Trail cameras; sometimes you love em’, sometimes you hate em’, but the pictures they take sure can be entertaining. We use photos from our trail cams this time of year for their entertainment value. Each time we change chips in our cameras it’s like going to the movies for us. We turn off the TV, Joyce puts them into her laptop and we enjoy the show. Last year we watched a pair of twin fawns and a set of triplet fawns grow from small, spotted, spindly-legged youngsters to young adults, and this year the triplets still making occasional appearances. We’ve gotten pictures of an armadillo in a hayfield west of town, and one of a coyote walking away with an apple in its mouth from a bucketful I dumped there. In short, its great fun for us to see what lurks beneath our feeders after dark.
The hateful part of our love-hate relationship with trail cameras is when we pop the chip into the laptop to find 650 pictures of shadows crawling across the ground or tree limbs swaying in the breeze. I used to think we were the only trail camera owners who experience that, but I’ve since learned it’s not that uncommon. Here are a couple things I’ve learned to do to alleviate some of those problems.
When we set out a camera, we always have a chain saw and pruners handy and we prune off every tree limb that could possibly blow into the cameras vision. We also try to choose a spot with no tall grass nearby that will wave around in the breeze and trigger the camera.
Instructions that come with new cameras always warn against pointing them directly east or west as they will actually give you hundreds of shots each day of the rising or setting sun. They are so sensitive that they will also follow shadows that creep across the ground from large tree rows, so whenever possible, tuck the camera into a corner facing out toward the open field and away from the trees. So keep experimenting with camera locations until you find just the right combination and then sit back and enjoy the show as you continue to Explore Kansas Outdoors.
Steve can be contacted by email at [email protected]
Speaking of enjoying the show, let’s face it; even the most humble among us occasionally like to show-off our hunting harvest, our catch of fish or something we observe while afield. Well, the Rural Messenger newspaper is giving all of us that chance with a new page soon to come in their weekly publication showing pictures of game and fish harvested or other awesome pieces of God’s creation observed in the wild by their readers. So whether fish, game, morel mushrooms or sand hill plums, and no matter where it was taken or seen, send good-quality, non-offensive (no blood and guts please) photos to [email protected] for inclusion in their new page.
photo credit – Steve Jurvetson