Annoying trail camera moments?

A few months ago I placed my trail camera in a location in a local forest and left it there over night (I had just bought brand new batteries for this occasion). So I came back the next day only to find it was out of battery becuase it had taken 300+ photo’s of nothing! That was annoying…

It could have been the stupid position that I put it in that caused it, the camera was looking at tree leaves on a windy day.

Do you have any annoying trail cam moments?


That’s frustrating! Better luck next time.

On my own part, I’ve definitely had a frustrating experience with trail cams, or camera traps in my case. About a year ago, I was in a class that was divided into a few groups. Each group nailed a piece of chicken to a tree, sprayed it with Gusto*, set up their camera, and then left it overnight. There were some of the usual shenanigans—wind setting it off, other groups using the cameras to take pictures of themselves, etc. However, when we all went in to check what the camera traps had picked up, many of us saw the same thing: a dog. Someone had let their dog off-leash in the woods (a research forest, no less!) and it proceeded to eat almost every piece of chicken we’d set out. (I say almost because one actually was eaten by an American Black Bear). This was certainly a frustrating experience for a bunch of students expecting to see pictures of wild animals! Oh well, at least I got this flying squirrel observation out of the whole experience.

*A “predator lure.” Also the strongest thing I have ever smelled.


Haha! That’s quite funny actually! But yes, that definetely would of been annoying.

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this is an account of me inadvertently being the annoying one. First time I came across a camera trap was on a private wildlife (mainly bird focused) refuge in the Adirondack Mountains of NY State. I saw a salt lick (to lure the salt-lickers) and thought I’d found some strange organism because I’d never seen a salt lick up close at least not in the context of woods (maybe at a zoo or barn?) I totally fidgeted with it and then eventually realized the camera box right in front of me. I was embarrassed and am still wondering what stupid face of “discovery” I made, whether it was captured and whether anyone laughed at my naivete. :woman_facepalming:t3:


Not annoying really, but I captured some teens going into the woods with a bong. :rofl:


Lol! That is funny! I have actually done the same thing, but not in front of the camera. I thought it was some kind of cool rock, lol. (Me as a rock collector.)


Yes. Not only with the pics of nothing whatsoever, (not even windy some days, what’s up with that?), but the most annoying thing would have to be the most comical at the same time, lol. Those posing animals. It’s like they literally know their picture is being taken. Especially vultures. Right in front of the camera. Then they are there, ‘Ooh, look at me, I have my wings open. Now I am looking at you. This is probably my good side.’ I even had one do a shot from behind! :-O. Lol! And then we had a ringtail who decided to come up with a game where it tries to walk in front of the camera, and see if it can make it past without setting off the flash. Now that was pretty humorous, until you realize there’s a million photos of it, none of them clear. Lol.


I’m pretty sure I did a squat & pee within the view of someone else’s trail cam. In this case, I hope the batteries were dead!


Oof running canopy camera trapping surveys gets us THOUSANDS of moving leaves! those are indeed annoying!


One particular kororа̄ pair absolutely loved pooing directly on the camera’s lens. Within a couple days of the camera being checked each time, the only photos would be their next ‘contribution’ to the lens buildup. No matter where the camera was moved to- they managed to cover the lens.

Another favourite was one pair that managed to pull the camera loose of its mount and had it fall into their burrow’s entryway, leading to every picture just being looking up at their bums! Not really annoying I suppose, still got the needed data :P


A lot of the places that I go birding are pretty isolated and i hardly ever see anyone else, so I’m not always particularly careful about where I “go”, one day I turned to, ah, take a leak, and I was just looking around, when I finished I looked right in front of me and there was a trail cam that just captured 30 rather embarrassing seconds.


I work at a zoo that sets up camera trap trails to see what wildlife is using urban spaces. This of course meant plenty of humans around to mess with them. We got a few pictures of people holding up their dogs (kind of cute, haha) and one failed attempt to moon us where the capture was taken right before and right after the unveiling, but not during, thank goodness. :laughing:


I ust set up my first trail cam ever today so, I have no funny or embarrassing stories yet, but I’m sure I will!!

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Oh boy do I have an annoying moment with my trail cam, so glad you asked!

I set up my camera a few weeks ago aimed at a stream bed where I had noticed tracks of animals coming to drink water. The camera was aimed very specifically and was mounted on a tree (I thought inconspicuously). I left it up for four days and came back to find that not long after I put it up, a hiker and his son (who were off-trail) found the camera, and checked it out- okay, I get it- but then moved the camera so it was aimed at a busy hiking trail across the ravine- so all my photos were of people and dogs. Grrr…

so annoying!



the wind does this to my camera often. I’ve noticed it’s helpful to try to keep branches and tall grass/weeds out of the shot if at all possible.


@allycouch I get a lot of posing mule deer- I’m convinced they can hear the camera (maybe a higher frequency sound that humans can’t hear?" because they will stop while crossing in front of the camera and stare right at it, even if it is concealed in a tree!


I get a lot of posing mule deer- I’m convinced they can hear the camera (maybe a higher frequency sound that humans can’t hear?" because they will stop while crossing in front of the camera and stare right at it, even if it is concealed in a tree!

Yeah, I don’t think that’s a coincidence!


I’ve been trying to camera trap predators. Specifically coyotes and foxes.

Most of my videos however are of leaves blowing and crows and ravens stealing my bait. A few feral cats, neighbors dog stealing my bait.

At least a hundred videos of crows and ravens.

Also about two days ago, I had to move my camera again because some House Wrens started building a nest beside it and were none too happy it was there. After I checked it, I had dozens of videos of House Wrens screaming at my cam and attacking it constantly.

Also, some times hunters and farmers going by because it is positioned facing a wildlife corridor cutting through a field.

Also had robins and bluebirds. One time a bumblebee set it off.


Was trying to attract wild canids with some good, stinky bait. I technically succeeded, but it was someones dog that they were letting run around off-leash! Also, raccoons. So many bloody raccoons.


Lol. Yup, that is a good theory. Gotta love the selfies. (I mean you gotta admit they are good at it, they manage to look at the camera most of the time, and they’ve never seen their pic to check it, lol.)