Wildlife Voyeurism Reaches A New High

Okay…I confess.   At least once during the past several days I have stopped by the Ohio DNR web site to look at their Falcon Cam.   I’m not exactly sure why I do it…other than I think it’s sort of neat to get a live view of nature most humans never get the opportunity to see…especially up this close.   That’s right, the DNR in Ohio has erected two cameras that stream live video and audio 24 hours a day from atop a 41 story high building.   So, if you’re feeling a bit trapped in that cubicle at work and need a quick wildlife fix…there’s simply no more excuses.

Nestboxcam2Now a few words of warning.   To view the video you might need to have the latest version of some media player installed on your computer.   Also, because the images are live…that means when the world turns dark in Ohio the cameras simply show black (and boring).   So, this is definitely a daytime viewing experience only.

There’s two cameras.   The nest cam is the best one to look at and can be viewed by linking here.   The ledge cam is also fun to look at…but I’ve found it only appears active when the falcon stirs and hops off the nest.   However, I’ve read that the ledge cam has shown evidence of prey that the falcon has killed, so you never really know what to expect.   In other words, this is reality TV with a natural twist.   Check it out.

Maybe this peregrine falcon cam is perfect for this purpose…but it really got me thinking how DNR’s can use this sort of technology for the study of other natural species.   What about a wood duck cam…a fox den cam…or even a muskie cam?   Is it possible?   I don’t see why not.   As computers and technology becomes a bigger part of our world it only makes sense for game departments to find a way to integrate the technology available into better promoting the resource.

I, for one, want to see the game departments do a better job promoting both the game and non-game wildlife resources, and it seems to me Ohio has stumbled upon a very interesting and unique way to do it.   I suspect, based on the popularity of this site, that many others departments will soon follow suit perhaps in some different way.   I sincerely hope so…it makes for a great way to spend a few mindless minutes each day wishing you were back outdoors.

2007 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction without Prior Permission

Burning To Benefit Wildlife: A Photo Essay

IMG_2781Most of us sportsmen are keenly aware of the benefits of doing a controlled burn in the spring to re-invigorate vegetative growth aiding all of nature.   From prairie grasses, to song birds, to game animals like deer and pheasant…there’s no disputing how burning as part of a total wildlife management plan is a good thing for all of nature.   To learn more about controlled or prescribed burns, please link here.

Yesterday I caught up with a crew that travels about nine different states in the spring to do these contract controlled burns for private individuals and for the government.   I thought you might like to see a few more of the sights associated with what takes place out on the fire line.   Check out this gallery.

2007 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction without Prior Permission

Sportsman’s Blog Podcast Episode #6-2007

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Alex-rutledgeToday’s special guest is Alex Rutledge, noted turkey hunting expert and pro staffer for Hunter’s Specialties.   Alex explains his philosophy on turkey hunting when the conditions experienced are less than favorable.   Imagine yourself setting the alarm clock for 4am only to awake to wind or rain.   It can be downright aggravating to dream all year about the perfect turkey hunt and then experience conditions that are far from ideal.   Well, Alex points out there are ways to ensure the hunt does not have to be a total bust.

I also discuss with Alex what qualities he believes most successful turkey hunters must possess.   Indeed, Alex rubs elbows with most of the nation’s top turkey hunters and I can assure you these guys do not rely purely on luck to fill their tag.   See what he has to say about developing the skills necessary to become a turkey hunter who consistently scores.

You know, I really have to thank Alex for his time in conducting this interview.   The man is incredibly busy with so much on his plate, particularly during this time of the year.   I was lucky enough to conduct the interview while he was en route to Ohio to hunt with Governor Ted Strickland tomorrow morning.   In talking with Alex I could sense his excitement, and rightly so, but with everything going on involving this news-making event, he made the time necessary to share the passion of his beloved turkey hunting sport with us.   Check out this podcast…if you’re a turkey hunter you’ll certainly be glad you did.

2007 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction without Prior Permission