What I Did to Fulfill my Passion for Nature

Barriers in nature are a given, and no one said the outdoors would ever be fully accessible, but advancements in technology sure help to make things a little more wheeler friendly. One of my passions is watching animals in their natural environment, and a great way to do this is through the use of feeders and trail cams. Since I'm hobbled up right now (due to two broken legs) my bride and daughter have been lending a hand and taking the lead on this task.

God willing, I'll be back in the saddle again soon!

Corn feeders and salt or mineral blocks are feed stations that draw in animals big and small. With advancements in trail cameras, "being one with nature" is becoming easier. Of course, cameras range in price and variations of size and color so that they can be tailored to individual preference and budget. I've found that the more megapixels of course give clearer imagery but typically come with a higher price tag and sometimes more strain on the battery - causing the need for more frequent battery changes.

As far as camera choice, I've gone with infrared as opposed to traditional flash. You lose a little distance, but I think it's less invasive on night-time grazers. I'm a big researcher of products before I buy, and believe that the less maintenance, moving parts, and human interaction the better (the old "K.I.S.S method" (Keep It Simple Stupid).

The feeders I chose are gravity fed as opposed to digital broad casters, again not requiring battery or solar power. My "dinner plates" take about 15 minutes to assemble, holds around 200 pounds of corn or grain (allowing for long spans of time between refill), and the food is only dispensed as quickly as the animals eat (allowing me to calculate consumption and overall "health" of the animal population on our property).

Camera placement is ultimately the most essential part of this process and, of course, needs to be where you expect the majority of animal traffic, but also a location easily accessible via wheelchair. I typically set my cameras about seat cushion height, allowing for a vast range of "viewing". Plus it allows me independence in checking photos via a cheap $15.00 SD card reader as opposed to having to collect SD cards, taking them to the house, downloading them to the computer and then returning them to the camera (too much "leg work"). Yes, I can be lazy.

As always these are just my opinions and you may find ways that work better for your "disability" levels. Seeing nature on the move, having eyes in the dark, and frankly the anticipation of catching a monster deer on film keeps me "on the hunt".

Anything I can do to break down barriers, I'm "All in". God bless and happy hunting.

Mike

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