Consider video mode for your summer trail cameras
Last summer I tested a camera capable of taking color nighttime videos. Normally I set up my trail cameras to take images so it was a bit of an eye-opener for me to see what the new camera captured. Multiple bucks walking through the woods, bucks fighting, bears walking through the woods, and a litany of other interesting clips ended up on my SD card.
After that I was hooked and have been running a few cameras on video mode ever since. Recently, while checking a camera near my house in the Twin Cities, I noticed one of my cameras had a hole in it. I’ve seen bear teeth puncture lens covers before, but this didn’t look like the work of a bruin because the camera was still facing the way it was when I set it. I’ve got enough experience with bears to know that when they take an interest in a camera, it is guaranteed to be facing a different way than you left it – if it’s still attached to the tree at all.
When I started watching the videos on the camera I finally found the culprit for the hole in my lens cover – some kind of woodpecker. The not-too-bright bird must have thought he could find a grub or some other meal in my camera, so over a period of two days he pecked away at it. I highly doubt he got anything to eat out of the deal, but he did set my camera on a course to be ruined the next time it rains.
While that was a first for me, the videos weren’t done showing me cool stuff. One single clip, captured in the end of May, shows an adorable bear cub wandering through my food plot. There was no sign of mama, but I’m sure she was there somewhere. What’s cool about that is that it’s a long way from bear territory, and now represents the third bear I’ve gotten pictures and video of on that property.
Without video mode, I probably would have gotten a picture of the cub, but maybe not. And it certainly wouldn’t have been as neat to see.
If you’re interested in seeing more of what you’ve been missing, setting camera to video mode is an excellent tactic. Just remember to use the largest-capacity memory card you can get your hands on, because the files will be much larger than your typical still image.