Please Sign In

Please enter a valid username and password
  • Log in with Facebook
» Not a member? Take a moment to register
» Forgot Username or Password

Why Register?
Signing up could earn you gear (click here to learn how)! It also keeps offensive content off our site.

Trail Camera Warm Up

Recent Comments

Categories

Recent Posts

Archives

Syndicate

Google Reader or Homepage
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My AOL

Whitetail 365
in your Inbox

Enter your email address to get our new post everyday.

May 18, 2011

Trail Camera Warm Up

By Scott Bestul

It’s a month or so until I get serious about setting trail cams for deer. But doggone it, I just like playing with the things. So when my kids started feeding birds on our deck this week (one of those projects that starts due to something they read in 6th grade science class), I dust off a trail camera and eventually took these pictures.

There are a surprising number of parallels between shooting an oriole and snapping a whitetail’s photo. Of course you have to place the camera in a spot where the animal appears with some regularity; the kids had that covered with their bait pile of grape jelly, raisins, and diced oranges. Then you have to mount the camera correctly; an old tripod with a screw-mount adapter was a perfect substitute for a tree. Finally I had to choose the right camera for the job; I opted for my Bushnell, as I knew it had a sensitive trigger that could capture some interesting oriole behavior.

The real fun came in refining my setup. I’d sit inside, wait for the birds to feed and leave, then go out and pull the memory card and check the photos. My first setup I’d placed the tripod too far from the food and I decided that, unlike deer, orioles probably wouldn’t mind a camera in their face as they fed. The second set of photos was better, but the camera was slightly too high. Now I’m monkeying with the perfect placement for capturing morning and evening light, which should highlight the plumage of these gorgeous birds.

I know what some of you are thinking. If I was a true avian photographer, I wouldn’t rely on technology to get me close to my quarry. I’d be out there burning boot leather, scouting for the perfect spot for my blind, relying on my ability to read sign and bird behavior in order to capture the perfect picture, preferably with an old fashioned single-lens-reflex Nikon. But what can I say? I’m just a lazy modern hunter, looking for every shortcut I can find...and having a lot fun in the process.

Comments (5)

Top Rated
All Comments
from 2Poppa wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

A lazy modern hunter? I don't think todays modern technology necessarily translates into idleness or laziness, perhaps quite the opposite with this 'ol deer hunter.

Setting up cameras and every necessity that comes with another season is a joy to undertake, especially when it comes to the trail cam. Who doesn't find satisfaction lookin' at pictures?

I do agree with your assessment in where the "real fun" is ... refining your setup. There isn't too much one can do to enhance the quality of pictures with most trail cams, as most are set at the factory.

What I hope to do this season is to take various angle shots of the deer as they approach a salt lick or area of interest, giving the viewer a different perspective of the unassuming animal.

I hope to get on this as soon as I can, as a "stranger" took all of my cameras and hasn't returned yet.

I actually thought the first picture was the best, with the bird on the hand rail having brighter plummage,with one in flight with extended wings.

What is the smudged area in the second picture, just above the first circular disk? I thought it might be a bird just taking off with too slow of a shutter speed.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 007 wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

Scott, I agree totally with you on this one! Ever since I saw a beautiful hummingbird picture hanging framed in a buddy's house, I just had to get one of my own, but chasing those speedy little buggers around with a camera is about like trying to take a picture of a house fly in flight so I got the bright idea of hanging my trail camera beside the hummingbird feeder. I forgot to take it down when planned and several days later found 146 hummingbird pictures. Check out my profile for one of the better ones. Great post, thanks.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

I don't even condemn or look down on the techno-needers for laziness or taking shortcuts, I just want them to admit or at least be conscious of the fact that they have it easy compared to the hunters back in the day that did just as well with far less help and a lot more footwork.

We wonder why we have an obesity problem. Technology in all aspects of life has made things easier for us. Who needs to burn calories when a machine can do the work?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hank111 wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

Shane, the great thing is I only have one set of feet, but can run as many cameras as I want, and moniter everything on the farm 24/7, 12 months a year.It just adds more enjoyment to our favorite past time.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

nothing wrong with a little experimenting. it is the off season.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from jamesti wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

nothing wrong with a little experimenting. it is the off season.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from 2Poppa wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

A lazy modern hunter? I don't think todays modern technology necessarily translates into idleness or laziness, perhaps quite the opposite with this 'ol deer hunter.

Setting up cameras and every necessity that comes with another season is a joy to undertake, especially when it comes to the trail cam. Who doesn't find satisfaction lookin' at pictures?

I do agree with your assessment in where the "real fun" is ... refining your setup. There isn't too much one can do to enhance the quality of pictures with most trail cams, as most are set at the factory.

What I hope to do this season is to take various angle shots of the deer as they approach a salt lick or area of interest, giving the viewer a different perspective of the unassuming animal.

I hope to get on this as soon as I can, as a "stranger" took all of my cameras and hasn't returned yet.

I actually thought the first picture was the best, with the bird on the hand rail having brighter plummage,with one in flight with extended wings.

What is the smudged area in the second picture, just above the first circular disk? I thought it might be a bird just taking off with too slow of a shutter speed.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 007 wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

Scott, I agree totally with you on this one! Ever since I saw a beautiful hummingbird picture hanging framed in a buddy's house, I just had to get one of my own, but chasing those speedy little buggers around with a camera is about like trying to take a picture of a house fly in flight so I got the bright idea of hanging my trail camera beside the hummingbird feeder. I forgot to take it down when planned and several days later found 146 hummingbird pictures. Check out my profile for one of the better ones. Great post, thanks.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

I don't even condemn or look down on the techno-needers for laziness or taking shortcuts, I just want them to admit or at least be conscious of the fact that they have it easy compared to the hunters back in the day that did just as well with far less help and a lot more footwork.

We wonder why we have an obesity problem. Technology in all aspects of life has made things easier for us. Who needs to burn calories when a machine can do the work?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hank111 wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

Shane, the great thing is I only have one set of feet, but can run as many cameras as I want, and moniter everything on the farm 24/7, 12 months a year.It just adds more enjoyment to our favorite past time.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment