That’s not Shinola!

That’s not shinola

“I see a pile of scat! The bear has been here!  Let’s check it out.”

My friend has a small orchard containing apple trees, pear trees and one Italian plum tree… ripe plums were falling to the ground… some people call the fruit prunes but technically prunes are dried plums… sure enough, the bear left a calling card.

“I’ll set up my trail camera and see if we can capture a video of Mr. Bear.”

I had recently purchased a Browning trail camera… a Dark Ops Pro XD… for just such an occasion… we set it to focus on the ground under the plum tree. The camera would see anything that approached that plum tree, day or night. We installed the camera about 20 feet from the tree.

Ursus americanus Black Bear (infra red photo)

The bear came back that night. The camera captured a decent infra-red video… not the same quality as a daylight illuminated shot but we were thrilled with the result.

In a week we had 62 incursions… including black-tailed deer, coyotes, a lonely skunk, two possums and some robins… plus some passing vehicles. (For those of you planning to use the trail camera for security purposes, night time videos do not allow for reading license plate numbers… the plates reflect too much infra-red light, so the numbers are lost in the glare.  A special camera … expensive… is needed.)

When all the plums had been eaten, a matter of a couple days, we decided to move the camera to the apple trees which were still loaded with apples that were beginning to drop to the ground.

We captured 563 videos in five days and then the camera’s batteries went dead. Unfortunately, the wind was causing tall grass and limbs to move about enough to trigger the camera. Five of the videos contained animals (deer) and those were captured at night… the daytime videos contained movement of wind-blown grass.

The results were disappointing. We needed a strategy that allowed changing the camera sensitivity to motion. Unfortunately Browning believes the motion sensitivity is optimized and doesn’t need adjusting so no control is made available. Options are: various combinations of time-lapse control or set the camera to function only at night when infra-red triggering is more reliable.  

The perfect combination of daylight time-lapse and night time video is not currently available.

Check out the video on YouTube.

story and photos byLarry

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