Summertime is the perfect time for hunters get their trail cameras out of storage and hang them to start taking inventory of their deer herd for the upcoming season. But where you place your trail cameras in the summer months may not be where you need them to be as the season progresses. Whether you’ve landed a new piece of land to hunt this year or are hunting on familiar grounds, there are a few things to keep in mind that will help you get the most out of scouting with your trail cameras from early to late season.
Obviously, it’s hot during the summer months, even first thing in the morning, so to be out in the heat as little as possible it’s best to have everything ready to go before you head out. Have your trail cameras already set up with the correct date/time/camera settings, full of batteries and the SD card in so all you have to do is hang them, turn them on, and go!
Look at an aerial map of your hunting property beforehand so you have a good idea of where you’d like to hang your cameras. This way, you’re not driving or walking all over your property, disturbing the game and leaving your scent behind. If you have a weather app on your phone you can easily locate your property via the radar portion of the app. If you don’t have that, Google Earth is what I recommend. It’s probably a good idea to take a screenshot of your property and from there mark where you are placing cameras using the paint/draw tool on your phone in case you forget where you hung the cameras later on in the year.
Browning Trail Cameras Dark Ops APEX
These cameras feature an invisible infrared flash to ensure game or trespassers on your property do not detect the camera while it is capturing images or videos. The Sub Micro case size packs all the performance you would expect with 18 MP picture quality, 1600 x 900 HD+ videos with sound, lightning fast 0.22 second a trigger speeds, and superior battery life.
The Dark Ops APEX also features adjustable
IR flash ranges at night.
Pre-Season and Early Season
• Whitetails are creatures of habit, so if you are scouting a property that you have already hunted before, let last summer’s trail camera data take some of the guess-work out for you and hang your cameras in locations that produced a good amount of bachelor group photos the prior year.
• If you’re scouting a new property, keep in mind that this time of year deer are focused on food and water. In the summer months, evening destination food sources such as food plots and row crops, and locations with water, such as springs, ponds, and creeks are all great locations to hang a trail camera.
• Hanging a trail camera on a mock scrape is also a great strategy to help you take inventory of bucks and to pinpoint a location to hang a tree stand, especially if you are getting daylight photos of deer using the scrape.
Mid-Season, aka The Rut
• As the season progresses, keep in mind that the bucks will be covering more ground in search of does coming into estrous.
If you keep your cameras in the same locations as early season, you may stop getting photos of the same bucks that you were getting before. Pinch-points, funnels, and travel corridors & intersections are great locations to keep tabs on where the bucks are moving now and to catch images of new bucks that you haven’t seen before.
• It is also a good idea to keep some of your trail cameras at the food and water sources, or wherever you are getting images of does. The bucks will be out checking for the first does to come into estrous, so you can count on them to check out these locations.
• As deer season starts to wind down, deer start to shift their focus from the rut to food once again. While I move most of my cameras to new locations post-rut, I still like to leave one or two at prior locations like pinch points, known deer trails and travel corridors to catch any bucks that may still be out cruising for does. As the fawns come into estrous late in the season, often referred to as the “Second Rut”, these locations are great for catching buck movement in the daylight.
• By late season, most of the acorns have either rotted or been eaten, so moving most of your trail cameras to the remaining food sources is a good strategy for late-season scouting. This is a great way to see what bucks survived the season.
Trail cameras play a huge role in your scouting efforts, from early to late deer season. Whitetail shift their patterns and their focus throughout the year, so knowing when and where to hang your trail cameras can help you have a more successful deer season, not just this year, but for years to come.
Wildgame Innovations Shadow™ Micro Cam
These units easily mount to a tree, fence post or other surface thanks to Wildgame Innovations’ proprietary magnetic ball mounting bracket. In addition, these cameras operate virtually silent thanks to Wildgame Innovations’ Silent Shield™ technology. Photographs and videos are tagged with three display stamps: Time/Date, Location, and Moon Phase.
These cameras are only 3x3x2” making them easy to hide from
curious bucks and camera thieves alike.