Back at it again, this time armed with the lessons I learned from my previous two hunts. I was confident the hunt was going to go much smoother and it was going to be the day I took down my very first deer. I decided to hunt the same spot on this hunt hoping the movement in the a.m. would be similar to my first hunt. Arriving at my tree at 6:00am I was wide awake and crossing all my t’s and dotting all my i’s. Double checking everything to make sure I was going up the tree only once on this hunt. Everything looking good I headed up the tree and reached my 20ft mark and all was good. I hung my hooks, hoisted up my backpack and bow and I was in the tree. Everything going smooth I was feeling extremely confident about the morning.
I packed 3 cameras that I wanted to set up to film any and all activity that was happening around me. One camera was a GoPro Hero3, another my Olympus TG-4 Tough Camera, and an Olympus TG-Tracker. Ii had stopped at Wal-Mart the night before and picked up some camera tree mounts designed for mounting trail cams, but I managed to attach my GoPro mount to one and a standard camera mount to another. For the third camera I was going to affix it to my stand with a flexible tripod that I could wrap around the arm rest. Not wanting to be putting my cameras up after the sun was up I quickly got to work getting them mounted and ready.
I mounted the GoPro to my right on the tree facing out on an angle partly covering the front of my stand and out to the right. I then started to screw my in the holder for my Olympus TG-4 Tough camera with the camera attached. As I was screwing in the camera and mount the camera went flying from the tree. Yes you read that correctly. It literally went flying. As I was screwing the camera in going around and around the camera had detached from the mount and took flight. As I heard the thud of the camera hitting the ground I thought to myself “Well there goes that camera. It’s tough, but not that tough.”. It was still dark and I couldn’t see the camera very well as it laid there on the ground. I decided to move on and not get to upset over the loss. I go the Olympus TG-Tracker setup and was all ready for my morning hunt.
As the sun started to rise I had forgotten all about the camera that was lying on the ground beneath me. Intensely focused on forest in front of my I spotted movement coming from the bushed out to my right. Out of the brush appeared two very small Doe’s and their mama. As I watched them slowly move across in front of me at about 12 yards I had a battle in my mind trying to decide if I should harvest one of these Doe’s or give them a pass. No wanting to orphan the babies, and not wanting to shoot such small Doe’s I ended up giving them a free pass. As much as I wanted to harvest my first deer, I want to be proud doing it.
As they passed I remembered my camera was lying on the ground and decided to see if I could spot it and see if ti was broken after it’s flight from over 20ft. Looking down I could see the LCD screen was facing up at me and it looked shattered. It was very disappointing, but not unexpected after a fall from that height. Trying to forget about it I focused on watching the woods in hopes I would have another opportunity to harvest a deer. After sitting a few hours seeing no more movement it was time to call it and head down from the tree. After reaching the bottom I went to collect my broken camera and much to my surprise it wasn’t actually broken. The reflections created by the sunlight had created the illusion it was, but in was actually fine. In fact it didn’t have a scratch on it. I turned it on, took a picture, and was shocked that it was working perfectly. It indeed is one tough camera.
I examined the mount and the camera and discovered why it fell from the tree. The mount has a connection, much like those you would find on a cell phone mount for a car. The two pieces of the mount slid apart causing the camera to go flying. For future hunts I leaned:
- Don’t hang the mount with the camera attached.
- Permanently attach the two pieces of the mount.
- The Olympus TG-4 Tough camera is one tough camera.
I packed up my gear and started out of the woods again. Taking with me another lesson learned.