YOU HAVE GOT TO SEE THIS

Beerdonga

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Hey guys this is awesome.  Makes my homebrew cameras look kinda humble.



Kyle Capps was sitting around trying to figure out how to keep up with the deer on his ranch near Brady.

He could look at them from a blind, of course, the regular way. But, since he was the owner of a technology company, Capps figured, why not use what he had in hand?

The result is a series of six solar-powered, Internet-connected digital cameras, mounted on 35-foot towers and aimed at different spots on his ranch. Not only can Capps use a laptop or Palm Pilot to monitor his whitetails, but he also is allowing anyone with a computer to log onto his Web site and watch live-action, real-time video from any of the camera locations.

"I travel so much, I wanted to be able to watch my deer over the Internet," said Capps, whose company Capco is located near Dripping Springs. "I can sit at my laptop, travel through my ranch or even sit in one blind and watch every other blind on the ranch. I'm allowing other people to go there through the Internet."

Capps -- whose setup will be on display at this weekend's Texas Trophy Hunters Extravaganza in San Antonio -- said he believes this is the first time anyone has used solar power to run cameras such as his. He's also added some unique little tweaks that keep him close to his deer.

"I love to hunt," Capps said. "I haven't killed a deer in three years, but I want to watch what's going on. I have the cameras programmed to send me an e-mail notification and a JPEG anytime something trips the camera."

Visitors to the Web site http://www.aircam.net can travel through the six cameras until they find one they like, then wait for their chance to control the camera for 90 seconds. "People enjoy watching these animals. We have it set up so they can even download a single-image JPEG by clicking on an icon," Capps said. Feeders go off at 6:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. each day.

Obviously, $10,000 camera locations on 35-foot towers won't be common on ranches, even in deer-crazy Texas. But Capps' development probably represents the next step in wildlife programs, especially with the solar-powered, 24-hour-a-day possibilities. "It's expensive for the average hunter, of course, but as with most technology, as it gets more developed, it will get cheaper," Capps said.

"Anybody doing management on a ranch gets the ability to show the deer over the Internet," Capps said. "It's also a security device because of the remote camera. You can set it up for motion detection and since the camera is on a tower, it's impossible for a poacher to keep from getting his picture taken, even if he spots the camera.

The 2002 Hunters Extravaganza takes place Friday through Sunday at the Joe and Harry Freeman Coliseum, 3201 East Houston in San Antonio. Hours are 5-10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday.
 





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