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The final place that works great for trail cams are water sources, especially when paired with mineral sites. After eating something salty, we all crave a drink of water — deer are no different. Deer crave sodium due to the high amount of water they get in their metabolism during spring and summer. However, as the summer progresses and other waterholes or creeks go dry, a small water hole next to a mineral site will pull deer in. If you have natural wetlands, ponds, or streams on your property, you can easily locate mineral sites near them for the easiest solution.

You can keep it cleaner by simply refilling it once you check cams.

500 Deer Hunting Tips : Strategies, Techniques and Methods

During hot summers or in southern, more arid areas, water sources can be the absolute best place for a trail camera setup, since it is such a draw for them. As already mentioned, pay attention to the direction you face your cameras, as south facing cameras will get lots of unusable pictures with a heavy glare. The one time you can get away with south facing trail cams is if you are in a forested or heavily shaded area.

You should also generally clear out some of the tall weeds, grasses, and even some brush in the area so you can avoid lots of false triggers. Bring a simple folding saw with you when you enter the woods so you can easily cut any obstacles down. For new deer bedding areas in big woods spots, for example, consider putting out some trail markers or trail marking tacks to help you find them again.

The less you check them, the less invasive it is and more discrete your spying will be. Besides, we all feel the temptation to check them weekly. You can either charge right in making lots of noise e. Or you can stealthily sneak in with scent-eliminating clothing and rubber boots to be incognito. Good luck with your cameras this summer. There is no doubt that spring has officially sprung across much of the lower forty-eight states, and as old man winter begins to loosen his grip it is only a matter of time until the predawn air is filled with the sound of gobbling long beards.

Spring turkey hunting is the favorite past time of many sportsmen and women across the Country, and although the open day of turkey season may still be several weeks away, the time to begin scouting for turkeys is now. As game species, the wild turkey is often underrated by many and is perceived to be a somewhat easy target to pursue. Turkey hunting, aside from often being physically demanding, requires that the hunter uses every tool at their disposal to put themselves in a position to be successful and sometimes that still is not enough to get the job done.

Turkey hunting success can ultimately be tied to one simple thing, and that is scouting. Scouting turkeys is the name of the game, and mid-march is an excellent time to begin to do just that.

New Strategies for Hunting Old Bucks in the Early Season

During the early spring months, wild turkeys will often still be in their winter groups with hens and poults from the previous year comprising one group and gobblers and jakes comprising the other. Both groups will often utilize the same feeding and roosting areas, however, they will not begin to disperse until later in the spring.

Although still in the bachelor groups, gobblers will begin to strut and gobble starting in mid-march, especially during crisp, cold mornings. This is no doubt that hearing a gobbler screaming on the limb can help make scouting turkeys an exciting and fun activity for anyone, regardless if you are beginning turkey hunter or a veteran.

As the spring continues to progress, groups of gobblers will begin to break up into singles and pairs, with calling and displaying continuing to increase as well. Turkey hunting is all about dedication and preparation. You need to be able to understand the day to day lives of the gobblers that reside within the area that you will be hunting.

Determining where the turkeys on your property roost and feed as well as locating strutting zones are all important pieces of information that you need to have. In addition, having an understanding of the overall number of turkeys in your area is also an important piece of information to have at your disposal. While hitting the woods at dawn to listen for a gobbling long beard is an effective turkey scouting technique, it comes with its limitations. Just because a turkey roosts on your farm does not mean that he will be there later in the morning.

It is important to do your best to use all the tools at your disposal to help you when it comes to scouting for turkeys. Believe it or not, a game feeder and a few trail cameras can really help you when it comes to scouting turkeys and getting set for your turkey hunting adventure. If you use these tools to your advantage, you can begin to develop an idea of not only how many turkeys you have on your property, but what areas they are using and when.

Wild turkeys love cracked corn. It is a source of carbohydrates and is easy for wild turkeys to forage on. Better yet for the hunter, cracked corn is relatively cheap and for the purposes of scouting for turkeys, a little corn can go a long way. Before using a game feeder and cracked corn as a means for scouting for turkeys, be sure to check the local regulations in the state that you are in to ensure that you are legal; however, if the use of cracked corn is authorized in your state then you are well on your way to gathering some serious intel.

