Monday, September 20, 2010

Back from the Mon

Four cameras went up, four returned. But only about 50 photos were retrieved. Yeah, I don't know what happened. Like last time, we placed scent attractant on the trees near the camera and were sure (because of the pungency of the smells) that any animal in a 10 mile radius could smell the stuff. Maybe that is the point, they smelled the cougar pee and left. I don't know.

what was most disappointing was our BEST camera didn't work. Something went seriously wrong, and I'm not sure what that is yet. So a total of ZERO photos from that camera. It makes life frustrating. Camera 2 and 3 took about 20 each, and most of them were of nothing. Which is also a head scratcher. Yes, I did get some photos of deer, but not as much as last year. Any ideas?

Finally the interesting part. Camera number 4 (35mm film) wasn't there when we went to get it. I was completely confused, asking myself, was this where it was? I mean, I KNEW it was here, but it wasn't on the tree. Five minutes of confusion, and I found it on the ground. Hmmmmm, interesting.

Here is the culprit.

Bears have twice taken a swipe at this camera. Bears do have a terrible curiosity, and that makes them bad for camera trappers. Dr. Kelly's studies at Virginia Tech has had similar problems, with photos of bears actually playing with the cameras (hugging, rolling, sleeping with). Sadly after the incident, the rest of the photos were of the sky. Fun.

I don't know what I'm going to do next year, but right now with two times of horrible disappointment of very few photos and few animals, I may not place the cameras next year. Is it time to move on? I don't know. I really want to take a photo of a cougar, I just think I need more time and more cameras. Maybe next year I will place cameras closer to home, where there has been a recent sighting. Fingers crossed!


Joe said...

I know that bears can be a real pain in the rear end messing with the cameras. After have one torn off the tree I finally just brought the metal boxes to put all of mine in. I use a ratchet strap to secure them to the trees. They can turn them but I haven’t had any torn off. I know a guy that puts pepper on his to discourage the bears but I’ve never tried it. I would think the wind and rain would remove it from the cameras pretty quickly.

I’m guessing that the predator scent attractant is keeping many animals from passing the cameras but then you’re not really looking to get pics of deer.

The explanation to the pics with nothing in them could be many things.
1.There may be something small and hard to see that triggered the camera. I’ve had Chipmunks trigger mine and it took some hard studying of the pic to see the little rascal.
2.Whatever triggered the camera moved pass before the camera woke up and took the pic. I have the best success angling my cameras down a trail. When I put them at a right angle to the trail I get a lot of empty pics.
3.A false trigger.

Don’t get discouraged my friend. It only takes one second to get the pic you’re looking for. Placing the cameras closer to home would make it easier to check on them. Check with some of the landowners in the area where there have been possible sightings. You might be surprised how many people would let you put out your cameras. But like I said don’t get discouraged. I have weeks where I don’t get much and I’m trying to get pics of animals far easier to catch than what you’re looking for. Hang in there and good luck!!

renewd42 said...

We live near canaan valley wv. and just last weekend, a close friend of mine witnessed first hand a real live cougar crossing the highway in front of her car, and crossing the four lanes to the other side. She said, light/in color and approx 4 ft. long tail...when being made fun of that she'd seen a bob cat, she said, i KNOW...what a bobcat is, and this was NOT! thot i'd let you know! :) and, one other sighting was the week before about a mile from this spot!!

- clark - said...

renewd42, its great to hear someone who has seen one recently. I know they are there, just documenting that is difficult. Great story.

I'll try to place the camera looking down the path, not perpendicular, maybe if I do get a bear, I will get a photo of him before he tears the camera off.

Gorges Smythe said...

My wife saw a cougar where Rt. 31 turns off Rt. 50 toward Cairo, WV, about six years ago.

Our former pastor, who lives about 5 miles from Parkersburg, WV had an old horse killed a few years ago by something that left large cat tracks in the mud and tawny hair on the barbed wire fence. The DNR said it was a bear. Yeah, right!