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Thread: Night vision wildlife camera advice wanted...

  1. #1
    Master
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    Night vision wildlife camera advice wanted...

    I take my dog for a countryside walk before dawn each day and am used to seeing fox and deer by the light of my torch - usually just the eyes but the whole animal if they are close enough. Four times in the last month I have seen what I believe to be a puma. The first couple of times I just saw the eyes and they just didn't behave like deer eyes (the deer are usually in a small herd and this animal crouched when the torch alighted on their eyes - deer don't do that). Yesterday, now armed with a very powerful torch (Olight Javelot Pro), I saw the animal about 50m away - a little bigger than a Labrador (longer and sleeker) with a light coloured coat. It slunk away with feline grace and watched me from afar as I continued my walk. There is a large cat sanctuary about 1 mile and I contacted the owner - based on my description, he believes it is one of three female pumas believed to have been released several years ago. Big cat sightings in the St Albans and Welwyn area are not uncommon.

    I saw it again this morning, watching (presumably sizing up!) a small group of deer and want to get some pictures of it - I have asked the landowner whether I can set up an infrared camera in the place I have seen it several times but he has not said yes yet. So I want to get some sort of camera or camcorder that could image this animal in darkness about a 40-50m away. I have seen a few camcorders on Amazon, but have no idea whether they would lead to a decent image.

    I would prefer a sharp still to a grainy video so maybe there are suitable still cameras? I don't really want to spend more than, say, 200gbp and would appreciate any advice.

    Cheers

    Jon

  2. #2
    Master Skier's Avatar
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    No consumer remote wildlife cameras will, to my knowledge, record anything at 40 -50m, day or night. The camera has to be triggered, usually by IR movement, and it won't be at that distance. To have a look at what's available, search Amazon for 'trail camera' and you'll see a huge number. Buy two SD cards so that on your walks you can swap them over and bring the one just removed home to review without having to head back out to replace it, and check it at least every week.

  3. #3
    Grand Master
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    Jon, check out trail cams, get permission and set it up, just a word of warning, secure it with a cable of light chain as they tend to get nicked.

  4. #4
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    That's fascinating, hope you can get some images. I take it pumas are a bit less dangerous than tigers, then. Just googled whether they attack humans and part of the advice was "If the puma attacks you, fight back".

    https://www.kcet.org/shows/socal-wan...-mountain-lion

    Sincerely hope you don't end up having to punch it!

  5. #5
    Craftsman
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    Sounds amazing - good luck


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  6. #6
    Wow that's interesting. How does your dog react to the animal?

  7. #7
    Master studly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jools View Post
    How does your dog react to the animal?
    It doesn’t. It just watches Jon commando crawling through the grass trying to get a better look at it whilst it thinks
    “it’s not a puma, you muppet!”

    Let’s look at some facts Jon, a puma eats a deer a week, three pumas over three years is five hundred dead animals.

    where are the calf and sheep attack reports? there should be some and where are the carcasses of all of these mutilated animals?

    Why has nobody else caught it on camera?

    maybe it is another dog being walked off the lead, or a fox, or a fat house cat and an overactive imagination.
    Last edited by studly; 14th November 2019 at 13:35.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by studly View Post
    It doesnít. It just watches Jon commando crawling through the grass trying to get a better look at it whilst it thinks
    ďitís not a puma, you muppet!Ē

    Letís look at some facts Jon, a puma eats a deer a week, three pumas over three years is five hundred dead animals.

    where are the calf and sheep attack reports? there should be some and where are the carcasses of all of these mutilated animals?

    Why has nobody else caught it on camera?

    maybe it is another dog being walked off the lead, or a fox, or a fat house cat and an overactive imagination.
    There have been reports of deer carcasses found - but they also eat rabbits and other small animals. I fervently hope it is my imagination, but I don't think so. What I saw yesterday looked and moved like a large cat. It definitely wasn't a dog or a deer and was way too big for a domestic cat or fox. I rarely meet any other people out at the times we are out - we might see someone once every month or two. Sun doesn't rise until long after we get home.

    There are regular sightings near the wild cat sanctuary a mile away during the mating season - presumably the scents attract any loose cats from quite a way away. Whether all three pumas survived is also in question - maybe there is just the one animal now.

    I would rather not see it again but I feel pretty sure I will. If I can get permission to put a trail camera where I have seen it most, I will - going by the other responses (thanks everyone) that seems to be the best option.

  9. #9
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    Best be careful you donít see any other nocturnal activity..........