The first step is to identify an area that you either know turkeys will be passing through or utilizing at some point during the day. Try to focus in on areas that you feel turkeys may be utilizing later in the spring, during the turkey hunting season.

500 Deer Hunting Tips : Strategies, Techniques and Methods

This will help you to rule out any unintended perception bias from the trail camera photos. Once you have your location selected, you can set up your game feeder and get to work. In fact, for the purposes of gathering trail camera photos, less is more as it will deter other wildlife such as white-tailed deer from staking a claim.

Check the game feeder periodically, however, use caution and do your best to avoid bumping any turkeys off the area. When it comes to turkey hunting, and specifically scouting for turkeys, trail cameras are your friend. Trail cameras , especially when live video is available, can provide you with some real-time information that will certainly help you to start developing your turkey hunting game plan for the spring.

When it comes to utilizing trail cameras to scouting for turkeys, the philosophy is simple, you want to have as many cameras out in areas that you feel a gobbler may use at any given time and you want to be able to check the cameras as often as needed without bumping birds. This is, of course, easier said than done, however, your life becomes much easier if you are utilizing trail cameras that are enabled to stream live video to your laptop or mobile device. Having the ability to check your cameras remotely allows you to avoid running the risk of spooking any of the turkeys on your property while still receiving valuable information.

If you are utilizing cameras that require to manually check the cards, where and when you check your cameras becomes a little more important. If you are setting your cameras up in areas such as strut zones or roost sites, the mid-day hours are an excellent time to check your cameras. If you have your cameras set up next to your game feeder, things become a little more challenging as wild turkeys could be using these areas at any given time, so proceed with caution.

Though it is a simple method, using a game feeder and a few trail cameras to your advantage can really help your gain a better perspective on the number of turkeys in your area and help you to begin to pattern their movements. This is critical information to any turkey hunter! Deer scouting is defined as spending time afield searching, investigating and evaluating one or more areas for white-tailed deer sign to improve the hunting experience.

Basically, scouting for deer hunting is spending time in the woods looking for deer sign. Simple enough, head out a few weeks before deer season, look around and hang a few stands where you see the most sign. Or more commonly today, hang a few trail cameras and hunt in those areas where you see the biggest or the most shooter bucks. That approach can sometimes work on private land, with an emphasis on sometimes, but almost never produces consistent results on public land.

The issues with public land hunting are competition from other hunters and your inability to control the environment. It is no secret that the best hunting on public land is far from the roads. That said, mature bucks tend to move to more interior habitats to avoid as much human interaction as possible. On private lands, you know exactly who is hunting the same property and more than likely where those other hunters are at on most days.

The same is not true on public land. You are constantly trying to beat other hunters to a prime spot in the morning, hoping your truck alone will deter others from walking in on your hunting area. Pressure likewise poses a problem when scouting for deer with trail cameras on public land. Secure deer trail cameras with locks and protective cases so your camera and all those pictures are still there when you return. Also, you cannot control many aspects of the area you are hunting.

For instance, other people who may or may not have the same hunting skills that you have, including scent control tactics, are going to be moving around your stands. Public means everyone, so hikers, bikers and certainly other sportsmen are going to be disturbing bucks in prime hunting locations.

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Bucks know this and finding the mature ones involves avoiding human activity as much as possible. Find areas that are not used or not used often by people. In addition, you have limited options to change the physical environment. Food plots and cutting trees are out; hunting public land means you have to find key habitat areas by scouting. Scouting for deer on public land breaks down into two parts. First, start with a computer. There are various freely available mapping programs out there. Find one that works for you and pull up topographical and aerial images of regions you are interested in scouting.

This long distance scouting helps you discover key areas to setup your cameras. Look for cover funnels, habitat edges, saddles and points. Many of these tools also allow you to add points and save your maps. Perfect for identifying spots to hang trail cameras.

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Identified spots from aerial and topographical maps provide a thoughtful starting point to hit the ground. Finding key locations from mapping technologies does not take the place of getting on the ground. The second part of scouting for deer on public land effectively is about studying travel patterns to and from feeding and bedding areas from the ground. You cannot be in different areas at different times so positioning your trail cameras in areas like these will give you an accurate picture of when and what types of bucks are around.

Take note of access from roads and trails. Those play an important part in you getting to your stand and also how many other people may be using the area. Investigate land features, such as changes in habitat types or funnels, as possible options for stand locations. Look for past deer sign like old rub, scrapes and pellets. These clues help to determine placement of tree stands as the season approaches.

