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Thread: Trail camera questions - I'm new at this

  1. #1

    Trail camera questions - I'm new at this

    I posted the following on a trail camera forum to see if they have any ideas, I'm still learning so it is certainly something I'm doing wrong or simply that I've picked a bad spot but even so I thought to post here as well to see if anyone has any ideas or suggestions:

    As you may know if you've read my previous posts I'm brand new at this trail cam thing and I put my Bushnell 437C out for its first real scouting trip on 3rd July and retrieved the card from it today, the 23rd July. I placed it looking at a well used deer trail and today saw some evidence of use a little further along as there were fresh slots in a muddy area where the deer have to jump over a little stream. The deer are sika and are mostly nocturnal so I would expect most activity at night.

    Unfortunately on looking at the card there are no photos of deer. Over the 20 days the camera had triggered 11 times, it is set to take a 3 shot burst. The majority were caused by my positioning the camera and doing a walk past when I left it and also when I picked it up.

    Now, bear with me as this is a bit long winded but here is the photo of my walk past the day I left the camera. This looks like pretty acceptable performance to me with a fast trigger time:



    During the time the camera was in position it triggered a few times but there is nothing at all in the photos except on one occasion. The photo below was taken this morning a few hours before I picked the camera up and I'm pretty sure that is a bird's wing in the lower left of the image:



    Just to prove the point here is the next image from the 3 shot burst, with the wing gone:



    Now, up to this point I'm willing to accept that the camera seems to be working and it may just happen to be that nothing has walked past it in nearly 3 weeks. It didn't take a single photo, empty or otherwise, after dark which I think really quite remarkable. However when I went to pick the camera up today I did a walk past in both directions along the deer track as seen in the first photo above. The camera triggered once and took one 3 shot burst but I am not in any of the frames. Here is the first picture it shot:



    I'm certain it was me who triggered it with my walk pasts due to the time but why am I not in the images and why did it only trigger once when I did a walk past in both directions with sufficient time inbetween for it to rearm?

    Does anyone know if these cameras "go to sleep" and have longer trigger times if they are not activated in some time? The problem with that theory is the bird's wing in the photos taken only a few hours before I walked past as I think it indicates a pretty fast trigger time on a small object.

    All help gratefully received.

    I've moved the camera to another deer trail, set it up at about a 45 degree angle to the trail and might get the chance to check it again later in the week. I'm not totally confident of deer activity at this time of year in the new location so my expectations aren't as high as for the first location but I am somewhat concerned that I can walk back and forth in front of it and not trigger it, or trigger it too late to catch me in frame.
    For self catering accommodation on the Isle of Lewis please visit:
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  2. #2
    All camera have a trigger time from when they detect you to when they come out of sleep and take the photo.

    You might have it positioned to close to the path so you are walking past it before it triggers.

  3. #3
    Hi, I've used a trail camera to track down foxes etc. I made the mistake of pointing the camera (the senors on my camera are at an angle) so that it triggeredas the animal passed but actually captured nothing. After re setting I soon got the results I needed. I had pictures of mice, rabbits, badgers, roe deer, red squirrels and finally the foxes!
    I'd just keep moving the camera until you get the pictures you require.

  4. #4
    The folks on the chasing game forum have suggested that my PIR sensor is pointing at the sky and shooting over the heads of the deer and that I'm only triggering it on my walk-past when it catches my head, maybe it didn't trigger today because I was walking a bit lower down in the ditch rather than up on the heather and moss hags.

    It seems so obvious now but I did notice that the tree I attached it to was leaning back slightly but I took some test photos and did some walk-past tests and it all looked good but now that I actually look at the photos you can see they are centred somewhere in mid-air. So, it seems possible that, as the posters above suggested, I'm basically aiming the sensor in the wrong place.

    What I think I will do is try to get some rubber door wedges to keep with my camera kit, it should be possible to wedge them between the camera and the tree to adjust the angle of dangle a little bit and I will aim to get more ground in my pictures rather than lots of sky/trees.

    Anyone any thoughts on this so far?
    For self catering accommodation on the Isle of Lewis please visit:
    http://www.7south.co.uk/




  5. #5
    I have a Bushnell Trail Cam and found that with the trigger time you need to either poisition it well back from where you expect the target to be or point it along the trail where the target will be walking. When it is positioned too close to the target it is normally passed before the camera takes its picture. Have you tried putting it on the video as you might get a better idea why you are missing with your photos. I have had some great video of foxes, badgers, etc so keep trying.
    Good luck.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by kieran222 View Post
    I have a Bushnell Trail Cam and found that with the trigger time you need to either poisition it well back from where you expect the target to be or point it along the trail where the target will be walking. When it is positioned too close to the target it is normally passed before the camera takes its picture.
    Same thoughts really. Got a nice picture of a young roebuck a little while back, right in the middle of the frame. On closer examination you can just see the lower leg of another (departing) deer bottom left of picture. Obviously the first animal triggered the camera which snapped his mate. Again the camera was pretty close to the trail.

  7. #7
    SD Regular willie_gunn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bandit Country View Post
    Same thoughts really. Got a nice picture of a young roebuck a little while back, right in the middle of the frame. On closer examination you can just see the lower leg of another (departing) deer bottom left of picture. Obviously the first animal triggered the camera which snapped his mate. Again the camera was pretty close to the trail.
    A lesson I learned as well. I have a cracking video of a roe's arse dsappearing for view - it's the only roe I've ever managed to capture on film on that particular piece of ground, and all I can see is its back end Note to self; move the camera further away from the trail.

    To angle the camera downwards I use a stick or pine cone picked up nearby or, if I'm feeling really professional, a suitably angled piece of scrap wood from the shed.

    willie_gunn
    O wad some Power the giftie gie us to see oursels as ithers see us!

  8. #8
    +1 on what willie_gunn stated, I always angle the camera down with a suitable stick stuck behind it.

    Results have been very good

    More Stealth Camera Pictures

    Chris
    Life should be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving skidding in sideways, Merlot in one hand, Cigar in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming WOO HOO what a ride!

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by kieran222 View Post
    I have a Bushnell Trail Cam and found that with the trigger time you need to either poisition it well back from where you expect the target to be or point it along the trail where the target will be walking.
    I went with the 2012 Bushnell which claims a 0.6 second trigger time, the 2nd fastest on the market I'm told. This was the main reason why I went with the 2012 model. I've done some walk past testing and even walking at a goodly rate it usually captures me pretty close to the edge of frame. The photo below is an example of one of my walk past tests and from the motion blur you can see that I was walking pretty quickly and that the camera triggered with me only a few yards into the frame:



    As Willie_Gunn has suggested I'm off into the woods tomorrow with some wedges :-) No, seriously.

    Those are nice shots of a lot of animals Chris, I'm still waiting to get my first success! Don't worry though, when it comes you will all be sick looking at it.
    For self catering accommodation on the Isle of Lewis please visit:
    http://www.7south.co.uk/




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