Animal in the Backyard at Night

A while back Karrie bought me a trail camera, also known as a deer cam.  In simple terms it's a camera that you mount on something, like a tree, pointing toward an area you want to watch.  When the motion sensors detect movement it will take a picture.  There are also infrared lights that will flash at night to take pictures in the dark. It uses infrared because a normal flash will scare away animals and they might not pass by again.

The cam that Karrie got me is a really nice one, it takes pictures and videos.  You can change several of the settings depending on what you want it to do.  
  • Active just during the day, just at night or 24 hours. 
  • Photos or videos
  • High, med or low quality
  • variable delay between shots

I first decided to test it out up north in the Huron National Forest.  So i walked way back into the woods and put it on a tree near an active deer trail. Here it is set up on the tree.  The top circle is the camera lens, surrounded by the infrared LED flash.  The white center circle is the motion sensor.  It has lights on either side that will flash red or green to let you know that it took a picture.  The green screen at the bottom is where you change the settings.  Underneath is the battery and control compartment, it's waterproof and also holds the SD card.
deer cam, trail cam, setup on tree, strap, how to, infrared, night

The bad thing was that i was only at the cottage for the weekend so the camera was only set up for 24 hours.  During that time nothing went in front of the camera and it didn't take any pictures.  I didn't want to leave it there for a month, i was afraid someone would take it, so i took it down. 
how to set up a trail cam, deer camera, setup on tree, strap, point, align

Anyway here were some other pictures i took of the small pond back in the woods.
forst lake, pond, huron national forest, lake, clouds, lillypads

I think i used the homemade ND filter on this one.
forest lake, ND filter, water, lillypads, clouds, reflection

When i got home i decided to set it up in the backyard.  I put some cheeseballs in front of the camera to use as bait.  Here's a squirrel that passed by.  You can see at the bottom that it took the picture at 3:47PM.
trail cam squirrel, cheeseballs, bait, time, yard, backyard

The next morning i noticed all the cheeseballs were gone.  When i looked at the pictures i saw this.  Whatever it was came by at 9:35PM.  I thought it might have been a cat or raccoon or something.
unknown animal on trail cam, camera, deer, opossum, raccoon

So the next night i set it up in the back corner of the yard.  But this time i set the camera to video mode.

Sorry for the weird video quality.  It looks fine on my computer but when i upload the trail cam video's to youtube it gets that strange pink and blue lines on the bottom.

Anyways at 11PM at night an opossum walked in front of the camera.  In fact that same animal came by at 11PM, midnight, 2AM and 4AM.  It must like cheeseballs as much as me.

It's really fun setting up the camera and then discovering what walks by at night.  I can't wait to set it up at the cottage again to try and find out what time animals pass by a certain area.  For example, there may be a heavily traveled deer trail in a particular area and you might think it would be a great spot to hunt.  But then when you set up a deer cam you might see that the deer only walk through there at 2AM.  And it might turn out to only be small doe's.  

The trail camera is kind of like a spy cam for the woods.  It will let you know who, what, where and when somethings passing by. 

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