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

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sausages and Cheese Sandwiches

You can rely on The Outdoor Pressroom to alert you to all kinds of fish and wildlife news, and this morning it was the sausage-baiting camera trapper that got my attention.

This New Yorker's sausages attracted white-tailed deer and a coyote, which leaped for the dangling goodies like the legendary fox of Aesop's fable. 

Reminds me of the baiting advice offered over 8 decades ago by photographer William Nesbit in his encyclopedic book How to Hunt with the Camera.

"Cheese sandwiches are a good all-round bait because they last during hot weather while fresh baits quickly spoil.

"It is my practice to place out bait lines, connecting by their means the various paths through the woods and stream courses.

"These bait lines consist of baits suspended by wires along animal trails. . .

"Animals following any of these paths will probably find a bait and follow the bait line to one of the trap outfits.

Baits and lures are a sure way to stage a wildlife picture, but every state has its own regulations regarding the baiting of wildlife.

A few camera trappers make do without baits, and often get stunning results.  

By the way, Nesbit's book devotes a 17-page section to "Flashlight Trap Photography" or camera trapping, and it sure makes you appreciate modern technology. 


DDeden said...

I was just reading an article on how folks in the Dead Sea Rift might have used acorns to bait carp 770,000 years ago, no cameras or 'catch and release' back then. I guess some of the stinky cheeses would be sniffed by critters from quite a distance.


J.R. Absher said...


As usual, many thanks for the comments and link to my Outdoor Pressroom site. I admire your trailcam work and blog--keep up the great work!


Anonymous said...

It is certainly interesting for me to read that blog. Thank you for it. I like such themes and anything connected to them. I would like to read more soon.

Truly yours

Cougarmagic said...

I confess to having used bait, when I was just a wee camera trapper. I didn't stop purely for ethics or regulations (though I did have the occasional twinge of remorse), but rather it didn't work well. Just got a bunch of possums, raccoons, and crows. No more food items, just a dab of scent lure on occasion now.