Tips for Summer Trail Camera Scouting
Trail cameras have the ability to make scouting easier. Setting one up during the summer isn’t about patterning the deer so much as it is assessing your herd. Rather than worrying about where the deer are going to be on opening day, use these warmer months to estimate the bucks’ health and age, and start making a hit list.
The Right Camera Makes a Difference
With all the game cameras on the market these days, you will want to do some research before buying. You don’t want to choose a model that will leave you with grainy photos you can’t make out. A model with video capability will help you gauge the buck’s age and rack. If you’re on a tight budget or prefer photographs over videos, you’ll want to choose a model that has a long delay.
The Plotwatcher Pro will make sure you never miss a photo opportunity. This camera will take time-lapse images throughout the day allowing you to see all the bucks that visit. Another popular brand is the Exodus Trail camera series. The Exodus Lift II offers customizable options for video length and photo burst. The Exodus Trek features quality colored images at a friendly price.
Despite what brand or model you choose, almost all cameras have motion sensors and come equipped with a flash for nighttime shots. Make sure to choose a model with an infrared flash. A white-light flash can spook the deer.
Location, location, location. Where you can hang your trail camera is a big factor when it comes to scouting deer. Food plots, feeders, bait piles and trails leading them to bedding areas are all ideal locations for scouting. Another good location is around water sources. Summer days can become quite hot. This will drive the herd to gather around any water source they can find.
Minimize Your Impact
We know it’s going to be tempting to check on your camera every day. The idea of having a trophy somewhere on that SD card can drive a person mad. But it’s best to only enter the woods every two or three weeks to minimize your scent in the area.
Make an Assessment
After you’ve got your images and videos it’s now time to make an assessment. Keep an organized file for each buck with their estimated age and rack size. After, determine which ones are shooters and study where they like to hang out. This will change come fall, but having an idea of where he beds, travels and eats can put you in his general location before the hunting pressure intensifies.