A bobcat poses for a selfie on a trail camera. Credit: Courtesy of Downeast Lakes Land Trust

Some of us use trail cameras as a tool that (we hope) will improve our chances of success during hunting season. Others use their cameras more casually, and are just hoping to capture interesting images that will help them figure out what kind of animals are walking around in the woods behind their homes. Still others rely on them as security devices, tracking the comings and goings of humans who may or may not be welcome in those same woods.

Since we asked Bangor Daily News readers to share some of their top trail camera photos and videos, we’ve heard from all of those different user groups. Today, we’ll learn about another use for these handy cameras.

Colin Brown, the development and outreach manager for the Downeast Lakes Land Trust, said he’d been enjoying the trail camera photos that others had been sending in, and explained how the land trust is using trail cameras as fact-finding tools in its effort to support wildlife resources on its land.

“As a major component of our wildlife habitat management plan, 20 trail cameras are placed in an internally-designated 19,749-acre deer management area nested within the 55,678-acre Downeast Lakes Community Forest,” Brown said.

From left (clockwise): A bear checks out a trail camera; A coyote carries prey; A large whitetail deer walks through the forest. Courtesy of Downeast Lakes Land Trust

Those locations are chosen using a random method that considers forest type and the area’s timber harvest history.

“Through careful maintenance of these cameras, we can capture and analyze critical data which will inform our future habitat management goals and decisions. Our ultimate goal is to improve the long-term health of the many different habitats and forest types in the DLCF, not only for white-tailed deer, but for other native species which share similar habitat needs,” Browns said.

If you’re an outdoorsy person who likes to recreate in Washington County, you’ve likely heard of the land trust. If you haven’t, here’s how Brown describes the group.

“[The land trust] is a community-led conservation organization, based in Grand Lake Stream. DLLT contributes to the long-term economic and environmental well-being of the Downeast Lakes region through the conservation and exemplary management of its forests and waters,” Brown said. “DLLT protects lakeshores, improves fish and wildlife habitats, provides public recreation opportunities, offers educational programs and supports jobs in the forest and on the water.”

From left (clockwise): A pine marten climbs on a log; A fisher; A whitetail deer. Courtesy of Downeast Lakes Land Trust

Brown also sent along a selection of great photos that show how diverse the habitat and wildlife on the land trust’s land really is. Included are photos of a pine marten, a fisher, deer, a moose and a bear.

All of those great photos can be hard on a trail camera enthusiast’s wallet, though. After looking at them and learning that the land trust has 20 cameras deployed, I instantly began to wonder how many more cool photos I could capture if I had another camera, or six.

Do you have a trail camera photo or video to share? Send it to jholyoke@bangordailynews.com and tell us “I consent to the BDN using my photo.” In order to prevent neighbors from stopping by to try to tag particularly large bucks, moose or bears, some identities and towns of origin may be omitted.

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John Holyoke

John Holyoke

John Holyoke has been enjoying himself in Maine's great outdoors since he was a kid. Today, he's the Outdoors editor for the BDN, a job that allows him to meet up with Maine outdoors enthusiasts in their...