Trail Camera: Hide & Seek | Darren Choate
Trail Camera: Hide & Seek
by Darren Choate
For me, checking trail cameras reminds me of what Christmas as a kid felt like — you never knew what you would unveil while unwrapping gifts. Now, it’s the long wait or anxious moments of viewing the images written on an SD card. Of course, I am usually expecting and looking for a big Coues buck to show up, which doesn’t always happen. Nevertheless, every now and then you discover a unique, candid image of wildlife interacting in their environment. That is true of this image taken of two bear cubs that I titled, Hide & Seek.
In reality, I’m sure the front cub is merely scratching its head on the sapling ponderosa, the second simply looking for a snack. Still, it’s easy to conjure up the scenario of the closest cub counting down from 100 while the second cub searches out a nearby hiding spot. One can also imagine the sow foraging close by, as well as keeping a watchful eye on the two playful cubs.
When arbitrarily assigning an anthropomorphic metaphor to such wildlife, it’s also easy to forget the daily struggles of wildlife — even one on top of the food chain. What could be forgotten is the real need for the sow to keep a watchful eye out. Though it may not be a common occurrence, bear cubs can be the prey, even succumbing to death by other bears (almost always a boar).
If there is a message to be taken from this image, I guess it’s Read Between the Lines. It’s human nature to create a relationship with all things — trail camera images included — that can be understood in human terms. In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with doing that; as I stated, it’s human nature. That said, it’s also my opinion that we should try to realize the complexity of nature and take it a face value for a better understanding of the animals we love, and love to hunt.