Thursday, July 29, 2010

Velvet Bucks

I got these trail camera pictures from my friend Marc yesterday. These are some great looking bucks! The first one has some really good mass. The second one has some really cool brow tines. And the third one has some character to his rack.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Latest Camera Build

My obsession with trail cameras continues to grow, and building my own has really added a new dimension to my hunting experience. I recently put the finishing touches on another camera and thought I would take this opportunity to unveil it here on my blog. So here it is, complete with custom 3-D camo:

This trail camera utilizes a 7.2 megapixel Sony digital camera with a 2.5" LCD view screen for reviewing pictures in the field. The control board I used in this camera features 8 different delay settings and can also be set to "Rapid-pic" mode where the camera continues to take pictures as fast as it can as long as motion is detected. This is perfect for a trail setting where multiple deer might be walking by in a situation where a camera set to a 30-second or 1-minute delay could easily miss the second, third or fourth deer.

Here is a view of the guts of the camera. The control board runs on a 9-volt battery which should last several months. The Sony camera runs on a Sony "G" rechargeable battery. This camera also has a walk-test mode in which a red LED lights up when motion is detected so you can get it set at just the right angle.

Another feature I added to this camera is the pipe-through security system which allows you to run a cable through the case to secure and lock the unit to a tree. If you aren't concerned about the unit being stolen, I also added a quick-connect to the back of the case which allows for easy setup on multiple sites. The quick-connect is the same style used to hold quivers on archery equipment.

This camera is only 7.5" x 5" in size, so it easily fits in a backpack or coat pocket. Here are some more views of the camera.

This camera was deployed to the deer woods a little over a week ago, and I can't wait to check the camera and see what it captured!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Summer Update

Well, the dog days of summer are here. It's hot. Really hot. But, that means that cooler days and fall hunting seasons are just around the corner. As I write this, dove season is only 37 days away and archery season for deer is only 68 days away.

I've been really busy this summer with work and family activities, and I haven't had many opportunities to keep my blog up to date. So, with that being said, I also haven't had many opportunities to make it to my hunting grounds this summer. A few weeks ago, I was finally able to go, and when I got there I discovered this:

That my friends is prep-work on an oil well pad site. That used to be solid woods with a small clearing where one of our ladder stands was located. Now it is a two-acre clearing. I also had one of my homemade trail cameras on a tree in this location. The ladder stand had been taken down and was laying on the ground, but the camera was nowhere to be found. Needless to say, I was a little aggravated. But sometimes that's the way life goes. When I look at this on the bright side, I think that after the well is drilled and the trucks and equipment are gone, this might make for a good food plot site, since there is really good cover surrounding it. And I also have vehicle access to a location where I used to have to walk.

On to some trail camera pictures. Since I was unable to locate the camera, I don't have as many pictures to show you as I would like, but I do have a few from some other cameras. These are the first pictures I have of bucks in velvet from the summer. Nothing huge, but at least something to look at.

This one looks like he has something strange going on with the G-2 on his right antler. Maybe he bumped it against something and caused it to grow funny...

This little guy better hope that his left antler branches, otherwise the antler restrictions won't be in his favor...

I think this is the same deer that was in the first picture. If so, looks like he added a little bit of length on those tines in just a couple weeks...

Here's a couple pictures of a doe I got from one of the cameras I built that was placed in my camera test location. I had about 20 pictures of this doe in front of the camera, and in every single one of them she had that horsefly on her forehead...

Those last two pictures are from my homemade trail camera while the first three are from a store-bought Cuddeback. Based on image quality, which one would you rather have?