The sun is high in the middle of the day as I open up my trunk and grab my pack. In my pack are a few batteries, 6 SD cards and a snack in the case I am on the property longer than expected. The walk to my first game camera yields excitement like a kid on Christmas morning. I think about all the big bucks and other cool things I could see on camera.
These last 2 weeks, I ended up setting traps on a property where I have recently seen a high amount of coyote traffic. My fear is that they have found a large amount of food on this property (deer) and the coyotes will decimate the herd since they don’t have any true predators and this property is a bow or trapping only sort of property.
I have a vast amount of different game cameras that I have used and my experience has taught me that in order to have your batteries last for a long time, use only the picture option on your camera. This is where the lesson comes out from this last month’s game camera pickup.
About 2 weeks ago, I ended up putting 2 traps out on this property and I also switched one of my cameras to video mode. Here is why…
1. This camera that I have from exodus game cameras has an option of video mode with sound. It would be cool to hear coyotes if they were to get trapped and or as they come through and communicate on the property because I have seen them in groups every week on camera.
2. It would be nice to see where the coyotes come from as well as if deer show up on camera. Their patterns would be neat to see.
What I learned is where deer are funneling in from and that there was a licking branch right where my camera is! I have had this same camera in the same spot just slightly turned Northeast along with another camera 10 yards away from it facing Northwest. My goal was to see where the deer and coyotes were going and if I was missing something from the cameras.
Below are the screenshots from video footage that I caught. You can see a buck still has antlers on him and the deer that are sniffing around are actually sniffing my footprints from where I laid my traps. The third picture is my other camera that caught a deer going the other way and this deer avoided the camera with video footage. The deer even looks like it’s avoiding the camera as if he robbed someone and knows where the security cameras are. (This is a buck that lost his antlers already)
Here are a few things that experience taught me this time around.
1. Although the coyotes weren’t on camera, deer on video show a lot more information that a picture. It was valid to see the licking branch being used there because there are no signs of scrapes. However, I know this area as being a transition spot for deer to move through which is why the camera was posted there in the first place.
2. If you can swing it, putting 2 cameras that face different directions so you can have an insurance policy is a bomb proof plan. As you can see, certain deer act differently than others and getting to see a deer dodge 1 camera and get caught on another is significant.
A few other things to note on this experiment was that my camera battery life was 46% when I started it and 2 weeks later it was still 46%. Kudos to exodus on their camera not sucking the juice out of the batteries like most other cameras. I’ve found their camera and a Wildgame innovations nano camera to have the best battery life thus far with the video options. All the rest really are rough.
Overall, I’m excited from the experience in the field and I hope to have more to share in the coming weeks.
Scout, Hunt, Repeat