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Thread: Trail camera avoidance - more sneaky sika

  1. #1

    Trail camera avoidance - more sneaky sika

    Sika are very wary and I've had an idea that the big stags, especially, simply avoid the trail camera. Even hinds will usually carefully walk in front of it the first time and then simply not come back and so over time the number of photos can fall away. Anything out of place and the big stags don't ask questions, they just leave and don't come back. The camera is relatively small and is attached pretty low down on the tree with nothing to make it stand out at all and at this time of year it is rarely dark so the flash doesn't fire much to annoy them so I'd have thought all was good, but that is not the case.

    I've had a few "white out" photos were I was pretty certain it was a nose giving the camera a good sniff and close examination but this time the camera had been out for a long time and so might have had very little human scent plus he wasn't a very big stag and so wasn't as cautious as a bigger one.

    The first photo shows what I believe to be a nose having a good sniff at the camera, I've had similar photos where you can actually see the whiskers. About 10 seconds later the deer appears.



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  2. #2
    Great second picture, but the first looks like a thumb or finger. But may just be my old eyes.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by howy308 View Post
    Great second picture, but the first looks like a thumb or finger. But may just be my old eyes.
    Sika stags don't have thumbs or fingers and the first picture was taken 8 seconds before the second one. I've seen this a few times now, sometimes you can see the whiskers on their nose.
    For self catering accommodation on the Isle of Lewis please visit:
    http://www.7south.co.uk/




  4. #4
    Interesting post and "blow it" (very mild expletive lol) I have just put my two new cameras out and didnt give the scent problem a second thought, they are acorns in steel boxes, lashed to trees with steel cycle cable locks and covered in cloth camo tape, I expect it will be weeks before the scent wears off, drat.

    What could be used to de-scent the cameras, not meaning to deviate from the thread just need a quick bit of advice please.

    Regards WB

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by willowbank View Post
    What could be used to de-scent the cameras, not meaning to deviate from the thread just need a quick bit of advice please.
    I don't get too excited about the scent problem, but the Americans do and they have stuff to spray on the cameras which claim to get rid of human scent.

    Now I don't have the experience some of these US folks have but I'd have thought that replacing human scent with some chemical would be just as big a problem for the deer. It might be worth a search on scent blockers or maskers or similar.

    Also I have to say that sika are wary in a big way and I believe I only tend to get "nose in the camera" problems from bigger stags. I also think that the physical presence of the camera is enough to worry many sika and even in daylight when there is no flash they will sometimes watch it very carefully indeed and I think it does move them away. As the grass is getting longer I noticed that although I wasn't getting as many photos in my current position as at the start there is now a good path in the grass just about 10 yards beyond the camera location. I suspect they are using it to avoid the camera. They clearly aren't worried in a big way by the camera as they haven't moved very far, but they don't like it either and have taken precautions.

    So, I think that certainly with sika the very presence of the camera is enough to make them wary and chase them off. To give you some idea my camera has been in its current location for 2 months. In the first day it took 111 photos, in the first month it took around 500 and in the 2nd month it took just over 240. In that time I've visited the camera 3 times, once to put it up and after one month and then two months to replace the card. Note that maximum photos occurred in the 24 hours after I placed the camera for the first time. Given this I don't think the scent thing is a big problem as the camera would have had maximum scent at this time, but the physical presence of a strange box is and slowly moves the deer, even if only by a few yards, so they can avoid the threat.
    For self catering accommodation on the Isle of Lewis please visit:
    http://www.7south.co.uk/




  6. #6
    Interesting advice given, is there any other deer in the area and if so have you caught any on the camera?

  7. #7
    There are no other species commonly present in the area. The very occasional red might pass through once in a blue moon but I've never seen one on the camera and don't think we've had any visit during the year the camera has been up.
    For self catering accommodation on the Isle of Lewis please visit:
    http://www.7south.co.uk/




  8. #8
    few pics from a trail cam of sika in wicklowClick image for larger version. 

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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by wicklow202 View Post
    few pics from a trail cam of sika in wicklow
    I love the first two especially, that hind is giving the camera a good look. I get some photos like that where they are clearly giving the camera the once over but with time the number of photos drop off so although they don't all run on first spotting it they seem to slowly reduce their use of the area directly around the camera - and I'm talking about a few yards rather than big distances. I've never seen a big stag on the camera and think they are just at another level of caution to the hinds and smaller stags.
    For self catering accommodation on the Isle of Lewis please visit:
    http://www.7south.co.uk/




  10. #10
    I get quite a lot of flare outs with close up reds and sometimes not a whisker in sight. Just an arty farty haze for the next few pics until the condensation on the lens clears. (that is after making sure that cam is facing north to avoid over exposure ) I have discovered that Charolais cattle will flare at almost any distance in the infra red, and very strong reflected sunlight off glossy reds has caused slight overexposure. Has anybody tried setting up a game cam in security style, ie relatively high off the ground facing downwards ? Just wondering if it would reduce deer awareness of the cam and or infrared unit.


    I have only edited the worst of the trail cam pic's before uploading but there's a few that I am quite pleased with .

    ionhjhamilton's Library | Photobucket

    So far I only have red pic's but I'll be checking on fallow ground cams next week.

    Caorach, you must have very secure Sika ground as I would be nervous of leaving a cam on my let. The low battery red light is dreadful giveaway on the Stealthcam.

    Ion

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