What’s Up with No Critter Cam Pictures Last Night?

Things did not go according to plan last night with the critter cam. It took zero pictures. What gives? I’m sure I had the timer settings right. It’s a 24-hr. military time clock and it was set for 1930 to 0730 starting yesterday evening. The grate was undisturbed and maybe that’s the explanation.

Could there be a problem with taking night time pictures? I checked a web site about that, “Trail Camera Not Taking Night Photos? 7 Things to check.” As far as I can tell from the list, there is nothing seriously amiss.

The area of interest is well within our camera’s 65-foot detection range. I suppose the problem might be the alkaline batteries, but it took pictures in dim light of me just fine. The memory card is brand new, formatted and I deleted any test pictures I took so there was plenty of storage. The camera is rated to 13 degrees below zero and it didn’t get close to that last night. It’s not shooting black pictures—it’s taking no pictures.

I could be wrong, of course, but I don’t think it had anything to do with night time. It took pictures of me in dim light and daylight just fine. The camera was pointed in the right direction according to the daylight test shot I took this morning.

No pictures might just mean no action. That doesn’t mean unusual things can’t happen. I ran across a headline today on the web, “Mountain Lion sighting in South Central Iowa.” The animal was filmed in Madison County, which is not far southwest of Des Moines.

Anyhow, I got an idea about a different approach today. I think I figured out how to mount the camera on the stand with base included in the box. Feel free to point out any mistakes I made putting it together. The manual didn’t include instructions on how to assemble it. I also could not find any YouTube or other internet guidance. It’s like nobody else thought it was important enough to tell newbies how to do basic things with trail camera field mounting.

I know the stand is supposed to be secured to something with screws, but I couldn’t find a suitable place to install the tiny wood screws with funny looking plastic sleeves.

Instead, I placed the camera with the stand along with a couple of heavy rocks on the base on a patio block. I took some test pictures, which looked OK. You can tell which pictures are which by the time stamp. The post mounting shot was at 9:46 AM; the stand on the block picture was at 11:23 AM. I think the latter would be as secure as the post mount.

There were either no trigger events or there was a malfunction. I doubt it was the latter, but I’m not the handyman or modern age Daniel Boone kind of guy.

For now, my new plan is to use the critter cam stand and rocks setup and try again, maybe tonight. I can just hear people groaning, “Rocks, are you joking? Extraterrestrials will just blast them with their ray guns!”

 I would like to try video, but for now I want to just make sure it’ll take photos as programmed.

Author: James Amos

I'm a retired consult-liaison psychiatrist. I navigated the path in a phased retirement program through the hospital where I was employed. I was fully retired as of June 30, 2020. This blog chronicles my journey.

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