trail camera

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!

 

  1. trail camera tips:

  2. 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.
  3. 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!
  4. 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!
  5. 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. 
  6. 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!!

buck jpeg

2014 Public Land Archery
2014 Public Land Archery

Logo 2

By Steve Wall

How did you start the company?

CamLockBox started out as a hobby that got out of control.  I bought a laser for cutting steel and wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it.  I knew of game cameras and the boxes that were available for locking them up and I knew I could improve greatly on what was available.  I started working out of my garage on the boxes with spare time while working full time at Fox Valley Metal Tech.  After roughly four years, the boxes got so out of control I decided to work on them full time instead.  We now work out of two buildings, stock around 60 different trail cameras, and have security boxes for several hundred camera models (among MANY other items).

How long have you been in business?

We’ve been manufacturing our security boxes for around 10 years, I’m not completely sure since it started out so slow.

Moultrie M-550 M880i M990i Gen2 Security Box-1

Who is your target audience?

We’re after anyone who loves to hunt or fish!  We’re best known for our cameras and security boxes but we’re also just getting into stocking common fishing accessories.  We also come across a lot of customers calling from government agencies like the DNR and US boarder patrol.

What do you enjoy most about what you do?

I like building relationships with all types of customers.  We get a lot of repeat customers and I think that’s because we take the time to talk to them and figure out with them what is the best trail camera for them or the best way to secure the cameras they already have.  I also really like to see pictures that customers send to us…we get photos of things they didn’t even know existed!Blade_X_5_MP_Security_Box_1__17712_1409809691_1280_1280

 What are your most popular products?

Our most popular products are definitely our security/bear boxes.  All of them are designed by us and 100% made here in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  We also sell a ton of Master Lock products (python cables and padlocks) and our top selling cameras are made by Moultrie.

What is your favorite hunting or fishing memory?

 I don’t have one specific hunting or fishing memory but I can say I’m proud of the number of quality deer I’ve harvested over the years.

 CAMLOCKbox HEAVY DUTY Swivel Bracket33

Contact Info:

Website: www.camlockbox.com
Facebook: CAMLOCKbox

 

Comments from Wisconsin Outdoor Pursuits:

Having a camera batted around and chewed on a few times by a bear last fall, A CAMLOCKbox would have been very helpful!  Along with protecting your camera from unwanted animals, it also provides a great way of locking your camera to the tree.  Not all cameras are set up the best for locking them to a tree.  Hunting public land here in Wisconsin, the need to lock my camera is evident!  The CAMLOCKbox provides a great way to do that!  I will definitely be looking at picking up a box myself to be able to better lock and mount my trail camera this year!  I encourage you to do the same!

 

 This is a weekly segment to showcase and share a little more information about some great companies!  If you know of a company that would be a great fit for this segment please email me at: steve@wioutdoorpursuits.com.  I hope you enjoy learning more about these great companies!

By Steve Wall

scouting Whitetail deer tips from Wisconsin Outdoor Pursuits

 

You want to improve your odds of harvesting a deer this year, right?  One of the best things that you can do to improve your odds of harvesting a deer is to scout.  When should you start scouting?  A month before the season?  2 months before the season?  During the winter?  During the season?  While sitting on your couch?  My answer, all of the above!  Scouting whitetail deer should be a year-round process if you want to maximize your odds of harvesting an animal!

Phase 1: Digital Scouting

What is digital scouting?  Digital scouting is the work that you are able to do from the comfort of your home.  Digital scouting is using your GPS, computer and various programs to survey your hunting area.  Aerial photo’s can be found on websites like Google Maps and Bing Maps.  These maps are great tools for zooming in on your area and locating various food sources, logging trails and changes between forest types.  Digital scouting can help you find potential new hunting areas and give you a starting place when you actually get your boots on the ground!  A website that I would highly recommend is ScoutlookWeather.com!  Once you create a free account on ScoutLook, you are then able to save various locations on the map.  Weather data is then available based upon these pinned locations.  Mobile apps are also available that will allow you to have all this information at your fingertips in the woods.  Some of the paid apps will allow you to log deer sightings and capture real-time weather data!  I have used these features the last few years and it has provided me with some very valuable data!  Just remember, digital scouting can be a useful tool all throughout the year!

