Monday, July 20, 2009

Sandy River Project Site #2 Update

Several weeks ago, I visited the Sandy River Project Site #2. I wanted to pick up the game cameras that I had deployed a few weeks previously on the property so I could use them for a weekend trip I took to Gifford Pinchot National Forest (I take more trips than I blog about...).

I managed to find two of the three cameras, but the third camera eluded me. After repeatedly walking the stretch of hillside where I thought I hid it, I left the property convinced that the neighbors had found the camera and taken it. It might have been on their property, since I'm not sure where the property line is. After all, it was deployed on the other side of the creek. I'd certainly confiscate any camera I found on my property!

I was pretty disappointed about losing another game camera. I had already lost two Reconyx this year. Those were deployed on Gordon Creek, near where a daylight class A sighting took place last July 30. I know that this risk is part of the game, but it's still a bummer when it happens.

I spend a great deal of time when I deploy a game camera. To me, it seems silly to just strap it on a tree and cross your fingers. That might work for deer, but I'm not trying to get a picture of a deer. I'm trying to get a picture of likely the smartest, most observant, slickest critter in the woods.

Not well-hidden enough.

I spend from five to fifteen minutes trying to disguise the game camera to look like a natural part of the environment. Even when I finish, I look at the results and lament my pathetic attempts. Nothing I have created looks good enough to do the trick, so I rely on the hope that the bigfoot is having a bad day and makes a mistake. It happened with the Patterson/Gimlin Film, so why not one of my cameras? I am forever an optimist.

Not well-hidden enough either.

Well, it turns out that I had made a mistake. I ran across a photo of the missing game camera from the day I deployed it. It seems that I might have deployed it in an entirely different area than I initially thought. Good news!

Since I'm monitoring a relatively small area, I do not take GPS coordinates of the game camera locations when I deploy them. I take photos of their hiding spots to refresh my memory about where they are. Up to this point, I had always remembered where I had put them, but now that I've been working the spot for many many months, I was mixing up locations, confusing one deployment with another.

Today I returned to the site to get see if I could find the camera. It took me twenty minutes, but I managed to locate the camera and brought it home to see what it's been looking at for the last month and a half.

I love checking the cameras. It's like Christmas...

Well, Santa brought no bigfoots, but there were still some interesting shots. Take a look:

The approach

What's it running from?

In addition to the above two videos of deer, I also captured videos of various birds, a rabbit, and a squirrel. At one point, a spider built a web in front of the lens, which of course caught and held leaves and other falling debris, obstructing the camera's view. It took many weeks for this web to go away.

I am encouraged that SRP2 has had an increase in animal activity. Where there's lots of food, there are often bigfoots. The property will go unobserved for the next week as I utilize the game cameras in Northern California. I will redeploy them when I return on Sunday.

1 comment:

  1. Your cameras wont work because a squatch can see a broader spectrum of light than we can. As a nocturnal hunter it would see your IR detectors and they would look like a red laser shooting through the fog (dew) that occurs most nights.