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David Petersen
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Thanks, gents. Steve, no I won’t be “sitting on the same stump” as the cam. In fact since the big wildfire of a few years ago, year by year the place becomes less and less huntable due to the forest above the visible bench and all around being removed, and thousands of blowdowns like pick-up sticks that hardly even elk can get through, all of which has changed the breeze and thermal patterns and caused the elk to start coming in mostly from above the bench, which is where I sat for years on the ground. There is absolutely no chance of sitting where the cam is or anywhere near the pool without getting scented. But now even when I’m up the hillside a ways they scent me as they come down the trail and I’ve sat there a whole week, daylight to dark and not had a one come in. So it’s a sweet place for cam work but not so sweet as it used to be for ambush. These days I spend most of my hunting time silently chasing bugling bulls, mostly late in the season. For those of you who are rightly jealous of all the game you’re seeing in these shots, there are thousands and thousands of places just this rich scattered across western public elk habitat. Find an area that’s basically dry with no creek or running water source nearby, and that’s out of sound of any road or stinking ATV trail and thus also unlikely to have other hunters around, examine it carefully for wind patterns all times of day and game trails in and out, and you’re in business. There is of course no salt or bait of any kind invilved here but only rare and remote water in a dry landscape. When it rains and water is standing everywhere, nothing comes near these pools.

On other points, yes I do crop these pics to get rid of the date-time stamps which I rarely even think to glance at anyhow as I’m not interested in trying to pattern anything. Bears predictably come in the heat of the day when it’s hot, and elk come mostly in the evenings, and that’s all I need to know (esp. since I don’t hunt bear, or lions, or coyotes, etc.). Deer rarely come at all but it can be anytime. I also crop out excess surroundings in order to enlarge the images for better viewing. All this is done with copies so that the originals are untouched and still full size. This particular cam, I can’t recall the brand and it’s hanging out there on a tree right now so I can’t check. It was a good one when new, a big box using big batteries fairly fast, but it’s old and max resolution for pics is around 500kb. It was given to me. It uses a flash at night. My other cam will take shots up to 2mb and is a little DLC Covert II that uses infrared at night so the night pics are black and white and not very interesting. I can see no difference in the way elk react to infrared or white flash at night; neither seems to spook them off. But I just don’t like the idea of bright flashes going off out there in the nocturnal woods. That’s what lightning’s for. It’s fun, this off-season cam hunting but I would never bait for it, which is illegal anyhow here in CO at least for bears, and I say good. Cheers, dave