By Brian Kieft
The Early Days
I happened to be an early adopter of game cameras in the early 90's. You know…, the ones that required 8 "D" size batteries, 35mm film, and they looked like a tackle box strapped to the tree! Those were the days!!!! It was definitely a love/hate relationship. Constant trips to Walgreens, pictures with only half an image, and battery changes once or twice a week. Sharing that first full size image of a reclusive whitetail buck though was like showing off my unborn child’s sonogram. Was that the bomb or what? Sure beat the trip-wire trail timers I had. They only gave me a time-stamp and daydreams of an angry Sasquatch. I wish I had that picture!
Those first few years were a major enlightenment. I began to realize what a blessing game cameras were. Areas I once thought were barren of any game animal were actually enchanted mystical lands full of heavy racked whitetails, long beards, and coyotes on the hunt. Bucks I would have never dreamed of were roaming my hunting grounds! I had more fun setting up cameras than I did tree stands. It was an addiction that only became worse when digital game cameras came out. The ability to head home and view pictures on my laptop without having to get them developed was like crack. Checking cameras actually became more addicting than the hunt itself. I rarely saw the models of my obsession in the flesh, but they always posed well for the camera. “Where are all the deer at?” I would ask myself. “I had multiple pictures last week and had four different bucks on film!” Not a single one showed up at dawn or dusk with my bow. “Hmmm, better reactive my Scent-Lok suit!”
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