After my last post, Matt had suggested that I only check the camera once per month to keep my scent down. This one time at least, I decided not to follow his advice for a few reasons:
- I was scheduled to go away on a 10-day trip, and I was concerned about the batteries dying.
- The camera is only 75 yards from my driveway (a fact that I failed to mention to Matt), which means that any deer that smells me on that camera can smell me while I’m standing in my driveway too. It’s not as though I’m messing up my stand site, which is 475 yards from my driveway.
- Last Thursday, we got hit with a foot of snow. I knew that the deer would have been out in full force before the storm to fill their bellies before hunkering down for snow-ma-geddon.
So I checked the camera this weekend. It was a comedy of errors and a bit tragic. First, I put the key in the lock that protects someone from opening the latch to steal the SD card. The lock had snow and ice on it, of course. When I turned the key, the locking mechanism didn’t turn. Instead, the whole lock twisted and easily snapped the plastic loop that allows the latch to be locked before I even realized what happened.
It turns out that I was right about the batteries. They were so low that the camera didn’t even take a video of my dog Bear bounding in front of the camera.
As I started to put the new batteries in, they all fell into the foot of snow at the base of the tree. This happened multiple times. I struggled with them for so long that Bear started to lose her patience with me.
Between the cold and the snow, I decided that unlocking the camera from the tree and bringing it home to replace the batteries would be a better course of action, but I couldn’t even open that lock; it was frozen solid.
Eventually I got the batteries in, and brought the SD card home. Luckily, the videos were worth the effort. They were full of surprises.
First, a doe with half of her right ear missing.
Then a fork horn that still has its antlers in February!
Then, there were two videos of a buck that had shed his antlers.
To the surprise of no one, a whole heard of deer walked by the camera the morning of the storm, just before the snow started to fly. This is just one of several videos of them passing the camera in both directions.
There were the usual videos of cottontail rabbits, gray squirrels, and blue jays.
And finally, my favorite video of the bunch is this one of a deer’s breath in the cold air.