras use motion sensors to trigger the camera and can take infrared pictures at night also. They stand guard 24/7. The cameras can be set for video and photographs. They even give the time and date the photograph was taken. My “Truth Cam” also gives the temperature and the phase of the moon. I have lots of photographs of a canvas cover for a table on our porch. When it blows in the wind, it triggers the camera. The sensitivity of the motion sensor can also be increased or decreased. The snow falling off the roof also triggers the camera. I take my laptop computer up with me to view and save the images on the memory cards.

A Game Camera

The Truth Cam uses “D” cell batteries which need replacing about every six months. I also have a smaller Bushnell game camera that uses double “A” batteries. It seems to last longer between changes. Deer seem to be active day and night. We have had a doe and two fawns hanging around for quite some time. She had a single new fawn this year.

What surprised me the most was the amount of nocturnal activity that goes on out of sight. We got a picture of a Ringtail Cat (a relative of the Raccoon family). I didn’t even know they existed. We also have a photograph of a Screech Owl and a Grey Fox.

Ringtail Cat

Screech Owl

Grey Fox

Of course, there are coyotes, bears and mountain lions in the area also. I have seen lion tracks in the snow above our cabin. We are about 4,000’ in elevation and I think a hard winter with heavy snow would drive the game and the animals that prey on them down to our elevation. We haven’t had that kind of a winter since I installed the cameras.I would love to get a photograph of a mountain lion and of course a photograph of a Sasquatch would be worth a ton of money.

We also get photographs people who happen to walk onto our property. Some even come there after dark. So, the cameras are also security cameras that let us know who is around when we are not.    

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