|The eyes give it away every time
"What's that thang stuck on the tree over yonder?" The cowboy asked his friend.
"Y'mean that thingmabob with the eyes?" replied Rusty.
"Yep, that's it, what the hail is it?"
"Why that's a trail cam. Some city boy musta stuck it up there."
"Well", said the cowboy, "I think we jus' found us a new toy."
Why do manufacturers camouflage their trail cams when the lens, flash, and passive infrared (PIR) sensor windows look like an upside-down face with a toothy grimace?
Camouflage is disruptive coloration and even if the colors don't match the background it tricks the mammalian eye by breaking up the outline of the object or animal.
Trail camera users and camera trap home-brewers seem to like their cams painted in camo, and trail cam manufacturers try to satisfy the need.
But as I've said before, detecting a camo-painted trail camera is easy if the animal can smell better than it can see, and finds itself downwind of the camera.
Our good vision blinds us to a world dazzling with scent.
My point is that trail cams could be more effective in deluding visual creatures like people.
With their rectangular heads, shiny eyes, and toothy grins camouflaged trail cameras are still attention getters.
They don't fool many would-be camera thieves.
I am not suggesting that trail cam companies stop camouflaging their products, but they could make a camouflaged trail cam that is more than a designer statement.
Just put a dull finish and a disruptive pattern on the fresnel lens and flash, and find a way to disguise that glaring IR flash.
Some home brewers could also disguise their cams a bit better by putting camo tape and Sharpie pens to shiny camera parts in the case.
I said "some" because many home brewers are clever artisans, especially when it comes to faking tree bark with Liquid Nails Adhesive.
All of this got me to thinking about living camo over the holidays.
So I started collecting lichen, moss, and bark blown from the trees on the flume trail.
Decorating a cam seemed appropriately festive.
So I hot glued the plant debris to thin wood squares and velcro'd the pieces to a big old Pelican 1060 case.
The camera's eyes didn't go away, and now it kind of looks like a bearded troll with one Andy Rooney eyebrow.
That green PIR window needs to be toned down, but once that's done I think I'll set it under a pile of fallen branches.
I wonder how long it'll take for someone to steal it?