When we’re not there

I got into motion cameras in 2015 while staying with my father in Rochester New York. It was displacement-activity, actually, out of frustration on learning that my childhood wilderness was actually just inside the 5-mile no-fly radius of Rochester Airport. So much for crow’s-eye perspectives!

Instead, I adopted owl’s-eye perspectives, perched low on treetrunks in the land of coons and white-tails. What a revelation! Within a week, I had face-to-face video of a turkey tom who fell in love with the shiny lens cover of my Bushnell Aggressor. (couldn’t find any models with more peace-nik branding). I learned more about deer than a decade of direct observation could have taught me. One stormy night, I even filmed a coyote, confirming that some of those hairy turds had indeed been too large for fox.

Back in Alaska, I refocused on Sitka black-tailed deer. Steve Merli and I are using motion cams to study elevational movements up and down the mountainside, as seasons pass and hormones fluctuate. In February, 2018, I put together a talk with my friends Bob Armstrong and Hank Lentfer, summarizing what we’d learned from our very different experiences with these new tools. Link is below.

One question addressed early in this program was pretty basic. What should we even call these devices?  Trail cams?  Game cams? Critter cams? None of these really work for me. I’ve settled on motion cams for now.

In this section

108 days on mountain goat winter range

Motion-detector camera at 1,200 feet On December 12th, 2020, Steve Merli and I placed a game-cam in mountain goat winter…

2021 | Richard Carstensen | 12-minute slideshow

Armstrong guide to remote cameras

Tips and tools from a versatile naturalist-photographer My buddy Bob Armstrong has experimented with a broad range of cameras for…

2020 | Bob Armstrong | 43 pages

Decomposition on motion-cams: phases 3&4

Deer cemeteries on Sayéik, spirit helper (Douglas Island) Back in mid-May, I reported on a motion-camera study Steve Merli and…

July, 2020 | Richard Carstensen | 9 minute slideshow

Decomposition on motion-cams: phases 1&2

How a deer dissolves Steve Merli and I have slightly refocused our motion-cam deer study from behavior of live deer…

2020, May | Richard Carstensen | 6 minute slideshow

Junco life history

Lentfer audio-visual dark-eyes My friend Hank (Henry) Lentfer is using a combination of high-quality sound recording and high-res remote-control telephotography…

2020 | Hank Lentfer | 4 minutes

Hank Lentfer motion camera

In February, 2018, Hank Lentfer, Bob Armstrong and I gave a talk for the Alaska Wildlife Alliance on what I’ve…

When we’re not there

Studying wildlife with trail cams. Special emphasis on deer. Presentation to the Alaska Wildlife Alliance, Juneau chapter, Feb 2018. This…

Feb, 2018 | Richard Carstensen | 21 minutes

Kaxdigoowu Héen: Three days on clear water

In 2013 I participated in a 3 day teacher’s conference called STREAM: a Pedagogy of Place. During this “place-based” conference…

2013 | Richard Carstensen | 7 pages