Last weekend a friend of mine invited me over to his place. The idea was to have a nice relaxing weekend and to make couple of short treks in the forest nearby. It was really nice to see my friend John, since it had been a couple of months since we last met.
On the first evening after nice dinner we spent a couple hours slowly preparing ourselves for the trek of the next day. We packed the supplies to two small backpacks and also prepared our meals for the next day. Our plan was to wake up early and do just a short walk to a viewpoint nearby and then enjoy coffee and our breakfast sandwiches at that point. From there we would continue deeper in to the woods.
The morning was beautiful, the air was a little crisp but you could already feel warmth of the sun. There were no clouds in the sky so it was going to be a nice and warm day. We gathered our packs and other gears and started walking. It was only roughly half hour to viewpoint where we stopped and prepared some coffee and enjoyed our breakfast.
John told about his previous treks, different animals he had stumbled upon in the region and of course game. John is quite an enthusiastic hunter so he can talk about game and hunting all day. He actually told me that he had earlier placed few trail cameras to the woods we were entering and that we were going to check those on our way.
We finished our breakfast having a discussion of trail cameras (also called game cameras, or hunting cameras) as I was new with those. In a nutshell a trail camera is a digital camera equipped with an infrared sensor and weatherproof casing. What you then do is that you mount the camera into a tree near the trail that deers or other animals use. When the sensor of the camera detects movement the camera triggers. Cameras are also equipped with infrared flash that allows you to get images during night also. If you are interested and want to learn more about these gadgets you can find info in here.
Apparently you can get some really nice images with these kinds of cameras so I was excited to see them in place. John told me however that we would only be replacing the memory cards of the cameras, and batteries if necessary. And that we would have to wait until we get back home to check the photos on the card via his laptop.
Just an example of a trail camera footage (source: Youtube)
We continued our trek, slowly strolling deeper into the woods. After one hour or so we reached the first of John’s trail cameras. John checked the batteries, they were ok, and changed the memory card to an empty one. After this we continued our journey. As we walked on, the topic of our discussion remained in hunting, game cameras and nature photography in general. I asked John where he purchased those cameras of his. I got a full lecture about how select trail cameras for your needs.
What John had done was that he actually typed down the properties he would be needing, he then spent some time visiting various internet sites, reading reviews and doing comparison work. After he had found the best trail cameras for his needs, it was time to purchase the cameras and necessary accessories. When he finally received his cameras, he did some testing on his property before taking the cameras in to the woods.
After two hours of hiking we reached a small stream where we stopped and had some lunch. After lunch we stopped by at two more of John’s cameras and then headed back. It took roughly three more hours until we reached John’s house again.
After a quick shower and dinner with some wine it was time to check the memory cards we had retrieved from the cameras. The images that John showed me were beautiful. The cameras had captured plenty of deers, various small critters and couple of hogs. I was especially surprised of quality of night time pictures. Even though the images were black and white, they were surprisingly sharp and detailed. John even had one of the cameras shooting video, so we had some nice video clips as well.
All in all it was a really nice trekking day and I learned a lot of new things (as always when I’m hanging with John). Unfortunately something came up, so we could not make the second trek we had planned for the next day. But we are planning to make it sometime before winter.