Rethinking trail cam spots

Discuss deer hunting tactics, Deer behavior. Post your Hunting Stories, Pictures, and Questions/Answers.
  • Advertisement

HB Store


Hatchetman
Posts: 144
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2016 1:42 pm
Location: Wi
Status: Offline

Rethinking trail cam spots

Postby Hatchetman » Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:32 am

I decided 1/2 way through the fall last year I was not using my trail cam inventory the smartest.

Just like most people, I was hanging all my trail cams in high traffic areas like scrapes, apple trees, field edges stuff like that.
Getting an inventory of the bucks in the area is what I was after.
Well.... this is all well and good but like most guys, almost all my shooter buck pics were at night.
Great to see big buck pics where you hunt but now how and where am I going to kill'em? Especially if where they normally bed is not accessible to me, meaning private property.
It is easy sometimes to whine about it and say that a certain buck is so nocturnal and impossible to kill. (I've been know to whine now and then) :roll:
I like to think I'm set up in all the best spots on the properties I hunt be it public or private but it always doesn't work. Sometimes, I feel these unkillable bucks are right under my nose and moving during daylight where I may least expect it.
I only have so many hunts to sit, so many spots to check out, and so many observation sits to make in a year so why not let my TC's do some solid intel for me. Solid meaning, where are the big bucks moving during daylight where I can kill'em.
This kind of dawned on me last year, like I said 1/2 way through the fall last year. So i took 3 of my TC's and put them in what I'd call dumb spots. Spots that where more open, more lacking of sign and mostly just not where I would expect bucks to travel.

I let them soak from Nov 10 till Dec1. 2 of the spots were just that , dumb, but the one had really good buck action and 3 daylight pics of a buck I was after, always in the morning which I never expected.
Will definetly have a set up there next year.
I plan on doing more of this next year with a few more cams. like to start mid October though let them soak all season and gather intel for the next year.
Just trying to make the most of the time and property I hunt.


JoeRE
500 Club
Posts: 4379
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:26 am
Location: IA
Status: Offline

Re: Rethinking trail cam spots

Postby JoeRE » Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:36 am

Perfect example of what I have thought of as observation cams. Set them and leave them, and then spend a bunch of time looking at patterns, what you get on camera and when. I am learning so much from cameras set that way.

A quick question - how often were you checking your inventory cams? Wondering if residual scent was causing more of your nocturnal movement. Or maybe they just were in spots where deer only are after dark. I consistently see a lot more daylight activity on long term observation cams too...partly the location and partly the lack of scent from checking them I think.

An inventory camera only does a person good if they know how to hunt the area. Getting a buck on camera in daylight then sitting that spot and killing the deer is so low odds its almost a myth. Cell cams may be changing that unfortunately...but for the average workingman hunter who isn't loaded with cash its still all about scouting and understanding an area. Then if you get a buck an hour after dark heading a certain direction you can make a darn good guess of what bedding he is using and all that.
User avatar
tbunao
500 Club
Posts: 1711
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2015 1:54 pm
Location: North east
Status: Offline

Re: Rethinking trail cam spots

Postby tbunao » Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:49 am

This year I switched up how I used my cams for observation, that change was made with the influence one the gentlemen above. THE BEST MOVE I did all season!

Areas I was unsure of I left a cam sit all season, rut locations I knew I wouldn’t be able to make it to I left them running through the end of oct til December.

I think my knowledge of a key area just leaped a year or two thanks to this. While I was hunting in the same piece in a different area the cams were working in others. So much info was learned.
Grabbing the brass ring
daveynewman
500 Club
Posts: 1131
Joined: Wed May 13, 2015 7:21 pm
Location: Buffalo new york
Status: Offline

Re: Rethinking trail cam spots

Postby daveynewman » Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:56 am

I'm going the same route going to hang about 5 to 10 and let sit all season and also plan on putting some up on a few beds I find and pull them before suummer patterns
ghoasthunter
Posts: 395
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:09 am
Location: New jersey
Status: Offline

Re: Rethinking trail cam spots

Postby ghoasthunter » Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:06 am

I do this all the time I set a camera up over a bedding area I find and let it soak for months then I look up wind history and make notes for the bed for next years hunting season I drop a camera a month before season starts and pic it up shed hunting in spring. I'm surprised how a spot can look so hot but have almost zero usage a lot of times I figure out its a bed that's only used on certain mass crops or only buy a old buck and I'm lacking age class one year to fill the bed.
THE MOST IMPORTANT TOOL A HUNTER HAS IS BETWEEN HIS SHOULDERS
User avatar
Stanley
Moderator
Posts: 18529
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:18 am
Facebook: None
Location: Iowa
Status: Offline

Re: Rethinking trail cam spots

Postby Stanley » Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:45 am

Hatchetman wrote:I decided 1/2 way through the fall last year I was not using my trail cam inventory the smartest.

Just like most people, I was hanging all my trail cams in high traffic areas like scrapes, apple trees, field edges stuff like that.
Getting an inventory of the bucks in the area is what I was after.
Well.... this is all well and good but like most guys, almost all my shooter buck pics were at night.
Great to see big buck pics where you hunt but now how and where am I going to kill'em? Especially if where they normally bed is not accessible to me, meaning private property.
It is easy sometimes to whine about it and say that a certain buck is so nocturnal and impossible to kill. (I've been know to whine now and then) :roll:
I like to think I'm set up in all the best spots on the properties I hunt be it public or private but it always doesn't work. Sometimes, I feel these unkillable bucks are right under my nose and moving during daylight where I may least expect it.
I only have so many hunts to sit, so many spots to check out, and so many observation sits to make in a year so why not let my TC's do some solid intel for me. Solid meaning, where are the big bucks moving during daylight where I can kill'em.
This kind of dawned on me last year, like I said 1/2 way through the fall last year. So i took 3 of my TC's and put them in what I'd call dumb spots. Spots that where more open, more lacking of sign and mostly just not where I would expect bucks to travel.

