Finland 2019 – Remote Camera Heaven!
Nearly half of the luggage I took to Finland was camera kit!
Part of the reason I was going was to explore what kit we could use to show visitors the wildlife that was around, particularly in areas that cannot be seen by the hides. Trail cameras are an obvious first step in this. If you plan on installing a wired camera set-up, then using remote cameras, such as trail cameras, to monitor different areas can help you choose the best place for a wired camera.
As you know, I love using trail cameras and visiting an area like this location was very exciting! With only a week on site, it was essential that I got the set-up correct, as they would only be there for a short period of time. Usually, you would want to leave cameras out for several months to get a real feel of what happens in a certain space and the wildlife that visits. Harry, Kyle and I spent some time walking around several locations. The site is huge so there was an enormous amount of scope. We had to use all our skills in fieldcraft to choose where we felt the wildlife was most likely to pass, looking for tracks and trails and evidence of frequent use.
I also wanted to create footage that looked really good. Positioning of the camera is essential. I see it as if I am taking a photograph; I think about the angle of the camera, the height, the light and how it is going to move through the day as well the background of the image. To get clips that look impressive, all of these elements need to be taken into account. I also like to get the camera at as close to eye-level with my subject as possible.
Not knowing what creatures I might capture on footage, we chose to set the cameras primarily for bears. Harry & Kyle were familiar with some of the routes the bears took and we also chose some wooded locations where we could see some of the routes the bears commonly took. In some places, we hid some bait, to try to get them to hang around for a bit in front of our cameras.
This first location was a small clearing. We had high hopes for this location, but only got a couple of bear clips and one, brief wolverine visit (wait until the end of the clip) We checked the cameras after a few days and moved this one, to try to get some better footage.
One location that caught my eye, was a small strip of water that separated a large area of woodland, with a more open marshy area. There were some tracks in the mud around and I felt that the bears might cross over this water or drink from it. In my mind, I imagined that it might be good for some reflections too. Setting the camera down low at the far end of the ditch, we angled it along the water to capture anything that might stop to drink or pass by.
We were very excited to return to these sites to retrieve the card after a few days. We wanted to check that there was activity and that the cameras were in a good position. Taking my laptop down to the site, we uploaded the cards there…. and we were just a little excited. These are a selection of the best clips, combined. We were pretty chuffed!
We were really pleased with these clips from the creek…
This visitor was a very special addition to the collection!!!
A number of birds also visited this site during daylight hours….
Some of the other locations we monitored were right on the edge of the woodland, where the bears would come out onto the more open areas by the hides. The female with the three cubs seemed to often use this location as a path through….
Capturing the wolverine here was a fantastic added bonus!
We followed some other paths through the forest and found crossroads of a couple of paths. I set the camera at bear-height and we placed a few morsels in the undergrowth….
This site produced one of my favourite stills. These are young cub siblings; the female being a very pale individual who is one of the most stunning looking bears in the area….
I also took some other cool kit I have. One is the Bushnell Equinox Z2 night vision. This night vision is like looking through 6 x 50 binoculars … but you can use in the dark! They record onto a micro SD card. This is the first time I have used this newer, improved version and I was pretty impressed! This was captured, hand-held from one of the hides….
There is more footage to come, as I left some units out with Harry & Kyle as they were staying another week after I left….. I have had a few sneak previews and we have some more cracking footage.
These have to be some of my favourite footage to date… what a privilege to be able to set cameras in this special landscape!