By Travis Huber, Augustana University, Class of ’18.
About two years ago I finally started using game cams. We had given one to my dad for Christmas awhile back, but since he couldn’t figure out this advanced new technology very well, it wasn’t really used. That was until I finally remembered we actually had one of these things and we wanted to figure out where the bucks liked to hang out on the land we hunted.
So one day my dad and I finally went out and strapped the game cam to a tree on a common deer trail we knew. I took the typical goofy test pictures to make sure the thing was on, and walked away. We came back the next day to check it out and see what was on it, and already had like twenty-some pictures. We were of course excited to find out what was on it, but we didn’t have a laptop or anything with us at the time so I couldn’t view them until later.
Upon getting home, I immediately put the card in the computer to check it out. I was excited to see whatever was on it, which consisted of a few does, a small buck, and even a squirrel or two. After checking the cam a few more times throughout the next two weeks and getting a continuous flow of pictures, I told my dad we needed more cameras. At first we borrowed both of my brother’s game cams and had a fair amount of pictures coming in every week. Some of some good bucks, plenty of does, and many pictures of windy branches.
By the end of the fall and winter season I was running seven or eight game cams, watching almost every major area possible on the land. I would check them every other day or so, and with the help of a laptop, my dad and I could sit in the pickup and flip through the cards before we even left the place. By this time, I had figured out how to use the different picture burst modes and set a few cameras to take videos. It’s interesting to see how many different critters go by, and even funny to see when the animals notice the camera is there and come investigate it.
I’ve caught videos of squirrels climbing up my cams and knocking them sideways, pictures of deer basically taking selfies while sniffing the camera, and of course even videos of my dad trying to figure out how to change the settings when I wasn’t around to do it. Game cams are extremely fun to use, but make sure you keep watch on the cards and the batteries, or you may be disappointed to find out you didn’t catch a picture of the deer that left those massive prints right in front of your camera.
Travis is blogging for The Outdoor Campus as part of a 20-hour internship in public relations.