Petersen's Exclusive: Trail Cam Captures Cougar Killing Fawn

Petersen's Exclusive: Trail Cam Captures Cougar Killing Fawn

Mike Quinn is no stranger to wilderness adventure. For the last 22 years he has scoured nearly every wilderness basin of Washington State with a singular, determined focus: finding trophy mule deer. And every spring, as early as the melting snows allow, Mike laces up his boots, straps on his 60-lb pack, and begins his quest for these infrequent and elusive high-country bucks.

In 2003, Quinn had an epiphany: "I thought that if I set up trail cameras in the areas I scout so heavily, I could effectively monitor favored locations 24-hrs a day — something impossible to do for even the most diehard and time-rich hunters. And if it worked, it might offer a decisive advantage come fall by not wasting time hunting non-productive areas."

Seven years later, he still hadn't tested his theory. Early trail cams had too many downfalls — they were large, heavy, ate batteries quickly, and cost an arm and a leg. Then Bushnell introduced a compact, affordable unit, the Trophy Cam. "Trail cams have gotten exponentially better with time," Quinn says. In the spring of 2011, he finally tested his theory.

Fifteen thousand images later, his theory has morphed into a law: Trail cams work for wilderness scouting. "I now kick myself in the rear-end for not using these units sooner," he said. "If I had been using these ten years ago, I may have enjoyed greater success on trophy-class animals. More importantly, I would have learned to not waste time hunting basins that did not hold trophy bucks."


Not Just the Normal Stuff

On Friday, August 24, Quinn and two Seattle, WA, buddies, John Cizin and Casey Mckinne, hiked into their spots to check a remote camera in Washington's Glacier Peak Wilderness. Despite thousands of images showing does like this one from over a half-dozen current camera locations, nothing could prepare them for what his camera was about to show him.

The Right Spot

Quinn scrolled quickly through the images, looking for big bucks or cougar images (this one location had already captured a mountain lion image in 2012).

Commonplace

What did he think about capturing images of a doe and a few fawns? 'Common, no big deal. The doe and fawn have been seen for the month of July into August. Doe walked out of view, fawn walked into view — three images snapped. '

The Set-Up

Quinn sets the camera's interval at five minutes or a two-minute interval and, when triggered, the camera takes three images — pretty normal stuff. Initially, he sets his cameras up after coming across sign he finds through traditional scouting methods. Weather plays a huge part in his camera setup, as snow precludes Quinn from getting into certain areas. 'Every time I set one up, I get animal images, ' he said.

Showing Off

Halfway through the images, he located a cougar image and, before studying the image himself, proudly showed his buddies. 'Is that a deer in its mouth? ' one asked. 'Yeah, and it's got spots. '

Incredible Discovery

Stunned, Quinn looked at the camera himself. Sure enough, his camera had captured a cougar that had just killed a mule deer fawn, an image that may never have been recorded in the wild by trail camera.

Adding to the Excitement

After this incredible discovery, Quinn's 2012 hunting season is going to be that much more exciting. 'You just never know what you're going to find out there, ' he said. 'That's why I love it. '

Be sure to check out Mike Quinn's feature article on Western trail cam scouting in the upcoming November issue of Petersen's Hunting.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

.500 S&W vs. the King of the Beasts

.500 S&W vs. the King of the Beasts

Smith & Wesson's Tony Miele and host Kevin Steele track an African lion across the Kalahari for the ultimate handgun showdown with the King of the Beasts.

Fare Game: Venison Cheeseburger Bites

Fare Game: Venison Cheeseburger Bites

If you're tired of the same old jalapeno and cream cheese poppers, here's a completely different take on the popular party appetizer. Easy to make, and incredibly delicious, these mini cheeseburgers, wrapped in bacon, make the perfect one-bite-fits-all snack for your next tailgate party or hunting camp.

Top Ten Hunts

Top Ten Hunts

Here at Petersen's Hunting we have compiled the 10 best hunts caught on camera from the last 2 years of Petersen's Hunting TV. Enjoy!

Moon Phase Rut Tips

Moon Phase Rut Tips

John Dudley, technical writer and host of Nock On TV discusses why it's imporant to follow moon phases for the rut.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

These are our favorite new products of the year for the archery crowd. Bowhunting

Best New Bowhunting Gear for 2020

Petersen's Hunting Editors - May 21, 2020

These are our favorite new products of the year for the archery crowd.

Technology is taking deer hunters, and their gear, into the future. Accessories

The Best New Deer Hunting Technology

Jeff Johnston - May 15, 2020

Technology is taking deer hunters, and their gear, into the future.

The outdoor industry gets serious about recruiting new hunters with some curious marketing strategies. Conservation

Are New Hunter Recruitment Strategies Working?

Andrew McKean - May 05, 2020

The outdoor industry gets serious about recruiting new hunters with some curious marketing...

Since the first explorers and pilgrims landed, the inhabitants of this glorious country have been Shooting

7 Favorite Truck Guns

Joseph von Benedikt - May 11, 2015

Since the first explorers and pilgrims landed, the inhabitants of this glorious country have...

See More Trending Articles

More News

We've lost 2.2 million hunters since 2011. Here's how to help save hunting.
 Photo Credit: Matt News

The Hunter Decline and How We Can Fix It

Andrew McKean - August 20, 2018

We've lost 2.2 million hunters since 2011. Here's how to help save hunting. Photo Credit: Matt

Social media: Where hunters must #keepITPublic and Stay #sickforit — or else. News

The Impact of Social Media on Hunting

Andrew McKean

Social media: Where hunters must #keepITPublic and Stay #sickforit — or else.

Get the full story behind the late KUIU founder's record-book California ram. News

Goliath: Jason Hairston's Record-Book Ram

Andrew McKean - September 11, 2018

Get the full story behind the late KUIU founder's record-book California ram.

Several states have eliminated spring hunts, with more leaning toward additional closures. News

Hunting Seasons See Restrictions in Face of Spreading COVID-19

Rob Endsley

Several states have eliminated spring hunts, with more leaning toward additional closures.

See More News

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save.

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Petersen's Hunting subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now