For several years one of my camera traps was under a rock outcrop where it produced good photos of bobcats and black bear (the photos were posted here and here). Then, this spring the camera was discovered by several people who moved it, perhaps in an attempt to take it. When I saw those photos (here) I removed the camera and vowed to never put it back in that spot.
Eventually I found another spot that might be as good a location, a small “cave” between six and eight feet deep in a rock outcrop on a steep sidehill –
At the first check of the camera there were photos of a young porcupine, an opossum and, on two different days, a bobcat. Unfortunately a drooping dead branch detracted from the bobcat photos –
The camera trap was mounted on a steel concrete stake pounded into the rocky soil. As I approached the spot for the second check of the camera it was obvious that it was tilted far over.
As anyone who operates camera traps in bear country knows, bears play havoc with the units - which turned out to be the situation here. The photographs tell the story: first a black bear took a close look at the camera trap, tipped it somewhat and then spent a minute and a half near the cave entrance –
Eighteen days later a bear reappeared, moved the camera again and in the process provided but one photo: of its lips and some teeth –
From then until I got back to the spot weeks later the only photos the camera, now pointed toward the ground, took were of an eastern chipmunk, a white-footed mouse and the tail end of a raccoon –
All of my camera traps are in steel bear-boxes and secured to an immobile object with a cable lock; there wasn’t any damage to the camera trap, just missed photos. But that was the end of having this camera trap mounted on a stake, now it’s mounted on a nearby oak tree with the cable lock securing it to the tree.