Trail cameras a tech advancement that really paints a picture

Mike RaykoviczWhen it comes to using modern outdoor technology there are those who embrace it and those who abhor it. Me? I’m somewhere in the middle. I’ll freely admit I do go afield with a modern compound bow outfitted with a dropaway arrow rest and the best arrows I can get. My reason is when I get a shot, I want it to count, and these things make me shoot more accurately. What’s more, I wouldn’t think of going hunting without my waterproof hunting boots and a pack of hand warmers just in case my fingers go numb.

On the other hand, to get around unfamiliar territory, I still use the Leupold Sportsman compass I got as a gift back in the early 1960s. I rely on it fairly often to get me back to my truck, especially in the spring turkey season when I'm inclined to wander over hill and dale. Today, younger and some older hunters wouldn’t think of leaving their GPS at home, and that’s fine as long as the batteries hold out.

We can mention and debate the merits of dozens of other technological devices, but in my opinion the one I really enjoy is my trail camera.  About 40 years ago, in order to tell if any deer visited my hunting site, I would run a piece of my wife’s sewing thread across a deer trail. If the thread was broken, a deer passed through. If it wasn’t, I’d consider hunting one of my other stands.

Today, instead of running sewing thread, I hang a trail camera and, frankly, after a morning or evening hunt I can’t wait to pull the card to see what showed up while I was away. I have pictures of dozens of deer, of course, but what amazes me is the number and variety of critters that live in the woods I hunt and show up while I’m tending to other business.

This season I have pictures of both a red and gray fox, a mother raccoon and her three kits, a fisher, several close-ups of gray squirrels, a flock of wild turkeys, a coyote, a skunk and even a porcupine. These creatures all share the woods I hunt but without the trail camera I’d likely never see most of them because, for the most part, they are nocturnal.

Technology can be good or bad when it comes to hunting but a trail camera can bring the woods to life and for me at least, my trail cameras have been a welcome addition to my hunting gear. I have four and I’m considering yet another. 

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