Trail Cameras - Lessons Learned

Discuss the science of figuring out our prey through good detective work.
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SidewayZ
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Trail Cameras - Lessons Learned

Unread postby SidewayZ » Wed Oct 13, 2021 4:34 pm

I was wondering what other beast members have learned from running cams. I have learned a ton! I run 8 cameras now, 6 cell 2, traditional. Wow it has been eye opening really. Here are some of my observations:

1. Cameras need to be placed where the deer are to actually get pictures (no brainer)

2. Cams tell you what may or may not be in the area.

3. Just because a giant buck hasn't cross paths with your cam doesn't mean he is not there!!!

4. In my area older bucks are definitely spoked of cams!

5. Cams are great for assisting in, which bedding areas are used at different times of the year!

6. You can miss a lot of action by not having a cam pointed in the right direction, small changes can pick up a lot of activity!

7. Trail cam can be addicting and can ruin an area if you check it too much!

8. I have noticed some hunters can get giants on cams, but cant make the kill!

9. Cameras have really shown my when bucks move into a property or doe bedding area.

10. Many hunters rely way too much on cameras and avoid boots on the ground scouting.

11. I didn't know how much deer hit scrapes (community scrapes) throughout the year until I ran cams on them.

12. Help detect which scrapes are community vs rut scrapes.

These are my observations, what are you guys seeing?


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PK_
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Re: Trail Cameras - Lessons Learned

Unread postby PK_ » Wed Oct 13, 2021 11:39 pm

Just how rare those big deer are in the places I hunt. Not talking about mature. Mature deer are everywhere for the most part. But if you want to kill a ‘special’ buck you are going to put in more time/effort into finding him than hunting him. The idea of just hunting and hoping a big one shows up seems like only a small step above a waste of time since I started to run cams.

The other thing I found is each area seems to have 2 or 3 dominant sets of genetics. You can see it in the frame structure, characteristics and configuration of the racks. This to me has been extremely important because once you find an area that kicks out the kind of buck you are looking for it seems likely it will produce more in the future.
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Re: Trail Cameras - Lessons Learned

Unread postby Brokenarrow1980 » Thu Oct 14, 2021 4:52 am

Cams can make or break your hunting depending on how you use them. I find they are great for historical purposes but not good for finding a current buck to pursue. If a spot turns on during a phase of the season it will likely do the same yearly. Trying to target a buck may be the wrong move for scent reasons unless your cams are far away from your hunting spots and your just trying to get proof of life. I like to hang cams in late summer and let them soak till rifle season. I may peak in an area with a cam once or twice a year to hunt but i leave the cams alone. I essentially let the cameras do the hunting for me then i have a real understanding on how deer use the area and what time and weather conditions. The following year i will use what i learned and expand.
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SidewayZ
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Re: Trail Cameras - Lessons Learned

Unread postby SidewayZ » Thu Oct 14, 2021 12:10 pm

PK_ wrote:Just how rare those big deer are in the places I hunt. Not talking about mature. Mature deer are everywhere for the most part. But if you want to kill a ‘special’ buck you are going to put in more time/effort into finding him than hunting him. The idea of just hunting and hoping a big one shows up seems like only a small step above a waste of time since I started to run cams.

The other thing I found is each area seems to have 2 or 3 dominant sets of genetics. You can see it in the frame structure, characteristics and configuration of the racks. This to me has been extremely important because once you find an area that kicks out the kind of buck you are looking for it seems likely it will produce more in the future.


That is a good observation! Gonna look closer at that myself.
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SidewayZ
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Re: Trail Cameras - Lessons Learned

Unread postby SidewayZ » Thu Oct 14, 2021 12:16 pm

Brokenarrow1980 wrote:Cams can make or break your hunting depending on how you use them. I find they are great for historical purposes but not good for finding a current buck to pursue. If a spot turns on during a phase of the season it will likely do the same yearly. Trying to target a buck may be the wrong move for scent reasons unless your cams are far away from your hunting spots and your just trying to get proof of life. I like to hang cams in late summer and let them soak till rifle season. I may peak in an area with a cam once or twice a year to hunt but i leave the cams alone. I essentially let the cameras do the hunting for me then i have a real understanding on how deer use the area and what time and weather conditions. The following year i will use what i learned and expand.


I agree, I have talked with guys locally that run anywhere from 20 to 40 cameras. Way too much for me personally, but these guys do kill mature bucks yearly. In the northeast no one I know is patterning bucks with cameras, but the do help assist in finding areas big bucks like to frequent.

One buck in particular is known in my state, it's probably a 190 inch rack and they say it's 8 to 10 years old. There are like 5 guys after this buck for at least the last 4 years, they all have pictures of it. A lot pictures actually both at night and in daylight. It just amazes how they can't kill this beast! But that's why he is an old giant, he is just too freaking smart!
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Grizzlyadam
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Re: Trail Cameras - Lessons Learned

Unread postby Grizzlyadam » Thu Oct 14, 2021 10:21 pm

I have found that my best expectation from trail cams is to identify what deer are in the area. I've been saying for a while that trail cams have actually saved the lives of more bucks than they have helped me kill. If I didn't know about that one or two giants in an area I'd be shooting the first decent buck that walked by.
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Re: Trail Cameras - Lessons Learned

Unread postby brancher147 » Fri Oct 15, 2021 2:46 am

The place to get pictures of a buck may not be the place to kill the buck

More cameras in less areas equals better intel

I have run cameras for a while and used to spread them out just trying to find a big buck but it never helped me kill a big buck. This year I spent summer with 6 cams in 2 small areas I knew were good early season and learned a lot more. One property I learned enough to hunt twice and kill a big buck. The other property I learned ginseng hunters were all through it just before season and spooked the deer out. Now I’m spreading cams back out for rut and will leave through season trying to find something to focus on next year. But one cam doesn’t tell you much-for example I ran a cam the whole season a spot I hunted last year and I killed 2 bucks 75 yards from the camera and neither were on the camera.
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Re: Trail Cameras - Lessons Learned

Unread postby JP BowHunter » Fri Oct 15, 2021 3:20 am

Grizzlyadam wrote:I have found that my best expectation from trail cams is to identify what deer are in the area. I've been saying for a while that trail cams have actually saved the lives of more bucks than they have helped me kill. If I didn't know about that one or two giants in an area I'd be shooting the first decent buck that walked by.


I’ve wondered about that last point you make there.


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