I let them soak from Nov 10 till Dec1. 2 of the spots were just that , dumb, but the one had really good buck action and 3 daylight pics of a buck I was after, always in the morning which I never expected.
Will definetly have a set up there next year.
I plan on doing more of this next year with a few more cams. like to start mid October though let them soak all season and gather intel for the next year.
Just trying to make the most of the time and property I hunt.


Great post. Cameras are next to worthless if you don't run them properly. Guys get too anxious to check them (it is fun). Shake things up a little if you can. Check a couple once in the middle of a few months to see what happens. An outfitter running cameras is running cameras for a different reason than an actual hunter is. :think: I know guys that check all their cameras with a 4 wheeler. I am starting to think this may be better than walking into an area every week. Not enough intel on that yet though.

I set my cameras out in August and pull them when I'm done hunting around December 1st. I should also mention i don't set any up on food sources. I set them up very close to bedding areas. I get some great intel, but for next year. I'm more patient than most. I think it comes from my low impact mentality. If you are just in to running cameras, that's ok also it is great fun and entertainment. You need to decide am I a hunter or Marty Stouffer?
You can fool some of the bucks, all of the time, and fool all of the bucks, some of the time, however you certainly can't fool all of the bucks, all of the time.
User avatar
jman22
Posts: 301
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2017 8:42 am
Location: CNY
Status: Offline

Re: Rethinking trail cam spots

Postby jman22 » Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:45 am

Great info all around here. I completely agree with what others have said about the long-term observation soaks. They are great. Especially the ones close to bedding. The info you can gain is vast.

I'll also add that you shouldn't write off those field edge cams, scrape cams etc. I use all these different types of cams in farm country. I'll check the field edge cams/field edge scrape cam/high traffic cameras every 3 weeks or so even during the season. Given the right circumstances, I'll get excited when a target buck shows up on one of these high traffic cameras during the middle of the night. That way I know he's in the area. Even though that buck past by your high traffic cam at 2AM he might have walked by another area VERY close by during daylight. This is where your scouting and past observations come into play.

The buck I killed this yr started showing up on a camera I had on a field edge in late October. He did the same thing the year prior. I went to a stand I had not touched since spring on an interior swamp transition. That stand was probably only a 100 yds or so from that high traffic camera. Sure enough that buck walked by me at 30 yds on the 1st sit and I was able to make a good shot. I'm convinced he felt comfortable in there bc there was no human scent. He would still check those scrapes on the field edges, but due to the human scent (farm traffic, my own from checking the cam etc..), he wouldn't enter those fields till well after dark. I setup a long term camera near where I killed that buck and when I pull it in a few weeks, I'd bet I have multiple daylight pics of that buck leading up to the day I saw him.

So I guess my point is, even though those long-term soaks are great, don't necessarily give up on the high traffic setups. You can collectively use all this info to help you get that daylight encounter with a mature buck.
User avatar
Babshaft
Posts: 46
Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2017 2:00 pm
Location: Ontario...Great White North
Status: Offline

Re: Rethinking trail cam spots

Postby Babshaft » Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:59 am

I've been having a tough time deciding whether I should run cameras "traditionally" or if there is a better method. Reading the posts above, I think I'm going to try the observation method with the cams. Use them as observation cameras to gather intel for coming years....it's a marathon, not a sprint right?

Thanks for the info guys.
Hatchetman
Posts: 144
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2016 1:42 pm
Location: Wi
Status: Offline

Re: Rethinking trail cam spots

Postby Hatchetman » Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:41 am

Because of the smaller areas I hunt, my "inventory cams" have been purposely set at low impact spots away from bedding.
I don't really expect to get daytime pics of good bucks just like to know they exist.
Also, I'm not as concerned about leaving scent at these locations seeing I will be checking them about every 2 weeks or so. I wouldn't feel comfortable doing that close to a stand site that I'm trying to keep sacred for when the stars align.
I know some of you guys are saying you're putting them right in or close to bedding, which I guess would work if you put them out well before season and you only check them when your in for a hunt.

I guess, more so, the point I was trying to make was I'm trying to find spots that 99% of people would walk right by and never dream of sitting. Spots where big bucks have learned they can move through freely cause they encounter little or no human intervention. Spots maybe on our own property that get discounted because we hunted this property for X amount of years and are convinced we know exactly where every hot scrape,trail, staging area, travel corridor or whatever you want to call it, is.
Observation sits help with finding these spots but they are more for sitting in a spot you can visually cover a lot of ground. And some of these kind of spots may not offer a good observation sit vantage point . And they are just that." a sit", usually a one time 3 hr window of intel, a TC is working for you 24/7.

I think sometimes we give ourselves too much credit,,,
Here's why..
How many times have you got a picture of a really nice mature buck??? AND it's only one pic...

So many times we're quick to conclude...
"Oh, he lives primarily on such and such's property"
OR
"that bucks Nocturnal, snowball's chance in heck of killing him"
Well, there are times that is the case but I think more often then we like to admit he's right under our noses we are just not as zeroed in on his travel patterns as we think we are...
I'll be the first one to admit it! :shock:
That can be one of the biggest downfalls of using Trail cams... Not realizing there is a whole lot of other turf out there your cam is not picking up and you rely on those cam pics to discount a whole area. :think:

Return to “Deer Hunting”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], EdC, tazbag and 3 guests