Ongoing Series, Scouting

NC Candid Critter Volunteer Experience: Deployment 7 Set-up & Pick Up

For our seventh deployment with the NC Candid Critter project we decided to stay in Mitchell County. If you still haven’t heard of this awesome citizen science run project and you are thinking about getting involved, check out my first post on our experience with the NC Candid Critter project.

Because of an exciting communication by the NC Candid Critter Project, for this deployment Tyler and I got the opportunity to deploy two cameras each. While exciting for us, this also means that there aren’t that many people utilizing the resource of checking out the game cameras from local libraries. Because of the surplus of cameras sitting on the shelf, we as volunteers were encouraged to check out more than one camera (which we happily did).

If you’ve been following these posts and are thinking “I’d love to get involved but I’m not sure that I could do it…” please look into this project and some of the deployment location sites! There are many just off of major trails in our area alone! Yes, we’ve been hitting more of the backcountry to deploy ours however, this citizen science project is really accessible to anyone! The project even provides online training and resources to volunteers, and Monica is super responsive to questions that are sent via email.

We didn’t venture too far from our original deployment sites in Mitchell, picking 4 spots along a trail that skirts around a few ridges that bump up to the Tennessee state line. We started by hanging my cameras first, which were closest to the road, and moved to the farthest deployment site, Tyler’s.

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Map of the area we hung cameras pulled from Candid Critters GIS site selection map.

My first location was on an old road that could be seen off of the trail at times. I hung my camera pointed across the road in hopes to get pictures of game crossing the road as well as to see if they were utilizing the road. For game such as deer, they can be wary about using a road for travel so having the camera point across the road seemed like a guarantee to get something cool on camera.

My second location was a steep and rocky area just to the side of a creek that came off a main ridge. At first I was unsure about the area but as I climbed up to my coordinates I saw signs of game trails, scat, and overturned rocks and logs. I placed my camera pointed down on what I believed to be a game trail.

Tyler’s deployments were located on a ridge just off of a field that had lots of young growth, signs of scat and trails. His second was just off a field. We followed what we thought was an old road or trail that ended in several smaller trails converging. His second camera was set up so that we could get game coming from almost every one of the smaller trails.

When we went to pick up the cameras, all of our cameras had at least 250 pictures! We were so excited to get home to see what was on the cameras, and we were not disappointed. We got pictures of deer shedding their winter coats, bears, and a few nice bucks. Tyler did have a scary experience though at camera pick up as he had a very close encounter with a Timber Rattlesnake but, removed himself safely from the situation.

See below pictures for highlights from this seventh deployment:

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Stay tuned for eighth deployment during hunting season!

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