Learn About Our Trail Cams

In 1992 a group of TriMountain Community College students were nspired by the students of Missouri State University, who first used trail cameras to study white-tailed deer in their area.
Trail Cams were funded locally and added to six wooded areas around the Pottstown area. While the original intention was to allow students to more closely observe the local wildlife, the trail cams have since served as a way to both allow the whole community to enjoy watching our woodland neighbors, and as a system to safely monitor ongoings during curfew.

A wide variety of animals visit our trail cams, including racoons, opossoms, deer, mimics, robins, squirrels, and even the occasional black bear.
While we can learn quite a bit from our furred and feathered community members, we should also remember to keep a safe distance at all times.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Where are the cameras located?
A. The cameras are located in four areas in the forested area around Pottstown, one near the water tower on Old Barn Trail, and, of course, our very own WTMA trail cam located at the station.

Q. Are the trail cams baited?
A. Some of our trail cams are baited with bird feeders and vegetables. On curfew nights we bait the cameras with meat. In the summers we keep tubs of water near the cameras to help the animals cool down.

Q. How often do the cameras refresh?
A. Generally, the cameras are triggered by movement. Sometimes it can be a wild animal, while others can be the russeling of wind or an insect flying over the sensor.
Images from the cameras are generally stored for about 30 minutes before they're archived and replaced.
On curfew nights, the trail cams are set to refresh every 5 minutes, regardless of if they're triggered by movement, and are also monitored by a community volunteer who can refresh the cameras manually every 30 seconds. This can give a unique way to spend those otherwise dreary evenings.

Q. Who monitors the trail cams on curfew nights?
A. Our very own neighbor, Harry Moore, has taken it up upon himself to keep watch on the trail cams. Make sure to buy him a good cup of coffee for the next curfew! (Thanks Harry!)

Q. I think I saw a ghost on the trail cam!
A. While it can be fun to watch the trail cams, it should be kept in mind that the images are a lower quality than the average camera, especially at night. Pictures can be distored and grainy, which can lead to some strange-looking images. Also remember the "ghost orbs" people report are almost always explained away as insects, specks of dirt, or the reflective glow of the camera flash in an animal's eyes.

Q. What if I saw something worrisome on the trail cam?
A. If you see something that could be genuinely dangerous, please contact your local police. We would like to remind everyone that some animals which are considered dangerous, like black bears or bobcats, are within their homes on the camera. We're looking into their lives from the comfort of our own homes. There's no need to contact authorities for bears, large herds of deer, or other animals under normal circumstances.