Fools in Paradise
Copyright© 2019 by UtIdArWa
That morning, after breakfast, Doc decided that we would start putting the trail cams into place.
I followed along. Supposedly for their protection. After all there are lions and tigers and bears out there, Oh My. In reality I was curious about where their thinking was.
There had been some controversy when I announced that Chuck was no longer working for the Professor, but was the sole property of Suzy. And if you have a problem with that, Talk to her. Nobody did.
However, Vincent stepped up and volunteered to take his place.
After they had placed 3 or 4, I spoke up. “Doc, have you ever wondered why nobody has ever got a good picture from one of these doo dads?”
Obviously, the professor still had me pegged as a trouble maker and skeptic. “I’m sure that you’ll let us know what we’re doing wrong.”
“Actually, it’s because they haven’t been used correctly. Oh, they are great for deer and squirrels and game animals. But they kinda fail the grade when it comes to predators, Like Mr. Fuzzy. You do know that these things stink right?”
“Aren’t you belaboring your dislike for trail cams?”
I’ll admit, I was having a bit of fun at this point. “No, I’m not kidding, they stink. They have an odor, Check it out. open one up and take a sniff on the inside. Get in there close and take a big whiff. What do you smell?”
He opened the case that he had in his hand and followed my instructions. “Well, It’s kind of a plastic smell. But the cases are made of plastic, they’re supposed to smell that way.”
“You’re right, and Mr. Fuzzy has a highly developed sense of smell. At least as good as a bears. Don’t forget, He relies on ALL of his sense’s. and that includes smell. He can smell your pipe tobacco, your ivory soap, the mint in your toothpaste. That obnoxious plastic odor is something that he KNOWS belongs exclusively to humans. He’s been watching you and others like you put these things in place. and as far as he’s concerned, if it’s got anything to do with humans, it isn’t good for him. And he’ll associate that smell to humans and danger. Therefore, as far as he’s concerned, they stink.”
The professor was pensive “OK, that sounds reasonable. BUT I’m sure you have a solution.”
“Well, Yes I do. For this and several other errors you folks keep making. First to eliminate the plastic smell. You can’t do it. What you can do is minimize the smell. What you need to do is deconstruct them and rebuild them. Instead of plastic, you need to use native woods. You replace the plastic cases with wood ones. And make them as airtight as you possibly can. some smell will get out, that can’t be helped. But my next suggestion will remove most of what’s left.”
“You’ve been putting them in the wrong place. You’ve been putting them at your eye level. Here’s a question for you. If something is at eye level for a 6-foot man, where will it be for a 10-foot Mr. Fuzzy? Right about waist level for him. So, if he does come along, and he has a head cold and the sniffles, a plugged-up nose, Well, right at the level that he’s looking at to make sure he’s not stepping in bear do-do, There’s your fancy trail cam.”
Obviously, he’s going to avoid it. He’ll be looking for a trap, or an ambush. A quick retreat will be his best option. BUT, most, if not all, animals rarely look up. This is the reasons that bow hunters use tree stands. Their prey will come in closer if they don’t see a threat. And deer or elk NEVER look up. Unless something catches their attention. Bigfoot is probably the same. We don’t know because nobody has put their cameras high enough. They need to be at least 20 foot up. Being that high they’ll also be out of reach for Mr. Fuzzy, and other critters messing with them.”
“Next you guys aren’t thinking tamper proofing them either. You need to start pairing your cameras. With each camera being in view of the other. That way if one camera gets messed with, you’ll see what did it. If you play your cards right, you could get a whole string of cameras, each watching one or more of the others and cover a large area.”
“Finally, and this is the nail in coffin for trail cams. Film vs digital. Best evidence requires a tamper resistant medium. Digital images are too easy to manipulate. Any 15-year-old with a decent computer and photoshop can create an alien autopsy that true believers will swear is legitimate. And even true experts will be reluctant to dispute. This is why a lot of courts won’t accept digital evidence. You need to use film cameras. And after the shots, you need to seal the film canisters and treat them like crime evidence. You get independent, reliable experts to develop the film, Preferably the manufacturers. That removes any hint of tampering.”
“So, in conclusion students, we have determined that trail cams are worthless in your search for Sasquatch. You need to replace them with 35mm still, and 16mm motion celluloid film cameras. Anything else is subject to challenge and dispute.”