Next, I went feature by feature, circling some trail cameras and crossing out others. I discovered that I would be able to go up to 5 megapixels at no additional charge, and that I could even get video capability. I carefully narrowed the search to two different trail cameras. Both choices in hand, I went to the internet and read a few reviews from actual customers posted on the websites. The reviews helped to swing me towards one particular brand of trail camera, and the sale price sealed the deal. I won’t bore you with a sales pitch and list every single feature, but suffice it to say I got all I wanted and even more stuff I probably won’t use. After a few mouse clicks, my Stealth Camera Rouge IR was on its way. Now before you give me too much guff, yes, my camera is endorsed by Jim Shockey and, yes, I am a fan. However, selling the idea to the War Department (wife) was not hard because she is a fan, too.
Once the trail camera arrived I read the directions. Yes, I read them. Anticipating the camera’s arrival, I had already bought the necessary SD card and batteries, so it only took about three minutes to set up and test. I was now ready to place my trail camera. Most of the trail cameras come with a mounting strap, and then you can buy all sorts of aftermarket mounting brackets. I settled on mounting the camera on a 4 by 4 fence post I had in the garage.
Fig 1. Camera before camouflage.
Using posthole diggers, I dug a 3 foot deep hole about 30 feet from my target area. Here are several considerations before you dig a hole or attach a camera to a tree: Avoid the sun. Both sunrise and sunset can blind your camera. Use a compass to position the camera angle out of the direct sunlight. And remember that your infrared capability has limits. My limit is 40 feet, so I placed my camera with a 10 foot “safety buffer” to catch anything that might wander in from a different angle. Since I had dug a hole, I tried to camouflage my fence post and camera, since animals do notice when things are different. Camouflaging the trail camera also made me feel better, considering my worries about thievery.
One feature that I liked was being able to set the trail camera to shoot three pictures in a row, and then wait a preset amount of time before shooting the next series. I set the follow-up time to only one minute, being afraid that I might miss some monster that would suddenly bolt through the area. I decided that I should have set it to four minutes. Why four minutes, you ask? Well, that is where the sheer entertainment value of the camera comes in.
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