Over the years technology has come a long way in aiding hunters locate and kill a deer as efficiently as possible. With the development of trail cameras in the mid 70s, we now have the ability to see exactly the deer that are roaming in our hunting area and when. All the information we can gather from trail cameras helps a hunter track deer movement with ease and allows us to find that trophy buck. Now you will not have to guess by looking at deer tracks whether or not this is a deer of sufficient size.
The object is to learn as much as you can about the deer movement in your area, so that you can anticipate this during hunting season. This is called patterning and do not expect to know exactly what time a buck will walk by a certain tree. With your trail camera footage you will better understand the habits of your local deer.
Whatever you discover during off season you can almost throw away. Pay attention to doe movement during pre rut, rut, and post rut. The bucks will change their pattern and follow the does during this time of year. Bucks will also position themselves in an area where does will walk by on their way to a feeding area. When you see a doe during the rut you can almost guarantee that a buck is close by.
Using your trail camera correctly is key in obtaining accurate information on deer activity. You also need to decide on what features you need in a trail camera. Some important features you should have are that the camera is digital, does not take many falsely triggered pictures, is quality made for many years of use, and uses an infrared light or flash. Having an infrared camera will not spook the deer, but you will not have a color picture which you get from a camera with a normal flash.
Now learn where to place your trail cameras and how to position them to maximize their effectiveness. Two areas you need to recognize are feeding areas and last years deer rubs. If you can determine this your chances of killing a deer are much greater. One camera needs to be set up with a food source, and the other along a fresh rub line. Using a trail camera that can take video will also be plus in studying their behavior. You may capture a doe and then a buck following her down the trail.
The number of cameras you use obviously depends on how much you can afford. For most people with one camera, monitor feeding activity first, and then in the middle of the day move the camera to the rub line when feeding activity increases. The rub line is where you can confirm if a buck is still following the does.
Using trail cameras to monitor deer activity can be very successful, but once you find your perfect hunting spot there are things you must remember. Always approach downwind of a buck and timing is important as not to disturb their habitat. A buck will move just before first light and late in the day as they travel back and forth from the staging area to their bedding spot. Your trail camera will help you determine the best times for hunting success and claiming that mature buck.
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