Written By Matt Smetana.

Posted on January 18th, 2022.

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Is it possible to be awesome at trail camera photography or videography? I mean, the camera does all the work, right? MyWoodlot guest-author Matt Smetana proves it’s all about camera placement.

 MyWoodlot guest-author Matt Smetana has a knack for capturing amazing wildlife footage with trail cameras. Just look at these videos, all of which were filmed at Clearpool Model Forest in Carmel, NY.

0:00 -  A bobcat sneaks through the snow. Notice how the bobcat places its back right paw in the front left paw print and vice versa. This is called diagonal walking. Dogs and deer do this too!

0:06 - A coyote uses a log to cross a wetland… and then stares into your soul! What a clever spot to place a trail camera. Can you think of other examples of wildlife funnels, or places that tend to concentrate animal traffic? Let us know in the review/comments section!

0:16 - seconds A flying squirrel glides tree-to-tree across a trail. I mean, what are the odds of capturing this on camera!?

0:28 - A racoon sends out feelers in the night. Originally, I thought the raccoon was checking the water depth to avoid going for a swim. Then I learned that raccoons tend to touch everything because of the information provided by their highly sensitive paws.

0:41 - A red-tailed hawk takes flight with a fresh kill. I can’t be sure, but I think it was a mouse. 

Early successional habitat, also known as young woods, provides habitat for bobcats, box turtles, forest and shrubland birds, and much more. Visit MyWoodlot.com to discover the value of young woods.  

If you want to replicate Matt’s great trail camera work, take notes on these videos and check out MyWoodlot’s Install a Trail Camera Activity. Take it further and peruse our growing list of trail-camera-related blogs. I recommend reading them in this order:

  1. Installing Trail Cameras for the First Time
  2. Checking the Trail Cameras for the First Time
  3. Does a Bear Sit in the Woods?
  4. 5 Lessons I Learned About Trail Cameras

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