Archive for the ‘Scouting’ Category

Trail camera preparation in comfort & style

- September 10th, 2014

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Oh, the beloved trail camera, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways!

Perhaps the most exciting part about fall and hunting season is getting to play with my favourite toy; the wildlife surveillance camera, otherwise known by hunters simply as the ‘trail cam’.

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Here I’m adjusting the settings on my trusty Bushnell Trophy Cam – Bone Collector. This particular trail cam has been in that same tree for more than a year now, and I’ve only changed the batteries once. Once!!

Not bad for an estimated 15, 000 photos.

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Certain trail cams like this one, which gets lots of action, I set to low  res. image (3 MB) to allow for the 300 -350 photos it captures each week. Other cams I may opt for ‘HD Video’ instead, keeping in mind the amount of space an HD vid occupies on the SD card.

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These little Trophy Cams are not only reliable, they’re about as user friendly as it gets. Scrolling through the menu and changing settings with this model can be done with ease, and Bushnell remains consistent with their new models as well; keeping menu options and layout pretty much the same across the board.

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Trail cameras with Invisible/Black LED’s like these two models are great for those ‘camera shy’ critters who don’t enjoy being photographed at night.

Since the LED Glow is obscured, they also make a better ‘surreptitious surveillance’ system for around the house, or to monitor your hunt camp for break-ins.

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Checking-on already established trail cams or setting-up new ones is about as close to actual hunting as it gets.

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(Warning – blatant product plug coming…)

 

Wow, what fantastic looking footwear! Do I look good, or what?

These new Merrell’s I courtesy of Shoeme.ca, made this week’s trail camera set-up an even more enjoyable experience. I felt like I was floating on air!

Thanks to the good folks over at Shoeme.ca for the opportunity of trying-out a fantastic pair of new shoes. I’ll be wearing these puppies to hunt camp next weekend when I set-up another series of trail cameras.

For more information on the latest in trail cam footwear: http://www.shoeme.ca/collections/merrell

 

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Happy trail-camming one and all – may your SD cards runneth over with big game images!

Outdoorsguy

 

Preseason scouting time is upon us

- September 3rd, 2014

For hunters out there not currently chasing black bears or gearing up for moose, just a reminder that it’s nearing that time of year when pre-season deer scouting is in order.

Man, I don’t care who you are, just setting one foot into your hunting territory at this time of year is exciting!

I’ll be heading up to my deer woods over next couple of weeks to do some scouting and put up some trail cams. Cant wait!!

Has anyone else done any pre-season deer scouting?

Outdoorsguy

 

 

 

 

Testing Bushnell Trophy Cam XLT

- December 7th, 2010

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With the advent of modern technology came a flood of leading edge digital trail cameras. For today’s astute big-game hunter who takes ‘scouting’ to a whole other level, the trail camera market is chalk full of quality new products.   

Gone are the days of the primitive wildlife surveillance cameras with molasses slow trigger speeds, grainy images and no night vision capability to speak of.   

Enter the new Bushnell Trophy Cam XLT – a prime example of what modern day trail cams are meant to be. The Trophy Cam XLT is more versatile and powerful than any trail cam I have ever used.   

But it didn’t just happen all at once…. 

Bushnell took great lengths, over the years, at perfecting their trail camera systems from the days of the Trail Sentry, Trail Scout, Trail Scout Pro, Generation 1 Trophy Cam and now the new Trophy Cam XLT.  It is what I would describe as the natural evolution of wildlife surveillance technology. 

If you’re looking for a trail camera that fits in your hand, and offers such features as lightning fast trigger speed, fully automatic ‘flash free’ Night vision infrared technology, unbelievable battery life with a full colour built-in image display, then look no further.   

On September 4th of Labour Day Weekend, when I first up set-up the new Trophy Cam XLT in my deer woods, I had concerns about battery life; since I knew it would be a month or more before I could return to check on it.    

As it turned out, a full two months had passed before I made it back to the deer woods to check on my trail cam. To my great surprise – and 600 large format (8 Mg) images later – the batteries in Trophy XLT were still going strong and remained at nearly full power!  According to the Manufacturer’s specifications, battery life is up to 6 months depending on the conditions. 

Here are some of the wonderful day and night time deer images I have captured over the past couple of months:

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If you’re concerned about safety with your new Trophy Cam XLT, Bushnell has another new product on the market called the Bear Safe. – It’s an indestructible security box to house your trail cam. Combined with a Python lock, the Bear Safe provides both protection from theft and damage from a potential bear attack.  

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After having used the Trophy Cam XLT under a variety of conditions, I can tell you that it functions as well in warm weather as it does in sub-zero temperatures, and has yet to foul up. 

The new XLT has also been upgraded from 24 to 32 Nightvision LED’s which means brighter and clearer night time images. The Passive Infrared Sensor coverage area is also three times larger than any cam Bushnell has ever built.  

Another wise upgrade is the XLT’s ability to use up to a 16GB SD card for greatly increased image capacity. The new built-in 2″ colour viewer also makes quick viewing in the field a breeze. All that for around $200.00 makes an already great product even better!  

But hey, don’t just take my word for it; check out Bushnell.com for more information:

http://www.bushnell.com/products/trail-cameras/trophy-cam/

Readers trail camera bragging board

- October 6th, 2010

First off, I would like to thank everyone who participated in this first Trail Camera Bragging Board by sending me their favourite trail cam images.

