Saturday, September 26, 2020

3500 Miles Hiked Quabbin Watershed

 

I wanted to do something memorable reaching the 3500 mile marker hiking in the Quabbin Watershed.  Two of the areas that I camera trap are approximately five miles from each other. . The days hike consisted of making  a loop and ending back  at the truck. All went to plan, with a beautiful warm late September day. I was hoping a bull moose would wander by giving me a photo op . It wasn't in the plan!

Bears are still very active, especially  with re-arranging my trail cameras on the tree. 

Last Sunday was about as good a day as anyone could ask for camera trapping. My grandson accompanied me and he had a hundred questions about nature and camera trapping. He can now name tracks of a moose, deer and raccoon. He got a kick out of finding moose poop.

He asked how the TC took pictures when I’m not there. He seemed to understand my simple explanation of a motion sensor, or at least that was one of the few times he didn’t reply with “Why”. When done checking cameras we hiked around the swamp to a beaver lodge and many question about the beaver lodge.

 The hike was three miles RT. Many more questions on the way back to the truck. The best was to come. Got home , put the SD in the laptop and the first thing that popped up was a beautiful moose ! Then a bear.

Yup, he’s hooked!


Jim


Friday, September 18, 2020

 

Sorry for no update last week. Covid had put a squash on our Maine camping vacation. We were able to find a campground in another state last minute, so off we went

 


Won’t be long before moose are rutting in north - central Massachusetts. For a camera trapper this means more activity with bulls looking for females. I’ve yet to capture a crisp daytime picture of a  respectable bull. Mid-September thru mid-October present the best opportunities with the moose rut.

Last fall I located a new area late October. Several weeks ago while in this area  setting out trail cameras, moose droppings were everywhere . It’s a big area , hopefully my camera placement catches a majestic bull.

Jim


Saturday, September 5, 2020

Fall Is In The Air !


 What a beautiful morning hiking. I had to wear a vest. Temps were in the high forties. No  Bugs!  It's been slow with my camera taking critter pictures. Sure glad I have trail cameras to fill in the gaps.

Pictured above is what is typically called a bachelor group of bucks. In this picture there is clearly a dominant buck with two subordinates. As November approaches and the whitetail deer rut starts, the larger buck will have no tolerance for the smaller bucks. This is a first for me getting three bucks together with a trail camera.

The trail cameras are still capturing bears. There are two areas that I can count on weekly pictures. Interestingly the cameras that I moved into a new place last week for moose, have caught the attention of a bear. Its almost as this bear followed my scent to each of the camera locations and intentionally smacked the lock around.

 Turn the sound up!

Jim



Saturday, August 29, 2020

Time For Moose


 I met an older gentlemen (older than me that is) on my way to a remote swamp yesterday. The brief conversation we had was quite enjoyable. It focused around nature and we each shared several memorable experiences.

Somehow we got onto, remember when…. Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom use to be a premiere nature series on television. Oh how times have changed!

Time to start getting ready for the moose rut. I’m hoping this remote swamp in North Central MA has a king of the swamp! If moose droppings are any indication we should be good to go.

Jim

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Nice Hiking Weather Starting! Bear Observations

 


The swamp pictured  above is an ideal location for camera trapping. No shortage of bears using this location.

Yesterday’s weather hiking was pretty good. It started out in the low fifties, but once the sun broke through it warmed up into the upper seventies fast. I hiked just over seven miles checking trail cameras and taking time to sit with my camera, hoping to catch a wandering bear. I did watch a distant eagle fishing with no success.


I keep track of the miles hiked with each outing.


With Isaias toppling many trees earlier this month in north central Massachusetts, it made for a number of bear den prospects. A blow down exposing tree roots makes for an ideal bear den. The picture above is a good example. 

Investigating, a sow with three cubs could easily fit comfortably in the back of this uprooted tree.



It’s been a good year capturing bears on trial cameras. I thought it would be interesting tabulating the video times to see if bears are more active day or night. The anecdotal study shows some interesting data. Over a five month period twelve to fifteen different bears (guess on my part) triggered camera traps in three different locations forty two times. The forty two data points suggest that 46% (19 of 42) of the bears were videoed between 6:00 AM – 12:00 Noon.

So, what’s all this mean LOL !

You’re more likely to see a bear in North Central Massachusetts during the daylight morning hours than you are any other time of the day.

Jim


Saturday, August 15, 2020

New Spot More Bears !


A few months back I started camera trapping this new spot. Things started off slow with an occasional deer or moose passing by the trail camera. There was barely enough activity to keep me interested in this new location. Sure glad I stayed patient !

Three bear captures in one day ! That's a first. 

Sow with cubs , then about an hour later the sow walks by the TC alone. That evening a male walks by the camera. Check the scar out on its head. Most likely occurred fighting during breeding season. I've named him Scarhead.

The sow and three cubs is a new bear in my camera trap area. 


Saturday, August 8, 2020

Lots of Bear Sign

 

With this hot summer, clearly animal movement has slowed down. Historic camera trap locations are coming up empty. It’s not very often I check a SD card and there’s been no activity. I did manage to get a bobcat drinking water directly in front of a camera, a moose sniffing a camera, and the backside of a bear crossing a beaver day

I did find three stumps / logs that appeared to be ripped apart by a bear looking for ants.

 Jim