Camera Trapping a Cougar

Usually when you find out that there is a mountain lion lurking in the area, you get out of there as quickly as possible.  When my brother told me that he almost tripped over a lion kill about three miles up a rough trail behind our house in Colorado and suggested that we set up a camera trap on it I got all excited.  Here we were, doing something to get our blood pumping yet again.  Two brothers, one brain between us.  In all honesty I’m not worried about getting attacked by a Mountain Lion, I’ve seen them a number of times while hiking, and once even spotted one watching my brother while he was working on something in the driveway.   However, messing around with a lion’s food seems to be a little bit more exciting for me.  When you consider that this is the time of year that a female lion might have some nearly full size cubs following it around, then the blood really starts to pump.  This isn’t the kind of opportunity I am going to miss though.  So we trudged up there laden with gear, and quietly got to work setting up the trap.   Before we went, I contacted Joe Riis, another National Geographic photographer that has been doing a lot of work with camera traps and got some advice from him on the best way to set up the sensors.  It only took us about 20 minutes to set the whole thing up, and I’ll be leaving my camera up there for a week or so in hopes of either catching a photo of a lion, a scavenging bear, or something else lurking around in the tall grass.  I’ll be excited to get back up there sometime next week and see what I get.  For now though, check out this video to see for yourself what the whole process looks like.

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About Ben Horton
Highly influenced by his love of travel and adventure and his constant search for something new, his imagery is vibrant with fresh and creative energy. Raised in Bermuda, Ben Horton has spent the majority of his life traveling and seeking out new adventure. Ben is the recipient of the National Geographic Society’s first Young Explorer award for research on Cocos Island involving shark poaching. This led to becoming a photographer for National Geographic, and has allowed Ben to continue his passion for adventure. Follow Ben on Instagram

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