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Native Californian, biologist, wildlife conservation consultant, retired Smithsonian scientist, father of two daughters, grandfather of 4 small primates. INTJ. Believes nature is infinitely more interesting than shopping malls. Born 100 years too late.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Back on the Mountain, Part 5

Rich and I met on the mountain the day before the 4th of July. There was no time for an overnighter, so we hit the trail a little before noon, and finished at 6:00.

The cams had been out for 2 months, and I was sure the batteries would be dead, but the auxiliary D cells were still going, though barely.

We collected the cams, so I would have some extras for the workshop, and replaced them with Rich's new cams.

The trail-scat set seen here is the most productive location. There were 144 exposures, and the puma was one of the new species. There were only two exposures, but both were full body images. The scat gets their attention long enough for the camera to power up and snap a picture -- about 3-4 seconds.

I'll post a few other shots of interest in the next few days.


Samantha said...

I realy enjoy your pictures.
:-) Thanks!

randomtruth said...

Hi Codger. Newbie camera trapper here. Been
playing with a Moultrie
trail camera off and on over the last 8 months at our family vacation place in the Sierras near Mariposa. Up to about 15 diff animals caught so far, including one blurry pic of a cougar.

My question for ya: have you ever done a blog post on the equip you use and your favorite tips? I poked through a bunch of your archives but only gleamed a few tidbits here and there. Would love something more detailed when you have time...


Jace Stansbury said...


Nice pics. Cougars have always been a favorite of mine. By the way, I just finished reading "Snake Charmer" by Jamie James and saw your name mentioned quite a few times. Did you actually ever do any fieldwork with Joe Slowinski?


Camera Trap Codger said...

Randomtruth, Glad to hear I have camera trapping company here in this smoky state. Seems like there are a lot more camera trappers in the midwest. Anyway, let me know what you are interested in vis-a-vis equipment and tips, and maybe I can direct you to any relevant posts. Or I can write about it.

Jace, I crossed paths with Joe in Washington DC, SF, and Yangon, but I didn't work with him in the field. He was a super-bright, charismatic, and hard driving guy, and great fun to talk biology with over a few beers. I steered him in the direction of field training courses for the Burmese, which was something we did quite a bit of in the 90s. He stayed at my house for several days while my staff was helping him with GIS work, and I had dinner with him a month before he died. His death was a real loss to science and herpetology.

Unknown said...

Chris Wemmer,

I am working at Michael Hoff productions on a series with Animal Planet. We are currently building a show about animals mating, the ways they do it, and the science of it. In my research I recently came across a book, I believe by you. Its called, Sex and wildlife: the role of reproductive science in conservation. If you are in fact the author I would be interested in talking to you further about your experience and knowledge on the topic of animal and bug breeding, particularly the mating habits of slugs. I would appreciate it if you would contact me at: 510-597-3629 or email Bwalton@mhptv.com to discuss this

Thank you for your time and interest,

- Clark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
- Clark said...

I am amazed at the quality of your trail camera photographs. Especially the ones with the cougars in them. As I live in the East, we are working to document the existence of cougars in Appalachia. I was wondering what you use to attract the cougars and how you decide to place your cameras in able to capture one on film? Thanks