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TRIAL CAM VITALS - SUN - WIND - ANGLE

 

      SUN BEHIND CAMERA *******

      FACE CAMERA  DOWNWIND

      PLACE CAMERA AT AN ANGLE

This is a set I made recently at a hole – camera was 8m from the hole, a top class setting.

If you are using a sound lure to attract predators he will approach your caller from downwind to try get an idea what is making that noise – you also want a rising sun behind the camera so it don’t blind the camera at the wrong time! And remember to use an angle, as you will cover more area and it will give the camera more time to take photos. If the camera was square to the area you are targeting it won’t give you such a large field of view.

This is a point I speak about all the time, in fact I cant talk about it enough, it is very important to achieving success with trail cams, especially when you are using a LURE with sound to bring critters to your camera…..

For best results ALWAYS place that camera in a direction that gives an angle and try as hard as you can to make sure the sun will come out behind the camera and also try as hard as you can to face the camera downwind.

This photo shows the camera set at an angle towards a suspected jackal hole, it turned out to be dead but gave many other pictures of other critters. The sun was behind the camera, look at this rabbit, you can clearly see the shadow on his left, and at 7-00 in the morning the sun is low, so this is why the photo came out perfect, if the sun came out from Mr Rabbits left we would have NO PHOTO and the sun rays would blur it all out.

LOOK INTO THE MIND OF A JACKAL- He is trotting along in the Karoo and suddenly he hears tweet tweet tweet, on and off – he stops looks around and assesses the situation, the scoundrel then decides it sounds like food and begins his approach. He circles the sound from a distance and approaches the tweet tweet from downwind to get a smell of what’s happening etc etc etc etc…..

 

So, placing your camera facing downwind and at an angle you will see him approach from far and the camera being at an angle you will have him in the cameras lens more often, and the electronic bird sound placed dead centre of your photo area will get you 100% photos of that jackal working your setup.

 

Running a VIDEO is better than a photo in this situation as it will show a jackal’s body language and it will tell you more about his demeanour. The more you can get from a video / photo the better and it will tell you a lot.

 

Look at a simple photo like this- what does this picture tell us? It is pretty cool to study photos / videos.

 

Without looking at the time on the photo, look at the shadow below the birds - it is midday, the shadow is directly below the birds.

 

The birds are very close together while eating my bait, this means various things, that they are relaxed and know that hole behind them is predator free, they are all looking the same way (they have backs to he hole) meaning they know full well the hole again is redator free, although the rear bird is a watchman, look at his stance and angle, he is a look out and the others eat, but as said all together in a bunch not spread out. Birds walking or landing will be spread out, this closeness in the photo means they have been here a while already.

BAD CAMERA SETTING

Here is another photo of the same jackal hole, NOW LOOK AT THIS BAD SET UP CAMERA! See how badly this camera would be if set like this, you would not capture much due to a very bad ZERO angle.

Here Cornus took a photo 1,5m from the hole looking square at the hole, so if this was how the camera was set you would get no photos at all. The predators will be inside and out or past the hole before the camera will fire ALSO the camera because it’s square to the hole does not give you a wide field of view and you can’t see much at all.

Trail camera setting is like cage trapping for cats, you must look over the spot you intend to film and work out wind, best angles and the sun.

LURE

By placing a lure that squeaks etc will lure a critter to your camera setting and make life easier to get a photo, but you will need to have the angles correct to afford you a chance to get a few photos before the critter walks past your set, also a lure will keep the critter in the camera frame a little longer. I use Edge Expedite electronic lures, they work very very well.

GENERAL

The 3 pointers are extremely important for good results, if you can master angle, sun and wind you are home free, it is pretty simple to do it, sometimes it isn’t possible to get all 3 correct, but camera angles are important.

If you can’t set a camera with all 3 important things here is what I would rate as first to last;

 

       Angle – FIRST AND VERY IMPORTANT

       SUN – As a second option

       WIND – as a third option.

 

ALWAYS look carefully at the angle, that’s very important.

BAITS / LURES

Here is a list of baits I use to attract critters to my camera;

 

       Tin pilchards

       Water mixed with anchovy paste

       Marmite

       Fish emulsion paste

       Feathers hanging in a tree or something nearby

       Electronic bird chirping lure

       Electronic bird that chirps and turns

       Decoy owl with bird chirper underneath

Setting a camera at a crossroad here;

On courses guys love to get involved with trail cam settings, it breaks the classroom boredom of lectures and gets you into the field to set a camera or two. The only problem is on a course you have very little chance of getting a jackal on a camera as far too many guys walk all around the area and leave smells, thus reducing your chances by 99%.

EMEMBER to always have a piece of cloth with you to use as packing between a camera and the pole or tree, as the angle will be incorrect and it will need propping up to get the laser to zero in on your area.

I also take a hammer and nails with, in case I need to hit in nails to a fence post etc to help set a camera to, having the extras on hand helps in case you need them.

Setting the camera before fixing it to the wooden upright. Note how Evert is smiling, the guys really enjoy camera placement on courses, I love setting them, it’s really exciting!

THESE PHOTOS TAKEN BY CORNUS DU PLOOY

Here are a few pictures of settings at a previous course we did, it is great fun setting cameras.

This spot was at an angle covering a crossroad and was in a setting that looked very catty, it was easy to set the camera here as we had many fence posts etc, it was just to get the sun, wind and angle correct. I used an electronic lure on this set to lure critters into camera range.

I used a 140 Moultrie Camera here, I had a 160 before but it developed a problem so I replaced it with this 140. For a 4 MEGA PIXEL CAMERA IT TAKES GREAT PICTURES.

If you look carefully on top of the camera you can see how I have put camo netting behind the camera between the camera and the post to angle the camera slightly down, it is easier using netting as it is very easy to shape and angle a camera. The camera has a turn thread that has a spike to angle it but using cloth is far easier.

These Moultrie cameras are dead quiet and when they fire to take a picture no animal will even know they had just been captured on film, the cameras are dead quiet.

What I normally do on a set, is after I have set up the camera and its all ready to take pictures I make it fire once, then I know it is working ok, the batteries are not really an issue, a new set will run 3 days and my camera still says 94% battery level, it don’t draw much power, it draws more on a video setting.

THINGS TO KEEP WITH YOU TO SET CAMERAS

This is a list of things I keep in the truck to help mount or set a camera;

--------------------------------

       Extra 4-5 inch round pole to affix to a wire post if no stump or tree etc

       Cable Ties

       Double sided tape ( 1 roll)

       Tripod

       Lures

       String / rope

       Wire

       Nails

       Hammer

       Pliers

        

ENJOY TRAIL CAMMING!

JUST FOR FUN

Check this birds body language, he has just landed or come into this area, he is stretching forward to that hole, trying to see or hear any activity, is unsure of his surroundings and is on high alert! Just look at this picture, you can actually feel his anxiety!

 

 

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