They give clues to help you pattern buck activity and most importantly, they allow you to take an inventory of the bucks in the area so you know what kind of potential is available come fall. A good trail camera survey will help in the decision-making process when it comes time to actually head to the woods to start hanging tree stands. Place trail cameras on trails leading to feeding areas when scouting for deer in the summer. As the season progresses, move some cameras to scrapes and other areas where rut activity is visible.

Do not be afraid to hang multiple game cameras in close proximity to ensure you capture all the key elements of your hunting area. Public land bucks are more unpredictable than hunting deer on private land. Therefore your scouting for deer with trail cameras strategy has to compensate in order to get a clear picture of the type of bucks and their movements in your location. One of the biggest mistakes deer hunters make is not identifying bucks that are killable from their deer trail camera photos.


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If you are scouting deer with trail cameras correctly, there will be hundreds of photos to sift through. Do not waste time analyzing bucks you will never be able to harvest. Observed activity of mature bucks on your trail cameras will determine if a buck will be able to be killed. If a buck is strictly nocturnal your only chance may be during the rut. If a buck is active during the day then it depends on where he is active. His activity must be in an area that is accessible for hunting without spooking him off.

Luckily, cameras provide you all this information. The challenge is finding places to put your trail cameras on public land. Scouting for deer on public land does not have to be frustrating nor does it have to be an exercise in futility. Trail cameras are clearly not just for private land. However, as discussed earlier, do not just throw some game cameras up without some thought. Getting the best trail camera pictures required to evaluate an area is more skill than luck. To find the best bucks on public land, grab your deer trail cameras and head to these three places for scouting.

On the other hand, fringe habitats often provide food sources unavailable to deer in interior forests. Also, conservation agencies frequently plant food plots or other wildlife forage in fringe areas making them highly attractive to deer. Even with the added pressure deer will routinely travel these fringe areas to feed then return to more isolated interior areas.


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The trick here is finding travel routes to and from the fringes. Trail cameras should be setup on several deer trails. The photos can then tell you exactly when deer are using this area. Too much pressure and deer will be nocturnal. Capture a buck on your camera during shooting hours and it is game on. Speaking the words public land hunting usually send chills down the back of even the most dedicated hunter. Putting big bucks and public land in the same sentence is hardly ever believable. However, every year tags are filled with trophy whitetails from public lands.

What is the common thread? Scouting for deer on public land with trail cameras is essential for harvesting mature whitetails. No more shall you be frustrated during deer hunting seasons on public land. Like an excited kid, we plug the trail camera chip into our computers and open the folder. Now you sadly scroll through picture after picture of dark, misaligned images. Most hunters use game cameras to help with their scouting efforts.

They allow us to keep tabs on natural deer or turkey movement patterns so that we can make a more informed decision about where to hunt. But more importantly than all that, trail camera pictures are just plain fun and addicting to look at and collect. Trail cameras for wildlife offer a secret glimpse into the lives of wild animals, which is a rare and special opportunity. Most hunters would be just as excited about a dramatic nature scene unfolding in the picture as a mature 8-pointer strolling through.

But in order to get a jaw-dropping picture like that, you need to consider a few things before you just mount your camera on a field edge and walk away. The trail camera angle is one of the most important pieces to keep in mind, since it will most affect how your pictures look and determine if you get any good pictures at all.

Choose the wrong angle without confirming anything, and you could end up with a bunch of below-the-knee shots that nobody wants to see. Also, make triple sure that your trail camera is pointed at the right spot. These pictures look more unique and can show you more detail than a broadside picture anyway. As you set the game camera up, pick your best hunch on the camera angle. Before you leave it though, do a few test pictures. Walk in front of it where you assume the deer will be, and then look at the chip using a card reader or laptop.

There are a few things you can do to help with this issue. For example, placing them in a shaded forest setting will moderate the light levels for you and let your trail cams take great pictures throughout the day. Placing them in an open field can work on cloudy days, but it tends to overexpose the pictures when the sun is brightly shining. If you have a great food plot you want to keep tabs on, there are some ways to mitigate the light levels and contrast of your pictures. North is the best direction to face a trail camera, because it avoids looking right into the southerly sun.

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