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Sunday, November 3, 2013

Well, we were hoping for bear...

Trying a "creative" overhead set
This was the third year in a row I have set cameras out at my Father's property with the goal of capturing images of bears for my Black Bear Management class. Here are last year's results and results from 2011. Let me assume most of you will NOT click on those links (even though I highly recommend you enjoy the stories) and let you know I captured bear photos in 2011 and 2012. This year, we were not as fortunate. Seven cameras were out for 12 days, including four of our new Reconyx cameras. I used the same brand of scent lure I used in previous years to attract bears and fully expected we would achieve our goal.
Some highlights:
WTD: We captured deer on each camera. Our biggest buck
One morning of snow and this lip-licking buck
The best image from my "creative" overhead set

Coyote: Five cameras captured coyote. Here are my favorites
The Reconyx seems to elicit a response from animals
But the images from the Reconyx ARE nice. Look at this distant coyote and how nice it looks, even with the high magnification I subjected it to.
Raccoon: Even though we didn't get bears, we did get their lesser "cousins". I poured the sweet smelling lure directly into a rotting log.
Below is the log I have used in the past to attract bears. If you did check out my 2012 post, this is the set that produced the bear(s) rolling. In this set, the log is running perpendicular to the camera and is just below the field of view.
 So no bears, but this set did have a surprise in store for us: FISHER. Multiple visits by one or more fisher made this class project a success. Fisher are increasingly common in this area but are considered recent additions. I was thrilled to get pics and will dedicate a future blog entry to them exclusively. For now, enjoy a few of the better shots:
Cropped fisher in some wet snow
Love that tail!

Rolling in the scent
We captured seven mammal species this year (less overall than past years):
-White-tailed deer
-Eastern chipmunk
-Gray squirrel
-Coyote
-Red fox
-Raccoon
-Fisher
Missing besides the black bear are common mammals in this area like red squirrel, opossum, deermouse sp., etc. I had fewer cameras but four were Reconyx (which have a wider range of detection than the Cuddebacks and therefore as a rule pick up smaller mammal species more easily). 
What will next year bring???
Why doesn't anyone care what the raccoon says?