Wow a Black Bear! Checking Trail Cameras — Using a Browning Trail Camera Mount

Black Bear in Trees

One of two photos I got of the Black Bear before it turned and headed out of Dodge.

 

Black bear I saw while checking trail cameras.

The second of the two photos I got of the bear. You have to use your imagination to fill in the blanks of the big ball of brown fur.

 

Bull Moose with Browning Range Ops Trail Camera

A bull moose came in and drank for a while on the Spec Ops trail camera.

Broken bracket on a Browning Recon Force Trail Camera

Oops! I broke off one of the mounting brackets. Don't try mounting a Browning Trail Camera to a skinny tree and then try to adjust the angle of it with broken branch shims. Use a trail cam mount.

 

Browning Recon Force Trail Camera tilted back with tree mount

The Browning Tree Mount makes pointing the Recon Force trail camera in the right direction a breeze.

 

Browning Recon Force Trail Camera on skinny tree

This is how the Recon Force trail camera looked on the skinny tree before I broke the bracket trying to get the camera to point up the hill.

 

Browning Trail Camera Mount

Here's the Browning Trail Camera Tree Mount securely mounting horizontally across the skinny tree trunk. The excess webbing is wrapped around the tree many times above and below the mount.

 

Small creek near elk bedding area

Here's a small creek near a great elk bedding area and close to where I just moved one of my Recon Force trail cameras.

 

This trip out to check the trail cameras was pretty exciting. Because it takes a good five hours to hike in to check the cameras I headed out a little earlier than normal in hopes of having a little time to work on building Pack Wheel game carts in the afternoon. I normally prefer to check the cameras in the middle of the day to lessen the chance of disturbing game near my trail cameras.

It was about a quarter after nine as I approached the first camera on my hike. As I got about a 100 yards or so away from the camera I startled something that went out to the left and something that went out to the right. I quickly made a Moo sound to see if whatever I spooked would think I was a cow and come back to investigate. Within a few seconds whatever it was that went out to the right came sneaking back in to take a look at me. As I started making out the critter I first thought it was an elk but quickly realized this was no elk. It was a large cinnamon colored black bear. Boy did he look big!

The bear stopped about 30 yards away from me in pretty thick cover and was looking around trying to find the "Moo." Luckily the bear was looking for me a little to my right. This bought me a few seconds to pull out the camera and try to get a few photos. Unfortunately, he only paused briefly then turned and quickly moved back into the timber. I'm guessing I didn't smell like a cow. Anyhow, I tried to get some photos but they are pretty much just a brown ball of fur in the trees.

Now that was cool. Bears have not been a common sight on this mountain. I have captured a bear twice on the trail cameras this summer and now I actually ran into one. Very cool.

After reviewing the video on the trail camera I found that the critter that busted out to the left was a spike elk. The Recon Force camera captured him coming down the trail headed right for me then he hears and or sees me and comes running back past the camera. Seven minutes later after watching the bear I come walking through past the camera. I always like to walk past my cameras when I check them to make sure they are working properly. You can catch the action of the spike and me at the end of the video in this post.

I hoped that one of the cameras this trip out checking them would have the bear on it but after reviewing them none of them did. Maybe next time.

This time in I decided to move DIYHNTR03 a Recon Force trail camera to watch a heavily used trail further up the mountain. The location of this camera has been my most consistent location to get elk on film. Elk are moving past this camera's location daily however so far only spikes and two year old 4 to 5 point bulls. I'm working on getting a few more cameras so for the time being I moved this camera and will probably place another one in this location when I get some more cameras.

I'm sure that once it starts getting close to September and the rut I will start seeing a different variety of bulls come by this location. For now I wanted to check out a see what might be moving in this other location I have been wanting to check.

When I got to the trail I wanted to move the camera to I found my choice of trees to hang the camera on pretty slim. There was one small piece of Oak Brush that was about 2 1/2 inches in diameter that would work. I mounted the camera and fiddled placing sticks between the camera and tree trying to get the angle of the camera pointed upward to watch the trail above. In the process of cinching down the strap to snug it against the tree I busted off one of the strap brackets on the back of the camera. Dang it!

I looked over the small size of the tree and realized that cinching the strap down on a tree this small puts direct strain right on the bracket. On any other normal sized tree the strap would not be pulling directly on the bracket. Also noticed that using pieces of branches as shims to wedge between the camera and tree places more stress directly on the brackets. And I was doing both, small tree and branch shims. Bad combo. Oops!

Luckily I had a Browning Tree Mount with me. I would have used the mount right off the bat with this tree however with the tree so small the teeth on the mount would not grip the tree. Now that I had broke of the bracket I started really thinking of how I has going to get the trail cam mounted on this tree. I realized that I could strap the mount to the tree sideways instead of vertical. I had to crisscross the straps across the back of the tree and the mount secured to the tree nicely.

Once I had the Browning Tree Mount secure on the tree, getting the camera to point in the prefect direction to watch the trail was really easy. My only concern now is that I have had a couple instances where an elk and a moose have came right up and placed their nose on the camera. If this happens with this camera on this mount there is a much greater possibility of the camera being moved to not point in the correct direction. The leverage of the mounting arm could cause the ball joint to slip a little if a elk nudged the camera with it's nose. I tightened up the mount as tight as I could and we'll see what it gets in a couple weeks. Hopefully the critters don't move it around.

In the video at the top of this post I have clips from all four cameras I have out. All three Browning Trail Cameras, Spec Ops, Recon Force and Range Ops trail cameras are shown in this video. All three camera models take great video. I'm really liking the video option over taking images... but it does chew up the batteries a little faster.

On the cameras this time we got lots of cow elk, calf elk, mule deer does, fawns and young bucks. I'm not sure where the large mule deer disappeared to that we had on camera a month ago. We did get a few bull elk and a bull moose. We got the largest bull elk so far. A 5x6 bull that I would guess would score around 260 BC. Dallen and I are hoping he sticks around for September and that he is able to finish growing the G5 point on both antlers. He's not huge but we'll take him. He's larger than either of us has ever taken.

Sadly now I have to wait a couple weeks before I go out to check them again.

 

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