Without all you guys in the field, this never would have been possible.

It is truly amazing to see how many people today are using modern wildlife surveillance equipment as a scouting tool for big-game. I, for one, am a huge proponent of trail cameras for a variety of outdoor situations. 

So without further ado…sit back and enjoy some of the incredible photographs provided by the many fanatical readers and contributors of the Outdoors Guy Blog!

In this first image, our friend “Trapper” sent in this photo I call ‘a covey of coons’ Trapper says it’s going to be a great trapping season at this location for obvious reasons:

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Here is a fine collection of images submitted by “Billy in the Valley”. They include a shot of Billy’s ‘deluxe tree stand in the sky’, a fine-looking black bear and a great whitetail buck (Which, I’m told, he harvested shortly after that photo was taken) and a raven(or crow) that Billy calls the ‘Black Angel’.

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Here is Chessy’s contribution proving that coyote’s do enjoy eating apples (among other things):

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Here are some truly unique shots of ‘bucks in velvet’ sent-in by Shawn Lyons. They were taken with incandescent flash (you can tell because its the only way night images will ever appear in colour)

I suggested to Shawn that he consider changing his camera angle, but apparently it’s because the deer are so close when the images were taken. Whatever the case, Shawn’s photos offer a neat perspective: 
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Here is Rick Poulin with the fine buck he took in September during his annual hunting trip to Manitoba. I know its not a trail camera image, but I have been meaning to post it.

Nice job Rick!

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McDan sent in these great deer feeding photos; including one spectacular ray of sunlight…perhaps that is the Deer Gods shining down on him…thanks Dan!
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In these images, you’ll see ‘yours truly’ trying to contact someone on the two-way radio and delivering some apples. In the third photo a doe can be seen wondering what happened to the Acorn Rage. I’ve also included a bonus photo of my old friend Grand Daddy…for no other reason than I simply like to stare at him! 

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Our ‘Whitetail Guru’ friend Rick Poulin just sent-in some excellent ‘Before and After’ photos of a whitetail buck and black bear. Below, Rick Poulin’s trail cam pics show a buck and boar which were later harvested by he and his hunting partner:

Rick’s ‘Before’ bear:

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Rick’s ‘After’ bear (the black animal on the left) :

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Rick’s ‘Before’ buck:

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Rick’s ‘After Buck’:

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Finally, here is one of Rick’s favourite trail camera photos; he regards as one of the best he’s ever taken (and you can see why):

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Billy of the Valley sent it a close-up shot of his Mega tree-stand which, unfortunately, rules out any chance of a Lady Gaga after party:

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Sorry to Terry Alguire for over-looking his collection of trail cam images from 2009 (Obviously Terry is surrounded by a plethora of wild game):

Great looking buck but what the heck happened to his ear? I once had a German Sheppard with a lazy ear like that. Was that an old injury, Terry?
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Outdoors Guy reader Serge Picard(aka 3D Man) just returned from a successful moose hunt in 15B and provided these incredible timber wolf photos. After tagging out on moose, Serge tried baiting some bears and these timber wolves showed up.

With all the photos we’ve seen of eastern coyotes (brush wolves) you can sure tell the difference when looking at images of bona fide timber wolves.

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Jeff Scharf – who has a hunt camp in Barry’s Bay – is an avid hunter and a follower of the Blog. He told me that while over in Afghanistan he’d log onto the OttawaSun.com whenever he had the chance, just to read the Outdoors Guy.  In Jeff’s words; “When you are stuck in the middle of the desert, it was sure nice to read about the hunting and fishing back home’. Thanks Jeff for the fabulous image of two very inquisitive bucks, and best of luck finding them this fall. Great looking owl too..what is that Rick, a Barred Owl??

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Here are Savage Joe’s trail cam images taken in the span of just one week.  SJ says he is a long-time reader and first time contributor, and from what I see here he needs to contribute more!.

Talk about variety!!!

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Here is trout expert Grant Bailey’s contribution of a fine 8-point and some gobblers – showing clearly that the man is much more than just brook trout:

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Now, if I have somehow forgotten your trail camera image, please let me know and I’ll post it right away. If anyone else has images they would like to share, let ‘er rip! 

Ahhh, isn’t Fall a wonderful time of year when captured on a trail cam….. 

Outdoorsguy

Enjoying Trail cameras to the fullest

- September 27th, 2010

 

I don’t know about you, but using a Trail Camera to monitor wildlife movement and activity has become one of my favourite past-times. 

In a way it’s a lot like hunting or trapping except with no firearms or traps involved. When you return to check your camera for images, it is like a treasure hunt as you never know what you might find! 
Here are some of my favourite trail camera photos taken over the years. I invite all of you to send in your favourite trail cam photos.

Keep in mind, I have no real way of modifying the images, so be prepared to have anything you send appear on this Blog just the way it is.

Here’s a little six pointer from 3 years ago, I later got to see in person and choose to pass on:

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Here’s a big boy from last year I never got to see in person and hope is still alive!

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Here’s a picture of my Dad and our hunting partner Ken…not realizing they’re on camera.

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Here’s my old friend Grand daddy from last December. I know he made it through the winter I just haven’t seen him recently.

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Another side view of Grand daddy’s rack..which I have estimated at over 24″ wide!

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Ok, now its your turn!

Click on ‘contact the Outdoors Guy’ or simply email your trail cam image to jeffm@magma.ca

Outdoorsguy