Guest post by Lucy Wyndham
The United States has some of the most diverse and exotic wildlife on the planet, and much of it is there to be photographed and tracked. According to Current Results, a scientific evidence aggregator, there are over 3,000 species of animals that you can see within the 50 states. Actually seeing them in the wild at the point of taking a picture can be difficult, however, which makes life tough for enthusiasts and hunters. Using cameras and remote technology, however, allows you to spot wildlife at any time of day—or during the night.
The tech that allows people to get a look at animals during non-social hours is remote wildlife cameras. Often blending into the environment and set to record when motion is detected, they allow wildlife enthusiasts to get amazingly candid shots of wildlife. Many of the most interesting US species are nocturnal and demand this setup; this includes, according to the Parks Service, the likes of aardvarks, the mountain lion and skunks. For hunters, this can be a great way to get the jump on a potential kill, and is also very important for safety. Strategically placed cameras will offer an early warning system against predator species. When combined with technology like the SiOnyx Aurora Color Night Vision camera, which will enhance your trail camera’s work at night, the benefits gained from having such a set up become twofold. You will get a crisp clear warning image, and also have amazing footage to take home from your trail adventure.
Getting the most out of it
Getting the most out of your camera comes down to being mindful of nature. You may have spotted a nesting area, but being heavy-handed and leaving your scent and mark is going to make sure any animals don’t return. According to the National Wild Turkey Federation, the best trick is to get to know the surrounding area and the behavior and habits of the animals that live there. Research is the best way to ensure that you set up in the correct way and make successful shots, rather than just plain old empty footage.
Becoming a master
It takes a long time, practice, and determination to become a true master of the trail cam. However, there are some unique tricks that can help you on your way. You should be prepared to play the long game. It could take up to 14 days for something interesting to happen, and so its best to pair any trail cam work with a long holiday or hunting trip. Come prepared with batteries, SD cards, and repair kit, including software on a laptop, to make the most of your device. Don’t be disheartened if there’s nothing in the early days; that’s part and parcel of the quiet way that nature often works. Finally, choose the right time of year; winter is unlikely to be the best time for many of the warm blooded creatures in the forest.
Trail cameras are a simple idea, but when well executed, provide amazing insights into wildlife for the purposes of nature watching and hunting. However, trail cameras are not a set-up-and-go type of device, and require careful consideration before placing. Done right, you’ll see the benefits in your captured footage.
When using Aurora at night, be sure to set the mode dial to ‘NIGHT’, and set ‘Night Glow’ in the EVF menu system to ‘Night Color’. Experiment with video frame rates (FPS). Either 24 FPS or 15 FPS will work well depending on the amount of starlight and the phase of the moon!
Freelance writer and editor