Trail cameras cost anywhere between $100 and $1,000, and this collection of photos proves that they can be a useful form of entertainment. Hunters use trail cameras to scout paths and forests before hunting, while wildlife enthusiasts use them to spot and document critters without spooking them.
As we’ve known for all time, animals can get up to some pretty weird stuff—for example, have you ever owned a pet? Enough said. There’s mostly the same type of strangeness outdoors, just with larger animals and more space for them to roam. Read on to see these cute and sometimes creepy shots!
12. Lurking From Behind
This one is pretty freaking creepy. The hunter pictured wasn’t aware of the cougar behind him, or else he wouldn’t have posed for this photo with his kill. It’s hard to tell whether the mountain lion is more interested in the man or the massive dead animal!
11. This Sideways Deer
Here’s a group of white-tail deer out at night. It looks like the deer at left may have been startled by the camera’s flash and tripped over its own feet. Young deer are known for their wobbly knees, but not so much adult deer, who can run at speeds of up to 48 miles per hour.
10. A Startled Bear
This might be a black bear or a brown bear—it’s hard to tell. The black bear is less aggressive and more tolerant of people. Bears are generally the most aggressive when they’re startled, though, which explains why this guy turned around after the trail camera flash fired.
9. Raccoon On A Boar
Just another normal night in nature. Here’s a raccoon riding a wild boar. These boars are known for being aggressive and they can be found everywhere from Africa to Asia and North America. It’s definitely a little strange for this massive pig to allow this raccoon to hang on—he may have booted the little guy off shortly after this photo was taken.
8. Three’s Company
Here’s a young coyote hauling off a squirrel while a curious opossum looks on. For the coyote, the kill was part of a standard night out; the opossum was surely interested because of its scavenger instincts. These creatures will raid anything from a garbage can to a dumpster in search of food scraps.
7. Porcupine Pair
These porcupines look like they might be fighting with each other, what with their aggressive stance and bared teeth. These medium-sized rodents are nocturnal and tend to be afraid of large animals, including humans, so it’s rare for them to display aggression towards people unless they’re cornered and scared.
This trail camera managed to snap a cool shot of three coyotes howling at night. Coyotes are native to North America and can be rather aggressive animals, giving them more in common with foxes than wolves or dogs, but they don’t tend to attack humans and rarely cause serious injuries when they do.
5. Fake Attack
This is apparently what happens when an aggressive buck encounters a decoy deer. He’s seen here tossing the plastic fake into the air with his antlers. He may have been confused when it fell to the ground and turned out to be entirely motionless—or maybe he thought he’d made a successful kill?
4. Swooping In
This great horned owl got captured swooping down to try and attack an unsuspecting deer at night. Who knows what the owl was thinking here? These birds typically hunt mice and other rodents, so this isn’t too logical. The deer likely escaped with little more than scratches and puncture wounds.
Here’s a curious raccoon popping up in front of the trail camera to investigate. Raccoons aren’t really aggressive, but they do tend to be rather fearless. It was likely intrigued by the flash, and it looks like the deer behind it don’t mind the late night photography too much.
2. Mountain Lions
The cougar, also known as a mountain lion, is a supremely talented hunter. They rarely cause problems for humans in the wild, but they are still dangerous. If you encounter an aggressive cougar, do not run from it. Running will provoke its instinctive prey response and it may pursue you.
1. This Classic
There are few things funnier than animals getting it on. Here is a pair of white-tail deer presumably enjoying the mating season. This time, from October to December, is when nearly half of vehicle accidents involving white-tail deer occur. Be careful out there—”deer in the headlights” is an idiom for a reason!
As you can see from this photo roundup, trail cameras are great for capturing animal behavior that we wouldn’t easily see otherwise. Wild animals all have unique behaviors, from their mating rituals to hunting and family standards. With aggressive creatures like the cougar or grizzly bear, it’s pretty safe to say that we’d prefer to see their lives from the safety of these photographs! Should you wish to see any of these animals in the wild, though, there are plenty of nature preserves and national parks around the world where they can be spotted in their natural habitats.