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Trail Cameras: Tips, Tricks and Tactics

  • Anonymous
Trail Cameras: Tips, Tricks and Tactics
Some people like to use trail cameras all year long and some use them only during a certain period. I use both strategies. Some of my cameras run all year, and some are only used from the end of the velvet period through antler shedding. The reason I use some cameras a limited amount is to limit intrusion into certain areas. Checking trail cameras can be one of the biggest intrusions onto your property so I prefer to use cameras on the very outer edge of my property year round, but I only use interior cameras beginning in late July when we are nearing the end of the velvet growth period. Here are a few of my tips for capturing the biggest and best bucks on your trail cameras.
  • Don't get started to early trying to get the photos, let bucks calm down from the previous season and get comfortable through July.
  •   Big mature bucks will not tolerate human intrusion and they will pattern you quickly. 
  •   When hanging trail cams practice scent control
  •   Use cameras with a fast trigger speed, high resolution and long battery life. Use high capacity memory cards that can hold months of images.
  •   Check them as rarely as possible. It’s tempting I know, but honestly putting a camera out in July and then checking it a few days before hunting season is the best practice.
  •   Hang cameras in high opportunity locations such as fence crossings, gate holes, pinch points, water holes and feeding or supplement stations. The best location is where deer have no choice but to move through a certain point, or a point they want to come to.
  •   Use attractants in front of your cameras. A simple mineral salt block is the cheapest method, but it will leave a wallow that could create legal trouble during hunting season and may not be legal in all states. Supplemental feed offers better nutrition for deer but are more costly and must be refreshed more often. I use BB2 on many of my cameras on the outer edge because I can get to them with less intrusion.
  •   A weed eater is a great tool when putting cameras out in late July. Most weeds and grass are full grown now and going dormant. Knocking them down will help you avoid getting 4000 images of nothing on a windy day.
  •   Know and understand the settings on your camera. Leaving it in "trail" mode at a feeder can be a disaster. Your card may fill up in a week and if you are practicing minimal intrusion you could lost a lot of photos.
  •   Protect your investment in your cameras with a lock, if they are easy to steal, they will disappear sometimes. Adding just one layer of security such as a cable lock that a person cannot defeat with what they have with them in the woods will probably save you a camera. If its just hanging on a tree with a bungee cord it's much more likely to walk away. Been there and its frustrating!
Much of what I just wrote is common sense. I prefer to intrude on my property as little as possible. I know and trust my camera equipment so I don't fear it breaking down or running out of memory card space but it doesn't stop me from testing them near my home for a few days before putting them out in the field when I know I won't check them for a few months. I throw a card in the cameras and hang them in my yard, a few days later I check each cameras card before putting it out to make sure it was working. 

Best to luck to everybody this year, I hope you have a safe and enjoyable hunting season.

Jason Smith
Whitetail Properties


Categories: Trail Cameras
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