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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.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Camera trap pachouli

Recently I made some adjustable aluminum and wood camera mounts for free-standing posts.

I use these 5/8" square tube posts and the sliding mounts when trees are sparse or unsuitable for attaching the camera.

I'd been admiring my camo paint job for several days, but noticed they still smelled of paint.

This was unsatisfactory. They would be a beacon of foreign scent to critters in the woods, and I have to use them next week.

So I dried them next to the wood burning stove. That helped, but I could still smell the paint.

Well, I was shredding brush today when I got a briliant idea: I decided to make some "camera trap pachouli".

I cut a bay sapling and fed it to the shredder. Then I added the Christmas tree (Douglas fir).

I filled a couple of plastic bags with the resulting potent smelling "pachouli" and buried the oven-dried camera mounts inside.

They have 4 days to marinate; then I'll use them.

Will the pachouli mask the scent of the paint?

I don't know.

But I felt very clever doing it.


OregonWild said...

Superb idea!

Camera Trap Codger said...

I checked them yesterday to see if they were "composting". (I was afraid the wood might swell in the "pachouli".) The wood hadn't swelled, but the mounts sure smelled -- just like fir and bay.

Kitt said...

Wow, very clever indeed!

You could put that patchouli in a cloth bag to hang in your car, too. Much nicer than those noxious Little Trees.

Owlman said...

I'm impressed with your inovations and look forward to your next surprise. I painted my mount and didn't bother trying to mask the smell.
Hmmm I wonder if that has been the problem?

Camera Trap Codger said...

We drove to the bay area with the pachouli and the cam mounts in a plastic bag in the car's trunk. I could smell it in the cab. BTW, I collected some eucalyptus pods and leaves to make a different batch. I am sure it would make a nice deodorizer for the car, esp. since cars warm up in the sun.

Patapsco Mike said...

You are trying to mask one smell with another, stronger smell. It sort of works, but not really. Both smells will be there, and animals with good noses will smell both smells and may avoid the trap. A better way is to remove the primary smell.

An effective way to do this is to put 1 lb of Lye in 10 gallons of water and bring it to a boil. Put the painted parts in this and boil for an hour. They will be 100% scent free.

This is step #1 in the book of any furbearer trapper. It's been used for many generations. You can purchase Lye just about anywhere if you look for it (e.g. WalMart adn most grocery stores).

Unknown said...

Is the camo paint to make it less obvious to the two legged critters?

Camera Trap Codger said...

Thanks, Mike. I am not sure the wood could take an hour of boiling, but it would worth the effort on all metal mounts.

Pam, yes the camo is meant to disguise it from 2-legged creatures.