SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) — It’s not always easy catching a glimpse of wildlife in the heart of Sioux Falls, especially during the wintertime.
That’s why the Outdoor Campus offers an unblinking look at nature year-round through its network of trail cameras.
Being a shutterbug at the Outdoor Campus involves a long walk through knee-deep snow to reach the motion-activated trail cameras. But it’s worth the trek once the pictures are uploaded.
“It’s always exciting, it’s kind of like opening a present. You get to look through and see all the different pictures that we have coming through the park,” Outdoor Campus School Program Coordinator Joe Salvati said.
While we may not be used to all the snow, the wildlife are well-adapted to withstand the worst of a South Dakota winter.
“The animals, they’re just fine, but yeah, it’s more of a hassle for us, they get around a lot better than we do, that’s for sure,” Salvati said.
Deer, for instance, store up fat heading into winter since there’s less food available for foraging. Animals are less active at this time of year, so pictures are harder to come by.
“Usually, in the summer, I’m looking at 3 to 400 photos and in the winter it’s usually down to 60. So it does go down quite a bit,” Outdoor Campus Director David Parker said.
While the animals are holding up just fine in the snow and cold, it’s the technology that faces the challenge in the wintertime, especially the batteries in the cameras.
“The battery life is not as long so that’s always an issue, so we got to get out there and change the batteries a little more often,” Parker said.
The Outdoor Campus staff has positioned the trail cameras high enough so more snow isn’t likely to obscure their view of South Dakota wildlife in winter.
The Outdoor Campus posts new trail cam pictures and video every Tuesday on their Facebook page.