Friday, May 31, 2013

Camera trap visitors and a new job!

I haven’t posted any camera trap pics in awhile! The end of the semester kept me busy, and then the past couple of weeks seem to have been just as busy! I also started a new job this week, which I will share later in the post. Going back a month ago, my friend Tyler went out the first week of May to go Turkey hunting. The spring Turkey season opened on May 1st, and he was successful in getting a Jake (young male!). He was excited to bag a bird, but I was excited because I was going to get the carcass once he got the meat he wanted from it. I know, it’s a morbid thing to be excited about. But, if you’ve been following along with my blog, you know there’s no shortage of “gross” in my life :)

A few weeks before Tyler gave me his Turkey carcass, I had found a road-killed stray cat at the end of my driveway. I had seen this cat around, flea bitten with ticks. Sad, but it happens. So when I found the dead cat, I removed it from my driveway, and brought it into the woods. I didn’t have anything to bury it with, so I figured I’d just let nature take it’s course. And I set up my Bushnell Trophy Cam HD on the site. So when Turkey was ready, he joined Stray Cat. It’s been an active site, here are a few of the pictures!

A couple of scavengers: American Crows

A usual visitor, the Virginia opossum checking out the dead cat before Turkey came on the scene.

That’s Tyler! Setting out Mr. Turkey

A pair of raccoons stopped by the buffet…

Possum is back…he was definitely the most common visitor. I like this picture because I think he’s eating some of the Turkey carcass. Sitting up like a squirrel!

Stray cat #1.

Stray cat #2
And the first real predator! A coyote is checking the scene out.

Stray cat #3

Another predator: Red fox

A cottontail hops by in the background…

And FINALLY I get my porcupine! I know they’re around, I just have not yet seen one in my yard! I love them.

The Turkey Thief! I walked up the check the camera recently, and the Turkey was gone. Well, I have photographic evidence of the thief. COYOTE.

So I guess that was more photos than a few, but I’ve been getting some good stuff lately! I am wondering where the fisher and bobcat and bears are though. I’m hoping they show themselves sometime this summer!
I might mention also that the cat is pretty much untouched. Nothing seems to really be feeding on it, it’s just decomposing. I wonder why…?

 I’m spending the majority of my summer in the Capitol Region of NY, in Albany. I live in Cobleskill for school (I attend SUNY Cobleskill), but I got a great internship this summer at the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation main office on Broadway! It’s really a great opportunity for a budding biologist like myself, and I’m working under Jeremy Hurst, big game biologist. Big game in NY consists of white-tailed deer, black bears, and moose. Moose really aren’t on the radar much yet though, because they are so few. This position is an office position, no running around outside this summer. But I am going to be getting the chance to learn a lot about how black bears are managed for in NY. I’m hoping that my future career will include work with black bears. I don’t know why, but I’ve always been very interested in them. At first when I was a kid, they were “cute”. Now, they just mystify me with their incredibly adaptive habits and behaviors. They literally stop eating, drinking, and moving for 4-5 months, give birth, and then come out on the other side of winter a little lighter but generally ok! I wish I could do that!

Anyway, this position will be interesting and a great learning experience. I will be posting periodically about what I’m up to on the job. Stay tuned!


  1. Great pics! I need to try a carcass with my camera traps. I'm just not very good at it, so anything would really help. Looks like it worked great for you. Love the porcupine! Congrats on the internship as well!


    1. Bill- using a carcass is great. I've gotten ever more species to the site too, I just haven't shared them all yet! I just advise to start out with a pretty fresh carcass... :)

  2. Gotta love seeing camera-trap results! Awesome coyotes!

  3. Wow that is really interesting, I love the variety of animals that stopped by to have a peak. :) Congrats on your new job!

  4. It's very odd that the cat is untouched. I found 2 dead bobcats last spring, and neither was eaten all that much... I wonder if cat meat doesn't taste good? Not that I'd expect a porcupine to be picky!

    Great photos!

    1. KB- I think that Porky was just curious? I've not read or heard anything that makes me think they'd eat carrion. They're pretty much just like an arboreal beaver, eating cambium and leaves!

  5. Sounds like a great summer job.

  6. The pictures are very cool! I think I mentioned once wanting a trail cam, and that's still true. But, since my neighbor moved in our property is now completely fenced off from the woods behind, so my visitors have dropped way down.

    The internship is awesome! I wish I could do something like that but, life happens. However, I live in the Albany area so if you want to talk shop (as if you won't get enough of that at work) or even just go for a hike, let me know. As soon as I'm done cleaning up my house for the market I'm really hoping to get some good outside time in this year! Hoping to do a little tracking and look for bones.


Thank you for reading and wishing to leave a comment! Unfortunately, due to a high number of spam comments being left under the "Anonymous" heading, I had to disable that feature. You may still leave a comment with a Gmail account, or under the OpenID option! I welcome comments, suggestions, stories, and tall tales!