May 2021 - 26

Migration routes sometimes afford bull elk the opportunity to practice sparrring. These two young bulls lock antlers on the North Fork of the Shoshone River.

S

couting takes many forms. For some hunters, that means hiking deep
into the backcountry prior to the season opener armed with only a trail
camera in their pack. These motion-activated cameras are mounted in
the forest taking photographs of animals that wander by. Upon return,
some find exactly what they are hoping for - some hints on where
and how to pursue their game of choice for the fall. For others, the cameras
reveal nothing beyond a hint they should look elsewhere.
Trail cameras work because they see what people
can't. Hunters rely on the invisibility, a trick lifted by
wildlife researchers who've started using cameras to document wildlife behaviors and collect management data.
For Tony Mong, a Cody-area Wyoming Game and
Fish Department wildlife biologist, placing cameras is
part of his routine. Mong leads an effort to use these
cameras for research and data collection. He and area
game wardens Chris Queen, Grant Gerharter and
Travis Crane head out annually into some of the area's
most inaccessible locales in the Absaroka Mountains to
place and check trail cameras. The images help Game
and Fish make management decisions and show the
challenges the animals face on a daily basis.
Pioneered by Doug McWhirter when he was a
wildlife biologist in the Cody Region, then Large
Carnivore Services Supervisor Mark Bruscino and
Game Warden Tim Fagan, the trail camera program
in Wyoming started in 2010. Although McWhirter is
now in Jackson serving as the Game and Fish wildlife
26 | May 2021	

management coordinator and Fagan and Bruscino have
retired, the team in Cody has expanded the program
to add more cameras and locations. The team has
placed 25 cameras at varying locations ranging from
the Montana border south to the South Fork of the
Shoshone River. Because they are motion-activated,
when something as small as a squirrel moves in front,
the device takes a burst of five photographs. In order to
get more species-specific image data, Mong identifies
locations along migration routes where animals are
likely to travel like on game trails and at pinch points.
Because the cameras are located in difficult-to-access locations, the team can't check them every day
or even every month. They return in the late spring
or early summer and again in late fall or early winter
to swap out the memory cards and batteries. Some
locations require such long hikes and horseback rides
that Mong may only check them once a year if snow
doesn't keep him out.
Luckily, each camera can snap up to 30,000



May 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of May 2021

May 2021 - 1
May 2021 - 2
May 2021 - 3
May 2021 - 4
May 2021 - 5
May 2021 - 6
May 2021 - 7
May 2021 - 8
May 2021 - 9
May 2021 - 10
May 2021 - 11
May 2021 - 12
May 2021 - 13
May 2021 - 14
May 2021 - 15
May 2021 - 16
May 2021 - 17
May 2021 - 18
May 2021 - 19
May 2021 - 20
May 2021 - 21
May 2021 - 22
May 2021 - 23
May 2021 - 24
May 2021 - 25
May 2021 - 26
May 2021 - 27
May 2021 - 28
May 2021 - 29
May 2021 - 30
May 2021 - 31
May 2021 - 32
May 2021 - 33
May 2021 - 34
May 2021 - 35
May 2021 - 36
May 2021 - 37
May 2021 - 38
May 2021 - 39
May 2021 - 40
May 2021 - 41
May 2021 - 42
May 2021 - 43
May 2021 - 44
May 2021 - 45
May 2021 - 46
May 2021 - 47
May 2021 - 48
https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/october-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/september-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/august-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/july-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/june-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/may-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/april-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/march-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/february-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/January2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/December2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/September2020
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com