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December 30, 2010

Outdoor Corner

by Chris Feeney

Several years of work experience as a photo journalist have made me understand that capturing the perfect picture is a pretty tough task. Let's face it, when you are shooting sports or news images for that matter, normally the subjects aren't going out of their way to improve your image. Short of posed portraits, the person behind the camera rarely has much say in the outcome.

The same can obviously be said about trail camera photos. We put them up in areas where there is sign of game traffic, cross our fingers and hope for the best.

The people at Trophy Rock, market a product that makes this job a little easier. Not only does Trophy Rock lure traffic to your photo gallery, it makes them better deer when they leave. Trophy Rock contains over 60 beneficial trace minerals to improve antler development and overall herd health, and is safe for all wildlife year round.

Well the stars were all aligned earlier this year at one of our (I use that term loosely since my wife did all of the work) trail cameras. It seems like 99% of the buck activity is after dark, meaning infrared images that, while quite efficient in identifying what type of deer you have, leave a little to desire as far as artistic value.

That was not the case on one special day in August. Our/her trail camera captured several stunning photos of a deer that came to be known as No Brow Nine (a main frame 10-point buck who was missing one brow tine). The big bruiser appeared at just after 10:00 a.m. The first photo shows him sneaking from the nearby shrubs, crouched down like a bird dog on point with the prey being the easily identifiable Trophy Rock.

The next few shots give a greater appreciation for the animal, as he poses majestically staring off toward the camera with his velvet covered rack on full display, inspiring numerous trips to a nearby tree stand once archery season started the following month.

I obviously appreciated the photos, since they led to my eventual harvest of No Brow Nine on opening day of rifle season. When we showed the pictures of the deer to the folks at Bange's Gun Shop, they suggested the trail camera shots be sent in to the folks at Trophy Rock. They sponsor an annual contest for the best images. There is a big sign advertising the contest on the huge (now mostly empty) crate of Trophy Rocks in the middle of the store.

Well, yesterday, Karri got word that we/she, was the October winner in the company's picture contest. Check it out at www.trophyrock.com in the Trail Cam Contest.

It was neat to see the photos on line and see a few of the responses from the website viewers.

What's even better, is apparently as a monthly winner, we/she are eligible to possibly compete for the grand prizes, which include a trophy whitetail or mule deer hunt, a Ultimate Firearms muzzleloader, Limbsaver DeadZone bow package, Leaf River, Predator and Cuddeback trail cameras, Artic Shield clothing and more...

Apparently camera ownership is not 9/10's of the law, because the individual responsible for making the image possible has informed me that I have no legal standing for any prizes the picture might ultimately qualify for.

She replied that if she wins a mule deer hunt she'll give it to me, since that's the only chance I will ever have to get a bigger deer on the wall than she has.

I'll take it, with the full understanding that if we were fortunate enough to win, and I was blessed enough to come home with a big mule deer, we all know who would be heading out west the following year to claim my stand.