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An Introduction to Trail Cameras (Feature Article)

June 2004 Feature Article:

An Introduction to Trail Cameras

Please use this area to post comments or questions about this feature article. By the way, forum members have been posting trail cam pictures for some time.

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An Introduction to Trail Cameras (Feature Article)

Well written article with a lot of useful information. I have to admit, however, that I have very mixed feelings about trail cameras. There's a part of me that feels they cross over the line of excessive technology use. I suppose it depends on just how they're being used. I don't know. Like I said, mixed feelings.

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An Introduction to Trail Cameras (Feature Article)

What part of using a trail camera is hunting? I don't see the value of hunting with the use of a trail camera. Are they supposed to give an advantage? If so, why would you want an advantage as such? Where does the hunting come in to play if you don't have the challenge of seaching for the game? Why not just pen some animals and when you have enough time, go out to the pen and shoot one that fills your requirement.
Sounds to me as though they would make great targets for that final sight in before the HUNT.

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An Introduction to Trail Cameras (Feature Article)

I've never used a Trail Cam, but I like supersider34 pictures, and if it helps fill a bear, buck, or bull tag, I don't see a problem!

Hell, using a trail cam is kind of like trapping, and trapping is sort'a like hunting, therefore using a trail cam is, in a roundabout way, like hunting!

It's all good....

Fat Black Bear

Bear with a Personality

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An Introduction to Trail Cameras (Feature Article)

When I purchase a game tag. The tag allows me to be in the field and have the game animal in my possession. How I'm allowed to go about getting the game is clarified in the regulations.
These regulations are established to maintain some sort of control over the control and management of the game and allow a specified number of hunters an opportunity to participate in the sport.
The purchase of a tag is not a guarantee or a permit that says I'm deserving of filling it. There seems to be an "I paid for it" attitude among " hunters" nowadays.
I don't get out as often as I use to. I still buy a license and tags. If I get the opportunity, I go. If I don't, I don't.
If I get the opportunity and don't see any game. Then I got the chance to go hunting but, I didn't get one this year.
I'm not owed a game animal because I purchase a tag. I'm given the chance to get a game animal because I purchase a tag. Where's the sport.

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An Introduction to Trail Cameras (Feature Article)

But fuzzybear, we already do take advantages. Mostly we use the advantage of our superior intelligence to fashion tools that allow us to hunt. When was the last time you went out into the forest buck naked and barehanded to hunt? Even pre-historic man was using technology to give him an advantage over the game when he first invented the bow and arrow.

So, there's no question that we all make use of technology to give us an advantage over the game. The question is, where do we draw the line of excessive technology? Is it excessive to use the latest, scientifically developed camoflage? Scents? Optics? Trail cam? I hunt with a muzzleloader. I could probably argue that the use of a modern, scoped rifle is an excessive use of technology to give an advantage!

In the end, the trail cam is just another one of the technologies that we use. The debate is not whether we are trying to gain an advantage--we are--but at what point the advantage becomes so great that it takes the sport out of hunting.

Personally, I think a trail cam gets pretty close to that point, if it doesn't cross over it. I don't know, though. Once again, like I said before, I have mixed feelings.

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An Introduction to Trail Cameras (Feature Article)

I've never used a trail cam, but I'm intrigued enough that I would like to give it a try, simply for the fun of getting the photos. I've enjoyed seeing supersider's photos.

It appears it would take some skill in trying to figure out where to even place a cam.

Fuzzybear part of hunting is learning all you can about the animal you want to hunt, so why not use a trail cam? I don't see how it would give anyone an unfair advantage, other than to record when a particular animal has passed by your cam. How is that any different than spending days scouting an area? Why would you compare to a penned hunt? Its not even remotely similar.

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An Introduction to Trail Cameras (Feature Article)

Hey, guys and gals. I never said anything about the cams giving an advantage. I asked if they did and if they did, what is it.
A cam would be a terrible tool to scout an AREA. Maybe if you had thirty or forty it would make some sense. Besides scouting and surveillance, aren't they different. How about a wire across all game trails in the area. To count movement. Every time the wire is tripped 4 time it counts a head. There wouldn't be any knowledgable threat to the animal so they wouldn't have a reason for caution.

If I needed to feed my family. Is one thing. As a sport, not I.

I also enjoy watching animals in their habitat.

As far as hunting, I fail to see how a cam could help, unless your looking for a particular animal. Then were is the sport. Part of the hunt is outsmarting the game in their environment.
These animals don't get old by walking out in front of someones weapon and I stay alive by not walking into their weapons. If threatened, any one of the game animals could take a hunter out or certainly make him wish he had stayed home. The difference is we (the hunter) are the aggressor. In some cases, as with a hungry cat, we may be the game.

Intelligence has nothing to do with advantage. Every creature on this earth is given the tools they need, whether it be intelligence, instinct, speed, color or whatever. For the record. I don't think us humans are as smart as we think we are.
Try Blacktail or cougar hunting without dogs, if you think your smarter than the game. Someone determined that hunting cougar with dogs wasn't proper and now we have an excessive cougar situation up here. Where is the more intelligent situation.

I'd like to have a cam set in the area that I brought an animal down. To prove it was my kill if there was any question or maybe bag a few poachers or game thieves.

I weigh in at about 200 lbs. Going hand to hand with a 500 lb bear certainly wouldn't be a show of my intelligence.

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An Introduction to Trail Cameras (Feature Article)

My mistake, fuzzybear. I misunderstood what you were saying. I thought you were saying that using one wasn't "hunting" because it gave an advantage. Obviously that was not your intention. My apologies.

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An Introduction to Trail Cameras (Feature Article)

Hey Donmillion, it's not that big of a deal. I went on my first hunt in 1967 and have enjoyed many hunts since. I'd like to see the sport stay a sport with some challenges left to judgement, calculation and instinct. If the challenges of the hunt are eliminated, what would be left of the sport?
The need to feed a family is different than the sport. If I needed to feed a family, which isn't the case for the majority of the hunters, I would use any means available to me. Fair or not.
If I'm looking for a rack to hang on my wall and a little meat in the freezer. I'd like to think that I used the learned skills that I've been taught.

I'd just like to add one more thing.
"Just because I can doesn't mean I should"

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My Experience

Hello,

I used a sensor (without a camera) one year on a series of trails in Oregon for Blacktail Deer. What I learned didn;t help me hunt much, but it did help me understand the deer better. What was clear after weeks of testing was that these deer had NO pattern whatsoever. They would use a trail one day and not again for 2-7, all times of day etc.

Where I can see it would be helpful is with black bear. I drive almost two hours to where I hunt them. There is a small trail that has sign every time I go there. But the sider webs are up across the trail when I go in the early morning. So the bear scat was from at least the night or day before. After three trips to the area, and spending all day, I still have no idea when the bear is coming to the area. Is it daily, every few days, is there a pattern to when - mornings etc? A camera would help answer these questons, OR do what happened with the Blacktail and indicate there is NO PATTERN. That IS the pattern.

I am plenty willing to drive, spend the time (I've stayed overnight many a time) but if the bear is noctural (my suspicion) I'm totally wasting my time here and should go another direction. The camera will answer that question and I suspect I will purchase one to aid in finding out the answer soon.

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