Saturday, December 22, 2007
Me, the old fool
There's no fool like an old fool. That's me.
As far as protecting my cameras from bears, I did well this year. That is, until December when I let my guard down.
I thought the bears were sleeping by mid-November. I had consulted the literature and that's the schedule in Washington State. Here in northern California I assumed it would be a little later.
I hadn't seen any bear scat in the woods for a few weeks, and since we've had some freezing weather, I left the bear guards at home. I put 6 cameras out this month, and the camera set you see above seemed to hold most promise. At least the setting was more picturesque.
On December 17th or 20th a bear smelled the gopher I had hung behind the leaning fir next to the log. The camera must have flashed, and the bear went for the camera. This is when the spikes on the bear guard give the bear an attitude adjustment. But there was no bear guard.
The bear opened the case, pulled the camera out and at the same time tore out the internal wiring to the controller. The case was held to the tree with a double loop of bungie cord, so the lid snapped shut and protected the batteries and controller from the weather.
The bear carried the camera to the log and left it face down on the moss. There's a tooth mark in the LCD.
Then the rain came.
The only good thing about a bear-trashed camera is looking at the pictures and witnessing the crime being committed. But not one of the 40 pictures turned out. They were all black images.
I am still drying the camera near the woodburning stove, and spent yesterday morning putting bear guards on the other cameras.
This would never happen to the redhead. She doesn't take chances.
I'm afraid I fit the definition of an "old fool" to a T.