Dicromantispa interrupta

Dicromantispa interrupta

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

My Intro to Game Cameras

I bought a game camera and have been practicing with it in my yard in prep for field work this winter on the Emerald Pendant Feral Hog Removal Project. So far, the raccoon, opossum, common crow, gray squirrel, and whitetail deer have been snapped as they foraged around my kitchen scrap “compost” pile. Here’s five whitetail deer (Odocoileus virginianus) that couldn’t have posed any better than they so graciously did:

That’s the best photo the Moultrie D-444 game camera has taken for me. Most of the small animals in the photos are blurry, as they are quick and the camera evidently has a long shutter speed (but I cannot find that spec). It also has a long wake-up time and long interval between shots, 15 sec in each case, reducing the number of second and third chances at photo-ops. Nonetheless, it captured several shots of the slowly grazing deer, enough to think that there probably are five in that group, and even smaller, faster-moving animals are identifiable to species based on who is known to occur around here. These facts suggest that this camera will be sufficient to characterize feral hog sounders. We shall see. Below are the best pics of other animals it collected, in color by day and B/W at night. They illustrate both what is blurry and what is clear.

Opossum (Didelphis marsupialis):

Raccoon (Procyon lotor):

Gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) and Common American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos):

The camera has been set on its simplest settings to obtain all the photos above, so today I set it in 3-shot mode. I’ll move up through the more-and-more and faster-and-faster modes, and get into its video capabilities in a week or two. I want to become familiar with each capability of the camera by the time I return to Florida in early October so that I can start tracking feral pigs just as soon as my RV’s umbilicals are hooked up.

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