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Hey guys and gals, I'm looking to up the ante on my scouting this coming new season for deer hunting How do you all use your trail cameras? Do you use your trail cameras just for inventory, or do you all use your trail cameras for actually patterning dear? If this is the case is there a certain way you like to do it if you all are willing to share any of your techniques would be appreciated...
 

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Earlier this year there was a post about elevating your cams to reduce the effect it had on deer, I tried it and was surprised at how much "less" deer seem to notice the cam/flash, some of mine were 10'-14' up, I cut a small tree to the desired length, attached cam and leaned it in the crotch of another tree or in soft swampy soil just pushed it in, now, that's almost the only way I do it. Also thieves don't notice them as easily I would think!
Shawn
 

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Best tips I can give are hang them high facing down onto the trail or feeder or whatever you are watching. This will make them not spook deer, even though IR flashes aren't suppose to spook em, I still believe mature animals know something isn't right. Also always try to make your camera face north, if you can't do that try to face it south. If you have it east or west you will get a lot of whited out pics because of the sun. Hope this helps!
 

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I agree that putting your cameras up higher leads to the deer noticing much less. Also, blackouts, in my opinion are the way to go. If I get pics of deer looking toward the camera, it Seems as though they're not picking it up like a flash or regular no-flash cam. As my IR's have died, I've replaced with blackouts...
 

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Great question and one that I wished I would have asked a long time ago...

I run over 20 trail cameras and the last 8 bucks that I’ve killed are directly correlated to patterning those bucks using my trail cameras.

I start out in June and place all my trail cameras on mineral licks – 1 trail camera for every 40-80 acres. Try and place your mineral licks and cameras in shaded areas between their bedding area and summer food sources (staging areas). Pick a place where you can easily get in and out without spooking deer. This is when I take inventory of the bucks in my area.

When the bucks loose their velvet in early Sept., that is when I start moving my trail cameras because they typically will stop eating the mineral. I move all my cameras to scrapes (I’ll make mock scrapes to start out). Again, you need to choose areas on your hunting property where you can get in and out without spooking deer. I typically place them on field edges or old logging roads/walking paths to start out. I try to stay out of their core bedding areas. Using scents in your scrapes and on your licking branches can help. It's very common for me to use the same exact scrape as last year with the same licking branch.

I use videos (30 seconds to 1 min long) on all my trail cameras because I want to see which direction the buck approaches the lick or scrape and which way he leaves. This helps me pattern him. I try and stay out of those core areas where I got him on camera until I get that buck during daylight hours. Only then, is when I move in and start hunting him. All my stands have been already hung in early spring.

Placing cameras on trails within pinchpoints, funnels, inside corners and trails leading to and from food sources can also be productive especially during the rut and post rut.

Late season it’s all about food and I will move all my cameras to trails that lead to and from their late season food sources.

Hope this helps!
 

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grifter that was very helpful thank you!
 

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Great question and one that I wished I would have asked a long time ago...

I run over 20 trail cameras and the last 8 bucks that I’ve killed are directly correlated to patterning those bucks using my trail cameras.

I start out in June and place all my trail cameras on mineral licks – 1 trail camera for every 40-80 acres. Try and place your mineral licks and cameras in shaded areas between their bedding area and summer food sources (staging areas). Pick a place where you can easily get in and out without spooking deer. This is when I take inventory of the bucks in my area.

When the bucks loose their velvet in early Sept., that is when I start moving my trail cameras because they typically will stop eating the mineral. I move all my cameras to scrapes (I’ll make mock scrapes to start out). Again, you need to choose areas on your hunting property where you can get in and out without spooking deer. I typically place them on field edges or old logging roads/walking paths to start out. I try to stay out of their core bedding areas. Using scents in your scrapes and on your licking branches can help. It's very common for me to use the same exact scrape as last year with the same licking branch.

I use videos (30 seconds to 1 min long) on all my trail cameras because I want to see which direction the buck approaches the lick or scrape and which way he leaves. This helps me pattern him. I try and stay out of those core areas where I got him on camera until I get that buck during daylight hours. Only then, is when I move in and start hunting him. All my stands have been already hung in early spring.

Placing cameras on trails within pinchpoints, funnels, inside corners and trails leading to and from food sources can also be productive especially during the rut and post rut.

Late season it’s all about food and I will move all my cameras to trails that lead to and from their late season food sources.

Hope this helps!
How do you know where to hang your stand in the spring before you start pattering the buck in sept? Just where you think theyll move in fall?
 

