The DIY Hunter

Browning Strike Force BTC-5HD trail camera bear attack

Here is how I found my Strike Force BTC-5HD trail camera. The bears had ripped my 12 Volt AA NiMh external battery pack off the tree and twisted the BTC-5HD camera around the tree. The latch door was open and luckily the bears didn't rip the door off. I might need to lock the latch to prevent the door from coming open.


KB checking trail cameras

My hiking buddy KB helping me check my trail cameras.


Selfie of KB and me while checking trail cameras

Here's a selfie of KB and me during our hike to check the trail cameras.


Rock squirrel

This rock squirrel was checking me out during the hike up the mountain.

Back out checking the trail cameras in July has turned up a great deal of black bears. Unfortunately I have only one elk on the cameras while compared to last year during this same time period in 2014 when there was a lot of elk traffic in the area. I'm starting to question archery hunting the area this year. Maybe I'll hunt elk with my muzzleloader this year. Hmm...

As you can see from the videos on this page the bears are back to working on trying to rip my trail cameras off the trees. So far they haven't been successful in doing so with my BTC-7FHD and BTC-5HD cameras. The reinforced mounting brackets on the newer Browning trail cameras have been great, especially the metal bracket on the Recon Force BTC-7FHD cameras.

Bears and elk have the best noses and if you have watched many of my trail camera video clips you can see how quickly they can find my cameras with their noses. I might need to try spraying them down with a scent killer when I set them up and see if that helps keep them from messing with them.

Another thing I have noticed this year is that I am getting Mountain Lions on the cameras from time to time. Maybe the lions have been scaring off the elk? I doubt it.

Stolen Browning Trail Camera DIYHNTER03

Here's a sample photo from my Recon Force BTC-2XR camera named DIYHNTR03


Stolen Browning Trail Camera DIYHNTER21

Here's a sample photo from my Strike Force BTC-5 camera named DIYHNTR21.

Well, I knew it was bound to happen sometime. Today when I went to pull two trail cameras from some sage mule deer wintering area the two cameras were gone. I had the two cameras watching two directions off the same dead juniper tree in Morgan, Utah. Whoever took the cameras got a sweet Strike Force, BTC-5 and a Recon Force, BTC-2XR camera. They also took the Browning Tree Mount metal bracket and a Browning external battery pack.

The property they were on was on the north side of the valley butting up to Kippen property. The cameras were on my family's property placed 50 yards or so from the Kippen fence. There has been an ATV traveling the fence line on the Kippen property.

The cameras were named DIYHNTR03 and DIYHNTR21 and have this in the lower portion of the images they take. I had DIYHNTR03 written on the one BTC-2XR camera but I believe the DIYHNTR21 camera did not have anything written on it.

I was hoping to catch some nice mule deer bucks on these cameras wintering this past winter but nothing exciting was on the cameras on January 31st the last time I checked them. My cousin said they were still on the tree recently when he was up on the hill. I'm guessing someone was out looking for shed antlers noticed they were on camera and decided to keep the evidence of their tromping through the property.

I have some creative ideas on how I could make them trackable if stolen in the future. Hmm....

Browning Recon Force BTC-7FHD Trail Camera Mounting plate

The Browning Recon Force BTC-7FHD trail camera has a solid metal mounting plate on the back. Good luck ripping this camera off the tree Mr. Black Bear.

 

Browning Recon Force BTC-7FHD Trail Camera Door Latch

The door and latch system to access the control panel and SDHC memory card on the BTC-7FHD trail camera.

 

Browning Recon Force BTC-7FHD Trail Camera with 12V NiMh battery pack

A DIY 12V NiMh Rechargeable Trail Camera Battery Pack attached to the external 12v power port on the Browning Recon Force trail camera.

In February of 2015 I was able to get my first Recon Force (BTC-7FHD) trail camera, the newest trail camera from Browning. After a couple weeks of testing the camera I am just amazed with the video quality this camera produces.

The camera takes full HD 1920x1080 video. The quality of the audio is also top notch. The video is saved in H264 MP4 format on a SDHC card.

I have just really been blown away by the videos this camera produces. I thought the HD videos the older Browning Trail cameras produce where awesome, now they just don't quite compare.

The camera uses the single buckle latch on the lower half of the camera. Browning used this latch on the sub micro Strike Force trail camera last year. I like this system over the double snapping buckles from the older Recon Force cameras.

I have noticed that the camera does an awesome job with getting triggered by even small critters like robins and cats and raccoons that are 20 yards away from the camera.

Another feature I really like is that the plastic mounting brackets have been replaced with a solid steel plate that covers much of the back of the camera. This will greatly help the camera from being broken off a tree by a bear or an operator trying to wedge a shim in between the camera and the tree while the camera is cinched on tight. Not that that hasn't ever happened to me. ;)

One thing that I have found with this camera is that it does chew through batteries a little faster than the past models. Taking video uses a lot more battery than just taking images. More battery consumption was expected given that it writes more to the SDHC card and captures so much more detail.  To help with making sure the camera has plenty of juice between checking it I have made a DIY 12V NiMh Rechargeable Trail Camera Battery Pack.

I also found that set to capture 30 second video clips the camera took 386 videos before the 32 GB SDHC SD card filled up. Many of the videos it captured were 10 second LED infrared lighted ten second videos at night of raccoons. The ten second black and white videos don't take as much space on the SD card. A little math on the file size on the 100,000 KB file size of a 30 second clip gives me 320 videos to fill a 32 GB card.

I picked up some 64 GB cards to try but the camera shows an error. Darn it! There have been many times that my favorite springs to watch for elk have filled up my 32 GB SD cards with the smaller HD videos from my old cameras in less that two weeks. It sure would be nice to be able to use 64 or 128 GB cards. Looks like I'll have to check this camera a little more frequently. I guess the camera isn't quite perfect but it's getting close.

Included on this post are some sample videos from the first few weeks of using the camera. Wow! Just awesome quality for a trail camera.

Thanks to this camera I will now be trying to upgrade my cameras to the new Recon Force Full HD cameras. I may also try the new Strike Force BTC- 5HD camera as it also has better video... although probably now quite as good as this Recon Force.