 

Phase 2: Early off-season Scouting

This phase begins after your hunting seasons have ended for the year.  Your most intense on the ground scouting should be done during this phase.  This phase runs anywhere from the day the season closes to when all of the new foliage starts growing in the spring.  Phase 2 is a great time to locate all of last season’s trails, scrapes, rubs and bedding areas.  This is the only time of year that I would suggest scouting bedding areas.  The deer will have plenty of time to forget that you were in their bedroom!  I say that with a disclaimer, if you push deer out of an area to many times, they may start looking for a new bedding area that feels more secure.  I enjoy scouting in early winter with just a little bit of snow, it seems to make some of the more “hidden” trails stand out a little more.  These “hidden” trails are the trails that your more mature deer are most likely to use!  This can also be a good time to put the trail camera up and see which deer may have made it through the season.  When the snow starts to get to deep, I will do most of my “Phase 1” scouting.  Late February and early March are great times to get back into the woods and do more Phase 2 scouting.  A majority of the snow is gone and most of the bucks have shed their antlers.  Who doesn’t want to find a nice shed antler and hopefully harvest that same buck the next year!

scouting whitetail deer
A rub I found while scouting whitetails earlier this winter!

 

Phase 3: Late off-season Scouting

Phase 3 scouting should be very low pressure!  This phase is that last month or so before the season begins.  This is the time I like to get the trail camera back out and start seeing which deer are in the area and what trails they are using.  With the season approaching you need to be careful not to be to intrusive and scare deer out of the area.  You should definitely stay out of the bedding areas!  Also, try to do most of your activity during the middle of the day when there is less deer activity.  It is also best to take as many scent control precautions as possible!  If you hunt land that you are able to leave a treestand up, now is the time to get your stand hung.  When hanging your stand, the earlier in this phase the better.  This will give the deer more time to get used to any trimming you may have done for shooting lanes.

Phase 4: In-season Scouting

Just like the phase 3 scouting, you need to be very careful with any in-season scouting!  Any major disturbances can push deer right out of the area that you are hunting.  Any in-season scouting I do during archery season is based upon my sightings from the stand or sign I notice walking to my stand.  These sightings are the best information you can receive, especially if you notice a pattern over time.  Making small adjustments to your stand location, based on your observations, may pay off big in helping you harvest a deer!  If you are going to do any in-season scouting, I would again suggest that you do it after a morning hunt during the middle of the day.  Late rifle and muzzleloader season’s can be another great time to do a little more walking around.  If you are hunting public land, be cautious of other hunters!  If you hunt private land, you may want to wait until after the season to do more walking around if you fear pushing deer onto your neighbors property.

2014 public land archery
2014 Public Land Archery buck ( Same buck as in video above!)

 

If you put all 4 phases of scouting whitetail deer together, I am almost positive that your odds of killing a deer will be greatly improved!  So the next time you are sitting at home on the computer with nothing to do, pull up a map and take a look at your hunting area.  You may just see something you have never noticed before!  If the weather is nice in early spring, pull on your boots and head to the woods to look for some shed antlers and do some more intense scouting!  As the season nears, finalize your stand sites and watch for recent activity!  During the season, pay close attention to all deer activity and don’t be afraid to move your stand!  I hope these tips will help as you prepare for your next whitetail adventure!  Good luck hunting!

Read more scouting tips here!~Wisconsin Outdoor Pursuits

Read more about the hunt of the buck pictured above!~The Hunt Blog

 

 

 

 

 

edge

By Steve Wall

As with many other hunters, I do a majority of my hunting every year on public land.  It can be very difficult deciding where to hunt on some of the larger tracts of land.  I have been very fortunate to have harvested three nice whitetail bucks the past three years on public land in Wisconsin.  I attribute this success to putting my time in the stand, a little bit of luck and most of all scouting.  The following tips will help no matter where you hunt, however good scouting is crucial on public land.

I begin almost all of my scouting looking at aerial photos from different websites.  Google Maps and Bing Maps are great places to start.  I like to look at the same location on both sites.  These maps have different imagery and I may see something on one site that I dont see on the other.  What am I looking for when I look at the aerial photos? Continue reading “Public Land Scouting: Choosing a stand site”