First off, let me say that I hope you had a fantastic Thanksgiving with your family and friends this holiday! I had a great day lounging around and enjoying some Venison chili with the wife and kiddo. As I was lounging around, I was thinking about this post today. I wasn’t sure how I wanted to go about the 2 thoughts I had going through my mind. Well, I decided to just do 1 post and have it split between information from the trail cameras and the setup of the cameras as well. Enjoy~
I went to check my trail cameras that I had out for the past 3 weeks. I also had purchased a few more cameras and needed to go and put them out since it is late November. Why would I go out now to see my cameras you might ask?
Well, in the later part of November, the woods are finally bare. It is the time to see new trails that are being used after the leaves have fallen. You can see where the deer are walking over the fresh leaves which show the new routes that have changed from the early season and summer routes. I found 3 new routes that were fantastic! These travel routes are something you have to mark on your GPS, phone, map, etc. If you are seeing these changes, you have to remember them for next year and put up some cameras to see what is going down these new trails.
Other items to pay attention to are the new rubs, scrapes and food sources that are near these trails. You know that if you are seeing marks from the rut, that these are routes that bucks and potentially big bucks are using.
I hope this detail is something you are currently looking into or currently doing around this time. If not, please go out and check your areas out. It is highly worth the time out in the woods while being out of the tree stand for a solid day or two.
Now, for another detail that I noticed. You should look and see if you saw changes from the deer and hunting pressure from the summer to the early season to the now rut time period. Here is an example of what you might notice. In the summer you will see many Does and bachelor groups of Bucks hanging out where you put your cameras. Once the season opened, you would have seen the pressure jump up and the deer movement could have either completely shut down or it could have proved that all the deer have gone nocturnal. In the late part of November to beginning of December, it is typical to see the pressure begin to subside and the movement patterns change again back to possibly what was more normal in the summer or maybe it is completely different for the bucks. Here is what I just saw.
Bucks and Does would use a couple trails to travel from bedding area to bedding area in the early season. Once the pressure began to increase, the bucks were gone and the does were 100% nocturnal. I actually had over 1,000 pictures and only 27 of them were of deer. Out of those 27 pictures, all of them were of does and all the pictures were taken between 10pm and 4am. Certainly not shooting light! That should tell you something. Now as of this last check of my cards, I saw bucks coming through different transition areas and utilizing trails in the completely opposite direction as before. That leads me to believe that they are chasing does and coming from different parts of the property or different properties all together. They also are not bedding in the same areas to be traveling through the areas in such a different pattern. Realistically, this information is going to be more useful next year than it will be this year but I will be using it on my upcoming hunts in the late season. It will give me ideas of where I could move my stands and or hunt based on morning/evening/wind direction.
On a completely different note, I was reading some game camera reviews and it was funny to read some of the comments. If you don’t have much game cam experience, it is easy to make simple mistakes and you learn from them because of the poor camera pics. Or maybe, you don’t and blame the camera for the poor pictures. Here are some quick pointers. If you are going to put a camera up on a trail, take a look at the pictures below and you will get a good idea of angling your camera versus putting them flat on the trail. This will alleviate a couple of things.
- You will get more pictures because an animal running towards or away from your camera on the trail will be giving your camera enough time to trigger.
- You will get an idea of where the deer are coming from and what they are traveling towards since your field of view will be much greater.
The green field of view is great as it is positioned down the trail where you can see the animals coming up and down the trail. You also could see where they are coming from.
The red field of view shows a camera right up against the trail. If an animal is walking fast, trotting or running for its life, you will only get blanks and your frustration begins. It must be the cameras fault.
The final point is, make sure that you don’t position your camera directly East or directly West. You will receive pictures that are either pure white or pure black because of the sun rising or setting. This is not the fault of the camera and instead a fault of the user. Don’t lose valuable information because you forgot to think about the details when you were out in the woods.
I hope this helps out as it was a learning lesson for me early on. It is also something I continue to hear from others and read online. Experience pays off and learning about the mistakes others made helps everyone else out if they care to listen 🙂
Scout, Hunt, Repeat~