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How do you know where to hang your stand in the spring before you start pattering the buck in sept? Just where you think theyll move in fall?
First off I have to admit that I'm a tree stand junkie! :embara: I have over 60 portables out right now and my attitude is you can never have enough. I divide my stands into 3 different categories: early season stands, rut stands and late season stands. My early season stands are placed on field edges, near food sources and at staging areas. My rut stands consists of pinch points, funnels, saddles, inside corners and on trails that connect two bedding areas. I also categorize these into morning sits, evening sits or all day sits. These are the stands that I make sure are in place in the spring and I don't hunt them until pre-rut or when I get a buck on camera during daylight hours. My late season stands are all located on trails heading out to food sources and I only hunt them at night. So to answer your question - yes - I have stands already in place when it comes to the rut but will add a stand or two if needed for early season or late season.
 

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I use my cameras for inventory only. I bait them with corn and put them out from August 1 until around September 15. I just place them a few feet off the ground, and while deer look at them from time to time, they never spook off them in my area -- not even 4 1/2 - 5 1/2 year old bucks. I've literally watched bucks grow up, and have noticed that the older they get, the less daylight videos I get of them. I, too, set mine to video, but noting their directions of travel hasn't ever worked for me. Anytime I got bucks on one camera, they were always heading northeast when leaving it in the mornings. Once the velvet came off, footage was sporadic. The first week of October, I took my target buck -- 1.1 miles southwest of where I get footage of him every year! I probably never would have seen him if I'd have hunted where he headed after leaving the camera.

2011: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-6PB0mqaVM

2012: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XivLtMul9LI

2013: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAVbKQI3yb0
 

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Great question and one that I wished I would have asked a long time ago...

I run over 20 trail cameras and the last 8 bucks that I’ve killed are directly correlated to patterning those bucks using my trail cameras.

I start out in June and place all my trail cameras on mineral licks – 1 trail camera for every 40-80 acres. Try and place your mineral licks and cameras in shaded areas between their bedding area and summer food sources (staging areas). Pick a place where you can easily get in and out without spooking deer. This is when I take inventory of the bucks in my area.

When the bucks loose their velvet in early Sept., that is when I start moving my trail cameras because they typically will stop eating the mineral. I move all my cameras to scrapes (I’ll make mock scrapes to start out). Again, you need to choose areas on your hunting property where you can get in and out without spooking deer. I typically place them on field edges or old logging roads/walking paths to start out. I try to stay out of their core bedding areas. Using scents in your scrapes and on your licking branches can help. It's very common for me to use the same exact scrape as last year with the same licking branch.

I use videos (30 seconds to 1 min long) on all my trail cameras because I want to see which direction the buck approaches the lick or scrape and which way he leaves. This helps me pattern him. I try and stay out of those core areas where I got him on camera until I get that buck during daylight hours. Only then, is when I move in and start hunting him. All my stands have been already hung in early spring.

Placing cameras on trails within pinchpoints, funnels, inside corners and trails leading to and from food sources can also be productive especially during the rut and post rut.

Late season it’s all about food and I will move all my cameras to trails that lead to and from their late season food sources.

Hope this helps!
Great info Grifter!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I also like to use video not only can you see were there comming from but also see how there reacting to your cams.trail cams also can give that down hatred hunter the extra motivation to keep pressing forward in the season
 

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Each Area has different things that can change deer behavior when it comes to game camera use. I have noticed white flash have a big effect of deer movement once September rolls in high or low the mature bucks avoid area where I have them. Not everyone has this but for me I have started using IR and Black Flash in hopes of less noticing them and they are mounted 10 ft. The does don't notice them as much. I also like the video I get especially at a Mock Scrape. The deer do some interesting things you would never see this with a picture or two or three. From rubbing their heads in the licking branch, to pawing the ground to some bucks even peeing in the scrape. I use them just to get some idea what Bucks are in the area but sometimes I get videos of new bucks never seen before as well...

But there is a lot of hunting pressure where I hunt so It is just to keep me hunting when I am not seeing many deer and rarely any bucks...

I pull my white flash cameras about the first or second of Oct just to get hope I see some good Bucks...

LFM
 

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i use my cams just to see whats in the area. my hunting is done on public land so baiting is illegal. i set all my cams about waist high and down trails, not across them. i try to find and put them on heavy trails too. try not to point your cam East or West or you will get the sun washing out pictures during the times that deer like to move (sun rise and sun set). when i start seeing the first sign of scrapes, i'll move my cams from the trails to over the scrapes.
 
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