    Only saying 😉

  10. #10
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    I agree with Skier's post above.

    We have a couple of the 'wildlife' cameras in our woods, bought from Amazon, from memory they were around £60 each and were 4.5+ star rated in the reviews (for what that is worth).

    We have caught some interesting (but rather poor) images of foxes, badgers, rabbits, birds, stoats, cats etc, but the range is around 1m for a clear(ish) image at night, so nowhere near the 40-50m range you are looking to achieve. I am no expert in night vision or cameras generally, but I am not sure how realistic your 40-50m range is for night vision unless you are into serious camera gear, eg night stalker scopes or military grade equipment.

    You would be better trying to get the animal closer to the camera by baiting or similar. Albeit, I am not sure if feeding 'wild' animals is even legal(?).

  11. #11
    Master reggie747's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by studly View Post

    Letís look at some facts Jon, a puma eats a deer a week, three pumas over three years is five hundred dead animals.
    I reckon that'd be some fat assed Puma with consumption like that !

  12. #12
    Lots on here mate ,good variety of prices and specs as well ...
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=trail+c...nb_sb_ss_i_2_9

  13. #13
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    Thanks all - I have ordered an Apeman trail camera and will try to get permission to use it on a nearby field where I saw it move to.

    Sent from my moto e5 play using Tapatalk

  14. #14
    Craftsman ajdh's Avatar
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    We have three Bushnell NatureView CanHD cameras around our house to mainly monitor hedgehogs. We check them out every morning and it makes a break from watching Breakfast TV. Here's a sample of one of our captures.
    https://youtu.be/k_c-0gluhyA

  15. #15
    Master Skier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonRA View Post
    Thanks all - I have ordered an Apeman trail camera and will try to get permission to use it on a nearby field where I saw it move to.

    Sent from my moto e5 play using Tapatalk
    Please post any interesting footage you get.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skier View Post
    Please post any interesting footage you get.
    Will do - and thanks for the video ajdh - loved the fox's care with tiggywinkle!

    Sent from my moto e5 play using Tapatalk

  17. #17
    Grand Master hogthrob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by monogroover View Post
    I take it pumas are a bit less dangerous than tigers, then. Just googled whether they attack humans and part of the advice was "If the puma attacks you, fight back".
    Seems more sensible than "If the puma attacks you, passively let it kill and eat you".

  18. #18
    Master studly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonRA View Post
    maybe there is just the one animal now.
    Or maybe there is none.

    A quick look on Wikipedia shows the only puma caught in the UK was in 1980 and it can't have been that wild as it liked it's belly being tickled , before that a lynx was shot in 1903, but yeah puma's are just prowling about never being photographed or ever turning up dead.

    Then again... maybe you did see one.

    Either way good luck with the camera and hopefully you'll find out what it is.

    While you are waiting check out this youtube channel if you've never seen it


  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by studly View Post
    Or maybe there is none.

    A quick look on Wikipedia shows the only puma caught in the UK was in 1980 and it can't have been that wild as it liked it's belly being tickled , before that a lynx was shot in 1903, but yeah puma's are just prowling about never being photographed or ever turning up dead.

    Then again... maybe you did see one.

    Either way good luck with the camera and hopefully you'll find out what it is.

    While you are waiting check out this youtube channel if you've never seen it

    Thanks for this video - what a beautiful creature. Seeing a video like this rather than the static wikipedia image of a puma really does make me think that is what I saw - the size, the shape, the colour, the gait.

    Anyway, the camera arrives today and after working out how to use it I need to get it out there. The landowner isn't playing ball at the moment (ie hasn't phoned me to discuss the idea) but there is another area nearby that is farmed by a friend of a friend so might have to try that route.

  20. #20
    Grand Master
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    Don't rush it Jon, take your time, find the spoor trails, crossing points, droppings etc, then you will know where to locate the camera.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by seadog1408 View Post
    Don't rush it Jon, take your time, find the spoor trails, crossing points, droppings etc, then you will know where to locate the camera.

    Thanks - I have a good idea where she likes to waits (well I have seen her there three times) and I have seen her move from there through a hedge into another field where she seems to wait in the middle of the field.

    Unfortunately the only rights of way are paths through these properties - one is someone's 7 acre 'garden' and the other a farmer's arable field - so until I can get permission I am rather limited in what I can do. The 'garden' owner has not got back to me (after discussion with his wife) but I may be able to get permission from the farmer.

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