Trail Camera for Wildlife Observation
Kevin Felts 03.06.17
Here on the farm, I use a trail camera to get an idea of the wildlife moving around the property. I usually keep one trail camera around the chicken yard, and another one in the woods overlooking a deer feeder.
For those of you not familiar with a trail camera (also called a wildlife camera), it is a battery powered, motion activated camera in a water-proof housing. They are attached to the side of a tree with string or cord. When something walks in front of the camera, the motion sensor tells the camera to take a picture.
What are trail cameras used for?
Trail cameras are excellent for getting an estimate of the local deer population. Set up a wildlife feeder or put out some corn. Place the trail camera over the bait and then come back in a week. Unlike a hunter that can sit in a stand for only a few hours, the trail camera works 24 hours a day.
How many does, bucks, and fawns are in the pictures? This should give an idea of how many deer are in the area.
From that information, the hunter can get an idea of the deer population.
One of the main reasons why I use a trail camera is to see if predators are moving around the farm. I have pictures of an opossum going into the chicken house. Sometimes the opossums will eat the chicken feed, other times the opossum will kill a chicken and eat part of it.
When I see pests around the chicken house, I know I need to set some traps. I have a few live traps for raccoons, rats, and opossums. Sometimes, I catch a hen that went into the trap to get the bait. She is released unharmed, but usually rather upset.
Trail Camera Choices
Trail cameras are available in a wide range of options and prices.
Trail cameras can be a fun hobby. You never know what will be on the pictures.