By Steve Wall
With another turkey season in the books and temperatures on the rise, it is time to pull out those trail cameras out of the closet and put them on a tree! Whether you hunt private or public land, it is always nice knowing what deer are roaming through the area you are hunting or thinking about hunting. In my case, I set up my trail camera a couple weeks ago in an area on public land that I have not hunted before and found while turkey hunting. If you hunt public land like I do, hopefully I can provide you with a few tips to make your camera investment worthwhile!
trail camera tips:
- Secure your investment- One of the main reasons I wait until after turkey season to put up my trail cameras is to prevent them from being stolen. I wish we could just trust everyone to leave our property alone, but that is not always the case. Turkey hunters may be active walking around looking for birds and more likely to stumble across your camera and be tempted to take it. Also, make sure you lock your trail camera to the tree. Sure, if a person wants the camera bad enough they will come back with bolt cutters or a saw and take it off, but at least they can’t just take it off the tree.
- Explore new areas– Turkey season can be a great time to scout for deer. Did you find a spot you might want to try hunting this fall? Take your trail camera back in there and see what might be moving through. Many times we like to go back to spots that we have hunted before and had success in, however as many of you know having options when you hunt public land is a must!
- Use intersections– Especially early in the summer, the main objective of having your camera in the woods is to get as many pictures as possible! Instead of placing your camera on a single, well used trail, follow that trail until it intersects with another trail and set up your camera there. This will allow you to catch a deer that may not necessarily be using both trails and will hopefully result in more pictures!
- Move around- Like I said before, when you hunt public land it is nice to have options! Move your camera around to all of your possible stand locations to give yourself a good inventory of the deer activity in your area. I usually like to leave my camera in a spot for a week to 10 days. That usually allows enough time to see what is moving through the area. As you move your camera around you can always come back to a spot that you have a good feeling about.
- Get in and get out– Once you have found a tree to set your camera up on, put it up and get out of there. If you are checking your camera, decide before you go in if you are going to leave it or move it. These locations you are putting your camera might be places you will be hunting this fall. Especially during the late summer, you want to make sure you leave as little scent as possible so you don’t spook the deer out of the area.
Hopefully these tips will help as you set up your camera and hopefully catch some velvet bucks on camera! It’s a great feeling when you can picture a buck and then harvest him, especially on public land! I was fortunate to harvest a buck last fall that I pictured in velvet! Whether you hunt public or private land, be sure to share your trail camera photo’s to the Wisconsin Outdoor Pursuits Facebook page and I will be sure to share them! Good Luck!!