4 minute read - The goal of this article is to give you tips to help better your trail camera success.
With deer season right round the corner, you might ask yourself, “how can I be the most proactive hunter right now?" - Our answer? To make full use of Summer scouting by getting the most out of your trail cameras!
It's the holidays - Why should we scout during the Summer?!
One of our favorite things about deer hunting, especially early season, is what gets you into your stand? For us, it's a Summer of building up the knowledge and determining the frequenting patterns of your local deer heard, by checking trail cameras regularly.
The Summer months (especially July/August) are the best time of year to gather a rich inventory of data on your local deer herd, frequenting your hunting property. At this particular time of the year, it's important to know that bucks are very pattern-orientated for a whole host of reasons:
Longer days and shorter nights guarantee that bucks are more likely to feed/move during the light - albeit, if it's not too hot a day!
Zero hunting pressure throughout the Summer means more relaxed deer willing to roam more. Most likely increasing daytime trailcam pictures.
Summertime means high quality agricultural crops such as soybeans and alfalfa are becoming readily available. With food source plentiful, and cover at its highest, deer movement is usually at its peak
Making Use Of Trail Cameras!
As with everything, its no surprise that some hunters out there that aren’t big fans of using trailcams, but we'd venture to guess that a large majority of you reading this like to check trail cameras and see pictures of bucks, just as much as we do.
In the off-season especially, the childish thrill of flipping through your SD cards can be pretty thrilling, and not least when you land on a photo of that mature buck, strutting his stuff in all velvet glory!
When it comes to trail cameras, its pretty easy to fall into a trap of hunkering them down anywhere on your property and hoping that your dream buck will magically walk by! Well, we're here to let you in on a few little secrets that will take away that gamble, and help you capture those "mega buck-shots", more times than most!
Our Top #5 Trail Camera Tips
Although to some these tips are pretty inescapable to most seasoned hunters, you will be surprised how often we forget the trailcam 101 basics.
1. Make sure you mount your cameras, just above knee height!
A real basic principle that so many forget! The perfect camera height is vital for capturing the best image possible. We often see hunters placing cameras too high, thinking Whitetails are bigger than they actually are.
However, if you're hunting public land, leaving trail cameras behind in accessible spots can always be a gamble. Unfortunately, the sad reality is that cameras are a hot commodity to prying eyes. Therefore, hanging your cameras high and out of reach/angled down to avoid them being easily spotted by others is your only option.
2. Pick the perfect place! Mount your cameras adjacent to, but not directly on trail/deer tracks.
Our go-to areas to place a camera in the summer months is either along the field edges as the deer head out to feed on plots/crops or just inside the woodland edge, where they can look out and feel most in cover/protected before they head out. While we understand not every private property has crop fields or food plots, the same idea remains – if food exists, that’s where your camera will be most effective.
Remember: Even if you're only capturing deer whilst on the move, there is still benefits to be gained by identifying those travel corridors and the time of day bucks are heading out to use those food sources. This is vital information to be gained , to make you more effective come the early season.
3. Avoid scent contamination from your hands prior to deployment
Odors are everywhere. Everything from our hormones, varying airborne chemicals, to what we eat and even where we live (and more) can all affect how we smell - even when we think we smell "good" 😂.
Regardless of the source, Whitetails quickly learn to associate human odors with danger, avoiding hunters like the plague. While the trick is to prevent deer and other critters from winding you when you're actually hunting, the same principle applies to placing out cameras/scouting. For example, our scent can remain for several days/weeks after you handle a camera, so it’s always a good idea to place out using gloves and even using a scent blocking spray.
4. Know your bearings. Avoid placing your trail camera in a southerly-facing position to minimise sun glare ruining the moment your deer pass by. Yes - it has happened to the best of us! 🤦♂️